Natasha's Teaching Model
The knowledge from various modalities of psychotherapy, which I began actively exploring when I entered the world of teaching 24 years ago, along with years of experience in formative assessment, mindfulness, dance (ITG), and FIT pedagogy, have contributed to making my teaching pupil-centered to such an extent that pupils become self-aware of their feelings, know what they want, and can articulate their expectations. They are capable of self-regulation through the learning process and are empowered.
What Do I Believe In?
I ensure my own personal freedom.
This means that I choose behaviors that align with my internal beliefs. Despite circumstances, I always have a choice in how I react to situations, without being a mere response to external circumstances.
All behavior serves a purpose.
This means that every action is based on individual needs and capabilities at a given moment.
Everything I receive is just information.
What I do with it is my choice. I can gain insights and a broader understanding of situations, which helps me comprehend circumstances better.
We are curious and learning beings.
We need opportunities for growth, different paths for personal development, and someone who believes in us and encourages us.
My thoughts are not my identity.
It's crucial to learn to observe my thoughts and replace non-ecological ones with new ones in a timely manner.
I carry tools for various emotional states with me at all times.
The body and mind are interconnected. By caring for my physical body (movement, breathing, hydration) and being mindful of my focus (where I direct my attention and thoughts), I have excellent opportunities to become the best version of myself.
How Do I Start with a New Group of Pupils?
I begin transferring all these beliefs to pupils from our first contact. It's essential for me to get to know children as individuals, allowing gradual integration into the new group and providing opportunities for learning new possibilities and choices.
Right at the first concrete situation that occurs in the classroom, they receive information that they choose their behavior themselves. Through a few short statements, I guide them to realize they are responsible for their behavior. They get the experience that there are multiple paths to achieving a goal and simultaneously receive confirmation that all emotions they experience are valid. I teach them two critical sentences with powerful messages. Initially, not all of them understand them, but it's essential for them to adopt new vocabulary in the area of "language," which they quickly start using.
I also pay attention to their physical well-being, so movement and breathing exercises are present throughout the learning process. It's incredible how many children experience their first sense of "inner peace" at school. Some initially feel uncertain, but later, this becomes the foundation of their self-regulation. They say, "I'm getting in touch," which means calming their physical body and thoughts. When they calm their physical body, they become aware of their feelings. Throughout the school year, we engage in various exercises and techniques that help them learn to "catch" non-ecological thoughts about themselves. They start realizing that thoughts impact their emotions and that emotions either support or hinder their path to academic and personal progress.
For a positive classroom atmosphere, I also teach them to focus their attention on the positive, on what works. I lead by example, demonstrating these principles in action. Together, we explore what collaboration, respect, support, encouragement, listening, acceptance, and negotiation mean. Our shared goal is for pupils not to change their behavior when the teacher leaves the room but remain focused, calm, and content—precisely the way they wish to be.
What works and what you can try in your class as early as tomorrow is the PANDA model. This model was developed based on observations of beloved colleagues preparing their final projects in the context of NLP Master Practitioner.
The aim of this model is to maintain pupils' attention from the beginning to the end of the lesson.
Attention (captivating students with various physical activities)
Prior Knowledge Analysis (assessing what students already know about a specific topic)
Instructions (goals and agreements on the path students will take to explore problems and challenges)
Mindfulness (establishing self-awareness for achieving the highest level of focus)
Action (independent student exploration, supported by social skills and knowledge of choice theory, culminating in self-assessment)