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ESE502 : The Class : Structure : Self Control

Self Control

We have natural reactions to situations that are stressful. Some of the emotions we feel are anger, guilt, anxiety, fear, sadness or resignation. These emotions alert the "fight/flight" part of our brain. If we have little self control, little understanding of the needs of others or do not see the results of reacting, we "jump the gun!"

If we learn to cope with stress, we have fewer battles. Teaching requires good coping skills, like patience, to help build the students' increasing trust and community. There are many coping skills to consider.

Coping Strategies
Distancing Go on as though nothing occurred. Don't let it affect anything.
Willpower Keep feelings to self. Refrain from reacting or following the first impulse.
Take responsibility Criticize or lecture self. Apologize and do something to change or fix things.
Seek support Ask a friend or relative for advice. Talk to a respected person about ideas.
Escape-avoidance Avoid the situation or the people involved. Hope for a miracle.
Confrontive Tell others about being upset. Try to get others to change things.
Problem Solving Develop a plan of action and follow it. Concentrate on the next step.
Reappraisal Change in positive way to see things differently. Rethink values or needs.
- Adapted from Folkman & Lazarus, 1988

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting, too;
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting
Or be lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet donšt look too good, nor talk too wise.

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master,
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth youšve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop to build Œem up with worn out tools.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them "Hold on!"

If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with king -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
And all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute,
With sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it,
And which is more -- youšll be a Man, my son!

Skills for Self Soothing
Reason with yourself
Stop hostile thoughts, feelings and urges
Distract yourself
Meditate - actively soothe self
Avoid overstimulation
Care for a pet
Practice trusting others
Give service to others
Increase second person perspective
Recognize and address your needs
Be tolerant with self and others
Forgive and let go - self and others
Confide in someone you can trust
Laugh at yourself
- Adapted from Williams & Williams, 1993

Once you have completed this reading, you should:

Go on to Procedure
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Remember to go to WebCT to add key words as you collect them.

E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at


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