OUR SCHOOL, COVID & SELF REGULATION
EMOTIONS ARE NOT BAD BEHAVIOR
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently reports that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is low for young Americans, research on natural disasters makes it clear that, compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives.
Children can be particularly overwhelmed by the stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They may show stress through increased anxiety, fear, sadness or worry. When children are struggling to cope with stress, they may exhibit unhealthy habits, changes in activity level, and difficulty with attention and concentration.
Here at Resurrection, we recognize the the emotional well-being of each student is essential for healthy growth and development. Not only are we a trusted source of connectedness for children; we provide stability, supports and open communication with our students and families. We want to help our children express the many different feelings and thoughts on their mind, while providing consistent routines that create feelings of safety and well-being. We also strive to increase our children self-efficacy - their sense of having agency or control. This is especially important right now as many children feel fear and uncertainty around the pandemic.
Teaching self-regulation skills, helps students identify how they feel and know how to handle those feelings so they can manage them. During a school day, self regulation activities thatt our teachers present for their students make all the difference.
At RCPK, we know that consistency and structure are calming during times of stress. Kids, especially younger ones or those who are anxious, benefit from knowing what's going to happen and when. Our teachers at RCPK thoughtfully design their schedules and activities to provide structure, predictability and security. Teachers use a variety of strategies to ensure routine.
Calm Corners or Break Spots provide a safe place for students to use and improve their self regulation skills. Our students learn to recognize when they need a break, identify their feelings and develop strategies to calm themselves.
Brain breaks are short, simple activities that our teachers use during transitions, when their class is not 100% present, and as a regular part of the schedule. Throughout the school day, there are a lot of demands on students to stay in control of their behavior, complete their work, focus on instruction, and participate. That's a lot of self-regulation for our students. Our teachers use differentiated activities and strategies throughout the day that help students regulate.
Morning Meeting, Prayer and Closing Circles
The teachers at RCPS use class meetings to set the tone for the beginning and end of the day. These meetings are a consistent activity that students know will happen. Morning meetings are used to preview the schedule for the day, do a feelings check-in, pray together and learn a skill. Closing circles are used to debrief about the day and preview the next day.