Saltwater Tides: October 2016
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For the golden corn
For the apples on the trees
For the golden butter
For honey from the bees
For fruits and nuts and berries
That grow along the way
For Father Sun and Mother Earth
We give our thanks today. 

Plenty of fun coming up in the next few months - see below for info on a
Hallowe'en Family Dance, a needle-felting workshop, a winter market, and more! 
November 15th: SALTWATER AGM. Please come!
Join us for the Saltwater School Annual General Meeting, held from 7:30-8:30pm at the Hemlock Schoolhouse. All are welcome and encouraged to attend! If you're interested in joining the board, please contact Marussia for more information here
Saltwater School will participate in the Mid Island Baby & Kids Market, Sunday November 13th from 10-4  at the Native Son's Hall in Courtenay. We will host a table providing information about our school to local families attending the market. We will also be hosting the concession this year! All proceeds from the concession sales will go to the Saltwater Parent Group, which in turn supports field trips and family events, the TAP program, and much more. We will need volunteers for this fun event - if you can help, please contact Marussia by email or in the school office! 
Self Regulation in the Classroom by Sarah Nolin

Many educators are finding that the inability to self regulate in a classroom setting is becoming an overwhelming source of frustration and stress for both students and teachers alike.  Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behaviour, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation.
All children learn to regulate their emotions through watching the adults in their life manage their own feelings and behaviours. Adults are therefore important models for their children in their day to day life. When children see parents and teachers effectively regulate their own emotions and actions, it helps them to learn how to manage their own feelings and behaviours.  By school age, children become more flexible and are better at regulating their own emotions and actions without the presence of an adult. When children learn to self-regulate they have stronger friendships and relationships with others, are more able to pay attention and learn new things and deal with the normal stresses and disappointments of daily life. 

Today, children are often burdened with an overwhelming amount of stress, causing the brain to burn excess energy. There is a growing body of work showing that when a child’s brain is overloaded, the prefrontal cortex or the rational part of the brain shuts off. The amygdala or the primal part of the brain lights up and the child moves into the more instinctual mode of fight-or-flight.  Resulting behaviours may appear internally as worry, anxiety, sadness, becoming easily upset, withdrawing from social situations, turning away from parent or teacher, or externally as tantrums, fighting with peers, not following an adult’s directions, hitting, spitting, and throwing self on the ground.  The continued stress and the ensuing behaviours have resulted in escalating numbers of anxiety disorders, depression, and behaviour problems - not to mention the seemingly endless cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) being diagnosed in children.

In the classroom, triggers may look like too much noise, too little sleep, illness, family or personal strife, stress over school work or lack of understanding, boredom etc.  Today educators are finding innovative ways to build self regulation into everyday learning. Teachers can facilitate a child’s understanding and control of one’s emotions simply by helping children label their emotions, identify what makes them worried, happy, scared or angry, and learn strategies they can use when they experience these particular emotions. By teaching children to label and identify emotions and emotional strategies, teachers are able to help children respond to their environment with their prefrontal cortex instead of their amygdala. This gives children the ability to override the automatic fearful or primal responses developed in the amygdala, leading to a decreased or more appropriate or rational reaction.

Simple classroom strategies include the addition of noise-reducing headphones, wiggle chairs or yoga balls, increased physical activity and movement or brain breaks. A popular analogy is likening your body to an engine; students work with their teacher to describe what their body/engine feels, looks and sounds like when it is running too slow, too fast and just right. Frequent check-ins to see 'how your engine is running” are helpful for students to get in tune with their own bodies and start to initiate their own self-regulating. Calm, alert and focused is the mantra of self-regulation. Waldorf schools have long been incorporating a pulse that is conducive to self regulation.  This is seen in the natural rhythm of the day; kinesthetic elements in main lessons, active circle time, refocusing clapping rhythms, meaningful break times and music, art and outdoor time blending seamlessly into the day.  The intentional mindfulness of Waldorf education imbues a calm that is essential to self regulation.  

At home, you can contribute to your child’s successful self regulation by modelling appropriate management of feelings and emotions, understanding and recognizing your child’s stressors, practicing emotional literacy and experimenting with self regulation strategies that can either fire up or calm down your child’s engine.  


Each class at Saltwater has a designated class parent - or two, if we're lucky! The class parent acts as a connection between the teacher and the rest of the parents, helping to communicate information, make arrangements for volunteers as needed for field trips, class events, and so on. Please feel free to talk to your class parent and see how they could use your support!
The class parents for the 2016/17 school year are:
Preschool: Lucie Hawesova, Jane Holland, Melissa Thiessen
Kindergarten: Sarah Milligan
Class 1:  Lucie Hawesova, Christine Laird
Class 2/3:  Sarah Milligan
Class 3/4:  TBA
Class 5/6: Christa Herrling, Sean Muir

Above: Students of the Saltwater School performing a wonderful Michaelmas play on September 30th. 
Do you have questions about general school things? Check out the PARENT HANDBOOK - the source of all the answers. Read it here!
Copyright © 2016 Comox Valley Waldorf School, All rights reserved.

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