Emotional Classroom

Lori Jackson


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PRESSURE PACKED WORLD

Apr 23, 2018 7:00:00 PM / by Lori Jackson posted in Behaviors, Emotions

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Keeping your emotions in check is a delicate balance for all of us. What would you think if you were asked to:

Grade 50 papers. 

OK.

Now, do it in an hour. 

Alright, that's challenging.

Now add you've just had a major fight with a good friend, your washing machine flooded your house. And your car has a flat-tire.

Well....

You'd probably ask if you could grade papers another time. Some individuals might respond to normal events in an over the top way. Maybe they verbally 'bite heads-off''. If we had to guess, all of the events listed above would probably make you feel frustrated, sad, angry, worried, and maybe even overwhelmed.

We get it! It is incredibly difficult to get things done when your emotions are in control.  

Now, let's think about our students as they come to school each day.  

  • How are they feeling when they arrive?  
  • How about as they navigate their day?  
  • Did they get enough sleep, are they hungry, have a disagreement with a friend, do their homework?  

Being a kid is tough.

Event after event keeps coming. Our students are collecting emotions every step of the way. What we know is that if a student is not managing their collection of accumulating emotions throughout their day, they're not going to be able to get much done. 

Let's face it, we aren't born knowing how to do math or read.  The same holds true for managing our emotions. We wouldn't ask kids to learn how to read, write or do math on their own. So what's-up with thinking they come with the skills and ideas to be have developed emotional regulation skills?

Teach Emotional Regulation

This brings us to The Connections Model's philosphophy and using KidConnect.  

It's time that we teach kids the steps to understand how they feel, so they can manage how they behave.  More than stickers, thermometers, colors or emoji faces.

We use open discussions and real emotions, real activities, in real life, and in real time.

Are you ready? Let's get started teaching emotional regulation.

Students learn how to manage their emotions by learning to understand what events, things, and places trigger different emotions in themselves. This is done through adding 5 - 10 minutes of your time a day to make emotions a part of your classroom. In the beginning it may feel awkward. That's OK.

BTW in a few weeks you're students will be Ready2Learn and your stress level will be down.

When you use the KidConnect Classroom app, and visit the KidConnect Clubhouse, you'll get the information and the tools to support your students and their emotions. Your students will have a real time tool which will help THEM understand what is driving their behavior and the emotions that led them there.

Over time, with your help, students will begin to learn how different emotions make them behave. They will learn to employ new strategies when they feel those emotions.  You will have access to a wealth of information on Emotional Regulation, activities and language to use in your classrooms. If behavioral issues arise, you’ll have the KidConnect Classroom app for your students.  Everyone won't need it, but when they do, you'll be ready. Teach Emotional Regulation.  Yes. You. Can.

 

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Change takes time

Feb 12, 2018 12:33:33 PM / by Lori Jackson

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Have you tried the Easy Button daily inspirational goal I suggested?

Has it worked?

If you have, and you aren’t yet a true believer give it time. Why? Because it is true what the research says, change takes time.

Most people believe that it takes just a quick 21 days to make a new habit stick. But new research completed https://jamesclear.com/new-habit shows that it takes far longer, or an average of 66 days to make a habit an actual thing. It makes sense given it takes time to learn to make some behaviors automatic. Automatic behaviors are things that we do without thinking, even when they are difficult. It’s why you can do laundry every Sunday afternoon, or your students can do their morning work each day without reminder. Routine.

But what happens when it is something that isn’t really within your control at this moment. What about when it is really a challenge, or, when it seems like you are pushing a rock up a hill. What then?

Certainly this is important as it relates to all of us, and our gym memberships, diet promises, and the need for clean closets, but what really does that mean for our students?

In particular, I’m talking about the students for whom change is a challenge. These students may be on the longer end of 66 days to see a habit form.

So how can you help?

Two words.

Stay consistent.

Make a plan and stick to it. Set a reminder on your phone to remind yourself of the plan. Remind yourself several times a day if necessary.

When we first started using KidConnect, we did just that. We set reminders on phones and iPads for all of our teachers that reminded them to hand their student the iPad when they saw behaviors that needed support. This helped keep KidConnect in mind for everyone, because yes, a new habit was forming for the adults too. Guess what? It worked. Over time, everyone just got in the new habit of handing off the iPad, and the kids got in the habit of using KidConnect.

Nothing good happens over night. But when you have a goal, a plan and consistency, good things happen.

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The Easy Button

Feb 12, 2018 11:44:22 AM / by Lori Jackson posted in Behaviors

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Have you ever thought to yourself, “If this could only be simpler, I know I could make it work.”

Have you ever just want to hit the easy button?

If you are nodding your head and agreeing with me, thank you, and know I am right there with you.

Life has many challenges to be sure. We all wish it could be just a little easier.

I spend a lot of time helping people manage exactly this challenge. How can we do our best, when what we really want is for our best to come just a little bit easier than it does. So for all of us who are serially hard on ourselves and just want to hit the easy button some days, here are some thoughts as we try to navigate to be our best.

Set a goal every day.

I know, you’ve heard that often. But my suggesting combines the what you need to do with what you want to do. I like to think of it as a real world inspirational goal. Real world because you’ve got to get stuff done, and inspirational because if you don’t feel “good” you likely won’t get anything done.

Here’s an example from my life. It may be odd, but a clean counter makes me feel successful. It means everything's in its place and under control. It’s not hard to keep a counter free of “life stuff” as long as you keep up with it. I find that if I keep my kitchen counter clean, I am able to tackle the harder stuff with a little less difficulty. So, my goal every evening is to make sure that the counter is clean when I come down in the morning. I see it as the fresh canvas of a new day. For me, when I shut the lights on my way out the door and look at it, I know I can get the rest of the stuff done, because my canvas is ready to take on more things. Start with a dirty canvas and I have less opportunity to create the picture I am hoping for.

Keep it real

Sorry, had to use it. You’ll notice I didn’t tell you that I cleaned every counter, organized my cabinets, and reworked the pantry before I left the house. I mean, I am sure there are those of you who could tackle that, but yeah, that’s not me. I have one goal that I know will help me to feel positive about myself and is realistic given my hectic life. Set yourself up for failure and guess what, you’ll fail. Keep your inspirational goals real, and you’ll be inspired and not deflated by them.

Take the easy button on the road.

Educators have the hardest job there is. It is also one of the most rewarding jobs as long as you apply the inspirational daily goal idea there as well. Of course there are a million things you HAVE to do. But what is the one thing you CAN do that will help you to feel inspired and confident as you work your way through the have to dos? I challenge you to think of what that might be and make it a part of your routine. Adapt this idea and see if it makes a difference in your day or your teaching. How about sharing it with a colleague. Or maybe your students.

So, have at it. Pick a task that is both necessary and makes you feel good about you and you may have just found the secret to the easy button.

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