Originally published in 2018
Peel DSB: The “Domino Effect” of a Great Idea in the Hands of a Dedicated Leader
Claudio Moschella is a principal, TMC Foundations Program Facilitator, and a Dad. He fell into Self-Reg in an effort to support the unique needs of an influx of new Canadian families and students from Syria. Since then he has spread the power of Self-Reg across his school and board.
Reading Calm, Alert, and Learning was a transformational moment in my personal and professional career. I have not stopped Self-Regging since that summer.
Professionally I am a competent and compassionate leader. I feel empowered in understanding children and staff when it comes to their needs. Personally, I have come to understand how to effectively take control of my own health. Self-Reg has given me the insight to deepen and maintain a loving relationship with my children and wife. I have come to learn that arguments and frustrations have everything to do with me. How a sink full of dishes becomes an argument one day and a simple task on other days. My response to any situation is always a reflection of my stress levels.
Process at this Point
At the school level I shared Dr. Stuart Shanker’s Self-Reg at staff meetings and informal conversations. At the board level, I took advantage of a call for presenters at Peel’s Empowering Modern Learner’s Conference. This led to an audience member inviting me to their school to present at a staff meeting. This created a domino effect. I have presented Self-Reg at over 15 schools and several superintendent meetings. I even met with the Peel Elementary Teachers’ Local Union executive to give them insight as to how Self-Reg can support their members well-being.
Anyone knows ‘once you learn Self-Reg you can’t unlearn it.’ Self-Reg has a ripple effect on people. Breakthroughs came in the way of adults sharing stories with me on how they applied Self-Reg to support their students. One teacher did share a valuable lesson for me, and she said the first few times I shared Self-Reg it just went over her head. Over the course of the year with repeated exposure to Self-Reg it began to sink in, and she began to make connections. Self-Reg is about creating momentum and although I have never forced staff to learn it the repeated exposure created the breakthrough.
I am joining a new school come September and I have heard the current staff has completed a book talk on Calm, Alert and Learning. So it has begun and I am looking forward to it!
I recall my first year when staff expressed that behaviour was not being dealt with “properly.” I approach adults with questioning techniques that have them reflect on their current practices rather than make them feel criticized. Everyone’s Self-Reg journey is adifferent pace and you must truly appreciate that.
When I meet new staff, I use my understanding of Self-Reg to present myself to them in a way that would reduce unpredictability and stress. After my introduction I can feel the shoulders slightly drop and one staff member was so kind that she said to me she probably would have held off on her retirement papers after hearing my introduction and knowing what I was about.
At first it was strictly going to help me with understanding behaviour of students. Three years later, I have realized that Self-Reg offers even more. It has also positively impacted my health and my aspirations to enjoy and succeed in life.
Go slow to go fast. Self-Reg is so powerful it doesn’t need anyone to force it on someone else. Simply plant the seed of Self-Reg and watch it grow. Like trees, people grow at different rates when it comes to learning about Self-Reg.