I came across this exercies during the “Leadershp for Self-Reg School Certificate” course I took this Spring/Summer though the MEHRIT Centre.
The main purpose of this exercise (as I see it) is to lay the groundwork for building a strong connection between students and families and the educators working with them.
Much more effective than a single “All-About-Me” profile page, this technique provides families and students with a chance to not only approach student profiles from an asset-based lens, but also to speak about typical stress behaviours and restorative activities in a narrative format (brain science nerd moment – our brains learn best through story because it evokes emotions!)
Here is the letter that I penned to my son’s future teachers.
Hello, my name is Thomas.
I am inquisitive and creative. I love climbing, finding out how things work and building new things with materials I find lying aroud.
I will spend hours listening to audio books if you let me. Ask me anything about Harry Potter or the Very Nearly Honourable League of Pirates.
I’m looking forward to being back at school, but it may take me awhile to adjust to the new routines. I haven’t been away from my family in a long time. It’ll likley be strange for me to not having my sisters close by and I might feel a little lost without them.
If I trust you and you take the time to listen, I will talk with you for hours on end about funny things I’ve seen or give you detailed descriptions about working on boat engines and building kitchens this summer.
I have three older sisters whome I love more than anything in the world. I’m also very close with my grandparents who all live nearby.
We have two house rabbits named Ginger and Hoppity and my Nanna just got a new puppy named McGee that sometimes lives with us too.
In the winter, I like to play hockey (my dad is the coach) and skate on our outdoor rink and during the summer my whole family (including my grandparents) lives at our cottage. I am a little fish and will spend hours jumping in and out of the water. You should see me dive!
I am learning to self-regulate in an adaptive form. I crave being accepted by my friends and having good relationships with my teachers, but my feelings are easily hurt.
When I’m embarrassed or ashamed, I will often scrunch up my face and run away/hide or turn my back to you. If this happens, please give me the time and space I need to calm down. I always come around when I’m ready.
When I get too hungry or thirsty, I shut down. If I ask for a snack or a drink, please let me grab one before I get too dysregulated. Once I get past a certain point, it’s hard for me to get back on-line.
My mind runs at full speed. I’m aware of everything around me and drink it all in. When I’m nearing my fill, I’ll tune out to recharge myself.
This may look like me playing with a pencil, or pacing around the room. Please don’t call me out on this in front of my peers. Talk to me quietly (but not during recess), and together we can find a way to ensure this doesn’t interrupt those around me. My mum and dad are always happy to be a part of this conversation.
Pen and paper tasks drain me quickly and I’m just learning to see mistakes as a reason for celebration. As the youngest sibling, I feel embarrassed that my reading and writing skills aren’t yet at their level. If I shut down, please don’t continue to push. Just let mum and dad know and they’ll finish it with me at home.
I’m looking forward to getting to know you and hope that you’re excieted to get to know me.
We’re going to have a great year.