I just talked to Ms Dallas and found out that the kids had a wonderful day ! She said ” It was a normal Monday , a little hectic, but it was good. ”
Dont we all wish that life was a fairy tale ? A lot of people look at my life and think it is a fairy tale and in many ways it is. I dont think there is anything wrong with believing in the end the good guys win and everyone lives happily ever after. Where we tend to mess up is pushing those ” ideas” of happily ever after on others . Then you have unrealistic expectations and disappointment.
This week the kids are talking about fairy tales. Today Ms Dallas and Ms Jessica introduced Jack and the Beanstalk.
Some of the activities they did today was to plant a bean seed and we will watch it grow. ) If you have noticed our carrots we planted the other day already have tiny roots ! )
The kids also planted MAGIC BEANS ! I cant wait to see what they will do by the end of the week. ( This was done outside and it was still a little chilly. If your child has a lightweight jacket or long sleeve shirt , please send it for these spring days that are still a little chilly when the sun is not shining )
Another fun literacy game the kids played in small group was making a beanstalk with silk leaves . They put them in order to make their name !
I missed all the fun they had today since I am at a training in Little Rock. The training is called Conscious Discipline. The very first thing that was stressed is how important it is to make build a school family. One way this can be done is rituals including birthday greetings and morning greetings. I was filled with a sense of pride as video after video came in from Ms Dallas and the kids of the children telling me happy birthday. I would look down at my phone and the little face on it and feel so loved. Family… I think we’ve mastered that one.
In training from 830 – 330 today and the amount of information is a little overwhelming and a little sad. The discipline technique we are learning requires changing OUR perspective. EX. It’s clean up time and Bobby was in the middle of building an amazing bridge and he is not ready to clean up. Besides the fact that there are TONS of blocks EVERYWHERE. Instead of raising a voice to Bobby and saying ” You made the mess, You need to clean it up. Now, or you will not get to play outside.” We go over and connect … eyes.. We let the child know we are present in that moment and say ” I see that you made a huge structure. You dont want to clean it up right now and there are so many blocks on the floor. Lets start with the red ones.” As a teacher you have taken the time to validate how Bobby is feeling and broken the HUGE task before him into a smaller more manageable chunk. Bobby still has to clean but we put ourselves in his shoes for just a minute to help him learn how to control the emotions he is feeling.
Also, do we have a discipline system that relies on fear ? If you dont ______ I will _________. Many times this reinforces the very behaviors we are trying to avoid.
We function in one of three states.
The survival state . This is where children birth to about 15 months are until they learn to be verbal. When in survival and confronted we become threatened and start to defend or withdraw. In this state all you can do is help them to calm down. Sometimes that is helping them to breathe. Sending them away does not help.. it only creates more fear.
The emotional state. This is where your ” mother lives” and you hear things coming out of your mouth that you heard your mom say and swore you would never be that way. In this state people ( kids ) just want to know they are loved. They dont want to be lectured . They just want to be loved. ( This is the state where you hear ” No” a lot. )
The executive state . Most people do not have the tools to ” live ” here until they are 24 years old. WOW! This is the only place that real learning can begin. This is the state where prioritizing and time management comes into play. This is where empathy can really happen.
There are times that we ALL switch back and forth between these when different things occur in our life.
Our job as older more mature people in a child’s life is to help him grow emotionally. When he or she is screaming and hitting our job is to Stop…. Take a Breath .. and Relax. If he’s screaming there’s no reason to match that scream with demands. She isnt listening at that point anyway. Breath…. When they calm down make them feel safe and loved and then teach.
Breath….. Breath…… Breath…..
Your face looks angry like this ( mirror )
You are turning away and screaming.
Once they are looking at you and more calm.
I understand you are sad. I see that you want to play with that toy that he has.
When he is through with it, I am sure you can have a turn.
Will you come with me now and play ________ ?
Other interesting points were:
The most disruptive children are the most disconnected. ( To me as a teacher ) What can I do to connect more and build a relationship with that child ?
Connecting for five minutes with a child decreases aggression or disruptive behavior by 50 %. WOW~
To sum it all up. In addition to all the routines and rituals I have learned today the underlying theme in them all is :
Children want to feel safe and loved. I can do things in my classroom ( you in your home ) that build those relationships and make them feel more safe and more loved.
Talking to a child ( or policing a child – telling them what NOT to do or WHERE to go… all the time ) is not really connecting. Connecting is taking the time to look them in the eye and let them know – you are important to me. It is realizing as an adult that all experiences good or bad are learning opportunities and I can react in an executive state and teach through the experience or I can join the child in his emotional or survival state .
One of the things they challenge us to do is well wishes. When a child is gone from school and is sick. We wish them well. When a child is having a bad day and a tantrum occurs the children all stop and wish him well and go about their business. When someone has a birthday we wish them well. When someone learns to tie their shoe we all stop and wish them well. If EVERY child learned this from preschool age can you imagine the difference in highschool classrooms and hallways. That instead of gossiping or making fun of classmates or returning anger with anger, we all wished each other well.
I am excited about day two.