Day in the Life of a Prevention Educator part 2

Aaliyah was a Kindergarten student in one of the weekly classes I taught last year. She would sit front and center on the carpet with me — eyes glued to the pictures I brought and her hands pressed tightly in her lap.

I knew that Aaliyah was really absorbing all of the skills we were learning, but I didn’t fully understand her commitment to my lessons until I met her grandmother. Her grandmother, Sylvia, attended one of the parent activities that I led at the school. When I introduced myself she immediately knew who I was. “Ah, Ms. Berube,” she said. “Yes, I’ve heard lots about you.”

When I asked what she meant, Sylvia told me that any time she raised her voice or got very angry, Aaliyah would chime in. Aaliyah would let her know that she needed to “calm down” like Ms. Berube said to do. 5 year old Aaliyah would then proceed to demonstrate “belly breathing” and “counting backwards” to her grandmother until Sylvia calmed down. It was very rewarding for me to see Aaliyah not only using her new calming down skills, but also teaching others what she had learned!

-Aleza Berube, Guest Blogger
Aleza is a Prevention Educator with LifeWorks. The majority of her time is spent teaching elementary age children social & emotional skills (identifying feelings, how to calm down, and how to solve problems). Visit the Next Step page for more info on the program.

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4 thoughts on “Day in the Life of a Prevention Educator part 2

  1. What a wonderful story. You can tell a student truly absorbs what they are learning and finds it important when they utilize that knowledge outside the classroom.

    1. A very wonderful story, indeed! From the point of view of a former school social worker, who used the Next Step curriculum when it was called Second Step, it is inspiring and gratifying to hear about how effective the program has been, in particular for this kindergartener, and that Aleza is such an effective educator. As Jan said in her comment, it is also great that the school district has been supportive of this type of program. It really is rewarding to find out that one’s young students are carrying over what they have learned to their home environments.

  2. I think it’s great that the Austin School District promotes and provides for this type of program. Aleza sounds like a terrific teacher who seems very effective in the classroom.

    1. AISD are wonderful partners and are embracing this curriculum. This particular LifeWorks program is funded through a state grant. I agree that we are lucky to have educators like Aleza on our staff. Thanks for reading our blog!

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