Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Chat: Fostering Resilient Learners (Part II: Self-Awareness)

In case you missed our book chat this morning, here was what was discussed.  In all honesty, we didn't get to all of the discussion points because our conversation on cement shoes was incredibly powerful.

How do we react to student behaviors?
How do we maintain control in times of chaos?
To start off this book chat, we read this blog post while reflecting on the question "Have you ever said or done something that you regretted?" We followed up with a long discussion on the following two questions: How does this story make you feel? How does this change your mindset moving forward?

Cement Shoes

  • Defining our sense of self so that no matter "how big the wave," we can stay true to our ideals, integrity, vision, beliefs, and self.
  • The more self-aware we become, the easier it is to manage the needs of our students.
  • Using your personal mission statement (i.e. your "WHY") to reflect on during those times when we are feeling most compromised and vulnerable

Staying Out of OZ

Remember Dorothy from Wizard of Oz?  She was seized by the tornado! Sometimes we are also caught in the tumult of disruptions to the learning environment.  

How do we create positive and safe environments for our students?
What strategies have worked in the past when a student has "tornadoed" through your class?  What do they need from you to regulate and move back into their "upstairs" brain?
"If it's predictable, it's preventable."

Square Peg, Round Hole
Round Holes:  the students who exhibit the desirable characteristics
Square Pegs:  the students who exhibit less than favorable attributes
“We often put a tremendous amount of effort into trying to make our square pegs fit into the round holes.  We try and try to force those column 2 students to exhibit desirable behaviors, but, inevitably, the two will never fit.
What if we gave up the notion of the round hole and instead made room for a group of amoebas?  Many of our students are just that: little amoebas trying to figure out what shape they want to become.  Those growing up with adversity and trauma have not had permission to even explore that possibility.” - Page 74

Communication Steps
  • Listen deeply to the message being sent by your communication partner
  • Reassure the person that her/his perspective is important
  • Validate her/his emotional state
  • Respond by explaining what occurred through your lens
  • Repair by apologizing for whatever role you may have played in the miscommunication
  • Resolve by coming to terms with what happened and collaborating to find alternative ways of acting to prevent future disruptions.

Fostering Resilient Learners, Kristen Souers with Pete Hall


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    1. Glad to hear! Our next book chat is on November 30th!

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