September 26, 2016

Let's talk about self-regulation.

Over the course of the last few weeks, we've had brief discussions about self-regulation. On Monday, we had a longer talk where we were able to delve more fully into what this looks like in our classroom.  We did some role-playing, I answered questions and we set some goals.  

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?
We also talked about how important it is to be an enthusiastic and active participant in class, but also to manage that energy so that it is not disruptive to others or inappropriate. I used an example that went like this:  Patti loves learning and really enjoys the stories her teacher reads the class. During the story, the teacher asks the class some questions or invites them to share their comments.  Patti is so excited about the story and how she can relate to it, that she calls out answers and interrupts others when they are sharing. This leaves the rest of the class wondering when they'll have their turn to share and if maybe they too should be calling out.  I referred to a book we had recently read called, "What if Everybody Did That?" 



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!  
  

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