Within the school of Thuit de l’Oison, a room to return to calm to manage your emotions

The self-regulation room of the Thuit de l’Oison school is open. ©Mathilde Carnet

It is in the old library, at the end of the courtyard of the George-Charpak primary school, that the self-regulation room has been installed.

Tuesday, October 4, the companions of students with disabilities (AESH) and the extracurricular facilitators were trained in the use of this room by Émilie Berteau, specialist educator.

A widespread space in Quebec

If self-regulation rooms are rare in schools, colleges and high schools in France, this is not the case in Quebec, where for the past fifteen years, schools have had a “self-regulation” space. “It was during our first trip to Quebec that we discovered these rooms,” explains Élise Saegaert, president of the Préhandys 276 association, which helps families of children with disabilities. It was the association that bought the equipment needed for the room, while the work on the room was taken care of by the town hall.

Promoting inclusive education

“The objective of this room is for the child to manage his emotions and get back in shape to work and learn. It’s a tool that promotes inclusive education,” explains Émilie Berteau. In the small room, painted in midnight blue, there is a tent “where the child can isolate themselves in a containing place, it’s reassuring”, a large soft ball “to hug or swing”, small windmills “to breathe and work on their breathing”, a bubble hourglass “to focus on it and calm down”, a scale of emotions “so that the child externalizes what he feels”.

Every emotion, when excessive, is not productive.

Émilie Berteau special educator

The room is not dedicated to children with disabilities, although it is particularly useful for children with autism. Kindergarten and primary have access, always accompanied by an adult. “It’s either the child who makes the request, or the adult who proposes,” explains Élise Saegaert. “For example, if a child is having a temper tantrum, is very sad or very anxious, he can use the self-regulation room. Each emotion, when it is excessive, is not productive,” adds Émilie Berteau.

Neither a punishment nor an excuse not to stay in class

The child then determines how long he thinks he needs to calm down, whether it is ten or twenty minutes, but no more. “This room is neither a place of punishment nor an excuse not to work in class! warns Élise. Also, only one child at a time can use the room. In the room, the adult offers the child an activity, an exercise in meditation, breath management, a game, to calm down. “Once he has calmed down, he resumes his day normally. »

Meditate, breathe, play to calm down

Le Thuit de l’Oison has given itself a year to experiment with the room, a register of users has been set up to demonstrate its effectiveness. “Abroad, it works, why not impose it in French schools? »

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Within the school of Thuit de l’Oison, a room to return to calm to manage your emotions

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