Day 26 (of 184) ready…aim…learn I said learn…now!! via @msmcdteaches & @laurapaiement
Today, one of my staff (@msmcdteaches) was at a self regulation session provided by one of our #83learns & Interior Health liaisons, @laurapaiement (and honestly, if you want an in-service about self-regulation, the brain, anxiety etc – send her a tweet).
And on a day/week/?? where self-regulation has been high on my wish list…I was a little jealous of this pro-d opportunity. And then it happened.
Or should I say…didn’t happen. I often get some text updates throughout the day when my staff is learning with Laura…but the only one I got was late in the day about gum in class (I’m okay with it – there’s enough data around anxiety being helped by gum – especially around math…) and then I got the “I’ve gotta tell you about today”…then the “I can’t wait, I have to write to you”. Here is what was sent to me:
So rather than wait to tell you what happened in person, I wrote it down as I thought I would do a better job explaining it.
I arrived at the workshop early as is my usual m.o. One other person in the room and the facilitator nowhere to be found. I looked around for the normal handouts as I like to be ready for the start. Nothing to be found. So I sit and talk with a table mate. At precisely 830, Laura walks in and loudly proclaims that it’s time to start. We are all a little dumbstruck as this is not the normal way she operates. She claps loudly like elementary teachers do. She is speaking very loudly and walking quickly. I’m
and at this point, I really liked where this was going….
Not sure what is going on. She walks to the side of the room and whips a sheet off our handouts and yells at us to get going and get them. Yells, hurry up, you are taking too long!!! Come on guys!! And in reaction I start joking in order to destress what was quickly becoming an anxious situation. She is still yelling and talking very loudly but I have tuned her out. I’m wondering if she is okay, if something bad happened. I’m feeling like I don’t want to be here anymore. What did I do wrong? Why is she mad at me? This lasted a whole five minutes and then she revealed that this was for a purpose.
And the room is silent. My brain is in the yellow zone (we do a lot of work with the Zones of Regulation as our schools #1 school goal is on anxiety & self regulation) and hovering about to go into the red Zone. Not cause I am mad but because I am flooded with all the anxiety and noise and emotion that was floating around that room. She then proceeded to show us several ways to calm down, breathing, a video on moving art, and then a connecting with colleagues activity.
As this part was going on, and I was calming down, I could feel myself connecting with what was going on, and making a massive paradigm shifting connection for my own practice.
This is how I start most mornings with my kids. I am excited to be at work, but we have lots of things to do and time is wasting and I only get about 180 days a year with them, and I don’t want to waste a single moment. And it annoys me, moves me into yellow, when I see students ‘wasting time’. Not being on task or not doing what they (I think) they are supposed to do.
I had never experienced what it must feel like for them. Their teacher just gets right down to business, doesn’t check in with them. She might be ready to go, but she hasn’t determined if they are. If she sees them not moving at the speed she thinks they should be, she verbally reminds them. And so on.
Not a great way to start the day, and it certainly doesn’t bode well for Learning. And now that I know how it affected me, the fact that most of the kids are with me, they like me, they have fun, and they are learning as evidenced by assessments among other things, it kind of boggles the mind.
This is not to get down on myself. I had no idea what they were experiencing. When you know better, you do better. And tomorrow is a brand new day with no mistakes yet. And tomorrow will certainly be a new day for my class.
It was a great reminder for me – just because we are excited to get the day rolling….we’ve always got to be mindful of where our learners are coming from. And a reminder that each day can be better than the one that came before it….and each morning will be very different for each learner coming through the doors.