Emotional Classroom

How did I get here?

May 3, 2017 12:00:00 AM / by Admin

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Hello again,

When we left each other last, you promised to try to pay attention to your emotions and try to pick a strategy to use to avoid "losing your cool."  How'd that go?  I've been somewhat successful but will admit to a raised voice(aka yelling) last night over dinner dishes on the counter and in the sink. Note to children:  How hard is it to find the dishwasher? So clearly we all need to continue to practice taking "active measures" when managing our emotions.  Keep at it!

Today's work is to start to look at why the emotions came up in the first place. Why does that matter you ask?  Well, if we want to really learn to manage our emotions and in turn our behavior, we need to understand the different reasons we feel different emotions.  Stick with me it'll make sense....

How do you feel?  What are you feeling?  Hey, check out that feelings poster and tell me what you feel right now?  

I need to say this, and it may not be popular.  Asking a child(or adult) to tell you how they feel without connecting it TO something won't help.  I mean, think about it.  Think how you feel right now.  Take a minute and think about just the feeling.  Got it.  Now name it.  AND NOW WHAT? If it's a negative feeling, do you know what drove the feeling?  If positive, what brought on your good feelings?  Did this feeling just happen, or have you been feeling it for a while?  All of this is so important and if we just ask how you feel we miss so much.  

We need to add a step when looking at emotions and that is what we call the Event.

We had a student once who shared that his behaviors came from an event that "lit a fuse" within him.  Often no one saw the fuse ignite, but they eventually saw his behavioral explosion. For years, people completed behavioral observations of him and identified "antecedents" that they believed led to his behaviors.  From there, a plan was created to try to manage his behavior.  Unfortunately, none of the plans worked for him.  They didn't work because they never really helped him get to the underlying reasons, or events, that lit his fuse.   Once we started helping him to identify the events that lit the fuse and then connecting them to his emotions, he started the work of changing his behavior.  

The Event is similar to the antecedent idea except it often isn't observable.  It's personal.  It's the reason you feel the way you do.  Is it possible for outside observers to see this event? Sure. Will they always see the event? Nope, and that is why this is so important.

A simmering pot of emotions doesn't always boil quickly.

Our goal as adults who work with kids is to help them tie events to emotions.  Understanding what makes you feel different emotions is critical. By talking about events and emotions, you give kids the message that they are in control of how they feel and in turn how they behave.  

So, here's the takeaway, the next time you feel something, try to connect it to an event that occurred. This will help to build your understanding of your own emotions, and how to manage your emotions as you go from one event to another.  Then help your kids do the same. Stop asking how do you feel and start asking what happened to make you feel what you do. Subtle difference, but super powerful for change.  

Up next, the B.  Behavior!

Stay tuned and stay Connected!

-L

 

 

 

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You want me to have an EMOTIONAL CLASSROOM...Huh?

Apr 25, 2017 12:00:00 AM / by Admin

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Welcome back to the EMOTIONAL Classroom Blog.

I know,  I know, you think we may have made a mistake with this one.  We've titled our classroom, The EMOTIONAL classroom.  I'm sure in your head you might be saying, "Lori, no one wants to be thought of as "Emotional." I know, I've heard it, "She was SO emotional...." 

Well, stay with me and maybe I will change your mind.

I'm here to tell you that the word "Emotional" is getting a bad rap.  After all, we all have emotions. Every day, almost every minute of our waking moments, we feel.  Even those who can't express, or can't label, or can't manage, have thousands of emotions running through them.  

Emotions.  All the time.

So what gives then?  Why all the negatives toward the emotions?  Well, we think it is as simple as this. 

Emotions are scary bad things when they bring on scary big behaviors that can't be managed. Emotions are scary bad things when they bring on exciting big behaviors that can't be managed. Emotions are scary bad things when they bring on "Shut down" behaviors that can't be managed. Seeing a pattern yet?  It isn't the emotions, it's the behavior.  The "Emotional" in all of us is getting the bad rap when really, it is the behavior that is making us think the emotions are bad.  

Emotions make us the colorful and unique people we are, even when they aren't positive.

So let's change the way we are looking at this and go ahead and look at being "emotional" as a compliment.  You are a person FULL of emotions!  Well, thank you!

So back to your emotional classroom.  We love that you have a classroom full of emotions and once you learn the tools to help your students manage those emotions, you'll love them too!  

You can.  You can take a classroom full of emotions and manage them.  

The first step in this process is to start to look at the behaviors of your students, or your children, in a new way.  Their behavior is telling you that there is an emotion that isn't being managed. 

So take the first step with me and start looking at this process in yourself.  The next time you lose your cool, think about what you feel, and why you feel it.  Then realize that the emotion you just acknowledged is really driving your "loss of cool."  Next, don't think of yourself as negative for not managing the emotion, instead, find a strategy to manage how you feel.  Take a walk if you can, take a deep breath, get something to drink, find a friend to talk to, pet your dog...You get the idea.

The key to what I am saying is this:  You aren't a negative person for your negative emotions.  You can't be happy all the time.  What you can do is find the right strategy to manage the negative emotion so it doesn't turn into a negative behavior.

Next up...Let's add the reason behind the emotion.....

Stay tuned and stay connected.

-L 

 

 

 

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Hello, and welcome to the Emotional Classroom

Apr 18, 2017 12:00:00 AM / by Admin posted in Emotions, Behaviors, Classroom Management

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Let's exchange a few pleasantries and then get onto the business of emotions!

I'm Lori.  Most of the time it will be my voice you will be reading.  You'll also hear from Steve from time to time.  

 

This is me
This is me
This is Steve
This is Steve

 

Important info about us: We aren't writers. I will guarantee a misplaced comma or sentence fragment from time to time. I can envision a rant or two on an issue that is really important. We hope that you'll forgive us that.  We are real live people who aren't afraid to tell you what we think and hope that our words and our work will help you to change the lives of your kids and your students. That's the big goal here.  

For almost 8 years we've been on a path to support kids who have challenging behavior. In an upcoming blog that Steve will write (although he doesn't know it yet), we'll tell you all about the history of the program we developed that set us on our path.  

But for now, I'll leave it at this.  The kids for whom we work have it tough.  They are amazing kids but their emotions get the better of them and their behavior tells that story.  We want to rewrite their stories by helping them manage their emotions so they can manage their own behaviors.

It's simple really.  Emotions Drive Behavior. 

Ready to hear more?  

Coming up.....All about emotions....stay tuned.

One last thing...We want to hear from you.  Ask us questions or tell us what you think as long as you are kind.  This is a totally inclusive classroom!

-L

 

 

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