January 21, 2013
In November 2011, Leah Kypers first presented her “Zones of Regulation” at ESU 10. In September 2012 former ESU 10 employee Jamie Lewis returned to present a basic training followed by an advanced training by Mrs. Kypers in October. Through these opportunities approximately 150 professionals in the ESU 10 area have received training in the Zones of Regulation. These trained individuals are putting their knowledge to use by teaching the “Zones” to individual students, groups, and whole classes throughout the ESU 10 service area.
The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum that helps students with self-regulation and emotional control. Self-regulation is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. The lessons help students to identify the Zone they are in, determine if it is the expected zone for the situation, and then develop and use tools to change or maintain their zone. The curriculum also helps students to increase their ability to talk about emotions, understand the emotions of others, and how their behaviors impact others. They learn to identify their triggers, tools for calming and alerting, and problem solving strategies.
There are four Zones of regulation in the program that are identified by colors and associated with traffic signs. The blue zone is associated with a rest area sign and includes emotions such as being sad or tired. The Green zone is associated with a green light and includes being calm and ready to learn. The yellow zone is associated with a caution sign and includes frustration and anxiety. The Red Zone is the out of control zone and is associated with a stop sign. One of the major premises of this curriculum is that there are no bad zones and that all of the zones are expected at different times. Students really enjoy this approach to talking about their feelings and are able to learn it quickly. Teachers and parents can easily learn the vocabulary to support the student’s generalization of the knowledge. Therefore, professionals feel that this training has been an asset to their work with a variety of students.
-by Bethany Hyatt, School Psychologist