I explained to the boys and girls that as their teacher, I want to create the best possible learning environment and grade-three experience for all of the children in our class. I explained that exercising self-regulation will help to achieve this goal.
I wanted to keep things at a level my students could relate to, so we talked about how self-regulation boils down to being in control and thinking about decisions. As adults we know self-regulation consists of more than these two factors, but I didn't want to overwhelm the boys and girls.
We talked about thinking critically about our strengths and needs and setting some personal goals. I used these questions to help my students self-assess and set their own goals.
- Am I able to focus on the teacher when she gives instructions that have two or three steps?
- Can I resist the urge to call out answers?
- Do I solve playground problems appropriately (e.g respectful language and hands to self)?
- Do I respect the classroom rules that help everyone learn and stay safe (e.g. taking care of the books, remaining quiet during a test, lining up /exiting quietly during a fire drill)?
- Do I keep my emotions in check when I'm stressed?
- Do I treat others as I want to be treated?
- It's Pizza Day, am I able to remain focused on my school work even though I'm really excited for lunch?
- With respect to my own learning and achievement, do I know what I do well and where I need to improve?
By raising her hand, Patti can share her ideas and demonstrate her learning, and she also shows consideration for others.
Our talk about self-regulation will continue all year, because true self-regulation means conducting oneself appropriately whether a teacher/parent/boss is watching or not, and I think this is what defines a true leader.
Helping children develop their leadership skills is an ongoing professional goal of mine and I want to provide consistent leadership myself that both inspires and supports my students.
Before we know it, we'll all be self-regulation Super-Heroes!