|Principal & Clinic|
365 Days of Conscious Discipline
Brain State Poster Set
We Care Center
The Safe Place is a center where children can go to change their inner state from upset to composed in order to optimize learning. It is the centerpiece of your self-regulation program. The principal and any other administrators who see students in their offices should set up a Safe Place in these spaces to help children calm themselves during times of upset.
A chair, beanbag, throw rug or pillow serves as a base for your Safe Place. Fill the Safe Place with tools and activities that lead children through the five steps of self-regulation: I Am, I Calm, I Feel, I Choose, I Solve. The I Am step involves the initial upset when the child becomes the emotion. “I am angry!” The I Am Smock is helpful for demonstrating this stage of upset. The I Calm step requires active calming, featuring the four main breathing techniques, access to a Friends and Family book, and other calming activities. The I Feel step includes identifying the feeling with the Feeling Buddies or a Feeling chart. The I Choose step requires the child to consciously choose additional calming activities utilizing the Brain Smart Choice Cube, I Choose Board and/or class-made choice boards. The I Solve step involves the child solving the original problem before returning to work or play, often through the use of the Time Machine.
Problem solving is a higher-order skill, and most children who arrive in the office will be operating from the lower centers of the brain. Simply put, an upset child is not a thinking child. It is essential for the administrator to assist the child in completing the first four self-regulation steps before attempting to address the problem that brought the child to the office (step five).
The Safe Place is discussed in detail, including activities and images, in Chapter 9 of Creating the School Family. Helpful music for the Safe Place includes "Bye Bye Crankies" on I Love You Rituals Volume 2, "Snuggle Up" on I Love You Rituals Volume 1, "S.T.A.R. Song" on It Starts in the Heart, "You Can Relax Now" on Kindness Counts, and "Calm Your Brain" and "Safe and Calm" on Brain Boogie Boosters.
The Shubert series is a unique set of books designed to build character through conflict for children and adults. Shubert demonstrates helpful ways for children to solve problems, while Mrs. Bookbinder models Conscious Discipline strategies for adults.
Shubert is a win-win for transforming conflict into cooperation for all parties involved. The Shubert books combine quality children's literature with parent education and educational staff development. The Shubert stories follow the seven powers and seven skills of Conscious Discipline, with one book written to support each power/skill. “Shubert Shuffle” on It Starts in the Heart complements the Shubert book series.
The We Care Center provides a symbolic way of expressing empathy, encouragement and compassion for others. Empathy is powerful in regard to discipline because it helps empower children to "own" their feelings rather than blame or attack others. Some schools transform their Clinic into a We Care Center where children can receive both the medical attention and empathy that is required for healing.
In addition to the customary Clinic supplies, equip your Clinic’s We Care Center with symbolic forms of caring that are helpful for all ages. A young child might find a bear helpful, an older child might enjoy looking at postcards of faraway places and all children might enjoy soothing music on an MP3 player. Include a variety of such tools in a We Care Bag that the staff can offer to children or the children can offer to each other as a symbolic way of saying, “It’s hard when you don’t feel well. You’re safe. You can handle it. Breathe deeply. I’m here to help.”
You can find important information and delightful ideas for activities that support your We Care Center in Chapter 15 of Creating the School Family. Chapter 6 of the Conscious Discipline book shows the importance of empathy to developing emotional intelligence and wiring the brain for self-control. Music that supports the We Care Center includes "Who" on Kindness Counts, and "That Was Helpful" and "Caring Friends" on It Starts in the Heart.
The Brain State Poster Set provides a useful reminder about the relationship between internal state and external behavior, and the interventions that are most likely to be helpful. Understanding how the brain works empowers adults to choose successful interventions.
The Conscious Discipline Brain State Model helps adults assess the internal state that precipitates a child’s external actions so we can choose a response that will be truly helpful. Put these posters in central locations to remind staff of the common behaviors they’ll see and helpful solutions to use when each state is activated.
365 Days of Conscious Discipline is an easy and ideal way to start your day the Conscious Discipline way. Each page of this calendar contains an inspirational or informational quote from Conscious Discipline.
Make this desk calendar part of your morning ritual. The quotes within it are useful for reframing or setting your intention for the day, as well as for incorporating into morning announcements, newsletters, staff meetings, etc.
The brain functions optimally when a person feels safe. The basic job description for a teacher in a Conscious Discipline classroom is "My job is to keep you safe." The children's job is "To help keep it safe." The principal is the Safekeeper of the school, with the job description “To keep the school safe.”
Safekeeper Ritual for the principal looks different than it does in the classroom, but the purpose of committing to safety is the same. One of the most common Safekeeper rituals involves each person possessing an item that represents him or herself (a cutout, a photo glued to a popsicle stick, a small toy, etc.). Each morning the teachers commit to keeping the school safe by putting their item in a decorated Safekeeper box.
Transformational change is what happens when we see the world through a new lens of knowledge and then create an infrastructure never before envisioned. Hear how principals, directors, and teachers share their transformational change experiences with Conscious Discipline.
Transform your classroom or school with a wide variety of professional development opportunities from Conscious Discipline. Our sponsored workshops, customized trainings and personal coaching provide the tools, strategies, cohesion and enthusiasm your school community needs to succeed.
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