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Teaching Children About Change

By: Mary Kathryn Craft

As much as children thrive and crave routine, there can be a downside to repetitive curriculum for some students. Just as a habit can bring you grounding and stability, that experience can lose its grounding as you grow and fluctuate as a human. I like to think of change through the seasonal experience, your external environment will change and that will impact your internal experience. You introduce new coping strategies or habits to counter the shift. Eventually you can build up a tolerance or baseline for the new experience you have introduced. Shifting your strategy can engage neuroplasticity (adaptive, functional changes to the brain) and disregulate your nervous system through subtle, safe and intentional approaches.  Below are a few ways I like to mix things up in class as a secure way to introduce change to children.

  1. Change the orientation of the mats & where you teach from.

  2. Challenge students to sit by someone or in a space that is unfamiliar.

  3. Communicate with students that there will be changes or different experiences.

  4. Create new stories or songs for class.

  5. Validate that change is hard and its okay to struggle with new experiences.

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