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Composure - Day 2 Conscious Discipline

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Lori Allen

on 20 August 2017

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Transcript of Composure - Day 2 Conscious Discipline

Blame and attack instinctively follow a feeling of powerlessness.
Composure is self-regulation in action. It is the prerequisite skill adults need before disciplining children.
You create danger anytime you try to make someone else feel responsible for your upset.
Skill of Composure
Power of Perception
No one can make you angry without your permission
Triggers can be grouped into three main categories:
Assumed intent:
When teachers lose control, NO ONE wins!

Self control must be your first priority
Characteristics of Temperament
Activity level
Your job is to keep the classroom safe so children can learn. The child's job is to help keep it safe.
"Look what you made me do"

"Don't make me send you to time-out!"

Whomever you have placed in charge of your feelings, you have placed in control of you.
+ Trigger thoughts
= Explosion
The main function of anger is to alleviate stress. Children who seem to enjoy hurting others are extremely stressed.
Changing your trigger thoughts to calming thoughts
calming self-talk:
- I am safe
- I am calm
- I can handle this

- Turns off stress alarms
- Assists the body to relax
- Affirms you are capable
Refuting trigger thoughts
- perceive the situation differently
- look beyond behavior
- assign positive intent
"It is not about me!"
"She is trying to cope with..."
Many children come to school stressed with many transitions.
Routine based on current brain research to turn off the stress response:
Activity to
Activity to
the stress response
Activity to
the children to the teacher and each other
Activity to
oneself to learning
the first 3 years of life are the most critical period for human neural development
Becoming Brain Smart
Composure is a reflection of a balanced nervous system. Without the skill of composure, violence is inevitable because a lack of composure leads to either irritability or lethargy.
attack on others
attack on oneself
"For students with chronic stress - longer periods of relationship building and stress reduction are needed for successful learning."
-Dr. Lois Cozolina
Social Neuroscience, 2013
Is my daily schedule in pictures?
Are difficult transitions or chaotic routines in visuals?
Do I adequately teach and reteach my routines?
Do I create a safe environment
What is my plan moving forward?
Share your plan with a partner
First tell the children your job description: "It is my job to keep you (the classroom) safe." REPEAT OFTEN!
"What can you do to be helpful?"
In order for the psychological safety of the classroom (positive environment!) to rise, you must control your own upset
Students need jobs to keep them responsible and accountable to each other.
Build a Sense of Connectedness:
The brain function optimally when it feels safe.
Children NEED to feel safe
Physically Safe
Psychologically Safe
Adults need to get their power back and control their own upset.
You are in charge of your own feelings!
No one can MAKE you feel angry - no one can MAKE you feel happy
Whomever you put in charge of your feelings, you put in charge of you!
day 2
How to actively calm yourself by implementing a "Be a S.T.A.R" program
Ways to change destructive trigger thoughts into healthy self talk
How to create safe environments for children
How to set up a Safe Place where even the most difficult children can learn self-control
Side-Effects of Giving your Power Away:
You have control of the world
You must always be on guard (no real connection)
Safety is impossible (because you will blame others)
When we give our power away, we feel powerless. When we feel powerless, we always__________ or __________.
Change "Don't make me" language to "I am going to" statements:
ex: "I am going to stop the car until the seat belts are fastened and everyone is safe." instead of "don't make me pull this car over!"
Composure Structure: The Safe Place
Set Up
Space: a corner or other classroom or home area away from distractions
Visuals: label the center "Safe Place" and have pictorial reminders of relaxation techniques (S.T.A.R., balloon, drain and pretzel)
Safe Place Kit - Calming items/activities that are age-appropriate (tape recorder with headphones, stuffed animals, blanket, note pad/pencil, wave bottle, squeeze ball, Shubert, etc. )
One person in the Safe Place at a time
Children can elect to go to the Safe Place on their own accord
Friends can suggest that others go to the Safe Place
The adult can take a child to the Safe Place (and stay with them to teach!)
Practice Composure in your classroom this coming week.
Read pgs. 106-119.
Consider the "Brain Smart Teaching Moments" on pg. 117. Look for a teaching moment to practice in your classroom and journal about the experience.
The teacher thinks the child is misbehaving deliberately to upset her, the classroom, or another students.
In the teacher's mind, the situation is much worse than it is.
The teacher uses negative or derogatory words to describe the child or his/her behavior.
How you "see" others defines who you are.
Skill of Noticing vs. Judging
Practice Skill of Noticing Activity
trainers book pg 24-25
Teacher A
Mistake in perception!
"sees" a child off task, and asks, "Where should you be right now? You better get there or you will not center time later."
Sees child acting poorly.
sees what is not good enough
discourages the child
both teacher and child feel inadequate and disconnected
taught the other children to feel the same way.
Teacher B
"Sees a child who needs help focusing. She walks over and offers assistance by saying, "What will help you, right now, to complete your puzzle instead of throwing the pieces?"
Sees the child's behavior as a call for help, and chooses to encourage the child. His "misbehavior" is not a sign of "badness" but a call for assistance.
Command vs. Request
the person has a choice

expectation has no choice involved. (assertive voice)

Noticing compliance:
"You did it. You sat down so your friends can see. Good for you!"
Think of a flashlight - you illuminate what you want to see. What you focus on teaches the children what
Some forms of praise can be discouraging. Effective praise relies on describing, not judging
"You are sitting with your legs crossed so you friends are safe1"
"You are standing on one leg balancing with your arms like this."
The kinds of praise that inhibits a child's self-esteem:
General - makes a child feel pressure to live up to unrealistic standards. (She is always so sweet)
"Good" = pleasing others / "Bad" = displeasing others
Focus on how you think or feel- to "make" them behave.
Praise only successful, completed tasks - effort does not matter.

"Good Job, Erika"

"That was excellent!"

"That was a great slide!"

"Erika, you put your toys in the bin and carefully matched your labels on the shelf."

"You did it! You finished all your homework!"

You did it! You came down the slide feet first!"

(judgement) (describing)
Trigger thought
Activates CD-Rom
false messages
Trigger thought
belly breathing,
calming self-talk
Change our perception and access our executive skills, Oops/Q-TIP
Wise response, rewriting
our CD-Roms
Reducing intensity of
future triggers
The upset is not
by the other person. It is
by the other person.
Quality of Mood
Sensory Threshold
Intensity of Reaction

**Temperament is NOT reflected in occasional behavior; it is a pattern of behavior that is consistent over time.
*pgs. 95-96
(p. 95)
(Greetings )
(class agreements)
Brain Smart Start!
Smile / Stop
Take a deep breath
The CEO of the brain can now:
Focus on what you want the child to accomplish
Utilize connection instead of control as motivation to behave
Celebrate the child's successes and choices
See situations from the child's perspectives well as your own
(Active calming)
Exposure to stressors during this time may be detrimental to the future sensitivity of a child's nervous center. This prevents child's ability to :
delay gratification
overcome impulsiveness
feel remorse
establish closeness
demonstrate empathy for others
establish friendships
maintain composure
This will sabotage the child's ability to form bonds with others and prevent the child from being able to focus
top (or Smile)
ake a Deep Breath

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