The Conscious Discipline coach explained it all to us at Family Night. Feelings are real and important, and sometimes they’re big and strong, or even scary. But Conscious Discipline teaches kids and adults the skills they need to handle those feelings and stay composed, and helps them encourage each other along the way. In fact, composure and encouragement are the first two skills taught through Conscious Discipline.
Langley kids learn to handle their feelings. Preschool is an exciting time, but can also be challenging and stressful. Drop-off time, sharing, listening and cooperating all day long—it’s a lot! Composure strategies like our four special breathing techniques, safe spaces to calm down, and activities to connect with others help kids get through disagreements and emotional moments and return to feeling calm, safe, and connected. Then their minds and bodies can be at their very best—kind, compassionate, and ready to learn.
This is the cutest part of Conscious Discipline. From “You can handle your feelings!” to “breathe with me,” from the shout-outs at assemblies to the Tree of Kindness at aftercare, Langley kids and adults are bubbling over with encouragement for one another. When a classmate misses school for an illness, the kids “wish them well” with a little ritual of placing a heart in a basket. The older students really shine in our Playworks Junior Coach program, developing their encouragement and leadership skills by helping Coach Erica teach games. Encouragement helps kids and adults interact positively with one another, promoting connection and cooperation.
What do Composure and Encouragement look like in the classroom? Take it from Kindergarten teacher Ms. Barbee: “Thirty minutes of building a family and then teaching children about their emotions and how to handle them has almost eliminated any behavior issues in my classroom. The kids are handling situations on their own, the class environment feels so welcoming and warm, we get so much learning done and the kids love coming to school (and I do too)! A "bucket-filling classroom" is something the kids committed to at the beginning of the year. "Bucket-filling" means that the kids are able to do good things on their own. This can be a little as a compliment or helping a friend or teacher when they need it.” Read Ms. Barbee's teacher spotlight.
From this secure base, Langley kids and the whole school community can help each other thrive. Feeling calm, safe, and loved at school underlies academic achievement and Langley’s mission of educating the whole child with joy and rigor. So say it with us: at Langley, you can handle your feelings. We are family, and in this place you are loved. So smile, take a deep breath, and relax!
By Mona Lewandoski