Talking to your brain – with Clarissa Johnson and Veronica Colley Part A

Oct 27, 2019, 08:00 PM
This episode features Clarissa Johnson and Veronica Colley, both practicing teachers, who run a business to teach language of mindset and self-talk to teachers and students. They want to share this with others to make a difference to the future of children. 


2:10 How did the business of ‘talk to your brain’ begin?

5:00 How the program supports families/teachers to build resilience and self-love

9:20 Two key things to pass on to kids

11:35 Average response from kids around self-love and self-worth

16:55 About kids and reaching out for help

18:30 How to embed meaningful change 

How did the story of this business begin?
Clarissa: It started from a significant need to change what we were seeing in our classroom and support our students in their learning journey as well as their emotional journey. Throughout our years of teaching especially in the last few years we would notice things that would show up in our classrooms, like not being able to problem solve, lacking in resilience in regards to their own learning journey, social interactions etc and as teachers we are always looking for better ways of doing things and helping to support our students and cultivate success. Initially I decided to write a children’s book to support students and teachers and parents with having conversations around using more mindful language and how to build those skills. But after that I wanted to find a more explicit way to help them. I soon met Veronica and we noticed we were noticing the same situations in our classrooms. We did a research paper together, to see if we could explicitly teach growth mindset and how it would affect our kids. We wanted to know if we could make a significant difference with this and the research was astounding. It made a massive difference with how kids approached everything in our classrooms. After a while we noticed there was no ‘how-to guide’ for teachers on this, so we decided we would create one. Now we are super passionate about impacting as many parents and teachers and kids as we can. 

It feels like life is becoming more challenging for kids these days, with increasing rates of anxiety and depression, how does your ‘talk to your brain’ program support families to build resilience, persistence and improve self-love for your students?
The program ‘talk to your brain’ has sections on all those topics and more, and that’s because they are so vital. We believe that through teaching these we can improve the wellbeing of our children. It provides parents and teachers with key phrases, lessons, questions and activities that they can do which teach them the skills that they need to function in society. The growing rates of anxiety, depression and bullying are really concerning, and the ages of these experiences is getting younger and younger. The whole premise behind this is to equip students with skills well before they need intervention. 

If you could focus on only a few key things with kids, what would they be?
Emotional intelligence is vital, we always have to face things that come at us whether they are challenging or not. If we’re not provided with strategies on how to do this, unfortunately a lot of people turn to negative coping mechanisms, such as overeating, alcoholism, drugs etc. If we can teach emotional intelligence to kids, they will be better equipped for the challenges they will face as adults. Being able to identify emotions in other people is also massively important in emotional intelligence, we’ll always come across things that involve people, whether its family, relationships, work life or study, being able to identify motions in other people is going to strengthen these relationships and make for more positive interactions. The other would be self-love, these kids need to understand that they are valuable, and they need self-worth, before anyone can love them, they ‘need to love themselves, when something bad happens. If they don’t then they blame themselves and are harder on themselves and will affect their confidence later in life.