Opening up the room at 10:20.

Note to listeners-- I opened it too early. The room didn't need to be open till 10:30. Extra recording time here. Took out the first 10 minutes.

I have also spent 32 years as a martial arts teacher. And since 2011, I've been the communications director for the Breakthrough Men's Community, a nonprofit agency that's dedicated to healing, recovery, and support. It was through my experience at Breakthrough that I came to do these trainings.

In 2018, Dr. Richard Schwartz, the developer of the Internal Family Systems therapeutic model, found out about the work that I was doing embedding the IFS principles into my classroom and he asked that I team up with members of his foundation to explore the possibility of spreading these concepts into classrooms across the nation. So since 2018, I've been working with the team and we've been doing this across the nation. Things are really taking off. And I couldn't be happier to be what Dr. Schwartz calls a "hope merchant." So again, thank all of you for taking a chance on hope.

With that, I'd like to temper today's expectations just a tiny bit by telling you an obvious truth and a small secret. So we're all here under the strangest of times. I mean, look at what we're experiencing just right now. How many of us did something like this five years ago? And we're trying our level best to do a good job within a system that is challenging enough on its best days. And the truth is that you, I, or any other educators in the world are going to be carrying a massive set of burdens right now that no one person can possibly lift alone.

And by that, I explicitly mean that no one can be perfect under these circumstances. All of us-- educators or students-- will be simultaneously worried about one another, our own family's education, the future of the country, our current or future employability, paying the bills, the health of our loved ones, the fires, the air, the planet, and 1,000 other not-so-little things. This, I will say confidently, is too much stress for anyone to bear alone.

And now here's the little secret. When I'm in the classroom, I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to be perfect because I don't carry this alone. And in fact, my students don't have to be perfect, either. We don't have to because we've built community inside the classroom and we support each other when things are challenging.

I want you to imagine that. I'll describe my students in a minute, but I'll just say this-- I work with a room full of, let's call them students of promise, who would scare the pants off most educators. And we've built a community that supports one another so we don't have to carry impossible burdens on our own. So that's a little clue about where we're heading with today's presentation. And before we go any further, let me pose some rhetorical questions to you.

So these are the four big ideas of the day. Most of what drives us sits below the surface. Most good and bad intentions-- or excuse me, most good and bad behaviors are actually driven by the best of intentions. Seems like a really contrary kind of idea. By responding to the underlying need, it is possible to interrupt the often counterproductive behavioral loop. So if I go straight at the need that's being exemplified by the behavior, I can interrupt the loop that the mind gets stuck in. The last piece is the locus, our target area. I'm not talking about who you think I am.

So here are the four questions. What if I told you that most people are unaware of the deeper motivations that lie behind the majority of their surface behaviors? So most of us don't know why we do what we do, other than a very shallow, surface level awareness. Our deeper motivations are like very buried.

And what if I told you that most-- most-- of what we call good behavior or bad behavior is actually driven from the same source with exactly the same goal? Though that goal is actually well-intentioned, both of these two adaptive patterns keep us stuck in a kind of behavioral loop that is actually quite hard to pull ourselves out of. Think of what you do at the end of a stressful day. That behavior is well-intentioned, but is it healthy and does it let you thrive?

Or think of what you do when you've had a conflict with someone and you keep replaying the mechanisms-- excuse me, you keep replaying the tapes inside your head. These loops, both of them, one looks kind of benign or even positive, and then the other one looks kind of excruciating. They're both about survival. They're both survival mechanisms and they're not about thriving. When compressed under extreme conditions, they can actually be very dangerous it's curious to note that these behaviors, both of them, rarely resolve the underlying need that created them. So my good and bad behaviors that I'm out there exemplifying each day rarely address the need that underlies them.

So the third idea, what if I told you that by understanding the elements within this internal system, you could interrupt that normally cascading loop people get trapped in? I want you to be seeing your students here at this point. And think of the loops they get trapped in their mind. And which in the end, will often provide-- prove to be quite devastating.

In the classroom, it can be that 15-second window where things get out of hand and an escalation begins. And we will often lose the student at that moment. It's a little tiny 15-second window where something embarrassing or something shameful pops up and boom. We know we're not going to get them back. It's a bad judgment, a bad decision, a bad reaction, and then we lose somebody. But if you know how to connect with the underlying need, you can address most situations in an open, direct, and compassionate manner ahead of time so that the fuse never even gets lit.

And number four, I'm not really talking about your students. I'm really talking about the educators within the system. We bring our own stories with us to the job and we get caught in our own loops. And in the end, we're unable to be responsive to the needs of the human beings that are standing right in front of us.

It works like this. If any of you know anything at all about family therapy, when the family shows up to the therapist's office and says, if we could only get little Johnny to behave, our lives would be so much better. All of our problems would be fixed. You know that the therapist is going to look at them and say, yeah, sorry, man. It's never the kids. It's always about parents. So you want to deal with the parental figures if you want to have real impact on the system.

In this instance, if we wanted to have an impact on the system, we have to deal with the educators before we ever get to the students. As we say in my classroom, if you want to change the world, change your community first. If you want to change your community, change your home first. If you want to change your home, change yourself first. So as teachers, if you want to change your class.

And finally, I'll say this to wrap up this part. A lot of our motivational techniques don't work with our students. If you've ever noticed that, that we try all these motivational techniques with our students, but we still can't get them to push themselves across that line. Well part of the reason that doesn't work is because we're secretly trying to get them to meet our needs instead of their own. They sense that the story-- the teacher's story is driving the experience and their own stories become progressively less important as they go on. They sense that they are no longer in the central part of their own story.

We're going to start with a little bit of the why this is important. And this is taken from the census and world population review. And it's about my region and my classroom specifically, but I use the slide to make a point about impossibility. With these numbers, a person can easily get overwhelmed by the scale of the need. And I'm going to break this down for you guys a little bit. This is the adult population in the city of Salinas. We've got about 108,000 adults there. And the two middle numbers don't really have nearly as much bearing on the case as we do for that bottom number. Of 108,000 adults, we have more than 30,000 that have no diploma.

So with a number like that-- I mean, that's incredible. That's more than one in four people don't have a diploma. It's super easy to get overwhelmed by that number and think, oh my God, how are we ever going to make a dent in this thing? But it's not our job to be superheroes. It's much more realistic and much more humble than that. It's our job-- it's always our job-- to catch the one person who is standing in front of us right now. We block out the entire world and any delusions of grandeur we might carry about ourselves. We stop saying, it's going to land on my shoulders alone. I'm not getting any help from my boss, I'm not getting any help from my coworkers. Da, da, da, da, da. We push that all to the side and instead we stay present and connected, and we listen to the needs of the one student who's looking at us at this moment.

I'm going to take a second to dive a little deeper with this idea. Many times, that feeling of being overwhelmed by a task that seems insurmountable is exactly what our students are experiencing, too. They're overwhelmed by something that seems insurmountable. It's my belief that if we can listen to ourselves and to what we might be really asking for beneath the surface of that overwhelm, we might be able to spot similar needs within our students. Said a different way, when I'm overwhelmed by the size of a task, what am I really saying about myself? What are my beliefs about my skills, my abilities, my level of empowerment? And most importantly, what am I saying about my self-worth if I fail?

As I said, teachers have their own cascading internal loops that are driving their behaviors. And those loops, though well-intentioned, can make doing our jobs much, much harder. If I think I can barely make a dent in the numbers, or that my efforts won't help anyone, or that one student is just too much for me, or worse-- this is the one that's the really crazy one-- I can do it all. I could just sacrifice my life on the altar of education. You can imagine how long I'm going to be able to do the work before burnout sets in. So you can see that by looking more deeply at our own internal systems, we find that we can be more sensitive and more responsive to what might be going on with our students when it comes time to motivate them.

So this is the scale of the challenge that I face. And you might face something similar in your own work. You're all in adult ed, so you know that there are thousands of crazy factors that make our jobs insanely difficult. We run into impossible every single day. So how do you handle it? I'd say you handle those seemingly impossible tasks the same way you'd eat an elephant. Now you know how you do that, right? You eat an elephant one bite at a time. You don't focus on how large the task is, you focus on the bite that's right in front of you. You take that single bite, and whenever possible, you don't eat alone.

So that's our task. To catch the one student who might have dropped from our class had we not taken the time to reach out, to ask and listen, and then connect. And we don't eat that elephant alone. Think of how brave we are asking our students to be, how vulnerable we're asking them to be when we ask them to raise their hands and ask for help. We ask them to ask for help. Do we ever ask for help? Do we ever raise our hands and say, hey, this is what my need is?

So this is my content area. You can see we do math, English composition, science, social studies, lit. It's a lecture-based direct instruction. We do not do study hall style. I'm on the floor yakking at people all day long. And in this case, I'm on my chair in a digital world yakking to people all day long. We do managed entry with open exit and we have attendance requirements. So please bear in mind when you see the top of the list and you see that math is on there, what I'm really talking about is that we go from whole numbers to algebra two in about 12 months.

I keep this slide here for two reasons that are not necessarily obvious. Number one, you can see that the material that I'm introducing today can be applied in almost any curriculum across the board. And number two, there are some boundaries around behavior. Unlike a lot of GED teachers, I lecture directly. That's just one of many boundaries around my own behavior. And for my students, there are attendance requirements that I have established that work as boundaries around their behavior. So that's a little clue that we're not just all free form and groovy.

Structure is terribly important to the learning experience, not just for the brain to make meaning, but for the heart to build trust as well. Trust aroused the central nervous system to settle down while the patterns allow the brain to make connections. Being a 30-year-plus martial artist, you can imagine that I'm a big fan of practice making perfect, but we can't practice if we don't have some structure. Structure's at the heart of discipline, but trust me when I say this-- traditional discipline is not at all what I'm talking about. We don't go for the old fashioned punitive approach to discipline in my class because we never need to. I will explain that later on. It was improbable and I'm going to explain who I'm working with.

So this is the data for my classroom, and it fluctuates year-by-year, so please don't assume that it's burned in stone. If you guys know anything about adult ed from all your years of experience in it, you know that it's always just chaos. There's just so much chaos in terms of the numbers. So this is a rough estimate. The first of the red items is there for a reason. It's to show you that nothing can be judged by its appearance. I often have university graduates from other countries that are in my classroom. Not everybody in my room is somebody who has dropped out of school.

And the second red item is to show that not everyone is there by choice. So you can imagine what it means to have 10% of your population there mandated, either by the courts, the county, employer, or somebody in their lives. It's not always stated at the time of orientation when they come in to see me, but over time, my students feel comfortable and they feel accepted, so they self identify. So yeah, not everybody's in the room because they want to be.

So I have multi-level, multi-lingual, complex diagnoses, complex trauma, and complex lives. When I say multi-level, I mean the reading level ranges from third grade to college, math level ranges from second grade to college. And remember we go from whole numbers to algebra two with folks who are starting at a second grade level. We also have survivors of horrifyingly trama. The most unbelievable kind of trauma that you can imagine. In terms of diagnoses, it is a normal Monday to walk into the classroom and to see either blindness, or deafness, or spina bifida, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, stage four cancer, cystic fibrosis, traumatic brain injury-- either from violence, or from a work accident, or something else. Those are some of the health conditions.

In terms of other issues, we have gang members, ex-cons, folks waiting on sentencing, people who are dealing with addiction, people who aren't dealing with their addiction. We have multiple health issues, like bipolar disorder-- mental health issues, excuse me. Bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia. We have learning disabilities, like dyslexia, dyscalculia, and so, so many people on the autism spectrum. We also deal with homelessness, unemployment, and immigration issues like you wouldn't believe, while serving an age range that goes from 18 to 80. And it's in this room that we make a community.

I'll give you guys just one example. I got an email the other day from one of my favorite graduates, who is now in college after drifting in and out of the system for several years. Time in and out of incarceration. He sent me an email with one of those charming math mysteries that sort of magically produce a person's birth year after just a few calculations. And he said to me that he thinks that it proves that math is divine. This is coming from somebody who absolutely hated math upon entry into my class. So big success, right? High school dropout, got locked up so many times, he's now clean and he's in college.

Then came two more separate, short emails, just a couple of lines. In the first he wrote, did you ever imagine that you could have a Norteño gang member and a Sureño gang member in your class, and they could become the most very best friends because they met in your class? That's the first email. And in the second he wrote, D is from-- and then he names the barrio. And he says, I'm from-- and then he names his barrio. And he says, because of you, because of your class, we became brothers until death. This is proof that math is divine. So I want you to just hold that anecdote in mind and let's do a little data mining to suss out what it really means to put connection in the center of our world.

So I saw a hand go up for a question. Let me see if I can click this and find out what's going on.

Tim, I don't see a hand up. So if someone did have a question, they could put it in the chat, as well. And I'll bring it to your attention.

OK, great. Thank you.

All right. So here's what we're really up against in my classroom. And this is going to sound extreme, but I'm really doing this for a reason. I'm not sure how many of you know about the ACEs survey, but ACEs stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. You can see them up on the screen. Those are the 10 questions that they ask. And what they have discovered is that 7 out of 10 major diseases directly correspond to the number of ACEs that you have. There's a 20-year difference in life expectancy. The National Institute of Justice raises the chances of juvenile arrest by 59%.

In terms of breaking the cycle, ACEs produce epigenetic markers that influence health outcomes across three generations. So if grandma had ACEs while she was young-- particularly while she's pregnant, that's really the biggest thing, particularly while she's pregnant-- then her daughter, who's in her belly and already has all the eggs of the third generation inside her little belly, is going to be affected by the drama that the grand-- the trauma that the grandmother experiences. The mother will then have an epigenetic reaction to it that will be produced in her daughter. So three generations off of trauma. When we do this work well, we're thinking about the future. We're not just thinking about right now.

One major point that we address in my larger 12-hour workshops concerns how trauma affects brain structure. There will be certain thoughts that cannot be had until the neural pathways are built. And if the brain has devoted energy to survival mechanisms, then the finer points of geometry, mitosis, and iambic pentameter have nowhere to land. It's not just that your students can't pay attention, it's that there is no neural pathway in certain sections of the mind that allow the ideas that you're sharing to connect. So when we say in one ear and out the other, it is very legitimate to be perceiving that way. So part of what we're doing is building brain. We actually build alternative neural pathways that then support an overall healthier system.

This ACEs data is, of course, influenced by the type of cultural prism under which it was constructed. And the data actually changes when we modify the questions to include a different cultural perspective. So the questions that they use, they say prison when they ask the question, how many of your-- did you ever have a family member who was sent to prison? But if we flip that and we say-- because people are going to be locked in county sometimes for years of their lives-- so we switch that vocabulary and we say, were they in prison, were they in jail, were they in juvenile hall, were they locked up by ICE, were they kidnapped, either politically or personally? Then my numbers in my classroom go way up above the 31% that you see on the screen there.

When we expand addiction to include any kind-- alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, work, religion, all of those types of addictions that a person can submerge themselves as a way to deal with an impossible reality, then the number goes up. When we add migration experiences that cause losses of primary relationships, how many of your students have immigrated, and whom did they have to leave behind, what did they have to leave behind?

If we add homelessness to this mix, when we add the question of time-- how many times did the trauma happen to you? Or when we stretch the age limit out to 20 years old instead of 18. It's almost unbearable to consider how much trauma our students are enduring. Many will actually lose their lives to this. This is present every day in our schools and to ignore it is to say-- or to say that it's too large to take on is to abandon our students in the time of their deepest need and most profound powerlessness.

It's important to say something about trauma here. You can see that they're capturing some things that are prominent and others that are not as obvious. The work that we're going to be doing is going to bring us right up against both. In the classroom, we'll bump up against both. Really dramatic trauma issues, those things that are a little bit more under the radar. So I will see students dysregulate in my classroom from the triggered memory of shame and educational abandonment. Almost as intensely as they might dysregulate from the triggered memory of physical abuse. Excuse me.

So if you've ever experienced a trauma trigger in yourself or someone else, you've watched somebody else experience, you can imagine how hard it is to get the brain back online. So in my class, we don't run from this. We don't deny it, and we don't demand that anyone just get over it and go back to work. We never do that. We say that there's no such way-- no such thing as getting over it. There's getting through it. And healing ourselves to the point-- and this is the key part, this is one of the real big skills that we do in class-- that we can integrate the feelings and stay present in our bodies, and then move forward in our lives with that felt sense of our own worth and goodness in spite of what happened.

This is important because what our students have experienced will be preserved in their bodies in such a way that it will come to the surface and lead to dysregulation. What we don't heal, we deal. So in class, we learn to deal with things. We get comfortable with the discomfort. That's a key idea-- we get comfortable with the discomfort. As one of my students said, rather than running from, or denying, or distracting, we learn to ride the lightning of our feelings. And I thought, that's a fabulous phrase, I'm going to steal that.

So there's another point here. What puts people in my room is the after-effect of the trauma. It's not the difficulty of the work. What passes for ADHD is often-- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-- is often the fact that most folks can't bear to live in their own bodies. Most of my folks. The voltage is so permanently high that they are already dysregulated when they get to school. Why would we try to teach them English, or algebra, or anything else without first clearing the system to the best of our abilities. And the funny thing is, the clearing of the system is not this big gigantic event. It's actually a very simple thing that we do in the class on a regular basis, and everybody settles, and we move on with the day.

Finally, we usually define trauma in a familiar community context. How high would our numbers go if we considered the abuse, neglect that comes as the toll of systemic oppression? What does it mean when you are the person that the country hates? Where's your safe haven? I'd hope that one safe haven is the classroom.

So again, what makes the math hard is not the math itself. And to leave these roadblocks to learning untended undermines everyone's learning experience. And all my students are better students because we have compassionately attended these issues to the best of our abilities in the classroom the moment they arise. It's not about doing therapy. In fact that boundary is super, super well-defined. I have a whole set of resources that I refer out to for my folks. It's about letting people know that they know they matter no matter what. No matter the background, the history, or their record, frankly, they are welcomed, embraced, and treated like they matter. And I do this, not because I'm teaching them math. I do it because I'm teaching their soul. That's the thing that I'm after.

So these are the ACEs in my room. Students who drop out or are kicked out of school, end up in my class, have an average of somewhere around 7 out of 10 ACEs. From that list, my students average 7 out of 10. Can you imagine what it's like to have lived through 10 ACEs? What is your world like if you've lived through 10 ACEs? And what is it like to be asked to sit in your own skin when your heart has been broken that many times?

You may not know it, but I guarantee you, even if you're teaching advanced English in ESL program, or you're teaching something in the parent ed department, and you've got these fabulous parents who are doing really good things with their kids, I guarantee you that you've had these folks in your room. You may not have had as many as I have every single Monday, but you've had them. And I'm just going to ask that you start looking at life with a slightly different set of eyes.

A few years ago, I read the book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and the author was explaining that we have exactly the same hands, with exactly the same muscles, making exactly the same gestures as Da Vinci, and Michelangelo, and Frida Kahlo. We have exactly the same hands and exactly the same muscles doing exactly the same thing. How come our artwork doesn't look like their artwork?

Part of the reason is we haven't learned how to see. We haven't learned how to see the relationship between-- the gap between the eyes. The corner of the eye to the top of the ear, the width of the nose is exactly one eye space apart. We don't see the relationship between these items, and so we instead project our own imagination into there. We draw what we think we see instead of what we see. So what I want to encourage you guys to do is change the way you see your students. I'm going to ask that you start to see them like artists would see. And not to be overwhelmed by the scale of the task. You're going to eat an elephant, but I got to tell you, it works. I've got 1,000 plus graduates. And that's not because of me, personally. It's because of the way this material works. So I want you to have faith in that.

So this is a little chart that shows you that their enjoyment of school crashes, in the blue line, as the orange line starts to accelerate-- the year of their difficulties. That's the difficulties in the classroom, not the difficulties in life. And the year of the trauma is actually higher in their earlier years than it is in their later years, but it's persistent throughout. Just so that you'll know. Their drop year starts in the fifth grade and it ramps up. So they're even dropping with 15 minutes to go before they graduate.

This is their highest arc, this stretch right here. Which if you're in my room, you know that 99% of my students have dropped out between the end of their freshman year of high school and the second semester of their junior-- excuse me, sophomore year. That's like the core of my room. So difficulties increase, and the traumas actually decrease over time. But what's going on is that more stuff is stored in the body and there's less support. So the students don't give up until late. That means they have years of trying their best to be the good student. And there's actually an issue with this that we address in the classroom, where I have to counsel them to not be that good student because it's a response to distress in many cases and it will re-trigger them. We have to be able to see life a little bit more clearly.

But the real issue is that they don't have anyone showing up for them in a way that matches the scale of their need. They drop because of despair, not because of academics. But what would happen if we could eliminate the impact of this? And it's really relational. If we establish that one concerned, caring, individual relationship, that becomes a thing upon which people can hang their hat and then look for parallel experiences that match that.

So we change the narrative in my class. These are-- excuse me, the statistics. And again, this is adult ed, so you guys know how hard it is to pull statistics out of the field. It's really super challenging. California pass rate is 81%. US pass rate on GED is 79%. My students pass at a rate of 91%. So statistically significant outcomes. Comparable graduation rates. 14% on average, regional's about 12%, we're doing 30% graduation rate. So it's nitty gritty stuff, guys. It's really practical. And it's down and dirty. It's thing that we say we're all about in education is getting people educated as well as graduated, and they're both in this system.

A confession that I have to make, though, is that when I first started the job years ago, I still had a really high graduation rate back in the day, but the problem was I'd turn on the TV and I'd see my students getting stuck into the back of a cop car on the evening news. Or I'd open up a newspaper and I'd read about them in the headlines. Or I'd-- somebody else would report, hey, I saw so-and-so, they were picking through a trash can on South Main. And it would be absolutely heartbreaking. It would be devastating because we'd be doing all this great work, and still there was something that was missing.

And what I realized is that it was relational. And when folks were leaving the class, they had not been able to take that pattern of relationships with them and apply it in the outside world. So we had to raise that up, raise up our game in terms of dealing with self-worth versus self-esteem, et cetera, and what connectedness was all about.

I'm not going to belabor this. I want to draw your eyes to the three red points. These are soft skills surveys that I do with my students and they're on a 0 to 5 scale, before and after. Number one, my comfort level with studying. Well before they come to class, it's a 1.8. After they leave class, on a scale of 0 to 5, it's a 4.2. So that sets the stage. My ability to make choices for my future that reflect my self-worth goes from a 1.9 to a 4.6. And that's why we don't see the recidivism rate afterwards. Because they now are making choices that reflect their self-worth. My eagerness to attend school goes up to a 4.5. And my belief that I can go to college goes from a 1.6 to a 4.7.

So we're not talking about grades with this one. We're talking about how one feels about school, which is really the proxy for how one feels about him or herself. The academics get measured on the previous slide, in terms of outcomes, graduation, transition to college, and retention. How long we have people in the room. And just so you guys will know, we're purely digital. I'm 100% digital now, and class is still packed because people care about each other. They miss each other when we shut down. So we're on. We're on.

It's an internal investment that has very external results. Here are just a few of them. These make me really happy. Phi Beta Kappa and honors grads at Hartnell Community College, bio-chemists and bio-physicists at UCSC, teachers at CSUMB-- my substitutes have been my own students-- teachers aides, EMTs, police officers, loan brokers, real estate agents. When we go to the doctor, my wife and I, my students are always jabbing me with a needle, saying, hey, Tim, remember that algebra you taught me?

We have several debt-free homeowners, where they've paid off their houses because of a percents lesson that we had in class. Many of them, actually. We have seen people become really great parents, and really great parents whose own kids are going to college. And I have to say this one-- legendary full-ride scholarship, best scholarship I've ever seen in my life, to Santa Clara University to study law. She just graduated in June. Her hands were stained with strawberry juice from picking in the fields, morning to night, when I met her.

So we're going to understand that motivation. And I'll show you a little bit of a progression. And I'm going to go through this really quickly because I want to be attentive to time. And it's going to show you the difference between chaos and success. These are going to be little scenarios, and they're about one or two sentences each. Imagine your student coming into the classroom.

Scenario number one, hi, oh, wait a minute, that's my phone. I hate when that happens. Did I bring my pencil? Scenario one. Scenario two, hi, did you see the news yesterday? It's crazy out there! I saw this thing about New York, COVID. Scenario three, I'm having a bad day. I have so much to do and this COVID thing is really stressful. Good thing I have my chocolate milk. Good thing I have my potato chips. And you guys can insert any distraction. Often, the one with the thumbs that acts as a soothing mechanism. Number four, hi, I'm angry. There was someone who had sniffles and they weren't wearing a mask when I was at the store. Number five, hey, can I take a minute to tell you how I feel? I'm feeling a little angry and a little sad, too.

So did you guys notice the difference between number four and number five? It went from I am angry to I feel angry. With "I am angry," that's when I'm blended with the experience. I'm fully immersed in it. Whereas when I use the language "I feel angry," I've taken a little bit of a step back and I'm closer to regulation than I am to dysregulation.

Number six, can I have a minute to tell you how I feel? There's some parts of me that feel angry and some parts that feel sad, and some powerless, and some that are really just tired from all of this stuff. They're all in there. And I know that some are about right now and some are from my past. So in this example, I'm aware of multiple feelings that are happening all at once within myself, not just one thing. So little less blending, even there.

Number seven, this is the last one. Hi, oh, I'm so glad you're here. This is work, but I think I've got it, and I feel like together we've got this. In the last scenario, I'm still feeling a little distress, but the sense of connection has helped to build feelings of confidence and safety, and the work can get done. So now you can see that progression from a state that's really not present when they first come in, and not able to feel what's going on, to a little bit more feeling, and a little more feeling, and then finally to a state of presence and an ability to be connected to others.

Same student. Day one is the first example. Day 60 is the second example. It goes from a powerless state to a more powerful state. Its powerful, yet humble, because in the last one, they can ask for help. So can you imagine what it feels like to know that with effort, you can effect change. That's powerful. And to have faith that if you need some help, someone will be there. That's true humility. And this is where hope comes from. I can do what I can do, and if I can't do it, then I can ask somebody. And they can help me through this process and together we can tackle this thing. That's really hopeful and it's not magic. It's just work. It takes time, but there's a process.

So there's a bit for us. This idea from Alice Miller is crazy important and I'm going to read it to you. "The truth about our childhood is stored up in our body, and although we can repress it, we can never alter it. Our intellect can be deceived, our feelings manipulated, and our conceptions confused, and our body tricked with medication. But someday our body will present its bill, for it is as incorruptible as a child, who, still whole in spirit, will accept no compromises or excuses, and it will not stop tormenting us until we stop evading the truth."

So everything gets stored in the body. Let me say this the right way. The negative stuff gets stored in the body. Good experiences don't get stored as much because they are not as critical for survival. They're stored, but we don't recycle them as much because we don't have to worry about them. Whereas bad experiences, the body's built to store them and hang on to them because it's worried about surviving in the future. And this is something that we have to be careful about as teachers because it will often not only impact how we share stuff with our students, but also what we share with our students. I don't want to give them a bad experience that gets stored in their bodies.

So we're going to try a little magic here. I'm going to try a video for you and hopefully this is going to work this time. There we go. Let's back that up just a little bit.

Babies this young are extremely responsive to the emotions, and the reactivity, and the social interaction that they get from the world around them. This is something that we started studying, oh, 34 years ago, when people didn't think that infants could engage in social interaction.

[baby crying]

In the "Still Face" experiment, what the mother did was, she sits down and she's playing with her baby, who's about a year of age.

Are you my good girl? Oh, yes.

And she gives a greeting to the baby. The baby gives a greeting back to her.

Oh, yes.


This baby starts pointing at different places in the world, and then the mother is trying to engage her and play with her. They're working to coordinate their emotions and their intentions, what they want to do in the world. And that's really what the baby is used to.

And then we ask the mother to not respond to the baby. The baby very quickly picks up on this, and then she uses her abilities to try and get the mother back. She smiles at the mother, she points because she's used to the mother looking where she points.

[baby babbles]

The baby puts both hands up in front of her and says, what's happening here?

[baby fussing]

She makes that screechy sound at the mother, like, come on, why aren't we doing this?

[baby fussing]

Even in this 2 minutes, when they don't get the normal reaction, they react with negative emotions. They turn away, they feel the stress of it, they actually may lose control of their posture because of the stress that they're experiencing.

[baby crying]

OK. It's OK. I'm here. And what are you doing? Oh, yes. Oh, what a big girl.

It's a little like the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good is that normal stuff that goes on that we all do with our kids. The bad is when something bad happens, but the infant can overcome it. After all, when you stop the still face, the mother and the baby start to play again. The ugly is when you don't give the child any chance to get back to the good. There's no reparation. And they're stuck in that really ugly situation.

All right. So did you notice how, in this scenario, the mother was not violent, or drunk, or loud, and the baby still suffered? We often think that trauma must be very dramatic, like the ACEs list, for it to have an effect on memory, but that's not the case. Researchers have discovered that four-month-old infants, when exposed to the still face experiment two weeks later, will show fast changes in their body that were not even present during the first round. This is for babies who cannot speak. Their hearts will beat faster and their blood will show stress hormones, like cortisol. And it means that their bodies can remember even though the babies can't speak about it. The change can actually last for years. And if it is from strong enough trauma, it will even affect brain development. A child's brain that has been neglected or abused will have fewer connections between brain cells.

So I want you to think back to the ACEs. Imagine your class sitting out in front of you and imagine what it's like to try to teach the folks that you're working with without knowing what their back stories are. And we're wondering why we can't get it. So we don't need the vicious details, the ugly details. What we need to know is that folks have suffered quite often and that's really the issue that we're dealing with when somebody is not quote unquote, "getting it" right in front of us.

We're built for that attachment and when we don't get it, it registers as an injury. So I want you to imagine what it's like when we've flipped things around in the classroom, and the classroom has become about me as the instructor instead of about my students. So when I'm trying to get my testing done-- my CASAS testing to please my boss, or the state funders, or consortium, or whoever it may be-- how do I turn that in some way that my students can actually see that their needs are going to be met in this experience, and that it's not just about the distress that I feel about having to do this test yet again, and it's interfering with my curriculum? What happens when I've had a bad day at home, and I show up on the job, and I can't have a face that reacts to this person who's sitting right in front of me?

And if you guys know anything about Maslow's pyramid, the terms of the hierarchy of needs, you don't run out of these needs just because you got older. Now technically, you're supposed to be better at providing them for yourself, but if you never had anybody who showed you the pattern of how to provide for your own needs in a healthy way, you're not going to know how to do it when you get to be an adult. So when we're dealing with folks for whom connection is a rarity, it's something that we have to really be aware of. Yeah. Because it has a huge impact on what occurs inside the classroom. By the way, just so you guys will know, when I teach at work, I'm often teaching exactly what I'm teaching you guys right now. We do a whole social studies lesson around this, and so they get the vocabulary.

So we're going to do a little bit about the second big idea, which is understanding our intention. And I'm going to read this to you because we're not going have time to do the activity. This is one of the activities we do in the 12-hour workshop, where I tell people I want you guys to do the little name tag, speed dating kind of thing that we may have seen on television, except we're going to do it like this-- what is one neutral word that you would to describe-- you would use to describe yourself?

And now consider this question-- what do you believe might happen if you stopped being that way or stopped doing that? Sit with it for a moment. Slow your beating down and drop into the body. And ask again. What do you believe might happen if you stopped? Then slow the pacing down a little bit more and ask again. And then what would happen? Take one more deep breath and ask at the final level-- and then what might happen? Then I have them write one brief statement to answer that question that the image manager part of our identity controls. What is the answer to what do you believe might happen if you stopped?

And now walk around the room and introduce yourself to everybody else in the group by stating your name and only announcing your manager, your psychological manager's statement in the manner of a bad speeding dating-- speed dating, or a bad cocktail party. This is the pattern. Hello, my name is, and I am X, because if not, then Y will happen.

So here's mine. Hello, my name is Timothy Amaral and I am prepared because if I'm not prepared, then bad things are really going to happen. And in my case, someone is going to hurt my body. So that tells you that it's way out of my past, way back in my childhood, that if I weren't prepared for all the kinds of the realities that might be in front of me, someone was going to put a hurt on my body. I, too, am a high ACE survivor. Explains one of the reasons why I'm comfortable in the job that I do.

And so when I show up to work and I'm prepared, a lot of people think, wow, Tim's really prepared for his work. What they don't understand is that what's motivating sits beneath the surface is a wounding that happened many times over when I was a child. And that in order for me to be present for my students, I can't have my story running this experience that's right in front of me with them. I want to be able to have that wounded part of me step off the stage so I can be present for what's there for them. So the "hello, my name is" shows us that even benign or prosocial behaviors are still anchored in what happened to us at an early age.

I was working with a group this morning where something horrible had happened to members of the group and I was called to do a debrief, to help them work through it because the population matches the population that I work with. And so one of the things that I shared with them was this idea that when a bad thing happens to us, it's a choice for us, ultimately. Not for the event to happen, but how we live about it. So it's my choice to live from the wound that they've given me, or to live from the blessing that I am.

So what we state in class, you have the choice to live from the wound that was given you, or you have the choice to live from the blessing that you are. That's kind of a revolutionary idea for a lot of my students because they think that they have to be protected and proactive in their approach to everything. In fact, for many of them, the best defense is an offense, and they come in with a strike-first mentality. You may be familiar with that when you're dealing with people who are super-charged right at the beginning of something that you look at and it seems quite benign.

When you see a misalignment between behavior and reality, quite often we call that trauma logic. That the logic loop that has started inside the person's brain is logical to them, but to the rest of us it looks crazy. And it is, because they're actually predicating today's behaviors on old ghost or-- excuse me, old ghost stories from the past that they've not processed yet. So in class, we do this whole bit about how to get the ghost to step off the stage. So--



There is a question from Michelle in the chat pond asking, did you create this "Hello, my name is" activity, or did you find it from another source?

So I found the origin of it from another source, and I cut the core, and then I applied it to the work inside my classroom. So I can't claim 100% ownership, but we modified it, and-- we'll say we sampled it. If we were doing hip hop, we'd have sampled it. So there you go.

So that's a preview-- that example, the "hello, my name is" is for prosocial behaviors. Things that are usually good, but what is it like when the behavior is a little bit more volatile?

And I always hesitate to keep the title of this slide, but that could just be my own shame and powerlessness talking. I do it primarily because a huge percentage of what leads to provocative, reactionary, and aggressive behavior in any classroom, workplace, or relationship is actually all about shame and powerlessness. And I'll explain what I mean by that.

When my students, my adult students, in class dissociate, I can tell what year the trauma is from their past. Generally, it's not like a burned in stone kind of thing. I have a hint at what year the trauma occurred based on the level of the lessons that we're teaching in math. So if my students are struggling with fraction, I know the year that their trauma is of-- the year of their trauma was about the age of eight or nine.

And trauma is all about powerlessness. In other words, I was powerless to stop this bad thing from happening, so as a result, my brain goes into overload-- almost like shock-- because it's a reality that can't be integrated. And more importantly, afterwards, we saw the mom reattune by touching the baby to resettle her. For my students, there's almost never reattunement after the internal system is disrupted by the trauma. So the body holds not only the memory of the event, but the lousy feelings of powerlessness. So we get this thing that happens and then we get this really gross, terrible feeling of powerlessness in terms of our responsiveness to it.

And so this is how it comes back into my classroom. I'll be teaching fractions. I'll watch somebody go glossy-eyed and [audio out] and they're going to be very inclined to go bolting out the door. Now that's back in the day when we were brick and mortar. So they're inclined to shut off the video on the camera and disappear.

But because we build trust in the room, and people are so used to us having this vocabulary and talking about this stuff, what I will do is I'll say, OK, so you guys are having an-- or you are having this experience right now. Can you imagine how old the person is that lives inside your chest, who's having those feelings come up? Well how old would you have been when you first had a similar feeling pop up, we'll say it, around fractions? And they'll go, OK, I can see him, or I can see her. And nobody ever bats an eye when I do this. Never. Everybody jumps in. Everybody just goes, oh my God, that's crazy.

So I'll say, can you see her in there? Do you see how terrified she is and how hurt she is? They'll say, yeah. And I say, well you've got to give her some loving. So when there's a time and you have the ability, like a therapist there, you can tell that she's been hurt, and you're going to need to talk about this because it's still controlling your body to this day. We can't do that here in class, but what you can do is reassure her that things are going to be OK right now. And just ask her for a moment so you can focus on the math and have her step off the stage. And to a person, male or female, they'll go, whoa. She was in there all along, wasn't she? He was in there all along, wasn't he? And I'll say, yeah, all the time. They've been waiting for us to show up, somebody to reattune with them.

So my job is to get that part to step off the stage so the student can recenter. The more adult parts of their system show up and we can get through the math, or we can get through the English, or whatever it may be. And there's a whole bunch of other methodology that we do around this, but that's really what the critical thing is. That the person gets hijacked by the reactionary behaviors of an eight-year-old child.

Imagine how an eight-year-old feels when a really bad trauma happens, and think of what goes on inside their little bodies. And then put that into the body of an adult that we have in our adult ed classroom, and you can see why people are going to struggle and why retention is crazy hard in the adult ed world. It's not just because they have jobs. It's not just because they have families. It's not that at all. It's because it's really hard to sit in your own skin when you feel powerless. It's really hard to sit in your own skin when you feel ashamed of not knowing a thing.

So I'm really cautious about having my students stand up to the whiteboard and do anything when we're in a brick and mortar space because it puts them in front of everybody where their shame is on display, potentially. Now we don't do a shaming thing in the room, but they carry that ghost story with them. So I'm super, super cautious about it. We don't do it very often throughout the school year and we will never do it at the beginning of the year. I have to have a lot of veterans in the class who can hold a really safe space for my more fragile folks who, because it's open entry, they're coming in all the time and they've got to be able to trust the rest of the group around them. So if you want to bring up unbearable feelings of life-threatening worthlessness, put a person on display and then reject them publicly. So no one goes up to the board without a ton of support.

Now this is a quote from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. This is super important for us to notice because we're in adult ed, and I know you guys are hearing this going, does this really apply in my class? I'm telling you, how many of us are working with an immigrant population? And ask yourself why did they leave? Why did they leave the country they were in? Any of us who've ever had that experience in our lives, we generally didn't leave because things were fabulous at home. We left because things weren't. And so even though you guys may not be dealing with folks who are incarcerated at the same rate that my folks are, who are not dealing with 10 ACEs, you may still be dealing with people with two or three ACEs. And it's important for you to be aware of this.

Fear and avoidance motivation dominate for chronically rejected, emotionally abused, and neglected children. At the same time, they are more driven by social feedback than others. So that means our most wounded students are scanning the room all the time, looking for social feedback. Because in their world, they're tracking for danger. And what we have to do is we have to mirror this really, really loving safe space on a regular basis, even though it's an elephant that we're trying to eat. And that idea of mirroring will trigger the neurons that are called mirror neurons inside their own bodies that will help them to reset and re-regulate. So positive connection becomes the antidote.

I'm going to do this last little piece about cognitive breaks very briefly. I use that word to describe the moment when the average human brain is going to have a gap that's too large to cross in terms of learning the content. This is just for anybody. But for your vulnerable students, that gap that's really large-- where the hard part is in your math, or the hard part is in your English-- just try teaching adjective word order to learners of English as a second language. English adjective word order is insanity, man. And it's such a pain to try to master.

And you can imagine that if somebody is a trauma survivor, and they're dealing with issues of shame and powerlessness, and we give them something that we know is hard and the gap is really tough for anybody to jump across, for them it's going to be a different thing entirely. So we have to know our content not just in a linear sense, but in an experiential sense. I have to know what it feels like to study this stuff. What does it feel like to run into a wall, and what would it take to reattune socially? Not just to the material-- to get the material right and go on, but to settle back into my own body and build a deeper sense of connection and community.

So I prep my students ahead of time and I warn them about the likelihood that someone's internal system is going to get hijacked by a hard part. And I reassure them they will not be abandoned, they will not be shamed, they will be supported. Nobody's going to leave anybody behind on the ground. We have a term, we call it celebrating the error. And this is a moment that requires a kind of vulnerability that actually demonstrates great strength. Because no growth occurs in the comfort zone. The fact that they are willing to try, to the point where they're going to make an error, is a lovely thing. And we want to reward that.

So the next piece.



Sorry. We had Cindy asking, how can we learn more about this? But I didn't catch exactly when she posted it, so she might need to give us a little more detail.


So Cindy? Cindy, can you post in the chat a little more detail about your question? Was it about everything, or just big idea number two? OK. Big idea number two, understanding intention.

OK. So understanding intention, that stuff is-- that is very, very specifically from the work of Dick Schwartz, the founder of the IFS-- Internal Family Systems-- therapeutic model. So if you Google Dick Schwartz or Richard Schwartz comma IFS, you're going to get like 5 million things. YouTube videos, literature, blogs. There is so much material out there because it's getting to be a very, very important movement in the therapeutic world, in the psycho-therapeutic world. And in terms of healing from trauma, et cetera.

I would highly recommend, for those of you who like to read, just grab his introductory book, and he'll break down what happens inside the psyche in terms of how we develop these narratives that are a response to the wound, and yet the need underneath goes untended because we're trapped in that responsiveness to the wound. We live our life based on the wound, but not on our own needs, so we're still starving even much later in life.

So in my class, we're actually learning how to feed need underneath, not respond to the narrative that's up on top. The narrative up on top is almost always BS. It's almost a story we just run to make it easier for us to sleep at night. But the stuff down below is where the real need is, and that's what we want to touch on. So I would highly recommend Dr. Richard Schwartz, IFS, his introductory book on the subject. Fabulous, fabulous book. Mine is dog-eared, and marked up, and-- Yeah. It's been through the washing machine a couple of times. So that's one of the best places to learn about idea number two.

So this is the heart of the experience in the classroom. It's where our real strength lies. It lies in connection. That's how we keep everybody in the room. People don't-- I have to encourage my folks to graduate because we like each other's company so much. So I have to tell them, I say, look, you have to graduate. You have to go on with life, but the door is always open, and we will always have a big embrace waiting for you when you come back. Forever, period. And so they have to launch. So we go into that deeper in the 12 hour workshop but I just wanted to touch on that right now.

So the phrase that we say is if I can attach to you, then I can attach to me. Which sounds like a funny thing, but if you think about how kids learn about themselves, they learn about themselves from the eyes of the adults that are around them and that are reflecting them back. So many of our students have been severely trauma-- let me say this in the right way. Their self-perception is severely distorted because of the messages that were given back to them. And that's foundational, so it's very important for us to find a way to present a really healthy reflection back to somebody else. But as a teacher, if I can't bear my own issues, if I'm ashamed of my own issues and I cannot do my own internal work, I'm going to be scared to death to open that Pandora's box with one of my students.

And I'm not saying that we're doing therapy in there, guys. I'm just talking about reflecting back somebody's worth. So if I struggle with feelings of worthlessness, I'm going to have a hard time doing this. So I'm going to encourage you to not leave that little girl and not leave that little boy abandoned inside yourself for too long because they weren't born with that feeling of worthlessness. That's something somebody else gave them.

So what we want to be able to do is respond to all of our parts, not just the ones that everybody calls good. We want to respond to even the ones that are called "bad," quote unquote. We don't want to pathologize these things. So how do I respond to the part of myself that gets angry, or gets protective, or aggressive? Or how do I respond to the part of myself that's secretly sad? How do I respond to part of myself that's ignorant? That's a huge question. How do I respond to my own ignorance?

These are not easy things for us to take on because our culture tells us to avoid these things, to run from them, and to run in the opposite direction. And in my class, it's just the opposite. We actually approach those parts of ourselves to learn from them and find out what need sits underneath. That way we can stop them from getting in the way of our own healthy, educated life. We learn to get comfortable with the discomfort, and we learn how to ride the lightning. All right.



Before you move on, Cindy asked in the chat-- and it may be at the end here, so we can just state that. She's asking whether you could share more about the 12-hour workshop that you've mentioned a couple of times.

Yeah. I will try to make sure I save enough time at the end.


All right. So when I was afraid, protective, or ignorant, what is it that I really needed? Did I need someone to shame me, punish me, or abandon me? Or did I need, in the case of childhood, did I need an adult who could be there for me and show me the steps to success? Someone who could show me that I mattered enough to go the extra mile. To bear what I was experiencing, because a lot of times the adults ran from it because they couldn't bear it.

So the phrase is this-- if I can attach to you, then I can attach to me. And that's how we build that connection. Because I attach to my own parts, I can reflect theirs back to them without fear. And it builds trust. And it eliminates about 90% of all the behavioral issues that we may face in class. We are looking at avoiding that little 15-second interval that will ruin a student's life if we can't show up in a compassionate and skillful way.

So we call this the dance. We want to dance with our students like this. They lean in, we lean back. They lean back, we lean in, and we've got a nice little rhythm going. We're attuned to each other. What we don't ever want to do is dance with a person like that, where we crash their space. And we don't want to dance with somebody who's like this, who's going to abandon us when we need their support. So we want to be in this kind of an interplay.

And that-- it's a type of resonance. So when we have that resonance, the system settles down. And if a teacher is familiar with his or her own internal parts, they can stay present in the dance with me. And then they're going to reflect stuff to me as I engage with them. You saw that baby engaging with the mom. There is this perfect interplay until the mom goes stiff and doesn't respond to the baby's movement. But when the mom responds, the baby goes, oh, wow, that's a really cool part of myself that I didn't know was there and now I can grow it. And that love and compassion for myself rises up.

So I want you guys to think back to the class that I'm talking to you about, who my students are, and what goes on with them when their love and compassion level goes up. It's super powerful in there. So it allows us to respond to the need versus the want. Because remember the want is the upper explanation area. The need sits way deeper.

I'm going to go through this one a little bit faster than I want to because I really wanted to spend a lot of time on the Five As, but we're not going be able to do that. You guys will have to call me. So number one, we build vocabulary with the students so they can start to express themselves. The phrase that sticks in my mind is from a poem that I read when I was younger, and the poet said, I was trapped in an inarticulate madness. And when he said that, man, it just blew my chest open. Because I thought, oh my God, I know what that feels like! I know what it means to have an idea, or a feeling this big, but my words are only this big. And so nobody gets to know me and I have no traction, I have no power in life. And so the vocabulary becomes critical.

So one of the very first things we do in the group is we tackle the difference between self-worth, self-esteem, and self-respect. So self-worth means that I have value, period. I have value just because I was born. It is internal, not external. It's not about comparison. No matter what my skin color is, what my-- you guys want to get into equity? This is where we get cracking on equity. It's no matter what my skin color is, what my gender is, whether I'm old or young, parent, or rich child, or poor, my gender preferences. None, it's not even a preference-- my identity, right? No matter any of that stuff. I have value.

And in fact, my self-worth is not connected to anything. I do. Even if I'm out playing the world like a really bad musician, I still have value. In fact, my self-worth is connected only to my being. Because I was lucky enough to be born, I have value. That's why we feel pain when someone judges us or shames us for who we are. That story doesn't balance with our identity, how we know ourselves. And the ensuing conflict that goes inside of us creates a huge amount of distress.

My value comes before my behavior. It's always before my behavior. It's before whether I can do math or not. Let's think about that idea, that I have value whether I can do math or not. I have value whether I get it right or not. So the first commandment in my classroom is this-- you don't need an education to be of value. You need an education because you are of value. So if you guys only take one idea from me today, take that one. You don't need an education to be of value. You need an education because you are of value. It's a radical idea. But without that foundation, so many things still go wrong in life because we get educated, but we have no value.

I don't need to point too much farther than our political climate that we have today to look at a whole bunch of people who have power and success, but no personal self-worth. And so it makes them capable of doing very heinous things. So I can have success, but my life is actually a train wreck. And that's what was missing in my early years as a teacher, and why so many of my students would re-offend, et cetera.

Self-esteem is our second vocabulary, and it's all about what I do. It's why when I get math, my self-esteem goes up, and when I don't get math, my self-esteem goes down. So it's about a doing thing. We want to disentangle doing from being. So my students know they have value, whether or not they can do the thing or not do the thing. Period.

We also break down self-respect. Self-respect means that I can take care of my Maslow's needs. Not my wants. I find out what my needs are and I can take care of them in a way that aligns with my self-worth. And that's a new idea for a lot of my students.

And finally, when we're talking about Maslow's, we talk about-- this is from the work of David Richo, a west coast therapist, whereas Dick Schwartz is an east coast therapist. And David Richo's work is about the Five A's-- attention, affection, appreciation, acceptance, and allowing. And those are the Five A's of Love. And when we think about Maslow's middle level of the pyramid, that's the piece we're talking about. We're talking about love and belonging. That's the third basic need that represents a threat to survival if we don't have it. The body responds to it as if they are being really harmed by a lion or a tiger if they get ashamed. It triggers exactly the same neural pathway as terror does. So we need to have vocabulary words that kick on the new neural pathway, and it takes us away from the one where we're terrified. And the five vocabulary words we use are these.

We teach this regularly. We are saying, hey, which of the Five A's do you need in class today? And my guys who were tattooed from fingertip to forehead walk up to me after class and they just go, that was like the best class ever. Oh my God! Nobody's ever asked me that. And they find out that there's this whole new world that's been reflected back inside of them and they can grow it.

So last idea on this-- I don't want to skip this-- is that we don't do traditional discipline in the class. We don't need to. I have opposing gang members, guys who've been locked up for 20 years, 30 years. I've had shot callers in my class. You ought to watch the growth they go through. It's incredible. So we don't do traditional discipline. We are instead disciples of our own self-worth. And because we matter now in life, we have something to live for, and we live with each other in that same space. So we know what we would save when the building catches on fire. We know what we'd save when the flood waters rise. And that's what we live on. Not on the other stuff.

So I'm going to do this last couple of slides really quickly. We set our expectations in August and we reset them again in January and May. So we have this sort of staggered approach that keeps it moving throughout the year. We embed the material in our key ideas-- excuse me, we embed key ideas in our social studies, lit, and English comp curricula so that they're actually getting this stuff, not just through conversation, but through actual content. We build a predictable reality because that's one of the things that will settle the system down for us and will allow us to breathe.

And then last but not least, we deconstruct trauma logic. And when we deconstruct trauma logic, what that means is the stories that are operating up at this level, that actually become our functioning mode of operation in life, still leave the needs, the deeper needs, unaddressed. And so when we deconstruct that story that's all about the wound, we can say what did you need underneath, sweetie? What was the real thing you needed? When you were 8 and that terrible thing happened, what did you need? And now that you're 35, what do you need? And they get the vocabulary to speak it and so they're no longer caught in the loop, that cascading loop of trauma logic. They've stepped out of it. That doesn't mean we made the past go away, but now they know there's a way to deal with it.

And so the locus of control. I want to do this for you. This is what we have control over. I'm going to do this really quickly. I want to take you guys on a little journey with me. And I want you to think about all the things that we lose because of the systems that we live in and the roles that make us take on, that we don't even know we're stuck in until it's way too late. And who we forgot lived inside of us. And we also-- yeah, we just forgot that we have value, that we're a good, good thing in the universe. So we're going to do a little bit of a guided reflection here to wrap up my last nine minutes. Eight minutes.

Let's take a deep breath for a moment. And we're just going to fill our belly up because it's a body thing. With your eyes at half mast, still breathing through your belly, see those beautiful children on the screen. And I want you to ask yourself, do you remember your own goodness just permeated your body when you were a child? Do you remember how much of a joy it was just being you?

Your own goodness was a part of you without you needing to do anything. There was no need to perform, to solve, to fix, to be productive, to be useful, to be not a bother. There was no need to be seen and not heard. There was no need to be a different color. There was no need to be a different gender. There was no need to be a different age, a different size, or anything else less than or greater than what you truly were. Just as you were, you were good enough.

Can you remember that exhilarating felt sense of your own goodness? Can you see what you look like when you were little, before the event or the conditions that said, I don't love you, or I can't love you, or I won't love you, unless? Can you sit with that joy? That lovability that is yours, that wide open, wide open ability to love and be loved.

This is what your students bring you and this is whom we must educate. And this who's inside of you, as well. So I'm going to-- I'm going to torment you with this one little piece here, to show you a little bit more about what it means to get to know somebody inside of ourselves. We're going to do this really quickly. Take a moment to complete the following math sequence. We'll give you guys about 60 seconds for it. 6, 15, 22, 24, 29, and 7. So we want to complete that math sequence. I know, how cruel. Nobody thought they were going to do a math problem when they woke up this morning.

All right. So hold on to your answers. We don't have enough time to do a round robin to see who got what, but I'll tell you what the answer to it is. 6, 15, 22, 24, 29, and 7. The next answer is 7. And the only people on Earth who would know the answer to this would be people who grew up in the house I grew up in because this is our birthdays. Those of us who were born in June are born on June 15, June 22, June 24, and June 29. And those of us who were born in July are born on June 7. And there's a whole bunch of other numbers that I could throw in there, but there's no way you could have known that answer unless you grew up in that house I grew up in.

But that's not the point. The point is what does not knowing the answer bring up in you? And what thoughts or feelings come up when we add the possible elements of a cultural competency or a limited English ability? And what thoughts and feelings come up when we add the possible elements of judgment and shame when I don't know a thing? And what feelings come up around powerlessness when you don't know a thing? What do you notice going on in your body with under any or all of these circumstances? And now ask yourself this-- what need is going unmet? And what would be helpful for alleviating the dysregulation that I feel right now while encouraging reattunement?

So I'm going to skip over this because we're not going have enough time to do it. But I'm just going to encourage you guys to take care of yourselves as teachers. It's exhausting to do the job and we've got to really take care of ourselves.

So here are our four big points. What drives us is held in the body. Our adaptive behaviors mask an underlying need. Responding to the need builds trust, connection, and self-worth. And it starts with the educator, but when applied systemically in the classroom, it produces measurable outcomes, and your students will become simultaneously happy and sad to leave your class, which is a really cool idea. It is said that the option-- opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection. Connection is also the opposite of truancy, and acting out, and failure, and recidivism. Our success comes from one thing and one thing alone. If I can connect to you, I can connect to me. And in that, we each find our worth.

And this is us. Those are my kings and queens.

So we've got a moment. Two minutes. So I do a 12-hour workshop for teachers, educators, and providers. So if you guys work for any of the workforce development agencies or any of the state programs, I provide a 12-hour training program-- two sixes or three fours-- that folks can take to do a deeper dive on this and really start exploring their own motives as to what it is they're taking into the classroom, and how that impacts the people they're working with. And you can reach me at that email that's right there on the screen to ask the question. And we have exactly like a minute and 10 seconds left. So are there any other questions?

Timothy, if you could take a look in the chat. Ray Hernandez had put a statement there that you may be able to either address quickly, or get his email address to continue the conversation. Can you see the chat?

OK. I do see that. Thank you for that, Ray. Let-- can we-- I'm sorry, that's a big question and we only have a couple of minutes left, so can we do this via email? Because I would really like to answer that very directly. We have some techniques in class, but what we want to do is front load before it ever gets there so folks are already protecting each other, and particularly in terms of divorce and stalkers. Man, we get a lot of that stuff. Hey, Greg. Glad to see that you're out there. So yes, if you would email me, that would be fabulous. And is there anything else?

I think that caught all of it, Timothy. And I do want to remind folks that I will be closing the meeting here in just a moment. And when that happens, you will receive a button on the screen that says continue that will take you to an evaluation. But the tech team just gave me a report that you're actually in an editable version of that evaluation, so please click the eyeball in the upper right hand corner. It will say preview on it. That will allow you to complete that survey and they can gather your information about this session. And I think with that, Timothy, if you have any final words, I'll give a short little countdown in just a minute and I'll close the room.

Just, I really want to thank you guys all for taking the time to be here. I wish I could spend a little more time with you. And please, please, please email me with any questions. Ray, I would love to be able to take that one on a little bit more heavily because I think there's a really good answer that's out there waiting. So thank you all. And hug that little kid who lives inside of you. He or she's been waiting for years, and they so deserve you to show them the attention, the affection, the appreciation, the acceptance, and the allowing that they deserve. By far.

Thank you all for attending. And thank you, Timothy, for a wonderful session.

Thank you so much.

Thank you, everyone. Take care. See you in another session.