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Teaching regulation with Conscious Discipline

Educators from around Douglas County joined together this month to learn how to improve their relationships with students in ways that address challenging behaviors in the classroom.

For the third year in a row, Roseburg Public Schools invited Conscious Discipline Master Trainer Kim Hughes to provide training opportunities for district staff. Conscious Discipline practices, which involve trauma-informed social and emotional learning, have been implemented throughout the district over the past several years. Member of the district’s Elementary School Conscious Discipline Action Teams also received coaching from Hughes.

This month’s training, held at the Danny Lang Teaching, Learning & Event Center at Umpqua Community College, was made possible through Ford Family Foundation innovation grant funds, and this year, the district was able to invite other districts and organizations to participate. About 90 people attended each day of training.

Sam Moore, Roseburg Public Schools’ Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports coach, said it’s difficult for rural districts to retain high-caliber training such as this, and Roseburg wanted to share the opportunity.

“We know many other districts and organizations in our county are, like us, either doing work or needing information on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and trauma, and many are using Conscious Discipline (or wanting to!) in their work with children who are impacted by those things,” she said.

Staff members from Riddle, South Umpqua, Yoncalla and Sutherlin school districts attended the training, as well as employees from the Boys and Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley, Head Start and substitutes from Douglas Education Service District.


Conscious Discipline Master Trainer Kim Hughes speaks to educators.

Dawn Parker, Green Elementary School behavior and instruction support specialist, said as students’ behavioral challenges have increased, educators are looking for better strategies.

“We just need to change our toolbox … Reinforcing building those relationships with kids,” she said. “You’re not going to change behavior if you don’t have a relationship with the kids.”

Fullerton IV Elementary Learning Specialist Kristen Coopride said she was glad to have the chance to dive deeper into the concepts of Conscious Discipline.

“It looks at behavior in a new way. Instead of doing lots of punishments and rewards, it’s talking about why kids are behaving in certain ways, how do we teach them the skills that they’re lacking,” she said.

Moore said Conscious Discipline concepts help adults improve their relationships and interactions with students by improving their own social and emotional behavior. That in turn helps improve their classroom and school climates.

“When school is a safe place for children where adults are calm and trusted, children are better able to relax, learn to self-regulate their anxiety, impulsivity and other behaviors and are able to increase their personal and academic success,” she said.

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