The Regulated Classroom:
“Bottom Up” Trauma-Informed Teaching©
Are you frustrated by the lack of improvement in student behavior despite your new or existing efforts with an evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum?
Does ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis), PBIS, or cognitive-behavioral approaches to addressing behavioral challenges not sit right with you?
Do you find that teachers and staff are overwhelmed with stress and it impacts their ability to teach effectively?
If any answered “yes” to any of the aforementioned questions, Welcome Home!
The Regulated Classroom: “Bottom Up” Trauma-Informed Teaching© is a new Tier 1 evidence-informed somatosensory approach to creating a safe and connected classroom environment. The approach helps educators operationalize an understanding of how the body’s stress response system, the autonomic nervous system (ANS), functions and impacts behavior. In particular, educators learn how physiological state impacts range of resilience (Levine, 2008) or window of tolerance (Siegel, 1999) in themselves and their students.
The Regulated Classroom© helps educators deepen self-awareness about stress activation in their bodies. The premise is that if educators experience an increased capacity for self-regulation, they are better equipped to co-regulate with hypo- or hyper-aroused students and re-regulate the collective. Educators experience their own stress reactions when they encounter student stress reactions. Sometimes the over or under activation of the teacher’s physiological state serves to heighten or dampen the collective state of the class. This dynamic phenomenon undermines the relational connection between educators and their students. Moreover, it may fuel vicarious trauma or burnout in an educator. The Regulated Classroom helps to diminish the likelihood and frequency of these occurrences.
Educators learn to strengthen their relationships with students and their capacity for self-regulation by sharing tools and practices with students as a means of collectively activating and settling the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This synchronized classroom experience makes way for social connection, cooperation, impulse control, and academic learning.
The Regulated Classroom© consists of somatosensory tools and four kinds of classroom practices that are incorporated into classroom routines as a means of stress regulation for educators and their students.
The four kinds of classroom practices are Connectors, Activators, Settlers, and Affirmations:
CONNECTORS are exercises that cultivate relationships in the classroom. They are rooted in principles of group development, the scientifically-validated benefits of play, and The PolyVagal Theory.
ACTIVATORS are collective rhythm-making exercises that energize the classroom environment within the range of resilience and are based in a somatosensory perspective of regulating brainstem functioning.
SETTLERS are exercises that calm the body’s stress response and create a peaceful classroom atmosphere.
AFFIRMATIONS are exercises that encourage reflection, compassion, and recognition for self and others.
Somatosensory refers to the body’s somatic senses that are part of our sensory system. The sensory system includes 8 “senses”— auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, proprioception, interoception, vestibular, and tactile. Somatosensory refers to what we’re experiencing on the inside and outside of our bodies. It constitutes our “felt sense.”
Toolkit with Guide
Somatosensory Toolkit provides a wide array of high quality sensory tools to assist with regulating the somatosensory needs of educators and their students. Contents of the toolkit include sensory tools and a description of their intended use and purpose.
The Regulated Classroom: “Bottom Up” Trauma-Informed Teaching is a somatosensory and Polyvagal-informed approach to creating safety and connection in the classroom. The guide introduces educators to the four core practices (Connectors, Activators, Settlers, Affirmations) and essential capacities for stress regulation in the classroom.
On-Site Professional Development