Since we know that supporting adults and students with self-regulation is so important, we were asked in our course this week to think about 'what are the barriers to supporting others in developing their understanding of self-regulation?'
I think one of the big barriers to developing others' understanding of Recognizing Stressors in The Shanker Method is the self-control paradigm and all of its accompanying beliefs and practices. If a child is disruptive in class, and someone (the VP, the support worker, whomever) comes and helps the child by using the steps of self-regulation, this is sometimes upsetting or disappointing to the teacher who is firmly entrenched in the self-control paradigm. It's not enough that the disruptive behaviour has stopped and that the child (and the classmates) can now learn. There needs to be a consequence! He/She must be punished! It's not about digging deep to find the stressors causing the problem and then reducing them so the child can be calm and ready to learn. It's about applying the rules.
In addition, if I am a teacher moving from self-control to self-regulation as a way of looking at classroom behaviours, then that is going to have a huge impact on my practice. In the self-control paradigm, as the teacher I may have a role to play in terms of creating a behaviour plan and handing out rewards or consequences, but the majority of the work for changing the behaviour rests with the student. If it's a self-regulation paradigm, that changes my work as a teacher. I need to be a stress detective, and then when the stressors are identified, I need to be part of the solution of reducing those stressors. If the child is stressed by all the visual clutter in the room, and the bright lights and noise, then I need to make changes, not the child.
Another barrier is the confusion around 'what is self-reg?.' There are so many different ideas about what is self-reg and so many different resources that teachers may feel overwhelmed or may look for a product with flashcards and posters rather than learningthe Shanker method of five steps.
Other barriers that were mentioned included the disregulation of the staff, especially now at this busy end of the year time. This disregulation doesn't allow them to reframe student behaviour. When they are feeling tired and overwhelmed, they fall back on what they know - behaviourmanagement and control.
Time is also a barrier - so much curriculum to cover; no time to stop and reframe, recognize, and reduce stressors for disruptive students.
What barriers have you noticed?
The Summer Symposium this year, on July 4 - 7 at Trent University in Peterborough, is about "Bringing Down Barriers." After analyzing all the feedback about
barriers our Self-Reggers have come across along
their Self-Reg journey, MEHRIT centre staff identified 10 key areas
which are critical for understanding Self-Reg and
moving beyond some of the barriers regularly
experienced when embarking on a Self-Reg journey. As well, the final day will be focused on bringing energy to your self-reg initiatives.
Next post, we'll look at creating opportunities to support educators and parents in developing their understanding of self-reg.