At Neshama Preschool, we are passionate about the emotional health of our students.
Each of our classrooms has a cozy peace area that is fully equipped with emotion puppets & rocks sharing techniques to foster self-regulation. These hands-on materials help children understand the different feelings and emotions that come visit their little bodies making it easier to soothe and solve. We also include a breathing ball, lotion for a hand massage, sensory brush, and relaxing fidgets. When we practice breathing and are in tune with our feelings and emotions during calm times, we will be more easily able to access our calming breath and have the appropriate language when we need it most.
The peace area or "safe space" is a place where children can choose to go as they experience and learn more about their first big emotions. It is the centerpiece of our self-regulation program.
Our Neshama team is fully trained in the Conscious Discipline program. Conscious Discipline is a social-emotional learning program. Designed by Dr. Becky Bailey, the program supports first teaching ourselves about self-control and self-regulation and then teaching children. It helps us see how we respond to upset feelings and understand our emotions, and how to regulate ourselves when we are triggered.
It also celebrates connection. We are the Neshama Preschool family, and we want the children to feel that. There are multiple ways we do that. During the morning, children are welcomed into the classroom choosing a hug, handshake, high five, or a thumbs up. During circle time, the children sing, "we are a school family" as they are holding hands. Everyone needs to feel that they are connected and that they are part of something in this world. Starting that during the child's most formative years when they are developing by leaps and bounds is so important.
Our families are part of our classroom. Each child has a family photo hanging in the classroom creating more feelings of love and connection within our classroom environment.
Another big component is creating a predictable and consistent environment. What does that look like? Visual routines are hung up around our classroom guiding the children on what is expected. A visual schedule, a handwashing routine, an arrival routine, and so much more. This creates each moment in the classroom as a teachable moment with clear and consistent expectations.
Click here to learn more about Conscious Discipline - Social and Emotional Learning