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.
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.
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.
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.