Wheel of Emotions
The wheel of emotions is a fantastic tool a friend introduced to me a few years ago when I thought I was having trouble really understanding how my students are doing. so many of us automatically respond that we are “fine” or “good” when a friend asks us how we're doing. Students get in that same habit, and some of that is cultural, the fact that the world doesn't really care about how you are when they ask. As a mindful educator, I wanted to break that culture to truly connect with my students.
In the “before times,” as I like to call them, I had a giant wheel of emotions poster and a small magnet with each student's picture. Students walked in, grabbed their picture, and put it on their feeling word for the day. This was an awesome attendance check, and I knew their emotions before starting class. If they walked into my class with an undesirable emotion, I had the opportunity to check in on them to make sure that they had food, sleep, and other basic needs met. That became much more difficult in a virtual environment.
When the pandemic hit, I had to find a way to take this useful teaching tool virtual. I created a daily check-in that uses the wheel of emotions and asks students about their basic needs. It is a very mindful and intentional attendance sheet if I choose. It gives me excellent data and still allows students the freedom to be their goofball camera off microphone off selves because that's something I don't think I'll be able to change. What I can change is how I connect with students through a daily check-in.