podcast

Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Kristin Abel

Episode Summary

Many people believe that Conscious Discipline is an early childhood program. In reality, Conscious Discipline is a life practice appropriate for all ages. It’s a mindset shift and skillset upgrade that we use to manage our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. This allows us to set and achieve goals and solve problems or conflicts. Social emotional learning has no age limit—Conscious Discipline can and does work with older children.

Listen as Kristin Abel, the pioneer of Conscious Discipline implementation with older children, shares her tips for success. Kristin is a National Board Certified teacher with 25 years of experience in education. She has used Conscious Discipline for the majority of her career, mostly with fifth grade students, and has trained both middle and high school teachers. Kristin is currently a dean of students. If you’ve ever wondered how to use Conscious Discipline with older children, this episode has the inspiration and advice you need to get started.

Essential Takeaways

  • Conscious Discipline can help older children succeed academically and in all other aspects of life.
  • Kristin has especially experienced success with the Big Voice (referred to as “assertive voice” for older children), Safe Place, Feeling Buddies, greeting rituals, choices, and language of safety.
  • When children feel safe in the classroom, they also feel comfortable making mistakes and asking for help. This creates a sense of calm that helps them learn and succeed. As a result, Kristin experienced a huge gain in test scores.
  • We tend to think older children “should know better by now,” but we must remember that we don’t know their backgrounds or what skills they’ve been taught. We easily recognize when children are missing academic skills and try to provide tools to help them; this same concept should apply to behavior and social emotional skills as well.
  • No matter what age group we teach, we aren’t just teaching a subject. We’re teaching people. It’s important to try to understand students and teach them how to be successful at school and in life.

Steps For Tomorrow

  • The most important thing we can do as educators is make connections. Start by getting to know your students and connecting with them.
  • See from the student’s point of view. Understand what they’re going through at home and where they’re coming from, plus how you can help them succeed.
  • Provide structure and procedures. This creates a sense of safety, especially for intermediate students.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline 

  • :23 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :50 What are real teachers?
  • 1:31 Conscious Discipline for all ages
  • 5:05 Introduction of guest Kristin Abel
  • 6:29 Kristin’s decision to try Conscious Discipline with older children
  • 7:53 Children take skills with them into middle and high school
  • 8:37 Story of a former student (now a senior) continuing to use Conscious Discipline
  • 10:27 Academic results of using Conscious Discipline
  • 11:33 Powers, skills, and structures
  • 12:14 Adapting powers, skills, and structures to older children
  • 14:50 Why older children don’t always “know better by now”
  • 17:14 How older children respond to Conscious Discipline
  • 21:24 Using Feeling Buddies with older children
  • 26:31 Three key tips for teachers of older students
  • 30:40 What’s Becky celebrating?
  • 31:20 What’s Becky up to?

Thank You for Listening

There are many ways you could have spent this time today, but you chose to spend it with me and I am grateful. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it with others via your favorite social media platforms.

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On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.