From Fictional Characters To Peers: Considering Self-Reg For Adults

I’m an avid reader. I especially love to use time over the holidays to sit down and enjoy a good book. I will read almost anything, but my favourite genre is Mystery and Suspense. James Patterson is one of my favourite authors, and while I haven’t read all of his BookShots, I have read every other adult novel that he’s written. I share this because since I took Foundations 1, I can’t read any book without looking at it through a Self-Reg lens.

  • I think about the stressors of the characters.
  • I look at what calms characters down.
  • I note times that characters co-regulate each other.
  • I even ask, “Why?” and “Why now?” when exploring the actions of various characters. 

My greatest aha moment occurred the other day as I was finishing Patterson’s latest novel, Murder Games. Looking closely at the main character, Dylan Reinhart, and his interactions with his significant other and the police officer, Elizabeth Needham, I saw many connections to Self-Reg and the Five Domains. And this is when I stopped and thought, here I am being so understanding, empathetic, and supportive of fictional characters, but do I respond in the same way to the adults in my life? 

Kids are different. Reading Shanker‘s books and taking the Foundations 1 Course have helped me view children differently — even with the many mistakes that I make — but sometimes I think that I need to reframe adult behaviour more frequently. 

  • Do I ask “Why?” and “Why now?” enough?
  • Do I consider the stressors at play?
  • Do I explore how I might be able to co-regulate others?

For the month of August, I have a new position with the Board as one of two Summer Curriculum and Site Support Teachers for Camp Power. For the first summer in 21 years, I will be working at a different camp, and I will not be teaching a group of children. I’ll be working with staff, students, and parents, while supporting program delivery. I’m very excited about this amazing position, and can’t help but wonder, will this position give me a new perspective on grown-ups and Self-Reg? I think that it might. How do you ensure that you view interactions with colleagues and parents through a Self-Reg lens? How might Self-Reg change these interactions? I’d welcome your advice as I move from educator/parent/child experiences to educator/parent/educator experiences. Self-Reg is truly for everyone, and the learning never stops!

Aviva Dunsiger has been the Portal Plus Moderator for close to a year now and just finished the Foundations Certification Program. She has taught everything from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and enjoys blogging about her teaching and learning experiences. She blogs professionally on her blog, Living Avivaloca. Aviva is excited to contribute a monthly post on The MEHRIT Centre Blog.
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