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.