Select Page

In our classroom, we talk about Self-Reg a lot. Children share when they’re stressed. We discuss triggers. My teaching partner, Paula, has even spoken to the class about the brain, and kids use words such as the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex, when talking to us about their emotions and their actions. I share this, for it was during one of these class discussions that I had an epiphany.

Usually students like to share about their own moments of being triggered, but on this day, a child share an observation about someone else. She spoke about a time that she saw an adult triggered. This adult started to yell at a group of children, and she felt that it was because of the actions of the kids — who were laughing and talking at the time — which caused this adult’s stress response. While neither Paula or I are totally aware of all of the details involved in the story, as we were not privy to the experience, the interesting thing about this discussion is how the child interpreted the adult’s behaviour. At no point did she identify this yelling as “misbehaviour.” She saw and appreciated the adult’s stress, and felt that it resulted in her actions. Our five-year-old student mentioned that maybe this adult needed a “deep breath or a break” to feel better. Wow!

This made me reflect on a couple of times in our classroom: once when I felt stressed and once when Paula felt stressed. For me, it was a perfect storm of moments that piled up on top of each other. When I then needed to call the supply secretary about something, I could hear and feel the stress in my voice. I hung up, and went to take a couple of deep breaths, as this always makes me feel better. A child nearby asked me, “Do you feel stressed?” She recognized this feeling in me. I did, and I told her that. She said to me, “Do you want to sit down and take a breath?” I did. And this made me feel so much better!

For Paula, the stress was over tidying up, and some lack of action in getting cleaned up. As she was sitting down across the room from me and helping students get their materials organized, a child nearby asked if she was stressed. He offered to rub her back. “Does that make you feel better?,” he said. It’s interesting how the ways that we try to help sooth and support students were the ways that they tried to help sooth and support us.

My epiphany came when I considered all of these moments together. Not once, did any student place blame on the adult or see the adult’s behaviour as intentional or misbehaviour. “Stress behaviour” was always considered first. Which made me wonder: do we as adults (i.e., educators, administrators, parents, grandparents, coaches, etc.), give children the same grace that they give us? If not, is it time to make some changes? Our principal, Tracy, regularly leads with grace, and her actions and reactions to students, educators, and colleagues, prove this time and time again. In my monthly goal to observe (and reflect), I think there’s a little something more that I can learn by following the lead of our three-, four-, and five-year-olds and an incredible principal. What about you?

Self-Reg Seeds Learning Journey Symbol of a seed sprouting 2 leafs

What is Self-Reg?

Self-Reg is a pathway to calm, resilience, motivation, learning, & well-being.

Early Years

Parents

Schools

The Shanker Method

5 Domain Framework

Free Self-Reg 101 Webinar

Our Mission & Values

About Stuart Shanker

Self-Reg Sunrise Learning Journey symbol of a sunrise over a leaf

Explore how learning Shanker Self-Reg can help your approach to behaviour, dysregulation, emotions and any of the challenges that brought you to Self-Reg as a someone who cares.

Level 1 Certificate Programs

Early Childhood Development

Self-Reg Foundations

School Leadership

ASK Courses

*New* Reframing Bullying

Enhancing Resilience

Self-Reg Parenting

Learning for Teams

On-Demand Webinars

Upcoming Events

Summer Symposium

Book a Presenter

Self-Reg Quilt Learning Journey Symbol of a leaf in a patch of a quilt

Self-Reg can be practical, community based and woven with other initiatives, movements or priorities. How can you bring Self-Reg to your community or context?

What is Applied Self-Reg Knowledge?

Blogs & Vlogs

Podcasts

Webinars & Upcoming Events

School Leadership Certificate

Learning Facilitator's Certificate

Living, Learning & Linking Certificate

Self-Reg Schools Handbook

REFRAMED Book

Mentoring & Consulting

Self-Reg Haven Learning Journey Symbol of two hands holding and nurturing a leaf up

Havens are our dream for all! A Self-Reg Haven is a place where everyone feels safe in every way: physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally.

I Know a Haven When I Find One

5 Self-Reg Haven Look Fors

Havens 101: Group Learning

RADAR Project Planning Tool

Self-Reg Schools Handbook

Self-Reg Foundations Certificate Program Course Cover of two brothers smiling at each other and holding hands

Self-Reg Foundations

Certificate Program Starts May 9

Facilitated Certificates

Self-Directed Courses

On-Demand Webinars

Events - Live & Online

Tools & Strategies

Speakers & Presentations

Books & Publications

Blogs & Vlogs

Podcasts

Graphics with Blogs

Glossary

Translated Resources

Media Releases

Meet Our Team

Newsletter

Contact Us

FAQs