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Classroom Structure & Polyvagal Schools / ep12 show notes

Updated: Mar 28, 2020


This is the Polyvagal Schools series, part 3 of 5

The teachers with the best structure, combined with the most Polyvagal cues of safety have the calmest classes.

Structure within routine/schedule

  • Consistency = stability = safety

  • Don’t abandon the structure if “it doesn’t work”

Structure within visual environment

Visual clutter

Actual clutter

  • Organization = stability = safety


Must be consistent. And, more importantly, enforced with love (safety)

  • Use cues of safety simultaneously

Suspensions don’t do anything for the kid in trouble

  • Are more for the safety of the school and class for major rule violations

  • The kids that get suspensions don’t care

  • In-school separation might be more sustainable

Do not discipline around the other kids

  • Pull aside, talk 1:1 in private

  • Put a positive spin on it

Structure must include flexibility built-in to meet student needs

  • alternative seating, fidget objects, movement, quiet/break space

  • Play!

  • Changes need to be announced and normalized


Whole class should have access

To have a physical outlet for our energy

To help us focus

Quiet Spaces

To get space

Quiet, personal time until ready to return

  • Instagram

If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 or:


National Suicide Prevention Hotline

  • 1 (800) 273-8255

National Domestic Violence Hotline

  • 1 (800) 799-7233

LGBT Trevor Project Lifeline

  • 1 (866) 488-7386

National Sexual Assault Hotline

  • 1 (800) 656-4673

Crisis Text Line

  • Text “HOME” to 741741