Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What I Read this Break

Personal Professional Development

Long story short--I needed to do something, on my own (or with a group), on my own time, and reflect on it to meet a district requirement, by January 6, 2019 (I knew about this for many months, but kept putting it off).

And it had to be approved by my principal last September (see, I have known about this for quite some time). Good news is that I have wanted to read a book for about 6 years and just never took the time. This Christmas Break was the time.

Since I didn't want it to be a chore, I created some space to do this first thing in the morning with my hot drink. As soon as the rest of my family emerged, I put it away until the next day. It was a good plan.

Much of the first 3-4 chapters was review (and I did need the review), but with some added new things for me. I wrote a lot of notes, because that is the best way for me to learn. 

I could summarize my notes, but they are really about me and my journey. 

I could list some of the steps that are outlined, but that just takes one of the pieces out of context and simplifies the journey.

My district has worked at understanding trauma, and how to teach students who have dealt with trauma in their very short lives. It's good to understand. 

But for me, there has been a gap between understanding trauma, how it looks, etc and how to really teach new skills to the students. The skill of managing the anger that comes bubbling to the top of them in the middle of the wonderful lesson I am teaching on the letter s. Or the fear that comes during recess. Or the frozen student that just cannot pay attention to the math lesson.

Yes, I teach social skills to the whole class (using many resources), and yet I was still missing something.

Yes, we have a safe place in our classroom, but how to really use it to teach calming and solving skills?

Yes, we have a Zones of Regulation check in area, but what does that really do for me or them?

What I love about this book right now is that it helped me close this gap. I have a couple more tools in my toolbox to teach the students to manage their upset. And I had my review session on how I could manage my own upset. 

I really wanted the Feeling Buddies dolls, but do not have a school budget for that. So, next I am on the hunt for creative ways to bring feelings to life for my students who are 5 and 6 years old and very concrete learners.

Here's to a great 2019 where I am able to find the pause between trigger and reaction for me, and see the call for help from my students. 
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  1. Alyce I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this book and your personal encounter with it. I could relate in so many ways.

  2. This post is perfect because it really is just all about the personal journey we are on. We are all at different points in the understanding of trauma. And no matter how much we learn, every kid is just so different and how they respond is even more unique. Thanks for sharing this book idea as we continue our journey.


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