Lauren Marcoux, third-grade teacher at North Saginaw Charter Academy, is passionate about Conscious Discipline and recently went on The Teachers’ Lounge, NHA’s podcast by teachers, for teachers, to discuss it.
Dive into how Ms. Marcoux implements this philosophy in her classroom by listening to her episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Ms. Marcoux shared that Conscious Discipline was founded by Dr. Becky Bailey as an approach to teaching kids social, emotional, and communication skills, which help students with self-regulation.
She first learned about Conscious Discipline during trainings she took when she taught preschool, and since then has started practicing mindfulness with her students. She encourages them to practice breathing techniques to help with self-regulation, including a group breath exercise during their Brain Smart Start in the mornings. Throughout the day, she also models and encourages students to breathe during stressful times.
During the morning Brain Smart Starts, her class breathes together, unites as a class by singing a song or chant, then they connect by pointing to each other and wishing them well. They follow it up with a pledge where they promise to treat one another with respect, and she usually infuses the Moral Focus virtue of the month, too.
Her class also practices Conscious Discipline throughout the day by using their “big voice” to solve problems with one another and communicate. Ms. Marcoux uses positive choices with her students who are struggling, and she even offers a safe place in her room where students who are having a hard time regulating can go until they’re ready to rejoin class.
“All of these things benefit my students because it helps them stay in the ‘executive state’ of the brain, where they can solve problems, make decisions, communicate appropriately with one another, and be ready to learn,” said Ms. Marcoux.
She also shared a quote she found on the Conscious Discipline Instagram account, which she believes sums up the importance of Conscious Discipline:
“Traditional discipline: It is possible to control others. Conscious Discipline: Controlling and changing ourselves is possible and has a profound impact on others. #iHeartCD”
Keep up the excellent work, Lauren!
About North Saginaw Charter Academy
North Saginaw Charter Academy, a school in Saginaw, Michigan, is a partner school in the National Heritage Academies network of over 90 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.