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Lisa Cranston is a retired educator, a former Teacher Consultant for Early Years and Primary Programs for the Greater Essex County District School Board, and a passionate supporter of teachers, ECEs, administrators, students, and parents, in their understanding of self-regulation and its importance.

Why Self-Reg?

I had seen Dr. Stuart Shanker present about Self-Reg at an ETFO Kindergarten conference and thought ‘this is critical information for our kindergarten teams!’ I was beginning my doctoral studies and felt Self-Reg was a good fit for my work leading the implementation of the Ontario Ministry of Education Full Day Kindergarten document in our kindergarten programs.

Big Picture

One of my big breakthroughs was when I quickly realized that self-regulation is all about the self. I can’t help someone else be calm and regulated if I’m dysregulated myself. And our teachers, ECEs, administrators and other staff can’t help students with self-regulation if they themselves are dysregulated.

Process at this Point

I have focused on developing a framework that could be used by any organization to introduce Self-Reg based on a distributed leadership model. In this model, leadership is distributed across formal and informal leaders in the organization. I would advise others who are introducing Self-Reg to their organization to consider a communication plan, an implementation plan, and a plan for monitoring and evaluating progress that engages all stakeholders.

Currently I am continuing to share my passion for Self-Reg with others through facilitating online courses, blogging, posting on social media, and speaking to groups and individuals about Self-Reg.


Because I was retired by the time I finished my doctoral work, the biggest challenge for me was how to share my learning about Self-Reg with others, now that I was no longer in a formal leadership role in my board. I used a variety of channels to try to reach as many people as possible. In addition to posting my doctoral work online, I published several articles, some with The MEHRIT Centre (TMC) and with other organizations. I posted my reflections and learning on my Self-Reg journey on my personal blog, I presented about Self-Reg at conferences, and I took part in several podcasts on VoicEd radio.

Fond Memory

I have lots of great memories of the shared learning with other members of our Facilitators Online Learning cohort. We became such a close-knit, supportive online community over the course of our learning journey. It was wonderful to meetsome of them in person at the 2018 SRSS.


Self-Reg is a lifelong journey of learning and discovery. One of the things I really appreciate in our online courses is when Stuart and Susan Hopkins would share examples of when they felt they had not handled a stressful situationeffectively, and how even they are still learning and growing.

Thank you for sharing your Self-Reg Journey, Lisa Cranston!