As I have talked about before, many of the Conscious Discipline School Family Jobs help build that family that so many kiddos are lacking at home. One of the jobs I love is the Encourager! WOW! I know that is something I can ALWAYS do better at but to start teaching a child to look beyond their egocentric selves to notice others is so powerful! And after watching me encourage them, they do an awesome job encouraging others especially when I might have reached the point of frustration and wanting to tell them to knock it off and stop crying!
In Our School Family, we have a We Care Bag. Inside the bag are items that the Encourager might use to help a friend that is feeling sad or angry. Here are some pictures:
Inside the We Care Bag is a stuffed animal if they are feeling sad and a foam phone that they can use to "call" someone they are missing. We have band-aids that the First-Aid Giver uses and cranky cream (the label is not on this bottle of it) the Encourager and I can use to soothe a sad friend.
There are different squeeze toys when someone is mad (we practice being caterpillar calm and do some hand motions as we practice taking deep breaths) and the bottle with the pom-pom balls is to help an angry friend calm down as they pull the pom-pom balls out of the bottle and focus on THAT instead of whatever is making them mad. The STAR wand and bubbles are something the STAR Helper uses and I can share more about that in another post if you are interested.
The Encourager's job is very important. When a child is feeling sad, angry, or discouraged they are functioning at the brain stem. This is the worst place for a child to be for learning and success to happen. The brain stem is our fight or flight area of the brain. A child must breathe and calm down and move to the frontal lobe for the most successful learning to take place. Also, when a child is functioning at their brain stem they are NOT hearing what you are saying and there is NO point in trying to reason with them until they calm down!
This might mean the Encourager needs to go get the sad child a stuffed animal to hug so they can calm down. Or the Encourager might go sit by the frustrated child for a bit and encourage them as they get started on their work. The Encourager is like a cheerleader too celebrating the child as they calm themselves down or attempt to try and do the work that might be hard for them or that they don't want to do.
All of my kiddos become encouragers and cheerleaders to each other. They celebrate each other ALL of the time and "Way to Go" is one of the most used phrases in Our School Family. If you want to read more about the job of the Cheerleader click here.
Watching them encourage and celebrate each other is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Part of me has gotten so used to it that I forget to realize how special what is happening in our classroom really is. One of my toughies this year told me "Thank you for loving me like no one else does."
Another one of my kiddos (who was actually not the Encourager this past week) was talking to one of my kiddos who was under the table crying because he was feeling very frustrated making his torn paper snowman. He said, "Ms. Price and I believe in you and know you can do it. Come on out and I'll help you get started." After he got started, my other kiddos all started give him Way to Go's. The Cheerleader celebrated him with her horn and the Kindness Recorder added a kind flower for the child who helped the sad friend. Another friend added both of them a helpful heart to fill our bucket. ALL of this was done without me stepping in and saying anything! My heart was smiling!
I would love for you who might be new followers to go back and read the other posts I have shared about Conscious Discipline. It will truly touch your heart and the heart of each little one in your room!
Now, on to the *freebie*!
2 of my kiddos are still have trouble with short vowel sounds so I made a little penguin vowel sort for them! I hope you can use it with your kiddos! =)
graphics by DJ Inkers
As always, please leave me a heart note! Each one makes my heart smile! =)
From My Heart to Yours,