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and The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre: Spreading Self-Reg and Unlocking Potential

Originally written in 2019

Susy Komishin is the Partnerships Project Lead at Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. She has been leading colleagues to Dr. Stuart Shanker’s Self-Reg framework for eight years.

Why Self-Reg

I believed that it would address children’s behaviours, in particular children who struggled more than others.

Big Picture

I believe that we are at the beginning of something that will become significant in First Nations schools. With more colleagues taking Self-Reg training we can encourage more administrators and educators to learn about it, which will impact the relationships that educators have with children in the school.

Process at this Point

I started following Dr. Stuart Shanker’s work after I heard him speak at the National Child Day Forum in Manitoba in 2004. I read Calm, Alert and Learning. I shared articles with colleagues and I talked with many colleagues across different areas of education.

We are planning to continue to share the Self-Reg message to all the First Nations schools we work with and we are planning to start a few pilot projects. We are planning to pilot a couple school-wide Self-Reg initiatives and a couple Self-Reg of ECD initiatives with Nursery and Kindergarten educators.

I would encourage everyone to start the Self-Reg journey. It is an opportunity to unlock our own potential and the potential of all those around us.

Challenges

It is very difficult to change the mind-sets of individuals that are “trained” so heavily in a particular discipline. I think that we have much more work to do in this area, but I have found a few key individuals who have now joined me in learning more about the Self-Reg approach and I believe they will have ‘reach’ with other colleagues in our organization and in First Nations schools. I also believe that having Dr. Susan Hopkins speak and conduct a workshop at our early learning conference had a significant reach to those working with young children.

I really shudder to think of how our experiences and formal training can cause deterministic thinking, which in turn impacts our actions towards children and others. This undermines our own human potential and the potential of those we interact with.

Fond Memory

Biggest breakthrough was getting a few colleagues to start taking early childhood development and Self-Reg Foundations courses through The MEHRIT Centre (TMC). The more voices that can join the charge for change the farther we will reach and have an impact.

Hope!

Self-regulation has helped me as an individual to understand at a deeper level the types of stressors I experience and how to better manage myself when I am stressed. It has especially helped me understand my children and the stress that they are experiencing, especially the social and pro-social stressors. I believe they experience this so much more today, with the added pressures of social media. It has made a difference in how I see them (soft eyes) and talk with them (gentle words).

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