What Happened to You?

What Happened to You?

Brain Science, In the News, Point of View, Trauma

When I was a kid in the late 1960s and early 70s, I attended St. Rita’s school in a little town called Sierra Madre. The culture was corporal punishment and shame. It wasn’t until 5th grade that I had a teacher who did not use physical violence or terror. None of this seemed unusual. My experience was common. We found ways to navigate and survive. Kids’ stories of themselves and one another were shaped by shame and fear – those stories shaped the course of our lives. My story was that adults could not be trusted. I did not respect …

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How Teachers can move from “What is Wrong with You?!” to “What Happened to You?”

We now know that childhood trauma, including ongoing toxic stress, has a profound impact on brain development and behavior. In fact, behaviors teachers see in the classroom that seem to make no sense may actually be a student’s adaptive responses that show a brain’s capacity for prioritizing survival.

When we blame the student or take behavior personally, our responses may be hurtful rather than helpful. Over the past 18 months, as the effects of the pandemic have further increased stress and struggle for all families, especially those from marginalized and Brown and Black populations, teachers may see a good deal …

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How Parents & Caregivers can move on from “What’s Wrong with Me?”

Our early experiences shape us in profound ways. If those experiences were persistently stressful or traumatic in your early life, you may suffer from the results of adversity, just like millions of other parents and caregivers.

Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey teamed up on a new book titled What Happened To You? that illuminates how early adversity affects human beings. Many of us are caught up in blame and shame, and the authors point out that rather than asking, “What is wrong with me?” or “What is wrong with you?” we should shift the question to ask instead, “What …

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The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

Brain Science, Connection and love, In the News, Point of View, Resilience

 

We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.

— Sonya Renee Taylor

On March 5 of last year, Sound Discipline’s leadership team met to make a COVID contingency plan. A 2-week school closure had just been announced. We drew all over a whiteboard, planning for three scenarios; 1) …

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Rethinking Rewards: Alternatives to Offering Incentives

Rethinking Rewards: Alternatives to Offering Incentives

Teachers, you have been accomplishing incredible feats this year! It is mind-boggling how your job has changed because of the pandemic and online teaching. Though some of your students are thriving, you may be worried about many who do not seem engaged and who aren’t completing assignments. It is easy to think that rewards may be the answer that you just need to provide the right incentives to get your students to be engaged and completing their work. Despite solid research showing that rewards decrease internal motivation, passion, and interest, the draw to use rewards and incentives is strong. They …

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Brain Science to Supercharge Your Teacher Toolkit

Brain Science, In the News, Tips & Tools

We are drawn to teaching because we want to make a difference in the lives of children. With the creation of new technologies and innovative research, the field of neurobiology has become an exciting new frontier, offering a clearer understanding of what works for the healthy development of the whole child. This understanding sheds light on what effective teaching looks like. Here are a few brain building tips to optimize your teaching efforts:

Connect, connect, connect.

Strong relationships build strong learning. When a child perceives that a relationship is mutually respectful and that there is trust, oxytocin is released. The …

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Brain Science Can Help Us to Become Better Parents

Brain Science, In the News, Tips & Tools

With the creation of new technologies and innovative research, brain science has become an exciting new frontier, offering verifiable support for the strategies and practices of authoritative approaches like Positive Discipline.  What constitutes “effective parenting” is becoming less controversial through research in the field of neurobiology, illuminating our path as parents. Here are a few  ideas from recent research that support effective and connected parenting:

Model what you want your child to learn.

With the work of Dr Marco Iacoboni and others, we now know that people are hardwired to mimic what we see through a complex set of …

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