This podcast is divided into two parts.
The first, clarifies why our primary job is to extend the green zone for optimal learning, even when it comes to placement decisions for children who qualify for early childhood special education.
It will be a bit of an eye opener/conversation starter for those who think we're soothing the nervous system by placing a child in a more restrictive environment. In other words, while a "self-contained" classroom might "look better" or to us might even feel a little bit better (or safer might be the word), we're actually promoting rigidity, which is also outside the zone of optimal learning.
In the second part of the podcast I explore the two jobs teachers have...the one when children are in the green zone and then one when they aren't.
If they're in the Green Zone, our job is really to keep them there and to notice, recognize, and identify when they might be leaving that Green Zone. Our job is to also help children learn how to stop, think, and then act...to become self-aware of their emotions and how to help keep themselves in the green zone.
When children are in the red or blue zone. Our job shifts to offering a lifeline to a child. Helping them to be curious about us and allowing for processing of big emotions.
Key Take Away Message:
"I have two different jobs. I'm either in the Green Zone with the child and I'm helping them learn self-regulation skills, how to problem solve, how to have an appropriate response when things don't go their way, and how to keep themselves in the Green Zone. But the moment a child moves into or rather their body moves them into the red or the blue, my job also moves or changes. And now my job is to help process, co-regulate, offer a lifeline."