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By Arlene Robinson

As I continue to immerse myself in Self-Reg learning through the more recent courses (Enhancing Resilience and Reframing Bullying) along with working as a facilitator on other courses, posts and comments from other Self-Reggers take me back to ‘that child’. 

Often I smile and think, “OK, which one?”. I am a retired educator with 30 years of memories of student behaviour to draw on. Was ‘that kid’ a bully or being bullied, and if so by whom? How to figure this out?

Looking back, I wish I had known throughout my career what I know now with regards to Self-Reg. I did have a chance to apply my Self-Reg learning in my last seven years as an educator and principal. But when I first came to Self-Reg I was definitely looking for something: Help! 

Certain kids and “those” groups of kids were really challenging me. And I was continuing to respond with the strategies I had been using for years, but without affecting the change I wanted to see. The reward/punishment cycle was repetitive and ineffective and I was tired. I wanted to make a difference. There had to be a better way.

So my learning began. When I started to use Self-Reg thinking and strategies in my practice the first “aha” was that my relationships with “that child” improved. AND I was making a difference more often. One barrier I encountered was the adults in my school, including me. Another aha: Self-Reg is not just about the students!!

So what helped me make a difference in myself that helped make a difference in others? The five practices of Self-Reg and the five domains of Self-Reg (biological, emotion, cognitive, social and prosocial) were the foundations of all the work that followed. I printed out the graphics from the Foundations course so that I could remember key ideas in critical moments, to create my own calm, and be able to share it with all.  

Today, TMC has lots of tools for that!! Hooray! These tools would have supported me to use the Self-Reg “pause” I have come to know and appreciate.  

The data and informal information I could have gathered using the Self-Reg Tools we have today would have made even more of a difference than the things I was trying out on my own.

So check out The Self-Reg TOOLKIT 2024. It  has something for everyone, from beginners to experienced Self-Reggers. Our toolkit is organized around the four Self-Reg journeys Susan and Stuart explored in Self-Reg Schools A Handbook for Educators. So if, for example, you are just starting out, not sure about taking a course but you want something… the SEEDS section may be good for you. Are there some of you that have started with Self-Reg and want just a bit more? The SUNRISE and QUILT sections will offer some next steps. Of course, if you have spent any time with Self-Reggers and Self-Reg learning you know that HAVEN is a goal: an environment and relationships where everyone thrives and learns, and growth happens.

A selection of tools from the Self-Reg TOOLKIT 2024 are available for free by signing up for our Newsletter.

You can read more about the toolkit here.

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