The PAUSE Practice

The PAUSE practice, designed to foster students’ self-regulation Definition:Managing emotions, energy levels, attention and behavior in order to achieve goals such as fostering positive relationships, learning and social emotional well-being , is a central component of the Taxi Dog curriculum. Self–regulation is the process by which children manage emotions, energy levels, attention and goal-directed behavior.

Research has found self-regulation in childhood to be linked to numerous positive outcomes such as educational attainment, positive relationships, well-being, and lower rates of antisocial and risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse.

The good news is that self-regulation is malleable (Diamond & Lee, 2011), and can be improved with simple strategies!

The PAUSE invites students to take a moment to breathe, reflect on their internal state and use positive strategies to adjust as needed. This practice is a tool to help students learn how to self-regulate themselves to a calm, aware state allowing them to be more available for learning.

When it is first introduced, teachers will lead the PAUSE practice regularly throughout the school day. Over time, the PAUSE becomes embedded within the daily classroom routine. The goal of the PAUSE is for students to internalize the strategy and employ it independently as a way to develop and practice self-awareness Definition:Recognizing one’s emotions and values, as well as one’s strengths and challenges and self-management Definition:Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve one’s ones skills. Teachers may find that it is even a useful tool for regulating themselves.

Examples of when to use the PAUSE:

  • Before and after transitions in the classroom
  • Before a quiz
  • Before an assembly
  • Before leaving for a field trip
  • Before a challenging lesson
  • With individual students who are struggling with anxiety, relational or academic challenges