Kelsey Prather
Post count: 4

Ever since learning about how our behaviors are really just about our external experiences and our perceptions based off of our experiences, I’ve really tried to apply this lens in multiple situations (school and student relationships, personal relationships, staff relationships, etc.). This concept reminds me of a teacher I’ve noticed every time someone interacts with, she seems dysregulated. At first, I thought, gosh what am I doing to cause this dysregulation within her? And how can I stop it? Then I began to learn she often has this reaction to whomever is speaking with her. For example, when I come into her classroom to get a child, she says “I don’t have time for this, this is too much, there’s too much going on,” and waves her hands in the air, on the brink of tears. This reaction definitely sends my body into a dysregulated state (my heart tends to beat faster, my face feels flushed, etc.). Then, when I am back at my office later, I realize this has nothing to do with my request, this is something internally she is dealing with of her own.
When it comes to my students, I think of one in particular, who shuts down sometimes when I meet with him. Other times, he is super talkative and asks me tons of questions. Every time he shuts down like this and speaks absolutely no words, I immediately feel discomfort. I immediately ask myself, “What do I do? He won’t talk? Alert, he won’t talk!!! Get him to say something, anything!!!” I have seen this child talk a lot, so I think I get self-conscious when he does not speak, like it’s my fault. It takes me a moment, but I sit in the silence attentively and remind myself, it’s not always about words. And we seek movement activities, which seems to help. I have no idea why he isn’t speaking; and sometimes I’ll even say something like this to him, “I see you’re not in a talkative mood. That’s okay, you don’t have to speak. Just know I’m here for you.” I think I’d like to be even more intentional and maybe add, “You don’t have to speak. Sometimes things can feel so overwhelming, or we just can’t find the words. Sometimes, it’s hard to speak *takes a deep breath and finds movement activity*.” Reminding him that silence can also be healing.