I thought this school year was going to be the worst of my teaching career because I was getting a cohort of kids with reputations for being difficult and even violent.
Because of the Connection Practice, it turned out to be the best year ever.
I'm so proud that, at the end of this rough year of converting to distance learning, my class was the only one in the school that had 100% attendance.
Threat Assessment in Schools, a guide by the US Secret Service and Department of Education, calls connection the “critical emotional glue” and “a central component of a culture of safety and respect.”
Creating connection by combining empathy and insight is at the core of the Connection Practice Curriculum, which Kelsey demonstrates in the video. Integrating this practice into the school day takes about 15 minutes; it makes teachers’ jobs easier by improving behavior, preparing children for learning, creating more cooperation and teaching children how to handle conflict themselves.
Counselors can help troubled youth far more efficiently using Connection Practice Boards. After helping them in a one-to-one session, the student can learn to use the Connection Practice themselves. In this way, counselors can empower more youth faster.
In the video on the left, a guidance counselor helps a student identify her feelings and needs and access an insight to resolve a conflict.
The Connection Practice has helped me a lot, especially when it comes to quieting the students without shouting or threats. Achieving heart-brain coherence has become standard practice in my class; the students themselves ask to do it when I forget.
I was so surprised to see the effect this had on one student. He was aggressive and stirred up trouble continually with his classmates. By becoming coherent, his impulsivity has been dramatically reduced while his attention in class has improved. His progress has been so amazing that he now asks permission to lead coherence in front of the class.
- Maria, a 2nd grade teacher
The Connection Practice Curriculum meets American School Counselor Standards, creates greater harmony in classrooms and helps students succeed academically.
The Connection Practice Curriculum training includes Inner Wellness for Success (7 hrs) and a Curriculum Course (5 hrs).
The Connection Practice Curriculum materials:
The Connection Practice Curriculum includes six 30-minute lessons for use by teachers in class or guidance counselors in small groups.
10 instructional videos that make it easy for teachers to prepare the lessons and counselors to use the boards with troubled students
Additional Curriculum resources:
Using the practice daily creates emotional safety in class and ensures each student feels heard and knows they matter. It can be used prior to exams and throughout the day to resolve tensions or conflict.
Many students reported that they used the Connection Practice at home to resolve conflicts, to the great surprise of their parents. The Connection Practice can also be used to mediate conflicts between teachers, staff and parents.
For information about bringing the Connection Practice to your school, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers, administrators school counselors, and parents who don't want to teach the Curriculum, but want to learn the Connection Practice can take online courses. In this training, you will:
Connection Practice courses have been approved for college credit and for continuing education credit for educators.
The diagram below illustrates the steps for teaching the Connection Practice Curriculum to Children and Youth
The Connection Practice Curriculum can easily be incorporated into an after-school program, day camp or overnight camp. In just six lessons, the children learn a wellness habit for life.
I used it with a student who was quite distressed, sad, isolated, frustrated, and upset. He was transformed to peace and clarity in about five minutes using your steps. It was GREAT!!!! He was super relieved. He was able to identify his feelings and unmet need, went inside and got a near instant insight about how to move forward from here. What a gift!!!
- a Connection Practice Camp Counselor
Connection Practice coaches and trainers can be certified as Curriculum Instructors. They provide in-service training and coaching for teachers, guidance counselors, parents and other champions of youth. For more information, send an email to email@example.com.
Taking a Connection Practice course is a great way to support your children who are learning this wellness habit. If you are a parent, you can take Inner Wellness for Success that comes with Connection Practice Boards and Manual. Afterwards, you will know how to use it with your family.
The Connection Practice is a great way to model emotional self-regulation and self-care to your children. Integrating the practice into your family life will help your children grow up with more confidence, deal effectively with conflicts, and have greater access to helpful insights.
While your children will certainly benefit, so will you. This wellness habit will reduce stress, strengthen relationships, improve your productivity at work and enhance your well-being.
Dr. Davi Pakter explains how his family dynamic
was transformed by the Connection Practice.
Our founder, Rita Marie, teaches a parent how to achieve coherence and access an insight about her son's struggle to read.
At this community event in 2021, we taught the essence of the Connection Practice to 20 parents and community leaders.
This is Anabel, a “Connection Practice pro” at age 12.
The evening before midterms, she did feelings and needs on her own, then insight twice. She found such a sense of peace that she fell sound asleep on the second insight.
The Connection Practice can be incorporated into higher education programs such as communications, elementary or secondary education, psychology, leadership, management and many more.
For several years, Rita Marie taught the Connection Practice as a 40-hour intensive for credit at the United Nations University for Peace (UPeace), a graduate school for international leaders. The course was one of the most highly rated by UPeace students.
Rita Marie also presented the Connection Practice to rectors from thirty Latin American universities at INCAE (Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas), the “Harvard” of Latin America.
It has been offered to faculty at Collin College in Texas. All reported that they “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” that they were better equipped to acknowledge their feelings and needs. One professor reported, “The workshop helped me understand how to unpack student’s emotions and how to empathize.”
It has been offered for credit at Edgewood College and Vitterbo University in Wisconsin and Park College in Missouri.
The Connection Practice can also be used to mediate conflicts between staff, teachers, students, student groups/clubs and faculty associations.
All Connection Practice courses are approved worldwide for continuing education credits (Professional Education Development Units) through the University of the Pacific at $70 per credit hour.
For more information about a Connection Practice course, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Guidance Counselor teaches Feelings and Needs cards to students at Oakley Elementary School.
- Student at Oakley Elementary
after experiencing the Connection Practice
The Connection Practice has inspired two children’s books, which make it especially easy for children to learn the practice. Corey’s Peaceful Heart teaches children how to become coherent. Alma and Atman tells the story of a young girl resolving issues around the divorce of her parents after she learns the Connection Practice from a draft horse. Both books are available on Amazon.
In addition, a music CD by Sam Guarnaccia and Rita Marie Johnson has songs for each step of the Connection Practice. The CD is called “BePeace in Song” since it was made prior to the name change to the Connection Practice. See a video of the children’s choir performing these songs.