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Bridging to Resilience Conference Panel Episode 49

Bridging to Resilience Conference Panel

· 01:01:52


RS 47 Panel

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Resilient Schools podcast. Today's episode is a panel recording from the Bridging to Resilience conference I attended.

What does it mean to be a trauma informed leader?

Well, since I have the microphone, I'll start. to me, it means that you see The people you're working with as people first and students, teachers, clients, whatever your role is, second, they're human beings and you need to accept all of them, not just their specific thing that's bringing them to you.

For me it's about being willing to be vulnerable, about my own trauma, and leading from that place. That I am a human and I've had things happen to me and model for what that means. And how I feel.

My [00:01:00] name is Tracy Chauvin. I'm a clinical social worker, but the director of student support programs for one of the largest districts in Kansas. And so one of the ways that I view being a trauma-informed leader is that I'm ensuring that the actions that I do in the actions of the people I support bring no harm to others and work to mitigate any harm being done through current policies, practices, or procedures, so that we can then go and address those policies, practices.

And procedures that might be unintentionally providing harm to our community and those within it. I feel, humbled and grateful, to be in this lane in my life. And, when I see others, I see opportunity and connection.

They have not left much for us over here, have they? All of that, so, I mean, I think for me, being a trauma informed, administrator person, I really do try to go into situations, kind of, what you said actually was exactly what I [00:02:00] was thinking, is making sure that I don't shame anyone for being human.

And I give my own self grace for being human, so being very aware of first and foremost, that we're all doing the very best we can do and that we need to connect with each other every day to help each other be our best selves,

I would say I'm kind of a newbie to this work and certainly, relative to the group up here, but my growth and. Experiences, leadership in this work requires the humility to recognize that your experiences and your understanding of things, may not be everybody else's understanding or experiences or perception, so it takes a lot of humility, to be a leader in this work. (ad here)

Okay, this is a mouthful, okay?

So what do administrators and school leaders need to be mindful of [00:03:00] when we think of the latest achievements we are making in regards to the brain, the stress response system, and how these play out into behavior in the classroom. Like, you know, with everything we're learning, right, how are you guys taking that and getting that down into the system around what's happening in our classrooms?

So, I can say that this is, my second year. prior to this, I ran an alternative education program and I was very much influenced by Jim, and I'm proud that that environment was fully trauma informed and responsive. I then have now moved into a middle school and, I think that what I'm having to learn is that I have to, be patient and take people where they are.

change is scary. It can feel unsafe. so we have to, provide the information because when we know better, we do better. so I think for me coming into an environment that [00:04:00] is not what I came from before, I just have to again Realize that everybody comes with a different lived experience, and so we just have to build the opportunity, for people to come to the information by giving them the science, which is what I have found to be the most, significant way that people can allow this information to be part of their lives and transform them.

I'm close to retirement, so I'm getting old. And, uh, My journey's getting closer to the end and, uh, when I go into the environments now, I go in with a heavy heart because I see a ton of pain, and I see our kids hurting desperately, and what we know is since COVID, our teachers are hurting, and so to try to go into the [00:05:00] environment now and Try to seek the adults to see the value in this work that it actually will bring joy and comfort to their lives if we can reach these kids and start teaching them the regulation and to help them see that there's hope in the future for their lives is becoming a reality.

Tough, tough challenge. And we keep talking about the research. The research is profound, and it has been for years, that this is the direction we need to go. Our educational system is a research based system, but we have denied the research as a whole, and we've embraced, or we've got a choke hold.

on traditional practices in which the research has been telling us is failing desperately. And that's the pipeline to [00:06:00] prison. So, this work is so valuable. And, I think we seek the heart of those that we're working with to see if we can cause, something to happen to create the change that these kids desperately deserve.

And the staff also. How many of you are overwhelmed? Yeah, how many of you are like, where do I even begin? Okay, I'm speaking to you. The rest of you are liars. We talked about this. So, Rebecca's question is really important because when you come to a conference like this, you learn a thousand things that you want to go do.

Right? And how many of you are like, I can't do it all. So I go back to those pieces of regulate, relate, reason. Your job right now is just to regulate. Find one thing that you can change or shift in your environment, in your classroom, that's tangible. I have a woman I worked with, I worked with her 20 years ago.

She sat in a [00:07:00] session of mine and she said, Stacy, I'm gonna skip to specialists. We talked about this. Skipping. That's it. That's the only thing she changed. I'm going to give them movement as we're walking down the halls. Now some of you are going, skipping in the hallway, right? It changed the entire dynamic of her classroom and it caused other people to say, what are you doing?

You choose one thing, that's how you start. And you do that one thing really well. And then you choose another thing. You don't take all of it today and try to do all of it today. We are up here with decades of experience, right? When I'm in my own home, you would never even think I knew some of this stuff.

You do one thing, and that's how it begins. And then when you start to see the shift, even one on one, then your other, your kids in your class are going to go, Oh, that worked with that kid? That's a really tough kid. I should [00:08:00] try that. That's how it starts, and that's how it grows. And that's what you have control over.

So for those of you who feel overwhelmed, choose one thing. And then build from there. Is that helpful? One thing. So my answer kind of piggybacks off of what Stacy said. Working in a district level role, one of the things that I encourage all of our building staff to do is to find that one point of advocacy.

And really hone in on it. And advocate up. Start with your, if it's a teacher leader, if it's your principal, your instructional coach, that one person that can be that ally with you in that advocacy. Because then that starts to make incremental changes, such as what Stacey spoke about. Because we know that we can only eat that elephant

One bite at a time. And so an example of this would be, we suspend kids A lot in my district. We have state citations about it. That don't mean Jack, y'all. That just means, hey, we noticed you did it. So, we said, over the course, this is my fourth year in this, [00:09:00] uh, in central office, over the course of these four years, we have incrementally changed our code of conduct.

The policies that then impact practice. We don't allow... So, early childhood, because yes, we're trying to kids through second grade to be suspended without a point of contact with the department that I supervise, so that we can say, hey, what happened? So, I started to give an example in our session a second ago, or earlier.

We had a seven year old who had a taser. Tasers aren't allowed. That's a weapon. That's an automatic expulsion. Y'all weapons are automatic expulsions. He's seven. So I get a phone call 'cause you can't suspend. So I get the phone call, Tracy, Tracy eight, and I'm like, what? What has happened?

Who died? Like, what's going on? And this principal goes, he brought his taser. And I said, okay, Tell me more. She tells me, turns out, he did not bring a taser. A young man picked it up off school property, and the next day, while we were still doing some investigation, a mom calls and goes, hey, I dropped my taser out of my purse when I was at the building.

So homie never even brought a weapon. He picked up a lightsaber, essentially. He picked up a [00:10:00] toy in his head and was going, hey, hey, hey, press the button. Yeah, the teaser things flew. It happens. He's seven. But, we would have expelled that student three years ago because he had a weapon and it's a black and white policy.

There would have been minimal investigation to find out how and why. And there would not have been the correlation of, hey, this mom called and said, because we would have already started the expulsion proceedings on this seven year old for having a weapon on campus. And I encourage you, as that small bite at a time, if you ever hear about any points of advocacy that is a work group, a cohort, whatever they want to call them, a cadre, join it.

Volunteer to join it. Volunteer and lend your voice of advocacy, because the more voices we have, the more likely you are to be heard.

Can I edit my answer? I'm gonna edit. Based on what they said. So I said, and I do believe what I said. Whatever. I believe what I said about being patient, but I think I might edit to say, be patient with yourself. So last [00:11:00] year, I'm just gonna be straight up with you, I was in fight or flight like every single day.

I was in a building where I did not feel safe. I mean, when I say that, and we can joke about it because some of these people are on a text thread where... They basically helped me get through last year because I was in a building that I didn't know anyone. I was not in my own community anymore, and at lunch some days with 300 middle schoolers, I would be the only one in there, and I became, and we're going to laugh about it, but I became afraid of grapes because I'm like, I'm going to slip and fall because they throw grapes.

And like, they're probably going to just leave me here, on the ground. So, it became like, when I see a grape, I am triggered. And we can laugh, because I do laugh about it now, but I was like, I never thought I would feel this way about a fruit. And, but I just dreaded those days where I was like, it's going to be pure chaos, and I feel [00:12:00] so unsafe.

So when I say you have to take people where they are, as an administrator, like, We're feeling it too, and so we have to connect to each other to help, again, there's self care, but I like, again, community care. Like self care, like, Jeans Day, please, okay, like, no, um, but connecting together because I wouldn't have been able to keep making steps forward if I wasn't finding my people.

So when we're saying, if you pick one thing, then that's awesome. And you shouldn't feel like anything other than that's great. That one thing can make a huge difference to how many people. And then that, you know, it's that ripple effect, right? That butterfly flapping its wings or something. So, small edit, small edit.

Who went first last time?

You went last last time. [00:13:00] I, uh, well first of all, when I was a high school principal, I got to a point where I told my

And I would clean the lunchroom. And we didn't have to worry about grapes after that. Um, as a school superintendent, I think to answer your question, I'd say to simply as, as you, I figured out pretty quickly I couldn't do everything that I wanted to do. Um, also figured out quickly that everybody else was smarter than I was.

Which is, uh, a great, uh, uh, learning. but I would say in this case, You enable staff, you give them the resources, you have the staffing, and then you empower them, and then you get out of the way. and I'll share some of that tomorrow, but that's, I'll keep it short and sweet.

Yeah, I would,

when it comes to science and the research, all that really is, is vocabulary that you didn't know yet.

You're here, you already know what the [00:14:00] right thing to do is. Even if the science is not there, more accurately, you don't know the science yet that says that's the right thing to do. You already know. So trust your instincts. Trust that sage mind that you have that helps you be creative and solve problems.

And do the things that you know in your gut are right, because your gut is not going to lie to you about those things. And if you are really striving... to create great outcomes for kids, you're going to do the right thing almost all the time, and when you don't it'll be the best thing you knew what to do at the time and then you can just keep on doing that every single day.

Wow. So this question... You know, I've worked with hundreds of schools at this point, and this seems to be where people get stuck the most around value systems and around, you know, what's harmful for kids and what's helpful, and it's this [00:15:00] conversation around discipline versus punishment. And so, you know, what comes up for you as an administrator as you think about this particularly large hill we're trying to climb?

Um, you know, Tracy, you kind of alluded to some of that, right? You know, this happens and this happens, boom. We don't, we're taking the humans out. It's black and white. It's on the, it's in the handbook. So, talk to us about that. We've got a lot of folks out here who are on the road and they're stuck at that place, trying to find their way.

I think from, an administrator's perspective, the challenge is, two things. One, quick and easy. And, get to all the other things I have to do, versus taking the time to do what's right and best and then prolonging or ignoring all the other demands that are on my plate. and

the other is the expectation and the understanding out there, you have teachers in your building, in your school, or parents that have this expectation that if something happens, if a kid is, I asked where [00:16:00] she was. I was, I apologize, because I taught a class last night of Administrator wannabes, a graduate class.

And a similar topic came up, and the teachers were angry that the student wasn't suspended. And so you have that as an administrator, this one group of teachers that expects immediate action and get them out of here, get them out of my classroom, I don't want to deal with this, I got these kids to teach.

And then another that have a mindset similar to this group here, where... Help me, give me the tools that I need to, to help this student, help this family, um, this is where this kid needs to be, but it can't be in this particular fashion. So those, those are the two things. So as I told you, um, one part of my life as an English teacher, so I do love knowing where words come from, and I love looking at what specific words authors choose because they have so many choices.

So for me, when I started thinking about discipline versus punishment, it comes down right to the root. Discipline, the root of the word discipline, it's about teaching and learning. It's centered around [00:17:00] the opportunities that come from that process. Punishment, the root of that, is about suffering. And so, in the traditional methods that we want to call our discipline systems, a lot of them actually are rooted in punishment.

we can call them whatever we want. Again, we can say, We can call a room, you know, a calm down room, and if nobody's calming down in it, it's not what it is. But you can call it a calm down room. So you can call it discipline, but if there's not learning that's occurring from it, then it's, and suffering is, then it's punishment.

And so I am an educator. I will always remain an educator in whatever role I'm in. And so for me, whenever I am thinking about discipline, I'm looking to see how can I help this be a learning process. and so many traditional forms are not about learning. Um, so, because I just had a teacher in my office, and a [00:18:00] student came to my office, we had a conversation, there was a consequence.

And I really do believe we came at it from a learning point of view, in terms of reflection, and healing. And she came in later and she was upset. And she's like, they came back to my class and like the rest of the class doesn't think anything happened. So we had to talk about, and I kind of just asked, what would you have liked to have seen happen?

What do you think would have been... The learning, if I did something different. Because they know that that's my philosophy. And I think it's important to put that, be transparent about that. And then I was like, I can't control what they leave my office. They could say anything when they leave my office to their peers, right?

It's about what happened in here and whether or not that student. doesn't do that again because they've learned from it. So, I mean, that conversation went well because that teacher said, okay, you're right. I mean, it wasn't about me being right, but it was about us having a conversation too. because I want to learn and grow from that conversation [00:19:00] myself.

And maybe I didn't see something correctly or do something correctly, but in that case, it was, she wanted suffering, and so we had to come back to, really, it's about learning.

I don't think I could say it any better than Jodi just shared. Uh, Punishment is controlling behavior through fear. And we up the fear until we get control of the discipline. Where discipline, as Jodi shared so well, is to teach. And we call our other classes English or... Orchestra or whatever. We all call those

disciplines. And so what do we do when we have kids come into our classes is we take 'em where they're at and we teach 'em and move 'em forward. And so that's the difference that, uh, I was traditional for 22 years of my career and I loved kids. And once I learned the difference and started teaching versus [00:20:00] telling.

then we know that teaching draws connection, punishment creates disconnection. And so as we started connecting more with kids and teaching them, we saw a change in behavior, we saw a change in regulation, we saw kids advocating for themselves, and, uh, they were held at a, uh, the accountability piece, which always gets fuzzy, is that if we're not holding kids accountable, we're failing them because we're not teaching them.

So accountability is huge, it's, it's how you define it. Punishment versus teaching. We teach it, that's when we start to see the changes that we want. I think that there are some nuances to what's being spoken about in that when we think of that paradigm shift from traditional to more restorative or that punishment to discipline, those types of mind shifts change.

What do we need to do to lay the [00:21:00] groundwork for that to be successful? Because it's really, really awesome to say, oh yeah, they told me I can't suspend kids, I can't put them in ISS, I can't do this. So I think one of the biggest things that you can do immediately, thinking to Stacey's point around this, of what can you immediately take away and say, I'm really interested in doing that.

Can you model for me what that restorative conversation looks like? Can you be here an active participant with it? I, you're right, I really, really want that student to be in my class tomorrow. Can you help me how, figure out how? I can make that structured schedule change for them so that they can be successful.

While I get some extra support in that, feel empowered to have some limit setting around that so that you can build your own capacity and toolkit so that next time you go, ooh, I already know what the structured schedule can look like for the student that they would have traditionally been suspended, but instead they're going to come right back to my classroom.

Oh yes, I want to have restorative conversations. I want to do circles. I want to do class meetings. Support me in doing that, because we really want people who are capable, competent, and comfortable doing all of these things. [00:22:00] And if you feel uncomfortable, or not capable, we know that efficacy piece is so important.

We want you to be an efficacious person in your role. Ask for the help and support in doing it, because oftentimes I'm like, well, I gave you all these things, and then I think, oh, I gave you all these resources, I changed the policies, but did I really come in and look at you and say, Hey, do you feel comfortable doing this?

Probably not. And that's with anything. I encourage you to do it with anything. Your new reading curriculum, your new math curriculum. Thank me later.

I like to think about discipline as keeping commitments to yourself and making decisions based on your value system. And when I think about it like that, That changes the conversation. Anytime a student does something to violate the other values that we have at the school, and it helps them see where their actions aligned or didn't align with what we believe at the school.

Goes back to teaching, goes back to that control piece as well. The punishment is about [00:23:00] forcing you to align to the school's beliefs. Discipline is about helping you see what you need to change in yourself to align with the bigger context that you are a part of. Not just only thinking about yourself and your own actions.

So I'm a lot on the lines of Jethro. I think about discipline and punishment from the lens of relationship. How do I repair a relationship? So, if I'm in a classroom, if a kid's in a classroom, and this kid has struggled in the classroom, and they've been removed from the classroom for whatever reason, then the question becomes, what happened in that relationship that needs to be repaired so that the kid can return to classroom, but also the classmates will allow a kid to return to classroom.

And so, I think when we focus on repairing relationship, which means we have to have a relationship to begin with, I want to point that out. You can't repair a relationship if you don't have a relationship. But when we focus on repairing a [00:24:00] relationship, it leads us down the right path. It leads us towards the discipline piece and not the punishment piece.

Nobody wants to get punished. That doesn't repair a relationship. But when we repair a relationship, we end up with the discipline piece. Friends, I just want to kind of stop here for a minute because so much... You know, there's been so many good things said, and I also want us to make sure we don't walk out of Bridging to Resilience 2023 thinking that all we do when kids have big behaviors is talk to them, is work through a circle.

You know, sometimes, you know, that's what I loved about Jim, he had to really reshape my thinking because I had experienced so much punishment in my life that I just thought, you know, that anything that caused discomfort, um, was harmful to kids. And Jim said, Rebecca, when we had relationship with kids, and we activated voice, and we got them regulated, and we, you know, we seek the cause, kids want to have [00:25:00] consequences.

The other thing is, is that, you know, we need in school suspension rooms that are actually trauma informed and not prison. Right, so, so it isn't that we have to overhaul everything and that we, you know, I, I work with teachers a lot and they're like, well, we can't take away recess. It's not trauma informed.

I'm like, well, how could you take away recess in a trauma informed way? Can student be with you during recess working on, you know, how they get more skill building? around what happened. Can you walk with student at recess? Can you keep them attached to a safe caring adult? And these are not easy asks of people, but I don't want us to think that we're just not doing discipline at all because you know discipline is an important part of how we function together in society, especially when we violated values.

And when kids feel heard, and they feel connected, they're just like us. They want to make it right. Jim, another thing that I think I caught from you a couple years ago was when he was an administrator and teachers would send kids to him for discipline, [00:26:00] he would regulate them, he would seek the cause, he would teach them strategies, and then at the end of all that, they would deal with, okay, you know that you told your teacher to F off and you flipped over a desk and we've got to do discipline.

After that, Jim would put a note inside of the teacher's box that said, here's what we talked about, and here's the consequence that was delivered. And I think that is brilliant, because I think there's a disconnect. A lot of times what's happening is everybody's so busy that administrator is working with kid, and they're doing the right thing, but nobody's circled back to teacher to say, here's how we handled it, here's what happened.

So there's a communication gap there, and it creates mistrust. Any other thoughts on that? Okay. Fantastic. Great. How do we navigate the reality that we have students experiencing toxic stress in the classroom from trauma, and it shows up in big behaviors, and it scares other children, or educators, or the other [00:27:00] children's parents?

how do we navigate that? What are you guys doing? How are you navigating that? Can I tell a story. So, cultures of regulation. We just normalize regulation. How many of you do classroom rules at the beginning of the school year? Have the hall pass before you leave. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Raise your hand. Also, cultures of regulation. What I need might be something you don't need right now, but you might need later. So my son had an excellent third grade teacher and they had tea stools in their classroom. Two tea stools. You know what those are, right? Flexible seating. Some of you love that, some of you don't.

Every week that tea stool got assigned to a kid, and during the week that kid could gift it. to one of their schoolmates who might need it more. Teaching empathy, teaching culture of regulation, right? By the end of the school year, the same kid [00:28:00] had the tea stool every week. We adults are like, that's not fair.

My son said, mom, why in the world are adults so caught up on fair? If that kid's regulated, we all learn. Isn't that the goal? So when we have kids who feel scared, kids who are scary, what we're looking at is their nervous systems. When we teach in our classrooms that this is a safe classroom where kids can get what they need and it might not always be the same for every person because we all don't need the same thing at the same time, we can address those fear spaces.

We can address what feels scary. When kids blow up and they have these big behaviors, one of the things we do is we don't re enter them in the classroom in a way where we talk about it. And we repair and we go, what happened? Let's all work that out together. We have to do those hard chitty chats that really give kids language and opportunities to talk [00:29:00] through some of that stuff.

We also have to bring parents into the conversation of we are a culture of humans. There are some things that need regulation. Some things are going to go really well, some things are not going to go well. We're going to talk about that, but we're going to normalize dysregulation in regulation and we're going to talk about how to manage that in our classrooms.

I got real passionate. I would just add to that, we need to be honest and clear about what happened. my oldest daughter has Down syndrome and had some other students get in a fight, who also have special needs. what my daughter told me was different from what actually happened, but the key thing is that I asked the teacher I need to know what happened so I know how to talk to my daughter about this and thankfully he was frank and said These two kids did get in a fight.

Nobody went to the hospital. It wasn't bad in that sense But my daughter was definitely scared and did think they went to the hospital and when they weren't there She didn't think they were [00:30:00] suspended. She thought they were still in the hospital It's important for me as a dad to know what's really going on Without violating privacy, but also recognizing that things that happen in public also need to be dealt with in public.

And you can't just say, sorry, we can't say anything because these students need privacy. Well, my daughter also needs closure and needs to know. that those kids are safe and needs to be reassured multiple times that those kids are safe and that they have resolved the issue. And we can't hide behind this idea of privacy to say we can't talk about it ever at all.

We need to still respect their privacy and respect people's need for closure and understanding of the situation.

I'm a little bit old fashioned in that I truly believe and I see this so often. is that we have great work going on with our counselors with kids on certain incidents, but there's no [00:31:00] communication that goes back. So, I've always used a three copy referral sheet, disciplinary sheet, and when I was finished with handling the situation, one copy went in the teacher's box.

If I was going to put a student In school or use it as a timeout that went in Shelly's box so she knew what was coming. And uh, I also feel like when we have situations that need our attention, that a parent deserves the phone call, and too many times we leave the parent out. Uh, kid comes home with a story that's a whole lot different than happened and you get this parent screaming at you.

It's because we don't communicate. It takes time, but I think we have to have that circle of communication. Um, I also believe that if a student truly disrupts a room that traumatizes the [00:32:00] other kids, I don't think it's best to come down and process and put them right back in. I think there needs to be some time.

And so we have to have places that we can put that student where they're supervised, they're cared for, they're processed with, but they need to understand that for the day. Uh, they're gonna be in the quiet room, the calm room, secondary in the in school suspension room for the rest of the day or whatever.

Um, too many times we get into, we can't do this 'cause they're trauma and whatever. And then we, we miss that important, teachable moment. And I think that's where the consequences come in. That again, I, that I believe draw connection versus disconnection. (ad here)

So I agree. Like one of the. Important components of discipline as I always do share with my teachers, my thinking process, And I think, again, this week when the teacher came, I want to have an open door where we can have [00:33:00] those conversations. Again, because I'm a human and there might be something that I haven't considered.

And, um, you know, apologizing, like I think as adults, it's okay. And I probably apologize, like, at least three times a day, um, for something. But, I agree with Jim in terms of, um, I always want to have that dialogue with my teachers. But I do think that's also kind of like when you think about instructional design.

and the importance of kind of like front loading. That's where I think things like SEL, both on the adult side and on the student side, so that when students see those big emotions, they themselves have the knowledge to better understand them. Um, because I have had students, um, in my alternative education program that have seen really big emotions, and because we spent...

Valuable time, front loading, um, emotional vocabulary, [00:34:00] understanding the brain science behind our emotions, what was, might be happening, seeing behavior as communication. When one of their peers had those big emotions, sometimes they were kind of like almost on the front line of being able to co regulate.

Um, so, that's kind of, I think, the power of that. Um, again, we also have spaces because, yes, it's not always in the best interest of the student who is having the big emotion or the community or the adult in the room for them to go back in. But, in the room that we have, that person is receiving training on being able to do restorative practices.

We're building in opportunities for reflection. We want it to be a learning process, not just go sit in a room and... process over and over and over and over again how you screwed up and what consequences coming and because that's not gonna regulate them so we build a room that yes gives [00:35:00] that time and that space but also helps us to foster the learning that we want to come from it.

One of the things that I think that is sort of a thread throughout what everybody's talking about, is how do we normalize having these conversations in transparent ways. And one of the ways that I have seen be really successful in a building I was the social worker for is every student, um, so our early childhood through first grade students, theirs was more pictures, um, and basic words, but they created a My ER Plan, My Emotion Regulation Plan, and it's three parts.

And it is prevention, Intervention like in the moment, what do I do when I'm becoming dysregulated? And then postvention, what do I do to repair or amend any harm that happened if I became so dysregulated that I threw down the, like everything in the room, tore everything up, assaulted people, all those types of things.

And we had conversations about them during our class meetings of like, what is my postvention look like versus your postvention? And we would just call it repair. Like it's just that simple. We [00:36:00] called it repair and it wasn't a big deal. And Stacy's might look different than mine, but we also during that postvention piece talked about what it looks like when we're dysregulated, but not.

So, um, what do I need once I'm now like sitting here? I need silence. I need to be by myself. I don't need you to come hold my hand and talk and rub my back right now, because that's part of my postvention. And then so we. Also had our adults do it. And if you want to hear about more of that, come to my session tomorrow.

Cause that's what it is. But we had our adults do it and it just became the norm of that culture of care for everyone. And it became part of our norm of we do this at the start of every year with students we do, and we revisit them, um, at very specific times throughout the year, and we would front load and we would create.

The ability to co regulate, because we all had a common language as well.

I don't know what else I can add to that, uh, conversation, Rebecca, other than, I mean I think, you mentioned in the question, [00:37:00] uh, navigating the other parents, um, of the other students in there, um, and I've been a part of those meetings. As a school superintendent, but even in a bigger picture, the another competing interest that exists is the, the, the political landscape of public school versus private school versus homeschool.

And this is why we're pulling our kids. And so there's this constant battle to keep your students, to keep your kids, to keep this, this perception of public schools are safe and, and healthy and so forth. And so it's a, it's a. Constant political battle. Chad, thank you for that. Because I want people to understand that that is, you know, there's a real, I don't want to say polarizing, because I think it's, it's a real push pull kind of dance for okay, how do we help kids that are bringing, and I mean, who in here are my elementary people?

Or who in here are attached to elementary? Are you guys seeing just, you know, many, many more kids [00:38:00] coming in, presenting with really big behaviors? And then you've got parents, I mean, just what you said, Chad, we're gonna pull our kid and we're gonna send him over here, we're gonna put him, we're gonna homeschool him, we're gonna stick him in the private school, three miles away, I mean, so as administrators, I mean, there's a, there's a lot of, of gut level pain for what is exactly the right thing here.

I'm going to take my kid to the private school where they don't have to take those students that are dysregulated that have any issues. And if they become that way, we'll, we'll kick them out. We'll get rid of them, right. And we'll send them back. And so it's, it's uh, snowballing at this point.

Can I just add only one thing to, we're talking about like how people in the room are feeling based on maybe a student's big behaviors, but I just want to also say students are very observant of the adult and the adult has huge power and a student feeling safe. Even if there's something [00:39:00] happening in the room, a student or two students are having a confrontation, The adult can have a huge impact on students still feeling safe in that environment, um, and they're watching how you respond to that situation just as closely in my opinion as they are watching whatever big emotions are happening with their peers.

You know, Jodi, I watched a training. I wasn't there, but I watched it where the presenter kind of talked to a guy ahead of time and before everybody came in and he had the guy kind of like, I don't know, be pretty disrespectful, right? The presenter stopped the presentation and came over and chewed the guy out.

Who was everybody mad at in the audience? They were mad at the presenter, right? Like, the guy was clearly out of line, but the presenter was helping them to see just what you said, Jodi, that, you know, the way that we handle these situations, I remember kids in my elementary school that were flipping desks and running out of classrooms, and they were getting swats back then, and they could only swat them so many times in an [00:40:00] hour, so every hour they had to go to the principal's office and get swats,

And they dragged these kids out of the room, and I was worried about what's happening to those kids, even though they were acting. Right and so sometimes I think we also make big assumptions based off of cortex brain versus how other kids are experiencing this.

And I don't want to minimize how you're feeling. I said last year I legitimately was in fight or flight many days. However, I also believed in the power of and had Awareness of my own brain and body to know that that was what I needed to do for myself to keep myself Regulated and then I had things just points in my day where if I needed to go do deep breathing, anchor myself, go in my car and cry, whatever, I mean, just like one time, but anyway.

Um, we're humans, um, so I just think that I'm not trying to say like [00:41:00] you are not, it's not valid for you to feel all the feelings you're having because those are hard, hard moments in a classroom. I'm just saying that use that developed brain, know your own. Push buttons, know what you need to do for yourself to stay calm in those moments.

And then, you know, kind of have those things in place within your day that allows you to be able to kind of, the stretch, like, release. I was just going to add something real quick. Not sorry. Uh, I, we've been talking a lot about the adult kid relationship, and I just want to also point out that the kids that feel scary in your classroom, um, Become adults who feel scary in your classroom.

And it's really important to remember the relationship between peers. Uh, my kids are both sophomores, and we have a kid that they've grown up with that's just really struggled. And my kids know [00:42:00] this language. And one day my daughter came home and said, Hey, I just want to let you know that Frank was super dysregulated today and hit me with a shovel.

I was like, well, did you ask for help? Did you tell anybody? Do any adults know this? And she's like, I mean, no. And I said, so, yeah, an adult needs to intervene. It's not okay to be hit with a shovel at school. I just want to... Be sure to say that. And she said, Mom, I know. And I just went to him and I said, Hey, it looks like you're having a really bad day.

I'd appreciate it if you didn't hit me with a shovel. If maybe we could just use our words and talk about it. And maybe we could work through it. And I think that's really important because this kid has been talked to by every single adult in the district multiple times. And what ended up happening, I did go talk to an adult and I know his parents really well.

We kind of did a little mini intervention, all of us together. But what my daughter did was say, I don't want to not be your friend because you hit me with a shovel. I want to be your friend before [00:43:00] you pick up the shovel to hit me. Was this Stella again? Yes. I think she might need to come next year.

Stella is really, I mean, got it going on. Right. I mean, I just think it's important to remember when you're sitting there and you feel overwhelmed, like, I am one teacher in a student of 30 kids, and I have 10 kids who are all high needs. How am I going to manage this? Remember, you have little Stellas in your classroom.

You have, my son is another one. he said, Mom, I sit next to this kid because I'm a really good co regulator for this kid. He, can do this, the teacher really pisses him off, I don't, right? So think about that in your classroom, look at that dynamic, when you start to normalize it, I'm not saying kids should be responsible for other kids, but we are a community.

We are helping each other, and I just think it's important to remember you have that asset in your classroom.

Okay, I'm going to end us on a tough one.

Those are all easy. Oh, and I was going to tell you Stacey Stella is up to like 50 bucks and we're going to post that on [00:44:00] socials. so how do you guys handle staff who are being kicked, hit, bit? Jim, will you open us on this one? Because I know that, how do you handle staff like in your building, that are being kicked, they're being hit, they're being bit?

And I know, Jim, you've gone in and worked with a lot of elementary schools, and so I want to make sure folks really hear you speak over this situation. Well, I had a student at the other high school that they were trying to transfer into Lincoln. My special ed teachers came and said, you gotta come to the meeting.

This kid's 6'2 he's beating up the adults, the parents that were helping him. But I attended the meeting, and I heard how bad this kid was being harassed by kids, and they would harass him so bad, that he would just lose it.

And then he'd put on, they were looking for him to put on a show for them, and he did, he went after adults. [00:45:00] And I turned to the two teachers that I told them I would. keep this kid from coming and said, we gotta take this kid. We can help him. And so we took this young man, but I don't believe in the kicking and the hitting and beating up of adults.

And I brought his parents in and I said, I can guarantee you one thing. We will love him. We will create a nurturing environment. He will be safe here. He will not be bullied. I said he cannot kick. or Slug, one of our adults. I will take it seriously. he pushed it the first few weeks he was with us.

He pushed it, and I had to bring the parents back in. And I said, we love him. We're watching out him. He's not being bullied, but He's got this thing that adults are kind of fair game, and I said in this building he's not going to kick or hit any of the staff. [00:46:00] He's 6'2 he'll hurt somebody. And the dad turned to him and said, Richard, I've found there's no place that we've ever been that you've received this kind of love from the staff.

Whatever they choose, Mom and I are going to support. I would have had him taken in to JJC if he would have physically assaulted a staff member. And when Dad said that, Richard pulled it together. On Paper Tigers, he's the last one in line. He's a kid with autism that was giving high fives. He flourished at our school.

It was awesome having him there. But I personally don't believe that We are, should be allowing kids to physically hurt people, and, and then try to resolve and put them right back in, because we've got trauma on both sides of those issues. But we need to let them know that we love them, we [00:47:00] care about them, but we also need to teach them what's going to happen if you were to cross that line, which we pray that you don't.

So I would like to share from the perspective of somebody getting assaulted by a child. A second grader who, when I was the assistant principal, uh, and wearing a tie, he pulled my tie to strangle me and saw that he was pulling the long end, which doesn't tighten it, and stopped and switched to the short end because he knew exactly what he was doing and knew how to make the tie tighter.

And... The way that my principal and the executive director of our school responded was by saying, Well, we should do an investigation and figure out what happened. And they came back and said, Jethro, it was your fault. You escalated this student. And let me tell you, that is the wrong answer. Because I was doing the best that I [00:48:00] knew how to do.

And to say this is all your fault and you brought it on yourself is not helpful, even if it's true. And so did I escalate him? I don't know. I don't remember, to be honest. I don't know what I could have done differently to not make that happen. I was doing what I believed I had been trained to do and what they had suggested to do, and I was doing the very best that I possibly could.

And they said, this is your fault. Now, that's not the way to do it. And so I vowed that I would never blame a victim for the rest of my career. And there were a lot of times where it was hard. When I had a teacher who was actively... agitating students so that she could, um, get out of coming to work so that she could be injured and not have to be there.

And I knew that that was going on. I still did not blame her and I still gave her the benefit of the doubt. But we put systems and supports in place so that she [00:49:00] wouldn't ever be alone with students. She always had a para or another teacher in there with her to make sure that we had another witness who could talk to that and say what was going on.

And so, instead of suspending this student that strangled me, they said, he's coming back to school the next day, um, because, and didn't have any of that resolution with me or him. They basically said, you're not allowed to be around him anymore because you escalate him. And again, this was a kid that I loved, that I thought the world of, and it was a tragic accident that doesn't have to end that way.

So, my advice would be to be cautious about... Um, how you handle the aftermath as well.

Aggressive students are full of fear, right? And so are the adults who deal with them. And I think in my work, I have, I can think of, as you're speaking, I can think of multiple situations. I got into this work [00:50:00] because I was restraining a kid, right?

And thankfully, my response, naturally, is a flight response. If I had had a freeze response, I would have knocked the kid out, right? So, when I think about aggressive students, I also think about what is in that environment that is causing them to be so activated and so stretched. And I don't think it's the teachers.

I think it's the sensory environment. I think it's being in a lunchroom of 300 kids with one adult. I think it's getting off a bus, right? I think their nervous system is already activated. And then, I think, not all students... are ready to be successful in all classrooms, right? I had a kid that came out of a residential treatment center.

He'd been in residential treatment for nine months. He got discharged before his treatment was complete due to insurance. And he got dropped back in a public [00:51:00] education system. And the staff called me and they said, Stacy, we're in the middle of a staff meeting. We need you. What's up? Well, there's 10 of us here and we're talking about how we're going to support our stu the student.

This is what we're gonna do. He hasn't been in a public education system in nine months. We're not gonna put him back in the public in the classroom right away. Is that okay with you? Sure. Right? Is it okay with the parents? Is it okay with the students? We're gonna bring him in and we're gonna make him a teacher's aide.

in a younger classroom for a period of time so he can adjust and he can, he can be successful and he can teach kids what he already knows and he can integrate in a really easy way. We're gonna give him lots of regulation time, right? Aggressive students need out of the box interventions and strategies.

Teachers who've been assaulted also need out of the box interventions and strategies. And they need empathy. Not, it's [00:52:00] not a one size fits all situation. So I think those are just food for thought.

I mean, I, again, I wanted to be clear. Although, I think that we over suspend and, um, you know, there are times that I suspend students. I mean, it's going to be, it's, it's not, you know, all or nothing. And so, um, my staff, when, you know, I, they have to experience that.

I mean, that is one of the most serious things, um, because they are there with 30 kids and um, so those are instances that I'm more apt to suspend a student, but again sending them home is not going to change the behavior so it might give us an opportunity to come up with a plan, it might give us an opportunity to have Conversations, it might give us [00:53:00] an opportunity to, um, figure out next steps for everybody's well being, um, but the suspension in and of itself is changing nothing.

And so when I was in alternative ed, my first semester, I mean, it's the lightest I've ever felt that this tiny little student was able to, like, throw me up against a wall. I was like, maybe I'm lighter than I think. Um, because she was little, and I was fluffy. Then I got a concussion. Um, and, you know, it was the first injury I'd ever gotten.

However, I will say this. It was that time we were making the transition to a trauma informed and responsive community. And that semester was tough, because we were all trying to get on the same page as adults. And once we all got in step...

In a space full of fighters, I never had another fight again. And if anything, I worry that students were overly [00:54:00] protective of the adults, and would, you know, want to step in too often to protect us. Um, so, again, I just think that if administrators and teachers and community leaders and those that, I'm so glad that we have somebody who's a superintendent here, um, and school boards.

Can sort of start communicating and create these environments. We'll see so many fewer Chances of those kinds of unsafe behaviors. I just I mean, I believe that at my core This might sound overly simplistic, but I ask a couple of questions to everybody involved. I ask it of the students parents or loving caregivers.

I ask it of the staff that was there I say what will help you feel safe who could help you feel safe How can we make this happen? And I just ask those questions because if I don't know I can't help or I assume That things would [00:55:00] help and then I do things poorly or I give Stacy a bunch of shit She don't want can she's like, well, you're just throwing more stuff at me to do and I'm like, I'm really sorry I didn't know what you needed to feel safe, so I just thought that this might help.

And then from there we try to think about how we can actually manage it and make it feasible and viable and sustainable. So oftentimes what the adult says is, I need more staff. So then I say, let's look at your master schedule and let's look at every single person in your building and how we can create a schedule of half hour increments in Ms.

Stacy's classroom. And that is the easiest, this sounds so funny, but in early childhood is well staffed. Um, it's the easiest there. And then the second easiest place is actually our high school campus, our campuses, because we have seven, five, a lot.

Um, and then our alternative high school campus because they have a lot of. And so we literally look at minute by minute and say, Okay, this is this person's extra planned time because of X, Y, Z. They're going to come in for 30 minutes because I know this is a really rough hour for you. And so how can we make that an [00:56:00] intentional time?

And we look at that too, so it's not just a warm body filling space in your classroom, but intentional and how, what co teaching models we're using, how we're really putting a sustained, plan around that student and then we do the same for the student in terms of how they respond to us and what would make you feel safe, who would make you feel safe, how can we make this happen and talking through that.

And we get the best response from parents because they feel included in the plan and they don't feel like it's this intentional punishment because they're already coming in feeling shamed and blamed because their student's the one that just punched in the baby maker three different times or whatever it was.

And so they really want to feel included and so how can we empower everyone to have some of that voice, choice, and autonomy within these plans that we make for people. How many of you just want to put Tracy in a box and take her back with you? Oh my goodness.

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