Monday, August 13, 2012

Can I Drive You Crazy? Conscious Discipline: Composure

You are driving me CRAZY!

Don't make me have to call your momma!

GO TO THE OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think we have all had days and moments when we need a break from a kiddo. There might be times when you want to tell that student if they were your child what exactly would be happening. And we have all had a kiddo who is gifted in pushing our buttons.

Chapter 1 in Conscious Discipline is all about composure and remembering that "no one can make you angry without your permission". p. 25

I will admit that I have had moments when "Becky Bailey has left the building" and taken ALL of my composure with her. Even this past year, I dragged sweetly escorted one of my toots sweeties and plopped gently sat him down in my neighbor's room.

I then remembered that I "need to be the person that I want others to become". p. 25

But I also know that is not easy to do when you have a kiddo who is:

*walking around the room kicking chairs while everyone else is on the group rug
*running and shoving to get in line even when the child knows she is not the line leader
*yelling at the top of their lungs "YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!!"
*cutting his glue stick into teeny, tiny pieces
*calling other students names and then laughing at them

Here is a biggie to think about:
"Whomever you have placed in charge of your feelings, you have placed in control of you."  p. 28

This is when I try and remind myself over and over to have a Heart of Patience. God has placed each one of these babies in my room for a reason.

We all have an image in our mind about how we think a "good student" should behave and our expectations for them. But many of our kiddos come to school operating with a whole different set of rules. We become upset when they don't meet those expectations, especially after we have gone over them and over them again and again. We need to remember that the only person you can change is yourself.

Often when we start feeling stressed we start having trigger thoughts that make the situation seem 1,000 times worse. These thoughts often lead to blame but more importantly they keep us from really seeing the problem others are having. There are actually 3 different kinds of trigger thoughts: pp. 30-31

*assumed intent: The child is doing this to deliberately upset you.

*magnification: We are making and seeing the situation waayy worse than it really is

*labeling: We start using negative words to describe the child and/or his behavior




When you start having these trigger thoughts tell your brain to STOP and look beyond the child's behavior. Before you is a child who is crying out for help and love.

There are some activities in the book that are wonderful for helping you change these thoughts. The book also has another activity to help remove your "buttons" that the children push. If you have the book, be sure and do these before school starts.

Since keeping our composure helps create a safe classroom, Chapter 1 begins teaching the different breathing techniques. These are great for you and the kiddos to practice. You can grab the different icons here:

My favorites are the balloon and S.T.A.R.

Take a deep breath

As you STAR, tell yourself that you are safe. You are calm. And you can handle this. The only way you will help a child learn new tools to handle a situation is if you stay calm and patient. "Self control is an act of love and a moment-by-moment choice." p. 34

Here is a little poster to help remind you about staying calm and maintaining your composure.

I hope this helps get your mind ready for laying the foundation for Conscious Discipline in your classroom. The change starts with YOU. =)

I will try my best to blog very soon about how I start the year off with CD in my classroom. For those of you who have emailed me, I will get back to you this week. If you have any questions, please ask. I want my next few CD posts to be as helpful to you as I can make them. =)

Before I go, here is a little *freebie*. =)

I have been busy giving my classroom an Extreme Makeover! I am so excited to share pictures with you soon. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

34 heart notes:

Owl Things First said...

Thank you for introducing me to CD! I can't wait until school starts to put it into action. What a coincidence, I'm working on a letter, word, or sentence unit right now. Thanks for your share!
Owl Things First

Marielle Slappe said...

Thanks was a great post! I'm hoping to get this book soon. I can't wait for your next update :)

Anonymous said...

Love all of your posts about CD! I am looking forward to a great school year! Thank you for the wonderful freebies!

beachliesl said...

A great reminder--especially that thought that He puts our kiddos under our care---maybe because they need us, or we need them. :) And we've all been there---Let's just say that this year alone both my assistant and I both had lots of chances for taking some deep breaths (and I just kept thinking of Seinfeld's "Serenity Now!")

Love your Pete's freebie! Thank you for sharing both your thoughts and your creation with your cyber collegues! :)


Unknown said...

What an awesome post. This is JUST what I needed to before the start of the school year! Thank you so much for sharing!

Crazy Daze in First Grade

Miss Trayers said...

Thank you for sharing such great advice! Something we all need to remember as we set the routines for our new kiddos.


Lorena said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. I still need to get through the book and read all your great posts again before my students start.

Little Treasures

Heather Williams said...

SO inspiring! Thank you for this! I just looked up, and possibly will buy the CD book! It will be perfect for this next year.

Sensational Seconds

Tonya said...

I did get the book this summer but where has the time gone? So glad you posted as school starts next week. I need to get reading & try a new approach. Thanks for getting me going!

Anonymous said...

You must be a mind reader because I was thinking I'd work on staying calm as much as possible regardless of what's going on. I then started to laugh at myself because there's always that one baby that loves a challenge! ;) I love your CD posts and I'm looking forward to diving into the book myself soon. I can't wait for your next updates and I would love to see what your room looks like. Thank you, as always, for being an inspiration and a voice of encouragement to all of us. :)

TK said...

Love your blog. I have an autistic son and your cd materials have been great. The icons for breathing are awesome. The new star poster is great. Have you thought of making one for the student only. It would have the same top until the icons, then the very next line.....I am safe. I am calm. I can handle this.??? Thanks for all that you share. It is very much appreciated!

Jackie said...

Thanks so much for the Pete freebies! They go perfectly with my theme, as school starts tomorrow for us!

I am very inspired by your CD information, but do not have the book. What is the name of the book? or is that the name? I need to get it ordered. Thanks, Jackie

Leslie - The Groovy Teacher said...

Very nice to read this Heather. In the heat of the moment, I think we need to try to channel these reminders from you:)

Kelly said...

Thanks for the great reminders..I think I will print myself a classroom poster with the STAR acronym to look at for those tense moments!

Kindergarten Kel

Carla said...

Hi Heather,
I really look forward to reading more of your posts on CD. Such great information. Thank you for sharing!

Playful Learning Brooklyn

The Babbling Box said...

Hi Heather,
I am your newest follower. I loved your post on CD, its completely universal too. I see those same behaviors in my 6th-8th graders. I especially like the star acroynom, I am thinking of using it on a poster above my cool down desk.

Teaching Munchkins said...

So I bought the book towards the end of the school year and it was on my summer reading list...but I just never got around to it- until about a week ago when my own 3 year old was turning into a little monster and I read an article that had a summary of Conscious Discipline. Then I remembered that I HAD the book and have begun to read it. LOL
Thanks for the chart signs and for the freebie!

Teaching Munchkins

grella monsters said...

HI Heather,
I can't thank you enough for taking the time to check out my blog. When I saw you left a comment it made me smile!!! Your blog is AMAZING. It is colorful and fun. You have so many great ideas. I love love love the hearts! You are my 5th follower! YAY! Looking forward to following you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather!

Thank you for visiting my blog and welcoming me to the world of blogging. I appreciate your support! :)
(Happy Happy First Grade)

Kate said...

Wow! This is awesome! It reminds me of Behaving with Care by Flip Flippen - the method of classroom behavior management that is used in my school’s network. I look forward to reading more, and thanks for following me!

~ Kate

sspeller said...

I think the balloon is the best calming strategy too! The kids have such a blast doing it, and it really does work!!! Thanks so much for the reminder poster. Can't wait to print and hang up for all of us to help us remember that all-important skill of composure!

Marcus said...

OMG...I really needed this reminder of CD! I know this stuff! I have used CD in my class before, but my new children took me out of my element and I felt bad for them because I was not being the teacher I know I am. I really do thank you for this.

Laura said...

Hi Heather - I am attempting Conscious Discipline in my first grade classroom this is SUCH a change and takes SO much patience. I would VERY much appreciate knowing exactly how you introduce and teach the foundation for CD in your room. I feel like I have been making it up as I go and would love to know what you know works:). Also, any suggestions for exactly what you do for little things like talking while your talking/working, beign off task... Thanks so much:) I love your blog!!!

Anonymous said...

I love your statements about having a 'Heart of Patience' and 'in my care for some reason', you brought tears to my eyes. Ms. G in Florida

Anonymous said...

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Jan said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts, insights, and activities:-)

Unknown said...

I absolutely love your letter, word, sentence sort. One of our mid-quarter goals is for students to recognize the difference, and your sort will be fantastic help!

You're awesome! :)

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Tari said...

Thank you for sharing about Conscious Discipline!! Your scenario about taking the child to the office was SO me! I really appreciate the freebies, but your explanation of CD makes it seem so do-able, which, as a fellow Christian, is exactly how we want to be in our classrooms!!!Thanks for the Pete freebie cute!