Striving To Find Meaningful Ways To Share Self-Reg
Originally written in 2019
This is the Self-Reg Journey of Kristin Wiens, Special Education Curriculum Co-ordinator with Sooke School District and illustrator for North Star Paths. She uses her artistic skills to share the intricacies of the Self-Reg message one inspiring illustration at a time. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
• For students to be well-regulated
• For staff and families to be well-regulated
• For everyone
I am much more aware of my own stressors and my ability to respond to stress in healthy ways. I now plan my life with more space for activities that will help me be more ready and able to respond to whatever comes my way. Professionally, I am more aware of when my stress levels are rising and more able to self-regulate in appropriate ways in work situations.
Process at this Point
I read Dr. Stuart Shanker’s Self-Reg books, watched videos on YouTube and had discussions with colleagues at work to learn about Self-Reg. I also started to create graphics to help me explain the work to others. This helped me understand Self-Reg more thoroughly. I started to incorporate Self-Reg ideas into my consults with schools as well as in lessons for our Education Assistant program. The online foundations program took my learning to a much deeper level. My confidence in discussing and teaching about Self-Reg increased significantly. Self-Reg has provided me with a rich supply of resources for professional development. As our district continues to learn more about Self-Reg we are developing a common language and common understanding about how and why kids behave the way they do. It helps us respond to children in more compassionate ways.
Now we use MEHRIT Centre resources in our Education Assistant course and as part of our on- going professional development plan.
I am still exploring ways to have meaningful conversations with staff about their own Self-Reg. I often find it difficult to do this without coming across as preachy. I will continue to try new ways to start conversations with my colleagues and students.
A success for me was when, because of our teacher shortage, I was called into a kindergarten classroom as a supply teacher. I am most certainly not a Kindergarten teacher and this experience confirmed that. I struggled to make it through the day. The big breakthrough was that while the day was full of ‘behaviour’ in the classroom, all I could see was ‘stress behaviour’ where in the past I would have seen ‘misbehaviour’.
If you are just starting out on the Self-Reg journey, know that the investment of time and energy to learn about Shanker Self-Reg® is so worth it. Just start and slowly keep adding to your understanding. Step by step you will start to see the results in your own life and in the lives of the children you support.