According to expert Stuart Shanker, it is: “The ability to manage stress and refers to the neural processes that control the energy expended to deal with a stressor and then recover. When an individual’s stress levels are too high various systems for thinking and metabolic recovery are compromised. The signs of dysregulation show up in the behaviour, or mood, or attention, and physical well-being.”
We can teach our students to self-regulate in the classroom, but it has to be done explicitly. We can’t expect a student to use a sensory tool properly if they’ve never been taught how or if no boundaries are set around the use of it. We can’t expect a student to react appropriately to another student if they’ve never been taught how. It’s up to us as teachers to teach our students to self-regulate if we want to see progress.
According to Lauren (listen to Lauren’s episode by scrolling down the page!), if we want our students to self-regulate, first we need to regulate ourselves as teachers. That means we need to take care of ourselves and fill up our own cups, as well as learn and use strategies that will help us regulate ourselves in stressful moments in the classroom! For example, when a student behaves inappropriately, we can count two breaths in our heads before responding to the situation. This will help students remain calm and regulate themselves as well!
In this week’s The Balanced Educator Podcast episode, Lauren shared some great questions we can ask ourselves to reframe student behaviour so we can understand it better:
Lauren also talked about the importance of helping our students develop their body awareness so they can better understand the bodily signs they are feeling in a moment of stress. When they can gain awareness of what’s going on within themselves, they can learn how to listen to the signs of stress and in turn, learn how to self-regulate.
How can we teach our students to become more self-aware? Through a daily mindfulness practice!
With our online mindfulness program for the classroom, Educalme Classroom, students learn how to become more aware of their thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This leads to self-regulation. The best part? There is no prep required with this program!
You can try it for free!
Get unlimited access to the first unit of the Educalme Classroom online mindfulness program (that’s one month of free ready-to-use mindfulness practices for the classroom!). Watch the step by step teacher training video and feel confident bringing mindfulness into your classroom with success.
To go even deeper on this topic, listen to our episode on The Balanced Educator Podcast below. Lauren shared so many useful strategies to use in the classroom for self-regulation!
Learn more about Stuart Shanker’s work.
Let us know in the comments, how do you teach self-regulation in the classroom?