The 95% Rule…

YOU have the power to control 95% of your day…

I am a firm believer that we control our destiny and our day. As an educator, how I walk into the school in the morning affects everything and everybody around me…

We control 95% of what happens during our day in how we react, the relationships we have already built, and how we control ourselves in situations. If I am having a good day, most of the people around me are having a good day!

When a student comes in highly escalated, we must support students with strategies where we are role modeling as well… How can we assist them in learning to self-regulate after the escalation, as well as build up strategies and supports to prevent the escalation in the first place?

  • Do they need food, as they are hungry?
  • Give them some time. Whenever I rush this process, I find it just is not effective…
  • Use of consistent resources such as Strategy posters that can guide the student’s reflection and guide discussion between kids and adults.
  • An exercise bike or an individual trampoline – I have experimented with having an exercise bike available for students (if they choose to use it) as an active way to self-regulate, rather than “Sit down and be quiet.” I have a visual timer that we set for a specific time for them to use the bike. The early results have been great, when the kids choose to use it… Often a student who was highly escalated comes off smiling!
  • The implementation of a Sensory Room – A place with mats, swings or special rocking chairs, exercise balls, individual trampoline, calming lights, etc.
  • One principal shared that she has a Velcro target board with Velcro Ping-Pong balls that the students love to use, which is also a great distractor.
  • Pulse Meters as part of Math, but to have students check their pulse rate and then have them do self-calming. It is also a distraction or diversion…
  • Another principal shared that she keeps a bin of mixed up markers that needs to be sorted by a students, and it magically keeps getting mixed up!
  • Time for Writing for students to be able to think and reflect
  • Time for Reading as a calming strategy
  • A problem-solving process that students are used to, whether it is individual and quiet or it is guided and collaborative with an adult.
  • I think probably the biggest factor and strategy is how much of a focus on SEL takes place in the classrooms in the students’ daily lives at school. This work enables administrators in the office to build on the learning that is already taking place!

Knowing I can find good, creative ways of de-escalating students will help them to a point where they can have a positive day and be successful in the learning. Again, 95% up to me…

If a staff member comes in and is having a hard day, how I react with them also will impact which one of the students in their clients depending on how I work with them.

Working with parents, I have a great amount of control in those interactions. If I am smart about it, I will set up interactions that meet everyone’s needs and leave everyone walking away in a positive light. If I am grumpy, having a bad day, rushing things, or just not on my game, I will pay the price either at that moment or later and it will impact many others. Let’s face it, parents talk and share and all it takes is one really negative interaction to blow a lot of relationship building.

I call it the 95% rule because there are times that no matter how smart I am and on my game, I cannot bring the person around to where I want them to be. I would say that this is maybe 5% of the time. Most of the time, if I can make sure I follow my conscience and gut, I can bring things around to where they need to be. I have seen this over again with parents, staff, and especially students.

I do not blame my day on others. My day is created by me. I have the power to make it be what I want. We need to use that power to teach others and to make sure we are creating a culture in our schools where students, staff, and parents feel empowered, respected, and listened to.

YOU have the power to control 95% of your day too…

Work hard, learn tons!


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