The National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood.com organization records that one out of five teachers and parents are unprepared to teach students with moderate learning disabilities including ADHD (unfocused attention), dysgraphia (handwriting discrepancies), dyscalculia (difficulties with numbers or calculations), or dyslexia (reading, and reasoning with difficulties).
This study showed that fifty percent of teachers believe that students with learning disabilities can reach their grade-level standards, while the other fifty percent did not believe in the possibility of the student attaining this level of achievement. Research such as this raises major concerns for schools and parents, in that more than one million students with learning disabilities are not having their intellectual or social emotional needs meet due to teachers/parents’ personal beliefs, a lack of on-going training, or additional classroom-home support.
Over the last decade teachers were not required to have certifications that addressed chronic stress or other neurological intellectual disorders. Therefore, as students prepare to enter the classroom or home life for learning, both teachers and parents have encountered increased difficulties they must manage.
According to Dr. Lori Desautels and Dr. Norman Doidge, training in brain research can change the trajectory of teaching and learning in the twenty-first century. We cannot neglect the fact that college classes, and professional staff development in the soft sciences such as psychology, and special education are needed for almost anyone working with children or adults with social emotional needs.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines social emotional learning as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” This means thatSocial Emotional Learning, and Emotional Intelligence is real and can be managed with a variety of tools. Some basic techniques that can immediately be implemented to create a positive learning culture can begin with this process:
- Commence in rigorous exercise 20-30 minutes daily
- Collaborate, develop a community to discuss helpful resources
- Train yourself and others to become more self-aware
- Know your triggers and act to avoid inappropriate words and actions
- Create a Reset Station
The average person is familiar with the list noted above, excluding the Reset Station. A Reset Station is somewhat of a new term, it is designed for students, teachers and parents to have a safe place to calm down, refocus attention and behaviors that lead towards a positive result.
A Reset Station is uniquely designed to the age and need of the persons being served. It may include a comfortable chair, a desk with small water bottles, a soft blanket, small mints-pop rocks, coloring and headphones with music or positive short videos.
A Reset Station is a place to shift the emotions beyond the fight or flight, anxious mode. It quiets, changes the chatter in the mind, in order to snap out of this moment and move forward. Whether in a home, school or in a community setting try to establish a simple place perhaps in the back of the room, created to shift an individual from the fight or flight emotional state.
In my experience, we often remove the individual with a brief walk, jumping jacks, and ask what you need? They often rant, and rage for a few minutes and then calm down.
It’s important to move the individual away from the scene or from being the center of attention during this negative episode or lull in life.
During times of peace, discuss this concept with family members or reflect yourself on ways to be aware when its time for me to “reset.”
Remember, when we reset, we are more apt to make better choices from the executive center (of our brains), disengage triggers, process whether the situation is the truth, as well as, decipher what relationships or events do I, my family, or students really need to be most successful in life.
May God Bless you, as you establish a Reset Station, and learn to reset emotions effectively.
Article Written by: Heather Kinchlow, Ed.D.