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Educators explore empathy, self-regulation in Childcare Resources workshop

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

"Where I am in my brain will determine how I see behavior," said Kim Jackson, Conscious Discipline Master Instructor, to nearly 150 early educators representing thirty local programs on a recent Saturday. "Until I come to terms with having anger, I can’t help my students regulate theirs."

3 women stand in front of a stage
Kim Jackson, center, facilitates roleplaying with Little Rising Stars’ Heidi Liston, left, and Bridges Early Learning Center’s Yehsica Folkerds, right.

As part of the Childcare Resources Excellence in Early Education seminar series, Jackson presented aspects of Conscious Discipline, a practice that empowers teachers and other adults to help children develop the skills they need to learn how to self-regulate. This was the eighth Conscious Discipline seminar presented by Childcare Resources since 2015.

Funded by Indian River County Children's Services Advisory Committee and PNC, the seminar explored how adults can create a classroom environment that fosters the relationships and connections that lead to learning.

Two women stand, facing each other. They are clapping their hands together.
Educators from Asbury United Methodist Academy learned techniques to connect and create a relationship-based learning environment.

"In order for the executive state to develop, we learn problem-solving in social situations," noted Jackson. "That’s why we have to have play in classrooms."

Throughout the day, educators engaged in role-playing scenarios to help students move from the survival state through the emotional state and up to the executive state, where learning occurs. As an adult-first model, Conscious Discipline emphasizes the importance of teachers modeling the behavior they wish to see in their students.

Three women stand in a line, arms on each other's shoulders. A woman stands to the right, facing an audience.
Kim Jackson demonstrated the Survival State, Emotional State, and Executive State of Conscious Discipline’s Brain State Model with help from participating educators.

"It was valuable to role-play scenarios to see how to help my students,” noted one educator. “I used some of these strategies last night with my own child and could identify as he moved from one brain state to the next."


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