Taupo Connected Teachers

This was our 5th meet up and was exciting, inspiring and filled with great opportunities, new connections and exciting ideas to move forward with.

I wonder how I can get more teachers going to this day, at the moment we seem to have mostly school leaders and I often hear them say it is hard to get others to take on board the digital opportunities that they can share with them.

I Geeked out on Neuro Science

Unbelievable, I actually did geek out on Neuro Science. I didn’t think it possible, me and science. The brain is actually our central processing unit and when Nathan Mikaere Wallis talks about it you can’t help but get swept up by his enthusiasm for the brain and children.
One of his key messages was that the social and emotional aspects of a students brain needs to be aligned before you can affect the cognitive aspect. From the age of 0 to 3 is the most vulnerable years for brain development which sets the individual up for a good adult life. A damaged brain cannot be fixed unless there is major intervention.
The frontal cortex (the higher intelligence) is the last part of the brain to develop approximately between ages of 18 and 24 for girls and 22 and 32 for boys.
Twins need to be communicated to as individuals not as one unit. Give both the same or similar instructions
 The four brains:
1 survival brain (brainstem) heart rate, flight, fight, freeze.
2 movement brain mid-brain coordination and movement
3 emotional brain (limbic system) emotional response approximately 2 years( aka mammal brain).
4 frontal cortex ( cortical) empathy, controlling yourself, literacy.
Perry’s Neurosequential Model.
More free play in early childhood will lead to good outcomes. Preparing for school should not be priority.
Meeting the needs of our students now should be our priority not preparing them for high school,
CATS affects the plasticity required to learn new things
Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco Sugar
Relationship between brain stem, and frontal cortex. Survival (brain stem) is a number one priority it is the prime directive for life. The brain stem will always takeover if threatened – loud noises, fear of spiders etc
To really be using your cortex, your brain-stem needs to be calm.
When in survival mode stop and take a few breaths to allow the frontal cortex to take over.
Anything you do to relax your brain stem allows you to access your brain-stem.
The teacher who keeps you calm the most, you will learn from the most.
The teacher who helps you feel safe and nurtured will help you learn, they will balance the scales of the frontal cortex and the brain stem where learning is enabled.
Brain.                                                   Needs
Cortical.                   ->                               Learning
Limbic.                     ->                     Emotional engagement
Midbrain.                  ->                           Movement
Brainstem.                ->                                Safety
Two main reasons why we have diligent teenagers – Government funded research. (I will acknowledge the source when I receive his notes.
1.We are punitive culture
2. We put academic before social and emotional
Between the age of 0 and 3 babies are data gathering and this period is when they are most effected by trauma.
How to calm and heal the brainstem 
– dyadic relationship – attachment- interaction- unconditional love
– provide a relationship like your would a new born infant – no consequences, just listen
– primary teacher –  the student stays with the teacher they are first put with. Ultimately 3 years plus
Learning process is relationship supported (overwhelming research on this) students need to stay with their teacher for as long as possible.
Safety – the brain-stem
Needs –
Predictability. Routine predictability is about 10% important, Relationship predictability 90% important
Sensory pathways
Water and kai
Wairakei’s ‘Steaming into School’ supports the transition into school because it helps calm the brain-stem by allowing predictability of the school environment while student’s are still with their parents.
Movement – mid brain
Rhythmic patterning
Movement autonomy
Corpus callosum
Emotion – Limpic system:
Needs – 
Self esteem
Naming emotions
Paralimbic system
Executive functioning – Frontal cortex
Consequence logic
Self regulation
Cognitive training
Inhibitory control
Working memory
The top Executive functions
Self control
Cognitive flexibility
Working memory
To develop self control talk to the frontal cortex establish eye contact and explain the consequences of their lack of self control.
Violence begets violence, timeout doesn’t work because you are not developing self control you develop a student who needs external control. A passive self manager!
Self control is the number one executive function.
Lots to think about it here, the ultimate goal is to pleasure the Brain-stem. Now that sounds easy but doesn’t seem like teaching to me but that can’t happen unless we have a calm brain.
Go out there and love some brains, unconditionally, to impact on students executive functions.
Please note: these are the notes from my session , all mistakes are my own.