Staff Development

Personal and Professional Learning 

One aspect of RULER that differentiates it from other school-based initiatives is 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.

RULER Institute: Creating Emotionally Intelligent Schools 

Staff development on RULER begins when a small team, including one school administrator and at least two educators or mental health professionals from the school, attend the RULER Institute led by a team from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

The Institute introduces participants to the RULER skills and the Anchor tools, including how they may create a supportive and caring school climate while also teaching emotional intelligence to students and adults. 

The RULER Skills include:

  • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  • Labeling emotions with accurate words
  • Expressing emotions differently depending on context, and
  • Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

The RULER Anchors tools include:

  • The Charter for building and sustaining positive emotional climates
  • The Mood Meter for enhancing emotion skills
  • The Meta-Moment for responding to triggers with the one’s “best self,” and
  • The Blueprint for reflecting on and resolving conflict

The training includes skill-building activities, as well as provides information and planning time on implementing RULER. The individuals who attend the training at Yale will become the school’s or district’s RULER Implementation Team and will lead RULER rollout in their school or district.

Ongoing Support

After training, each school team receives RULER implementation coaching, electronic newsletters, and school-wide 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.

We recommend that all school faculty and staff are introduced to RULER principles and Anchor tools, including skill-building activities before students and families receive RULER. In this staff development phase, all adults in the school use the tools and practice the skills. They also plan for implementing the tools and activities with students and families.

Trainings are held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut throughout the year. Please visit our RULER website or email to find out more. 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.



“I felt my knowledge was tremendously deepened, and the opportunity to reflect deeply on issues in my own work and especially in my relationships with those I supervise was invaluable. I was also SURPRISED because as a seasoned veteran, I didn't expect to find so much refreshing and new in a PD series.”

—Head of School