Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey, Julie Ruffo and special guests Jennifer Kist and Jill Hegarty

Episode Summary

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools went virtual. Others opted for a hybrid format, with some students learning in school and some learning from home. Even now, with record numbers of students quarantining, schools and families continue to vacillate between face-to-face and virtual learning.

This presents challenges for teachers, students, and families. Before the pandemic, most schools had no established curriculum or guidance for virtual learning. And many teachers quickly discovered that fostering connection and teaching skills was tough to do through a computer screen.

In this episode, Dr. Becky Bailey talks with early childhood educators Jennifer Kist and Jill Hegarty about their experiences with virtual learning. Jennifer and Jill saw virtual learning as an opportunity to bring Conscious Discipline and SEL skills into the home, connecting home families with the School Family in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Their approach to virtual learning focused on connection. It was individualized enough to meet each child’s needs, while being universal enough to function collectively. Listen in to learn how Jennifer and Jill used creativity, brilliance, and Conscious Discipline to make virtual learning a meaningful experience.

Essential Takeaways

  • Jennifer and Jill made School Family Circle Time Books for each child to take home. They continued to incorporate the Brain Smart Start, Wish Well Ritual, greetings, jobs, and more into their virtual lessons.
  • They also sent home breathing strategies, and they used virtual learning as an opportunity to coach parents in managing their child’s moment of upset. Some parents were hesitant at first, but they were soon fully bought in and engaged.
  • Jennifer and Jill teach children with special needs and IEPs, many specifically related to social-emotional goals. They met with children individually to work on skills like conflict resolution, and they saw enormous growth.
  • Meaningful connection and learning is possible in any format, even with limited resources. With Conscious Discipline, relationships and interactions are the SEL curriculum.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :34 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :55 Introduction of special guests Jennifer Kist and Jill Hagerty
  • 1:33 Join Dr. Becky Bailey in conversation with Jennifer and Jill
  • 2:33 Virtual learning during the pandemic
  • 4:30 Embedding Conscious Discipline into virtual learning
  • 10:46 Parent participation in virtual learning
  • 15:01 Virtual School Family jobs
  • 17:00 Working on IEP goals and SEL skills virtually
  • 23:15 SEL strategies you can use with limited resources
  • 27:28 Lessons you can teach with limited resources
  • 30:20 How much time should kids spend learning virtually?
  • 32:23 Recap
  • 34:52 What’s Becky up to?

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