Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey, Julie Ruffo and special guest Latoria Marcellus

Episode Summary

Sometimes people look to SEL as a solution for a challenging student, a remedy for a difficulty a school is experiencing, an improvement they’d like to see or a mandate to be followed. Conscious Discipline surpasses these expectations by positively influencing every aspect of our lives once we gain an understanding of its foundational concepts. A casual introduction can plant a seed that, when nurtured through training, coaching and community, blossoms into the mindset change needed to transform all our relationships for the better.

In this episode of Real Talk for Real Teachers, Latoria Marcellus shares how she discovered Conscious Discipline and how its methodology affected her work, her ability to connect (especially during difficult situations), her family and her sense of self. At the time of this interview, Latoria was the Director of Quality at Preschool Promise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering school readiness. A few months after recording this interview with Dr. Bailey, Latoria joined the team at Conscious Discipline as the Manager of Instruction and Certification, where she continues to promote and elevate Professional Development for schools and educators who seek effective, quality SEL.

Essential Takeaways

  • Conscious Discipline is personal and self-paced. A Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor connected with Latoria when she first started work at Preschool Promise, but Latoria’s interest wasn’t solidified until she experienced the powers and skills firsthand at an event with a Certified Instructor.
  • At Preschool Promise, students in classrooms with teachers who implemented Conscious Discipline to fidelity saw a clear increase in school readiness and executive function scores measured by the MEFS.
  • Conscious Discipline elevated Latoria’s ability to conduct Culturally Responsible Teaching and build relationships that might otherwise have been damaged.
  • Over the years, Latoria has embraced the importance of adult-first, child-second SEL, and has experienced positive changes in her work, with her son and within her self.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :38 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • 1:05 Introduction of topic and guest
  • 2:02 Join Dr. Bailey in conversation with guest Latoria Marcellus
  • 2:30 What is Preschool Promise?
  • 3:01 Executive Function scores (MEFS) show greater gains in classrooms implementing Conscious Discipline to fidelity
  • 3:40 Starting out with Conscious Discipline
  • 4:05 First, Certified Instructor Susan Hampel reached out and planted a seed
  • 4:20 Then a 2-day onsite event with Certified Instructor Amy Speidel inspired a closer look
  • 4:50 Success at home
  • 5:05 “It’s not just about my son, it’s about me”
  • 6:00 SEL is a two-way street: Whatever skills we model for children, they will use with us and others
  • 7:10 Culturally Responsible Teaching and Conscious Discipline
  • 9:00 Responding vs reacting
  • 10:20 Progress, not perfection: “Find the beauty in the OOPS.”
  • 11:10 Recap
  • 13:06 What’s Conscious Discipline up to?


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.