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Real Talk for Real Teachers with Latoria Marcellus and Amy Speidel

Episode Summary

* Trigger warning: This episode contains content concerning cancer, loss and grief. *

Specials teachers, like those in art, music and physical education, often see every student in the school, but only for a short time. The question often arises, “Can these teachers use Conscious Discipline effectively?” The answer is unequivocally yes, as demonstrated by this month’s podcast guest Rachel Frasier.

Rachel is a dance specialist at a magnet elementary school. She utilizes Conscious Discipline extensively in her program where students conduct many classroom management tasks independently and carry the self-regulation skills they learn into other classrooms that may not be practicing Conscious Discipline. This is a common experience for specials teachers using Conscious Discipline; what sets Rachel’s story apart is the way the School Family she cultivated was able to help her during her husband’s chemotherapy treatments and eventually in mourning his death.

Learn more about Conscious Discipline in specials classrooms, managing the process of grieving within a School Family and how the resilience skills that are central to Conscious Discipline play out in real life in this touching episode.

Essential Takeaways

  • Specials teachers impact every student in the school. The skills and strategies students learn in specials transfer to other classrooms.
  • Conscious Discipline looks similar in the specials classroom as it does elsewhere in the school, with elements like a Brain Smart Start and a meaningful job for every student.
  • Through the practice of Conscious Discipline, children learn how to recognize, accept, discuss and empathize with big feelings. With these resiliency skills as a foundation, children are better able to manage their feelings and the challenges that accompany loss and grief. They are also better able to empathize with others who are experiencing difficult times.
  • Even with an extensive skillset, there are times when it is important to seek help. Adults instill this value in children by serving as Safekeepers in the classroom, by asking for and being willing to receive help themselves, and by framing problem behaviors as a call for help.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :00 Introduction
  • :35 What is Conscious Discipline
  • 1:00 Moving from coercion to community
  • 3:35 Introducing Rachel Frasier
  • 5:30 Building a School Family with a lot of students and not a lot of time
  • 7:35 Meaningful jobs for students keeps Rachel on track and handles classroom management
  • 8:45 Moving between regular classrooms and a Conscious Discipline classroom
  • 9:17 Story about how a second grader working on self-regulation helps others
  • 10:10 Academic crossover
  • 11:40 Continuity of relationships and skill building
  • 13:40 The School Family and virtual learning
  • 15:50 Rachel’s personal story; leaning on Conscious Discipline during grief and loss
  • 19:00 When there’s a substitute teacher
  • 22:48 Being around children during personal tragedy
  • 25:45 Working through grief and knowing when to seek professional help
  • 28:45 Teaching children how to get help in situations that go beyond their skillset
  • 31:47 Takeaways “…they’re not afraid of feeling their feelings”
  • 33:47 Advice for teachers just starting out
  • 36:11 Wrapping up
  • 39:33 Q&A: How can a parent get started with Conscious Discipline
  • 43:58 Conscious Discipline is celebrating


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