Allow our founder Lynn Joseph to take you on her journey, as a practitioner in training.

The Extended Education Practitioner Training Programme – an 18-month certificate course – aims to equip practitioners with the skills required to design and execute quality after-school programmes, thereby enabling them to create a better experience for learners.

My First Module: Social and emotional intelligence.

Since January 20th, I have continuously reflected on Social and emotional intelligence.

Allow me to infer that Social and emotional intelligence (also known as EQ) is fundamental to our daily interactions. The necessary elements that help form how we think act and react to situations.

What is social and emotional intelligence, for those who have not heard these terms before?
Daniel Goleman gives us five key elements of EQ, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Self-awareness is the ability to notice your feelings and understand how they affect your behaviour relationships and work performance, etc. The ability to know your strengths, weaknesses, and, having a sense of confidence and self-worth.

Self-management is the ability to control your feelings and act appropriately. It means you try to do the right thing. It is being adaptable and able to cope with change. Always looking for opportunities to grow and set high standards in everything you do.

Social Awareness means being aware of other people’s feelings, understanding how they see things, and taking an interest in them. Socially aware people care and have empathy. Social awareness also means being able to read people’s body language, facial expressions, and even the tone of their voice to understand what they are thinking or feeling.

Relationship skills are the ability to communicate clearly and convincingly and, build strong connections with others. To help others develop their talents, through feedback, guidance and inspire others to work at their best. Having good relationship skills means being able to resolve conflict and come up with win-win solutions.

Responsible decision-making is the ability to make honest and just choices. Do not break rules or the law; In addition, they take into account all the options available. Responsible decision-making is being able to make realistic evaluations of your choices and actions. Including impact or consequences, they will have, not just on you but also on others.

Why is it important to implement EQ in the workplace? Barry Chignell wrote, “Emotional intelligence (also known as EQ) was ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills that employees will need to possess to thrive in the workplace of the future.”
Writing for Forbes in 2014, Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, said, “Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the other side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim.”

Reading many articles referring mostly to business and marketplace, it simply amplifies how much more we need to apply these skills to “our” business. The “people’s” business is what I call the civil society workplace. Yes in the marketplace, they also work with people but their objectives differ slightly. In the “peoples'” workplace, we aim to change and impact lives of people, not merely the bottom line.

Why is EQ important in the classroom?
Patricia Jennings and Mark Greenberg, leading scientists in the field of social-emotional learning, say teachers who possess social and emotional intelligence are less likely to burn out. They can also more effectively work with “challenging children” that are one of the main causes of burn out. Dr. P. Karthikeyan further breaks it down, that emotional intelligence has three different dimensions, competency, emotional maturity, and emotional sensitivity.
EQ is vital in education and not be taught in isolation. More importantly, if a teacher or parent is not emotionally intelligent they cannot teach or encourage a child EQ.
Teachers are role models that help students regulate their emotions. The benefits of teaching EQ in educational spaces is immeasurable, however getting the ball rolling would be a great challenge. In schools, teacher’s responsibility has expanded that they now are unable to model EQ as desired. Overcrowded classrooms, ill-disciplined children who themselves face many social ills within communities.

There are so many areas to highlight, allow me to express on one today, empathy. I have seen the need for empathy more and more the past two months.
A leader with lack of empathy will slowly lead him or her nowhere. Soon they will notice there is no one following. Leaders need to understand the needs of the people they lead, to be able to lead effectively. In my role as a practitioner and leader of my team, this is crucial even more so in my roles as a mother and wife.

Being in a different space the past month, I heard many conversations of people I do not know. How a mother arranges transport for her child. The other woman stressed about her daughter, sitting there with many suggestions popping up in my mind. I just listened and did not respond, empathy is more than just trying to understand or put yourself in the other persons’ shoes. When we give people a space to be and experience what they are facing we create a space so beautiful and full of learning. I remember after two weeks it was the first time I mentioned I had children, I saw a sparkle in the woman’s eyes that suggested thank you for understanding.

Honoured to be part of a faith family, called New Beginning Christian Family Church. Where I have extensively learned how not to take offense, ability recognizes when it comes to fore and deal with my emotions accordingly. It allows me to work in very pressurized spaces and respond to the problem and not the person. I can truly see the benefits of not taking offense.
Empathy and social awareness really help one to stop, evaluate the persons’ reaction, and determine the best response in seconds.

The Extended Practitioner Training module one has instantly changed my interaction with people and life. There have been many scenarios that tested the knowledge I acquired, and, how I deal with my staff, family, and people, I meet and see daily.
I echo the words of Wayde in one of our sessions, “The problem is the problem, not the person!

Before I left my home, Sunday 14th January, I wrote a letter to myself, “Work towards effectiveness in my family.” Only my family can attest to the changes since then.

I am so excited to see how the skills I acquired will affect the girls I work with, in my role as a practitioner.
One Girl at a time, There is a life that needs to be changed.Today!

Thank you to all the amazing partners who make this rewarding journey possible, Western Cape Government, in partnership with Stellenbosch University (SU), Community Chest and Rutgers University-Newark (USA)

Thank you…


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