This week, we would like to share with you what Mrs Lynden-Bell, our school counsellor has been doing with our students to start the term…
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and worry, but of power, love, and self-control (2 Tim 1:7). Walking with God means that, with His help, our students (and us!) can regulate their emotions, thoughts and feelings so that they are ready for learning and being kind to others.
Our aim is for students to feel calm; ready for learning, socialising and feeling in control.
This concept can sound ideal, and you might be wondering how well students can learn self-regulating concepts and apply them as a skill. So far, we have been pleasantly surprised!
This year, in efforts to continue to build resilience skills for life, I have been introducing a new resource to our students named The Zones of Regulation. This resource helps students identify the emotions they, or others, including their teachers, are feeling and then apply techniques to bring themselves back to the ‘Green Zone’ where they are ready for responsible learning and socialising.
One of the great things about this resource is it makes it very easy and comfortable for students to let their teacher know if they are anxious, worried, sad or even close to being out of control. It also gives them a language to use that everyone understands. If students identify they are not in the green zone, stating to their teachers, or quietly acknowledging to themselves which zone they are in, students can choose from a selection of self-soothing options to help them get back to the green zone or closer to it.
Below is the diagram we have introduced into Primary outlining the four zones. We invite you to identify which zone you, or your children, are in throughout the day. We encourage families to use this diagram at home, to support resilience, self-awareness and self-regulation building.
How do you calm down? While learning about calming strategies we also learnt about how our brain operates and how it responds to stress. Did you know when we are feeling loss of some control through stress or worry our brain prioritises our limbic system and we can’t access rational thinking easily. We need actually need to be calm for our rational brain /prefrontal cortex to operate.
Through teaching students to identify, interpret and manage their emotions, students also learn to:
- Demonstrate care and concern for others
- Establish and maintain positive relationships
- Make responsible decisions
- Handle interpersonal situations effectively.
Research also shows that by implementing this program academic performance on standardised tests is significantly improved as well as school attendance records and enjoyment of school. It also results in less disruptive behaviour and decreased likelihood of students being suspended or otherwise disciplined.
Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact to contact me.
Lorin Lynden-Bell (Recently married! Formerly, Ms Ripley)
RCC School Counsellor