What Color are You Feeling?

I heard Yale professor, Marc Brackett speak on Saturday. He is know for his RULER Approach. He was the closing Keynote at TCRWP Reunion Saturday in Riverside Church.


I knew nothing of his work. Since Saturday, I keep thinking, “What color am I now?” after he introduced me to his Ruler Method – a Mood Meter. The x-axis is a measure of how pleasant one feels. The y-axis is a measure of how much energy one has.

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YELLOW – how I felt after I made my presentation at VSRA.
GREEN – how I felt listening to Marc. I was so tired by Saturday afternoon but loved my day of learning at Teachers College.
RED – how I felt the day after my Fair at school as I read an email complaint and tried to remind myself that you can’t please everyone but I was still annoyed.
BLUE – how I felt standing on my crowded subway car after leaving Riverside Church as a man very, very loudly cursed others blocking his way (the F-word seemed to be his every-other word) and sadly the rest of the subway car felt like me – powerless to move him from his RED rage.

Then another man, probably feeling BLUE, too and holding a jar, asking for spare change spoke to the RED-raged man. Why you need to shout, man? Sure, it is annoying to have the doorway blocked? As I stood frozen by the shouting, the two men continued to converse, one loudly, the other calmly and soon the loud man was laughing. Then in two stops he exited the train and I felt relief and GREEN.

Marc reminded the 2,000 teachers gathered at Riverside church how kids can’t learn when they are afraid. He also spoke to us. As teachers, we can’t teach when we feel exhausted and annoyed. Then he shared how through breathing, eating well, sleeping enough and exercising we can set ourselves up for more YELLOW/GREEN times. And then we can be a role model to our students.

I’m glad the panhandler was a role model for my subway car on Saturday.


10 thoughts on “What Color are You Feeling?

  1. lgrainger125 says:

    Interesting way to apply what you learned. I’m trying to reach into the yellow and green through self-care. With such a late spring break, it’s challenging.


  2. showgem says:

    The mood meter man came to our school and shared his information. That was 3 years ago, We didn’t have any follow through after the presentation. It would have been more helpful.


  3. Jaana says:

    I think I need to learn more about this. It would definitely benefit me as a teacher to know more about mood zones. Thank you for highlighting this important aspect.


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