Sunday, May 5, 2013

Guest Post

I'd like to introduce you to a new weekly feature here at Ignite Learning.  Every Sunday we will be having a guest post from people around the globe who are using Conscious Discipline in their classroom or home.  Our first guest this week is Barbara from over at Grade ONEderful.  She is also the amazingly talented blog designer who designed my blog!  Let's give Barb a warm welcome!

Hi! This is Barb from Grade ONEderful and Ruby Slippers Blog Designs.  I'm very pleased to be guest posting on Jenny's blog. Thank you, Jenny!

I have to admit I was kind of nervous when Jenny asked me to share my experiences with Conscious Discipline on her blog, because although I've read the book (see above) and LOVE it, I haven't implemented any of the structures. Pretty embarrassing, right?

But after some thought, I realized I AM using many of the concepts because I think about them almost daily and they're starting to permeate my teaching.

One thing I did was make a STAR poster to remind me to Smile, Take a deep breathe AND Relax.  This one little step has been big for me, because although I'm generally a pretty patient person, I can also get excited (usually in a good way) but my voice gets louder and I tend to get the kids a little too jazzed up at times.

You can click on the poster to grab it.

Having the poster above my desk is a great daily reminder for me. Occasionally I ask the kids to close their eyes, smile and take a breath. It really is amazing how quickly a more peaceful tone envelops the classroom.

The other most noticeable thing that's happened for me is that I'm having much more success dealing with the occasional temper tantrum (the kids', not mine :)).

In Conscious Discipline Dr. Becky Bailey says, "It is important to remember that anger is a secondary emotion. It is a cover for fear. Every angry situation is a resistance to 'what is'".

This idea was HUGE for me and it really helped me deal with a child in my class who often shuts down and/or starts yelling when he's upset.  Most of the time I've been able to remain calm and remind myself that he's feeling powerless and that my job is to move him through that feeling in a loving and safe way.  If I remember to do this, then he always settles down quickly. I try to acknowledge the child's feelings and then quickly help him find a way to deal with whatever is upsetting him.

This is a beautiful book you can use in your classroom to introduce your children to mindful breathing, to reinforce the power of a smile, and to establish a peaceful environment. I purchased it last fall and I think it's a lovely way to supplement your Conscious Discipline routines.

Thanks again, Jenny, and have a great day everyone!