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Childhood Services in Final Week of School 'Coaching Project'


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University Childhood Services staff is visiting schools in Springdale, Russellville, and Little Rock for the final week of the 2014-2015 Coaching Project.  Associates Angela Fraley and Nicole Mercer will observe and coach teachers alongside the A-State "Conscious Discipline" team. 

During the school year, A-State Childhood Services staff has provided support to these teachers in their efforts to provide social-emotional guidance to children. Teachers participating in the Coaching Project open their classrooms as observation sites for other teachers wishing to implement Conscious Discipline.

All teachers participating in the Coaching Project attended a six-day Conscious Discipline training, facilitated by Arkansas State University and provided through a grant funded by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education.  

Since the first session in 2010, 2,177 teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrative staff from across the state have completed the training. The Coaching Project, also funded by DHS, provides additional support to teachers as they make changes to their classrooms and guidance skills. 

Unlike many other rewards-based strategies, Conscious Discipline is relationship-based and provides life-long communication and self-regulation skills.  Research has shown that self-regulation skills are directly linked to academic achievement, according to Melissa Taylor, program coordinator at A-State.

Susie Norys, a pre-K teacher at Monitor Elementary in Springdale, said, “The problem is not the problem; it’s my attitude that is the problem, so ultimately, change begins with me.”  She also credited the Coaching Project for giving her “the courage to keep trying.”  

Michele Todd, who has taught first grade for 28 years and is a teacher at Center Valley Elementary in Russellville, said,  “I always thought one of my strengths was my ability to manage a classroom and keep students engaged.   When I went through the training, I realized that the students in my classroom were well behaved, not because they respected me, but because they feared me.  Now, I am proud to say that my classroom management is due to the love and connections we have formed and the students who feel safe enough to take risks and be a connected part of our class family.”

Childhood Services, a community service outreach unit of the College of Education and Behavioral Science, is charged with meeting the specialized professional development needs of early educators and staff of youth development programs.  Current projects serve licensed early education facilities and youth development programs statewide.

For more details, one may contact Taylor, mtaylor@astate.edu or (870) 972-3055.

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Teacher and student
Teacher and student in Coaching Project