• Michelle and Becky
    Appreciation,  Body Awareness,  Calm,  Conscious Parenting,  Energy,  Nurturing

    Joy Juice

    At Living Wisdom, we use Conscious Discipline, the work of Dr. Becky Bailey, as a complementary tool in working with children. Two of our staff members attended a "Building Resilience in Classrooms" training with Dr. Becky Bailey this past October. Michelle Mall, our school secretary, was so inspired by the training that she's been sending out weekly emails to share...

  • Education for Life,  Experiential learning,  Nurturing,  Teachers,  Teaching Values

    Working with Conflict

    At the beginning of my teaching career, I often felt very worried about how students behaved toward each other. I put the expectation on myself to create perfectly behaved, well-mannered kids to show off how awesome my classroom is, as some sort of reflection of my teaching skills. As I’ve gained experience, I realize that it’s important to teach excellent behavior and manners, but it sometimes just doesn’t happen. Kids respond to each other in unexpected ways, often exploring boundaries. It is not a reflection of bad teaching or bad kids when conflicts occur. Rather, it is best to see these times as the most compelling teachable moments. Our kindergarten…

  • Calm,  Energy,  Nurturing,  Transitioning

    Read Alouds and Energy

    Reading aloud is a major part of Primary class time and I use picture books to spark interest in a new subject, to deepen understanding, or just to be silly. Lately, I’ve been exploring using read-alouds as a tool to shift energy in the classroom. One day, the students came in from a PE where there had been some conflict. Their hurt feelings carried over into the classroom and the endless he-said-she-said began as soon as they got in the room. One student curled up and wouldn’t say a thing except and occasional “no I didn’t!” at the top of her lungs. Communication had broken down, and aside from endless…

  • playdough
    Body Awareness,  Calm,  Music,  Nurturing,  Transitioning,  Water

    Calming Energy with Music

    Usha tells a story in Calm and Compassionate Children about a time that she chose to use music in the classroom to change energy, rather than talking and ordering students about. The students had come in from recess, many arguing and up in arms about something that had happened on the playground. This is a very familiar scene to most teachers, as often simple playground disagreements start to expand to more and more students until most of the students are involved in the dispute. Rather than go straight to talking, Usha suggested that they drink some water, and sit silently for 5 minutes while they drank and relaxed. She put…

  • playing with leaves
    Education for Life,  Nurturing,  Teaching Values

    The Story of “A Cucumber Seed”

    Where does the name “A Cucumber Seed” come from? It’s a story passed around in the Education for Life world, an oral tradition, you might say. And like most oral traditions, no one really knows where exactly it started. Usha claims Nitai first said this, but Nitai has no recollection of ever saying it, so we are left to focus instead on the message, rather than the bibliography. What is Education for Life about? It’s about teaching children how to be their truest, most powerful and best selves. Many schools and philosophies of education have a goal in mind. In these schools, the process of education is to train children to fulfill…