Building Resilience from the Inside Out -
David Kisor and the Early Childhood
As David Kisor, artist/trainer at Growing Sound, took the stage for a breakout session at the 2018 Early Childhood Advantage - A Symposium on School Readiness, he faced a rather large group of early childhood educators, administrators, and community leaders with a smile and a keyboard.
"...Take your right hand and do a thumbs up, take your left hand and do another thumbs up, now point to yourself and sing I Can Do It" (songs of confidence); ...sing "I Can Count on You" (songs of belonging); ...and sing "I Can Settle Down" (songs of self-control). Each social-emotional song was accompanied by full bodied, targeted motions and came from the "I"/self point of view.
Growing Sound uses four types of songs - self-talk songs, experiential songs, story songs, and concept songs that are strength-based, principle-based, and adult-modeled. Instead of coming from the view that we need to somehow "fix" kids, Mr. Kisor acknowledged the importance of viewing each child as having strengths and showed the audience ways - supported by brain research - to focus on and teach all of our children.
With research showing that by four years old, 25% of children have had at least one traumatic event or ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience), learning methods that promote resilience in kids can help them throughout their lifetime. "Early social and emotional learning is a key to academic and life success. Self-awareness, self-assertion and self-regulation are precursors for confidence and competence in defining our role in our world."