Frequently Asked Questions

What is RULER?

RULER is an acronym that stands for the five skills of emotional intelligence: recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating emotions. RULER also is the name of the approach to social and emotional learning created by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence that supports positive emotional climates and the development of these skills in both students and the adults in their lives. RULER begins with staff personal and professional learning, continues with classroom instruction and family engagement, and becomes embedded seamlessly into policies and practices school-wide. 

Who should attend a RULER training?

Key representatives of your school or district, such as:

  • An administrator, such as a principal or vice principal
  • Teachers from different grade levels, such as one lower elementary and one upper elementary teacher
  • A mental health professional, such as a social worker

The individuals who attend the training at Yale will become your school’s RULER Implementation Team and will lead RULER rollout in your school or district.

What populations is RULER training designed to serve?

RULER trainings are designed to serve preK-12 schools and districts, public, private, and parochial. 

What are some schools/districts currently using RULER?

RULER has been implemented in thousands of public, private, independent, and parochial schools and districts across the United States and around the world. For more information on specific schools and districts, please visit our RULER Schools page. 

What implementation/rollout really looks like from month to month, year to year? How flexible it is in terms of order?

RULER is an approach to creating a positive learning climate and developing emotional skills of all adults and students within the school. It is a mindset and a language with which everyone in the school community can talk about their emotions. Staff development activities and student learning units are implemented with flexibility, in terms of how long they are, when and in what order they are implemented, and how they are infused into the existing staff time and the academic curriculum.

What options exist for RULER training?

The first step to integrating RULER into your school or district is attending an Anchors of Emotional Intelligence Institute (AEII) training. During this training, educators learn directly from researchers and trainers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and have the opportunity to network with other schools and districts who are in the process of rolling out RULER. You can visit our RULER Events page or email rulertraining@yale.edu to find out about trainings at Yale. 

Regional trainings also are offered if 25 or more schools within a district or region show interest in adopting RULER. You may contact us if you would like to discuss the possibility of bringing a RULER training to your district or region.

Do we get ongoing support after training?

RULER training participants will receive 4 remote sessions of individualized coaching support per school to help support RULER implementation and rollout.These sessions are good for the academic year directly after the conference and all sessions happen remotely via the phone or an online video conferencing program.

After the 2-day training, each school team also receives electronic newsletters, and school-wide access to online resources including videos, staff courses, activity guides, sample student lessons, and other resources to support RULER implementation.

Do you have a place where we could find resources to support our implementation?

All faculty and staff from each school trained in RULER obtain access to online resources, including videos, staff courses, activity guides, sample student lessons, and other resources to support the seamless integration of RULER into staff development, classroom instruction, and family engagement.

How does RULER stand out from other SEL programs?

RULER differentiates itself from other school-based initiatives in that it focuses first on developing adults in the school, both personally and professionally, so they can be role models and knowledgeable implementers of the skill-based instruction for students. The goals of RULER also are unique: (1) to create a positive emotional climate and (2) to enhance emotional intelligence in students and all the adults involved in their lives. Additionally, we offer online resources (videos, lessons, family workshops, and more) and virtual sessions with a RULER coach to support our clients throughout the implementation process.

Can we have RULER and other SEL programs?

RULER integrates seamlessly with many other approaches to SEL, as its goals and methods overlap with those of other SEL programs. In general, RULER usually becomes the backdrop with a common language and a positive and safe climate in which to teach other academic and SEL topics.

Additional Resources:

Follow the conversation with #emotionsmatter