What Is Co-Regulation and What Does It Look Like in the Classroom?

A Different Approach to Classroom Management

  • How do we react when students don’t follow directions?
  • What moves do we make when the class is noisy and unfocused?
  • What do we do when getting through a lesson feels impossible?

What Is Co-Regulation and What Does it Look Like in the Classroom?

  • Being highly attuned and responsive to students’ holistic needs — proactively and in the moment
  • Providing scaffolds for things like attention, emotion management, and executive functions
  • Modeling and matching the type of engagement and energy required for students to participate in the learning and meet their goals
  • Keeping students physically and emotionally safe, which turns down the “fight, flight, or freeze” brain and allows the “open, engaged, learning” brain

Strategies for Creating a Co-regulating Classroom

  • Example: Using lighting as a cue — dimmer to bring the energy down, brighter to bring the energy up
  • Example: When a situation is escalating, keeping a quiet or moderate volume with a serious, calm, steady tone
  • Example: Getting on students’ eye level to balance power
  • Example: Naming the emotions students express as a way to show you are listening to or seeing them
  • Example: Remind students of available supports or strategies, when they might not be at their best

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