We need to teach our students to manage their threats now, so they are prepared as they grow into adults. They need years of practice! With so much anger and frustration in these past years, we need to encourage these young humans to manage threats and stressors.
We all experience our amygdala’s taking over as teachers or parents. It is important for us to listen to our bodies. This is an excellent opportunity to model how to react when our amygdala is fired. You can practice some of these strategies and try them with your students.
Mirror neutrons are real. :) What you do, your students will do. As a class or family, start some daily strategies. Please look at the handout for a full list of dopamine boosts you and your students can try in your home or classroom.
In summary, here are the steps for handling threats and using our tracker to help you and your students.
Step 1: Recognize the threats → Am I frustrated, bored, hungry, thirsty, tired or unsafe?
Step 2: What is the threat? → Write it down on the threat tracker
Basic Need — Fix it! Eat, drink some water, sleep (more on this in later posts)
Frustration — What type of frustration? Ruminating thoughts or just irritated?
Ruminating — Get your brain out of repeated thoughts by things like saying the ABC’s backward or doing a MadLibs or Suduko.
Irritation — Add dopamine like mindful breathing, exercise, or music
Boredom — help students make personal connections, give them a choice, and grab attention by presenting in exciting ways.
Step 3: Track and see what works and when using our Dopamine Boost or Bust Tracking Sheet.
I will teach my mom, you teach your students!
Happy brain boosting!