Kelsey Prather
Post count: 4

Hello! I originally thought this post was due in the “assignments” folder on google drive. So it is late here, although I did “turn it in” on time haha! Here is what I wrote:.

Last week, I visited a teacher in her classroom to ask questions about a point sheet we are developing for a student. When I walked in the classroom, I felt the energy as the students were quietly talking and working on numerous projects. There was another adult in the room, progress monitoring with some students. Right away, after I said hello to the teacher, her response was “There are SO Many things going on right now, I am very overwhelmed, there is just WAY too much expected of me on Friday afternoons.” I saw her begin to tear up and the feeling of overwhelm was clearly greatly impacting her. I immediately offered to watch the classroom for her, as she took a break, but she said “no, no, I can’t”, she started to tear up and walked away from me organizing students to do a different project. Right away, I noticed my body shifting to an overwhelmed, anxious state. I wanted to desperately help this teacher, but I also felt in the way. I wasn’t sure what to do. Eventually the teacher started crying and said “Can I please have a tap out and can you watch my class?” I said of course and she left the class to take a break. When I got back to my office, I had to process what happened with my coworker. I noticed I was disregulated and we both said at the same time “Mirror neurons!!” (she came to your workshop in February :)). I gave myself permission to take a few deep breaths and became curious how my body was feeling. I went too fast for my preference, upon reflection I probably should have gone on a walk outside, drank some hot tea, etc. I pushed through after taking a short moment to *notice*. I am thankful to have that moment with my coworker and to really notice my body and reactions. I believe this helped me be more present an hour later at a parent meeting, for example.

I am also noticing brain states in our students. Week 3, the “honeymoon phase” is over :). There are quite a few students getting a little disregulated and in/out of their window of tolerance; therefore, I see students testing limits with adults and in a hypo or hyper arousal state. I have taken into consideration what brain state a child might be in when they are in “their red brain”, is a common language in the school around Zones of Regulation. A student was in my office and in tears, refusing to go to class. He wanted to go home early like his brother (his brother went home early because of an illness). We did some talk therapy, as well as working on body movement. In retrospect, I would love to try some of the shifting attention activities. It seemed like he was in the “alarm” brain state. I struggled with this because I noticed the more we unpacked emotionally, and the more validation I gave him of his feelings, the longer it took to go back to class. I eventually went to class with him, after working on “I statements” he could tell mom.