"Self-Control Boot Camp" with Ms. Gore

by Michael Porter
In Ms. Teresa Gore's Enhancement class, the 5th and 6th graders began the year with a two-week "Boot Camp" on using self-control. 
Donning a camo cap, Ms. Gore assumed the role of a drill sergeant (though an empathetic one) and provided information and group exercises for her students that provided examples of positive self-control — and the lack thereof.

Self-control is one of the basic skills one needs to lead a successful life. It enables you to refrain from making impulsive decisions or saying something you may regret later, and it helps to keep emotions at bay while completing a task.
"Stop, pause, and take a deep breath about the choice you're about to make," Ms. Gore instructed.

While much of the boot camp involved self-reflection and guided instruction, one of the highlights was improvising and acting out skits which showed examples of a lack of self-control.
"They are starting off role playing a scenario of what NOT to do...a lack of self-control," Ms. Gore said.
After each of the lively skits, the students discussed where self-control was absent, and how things would have gone if the participants had controlled their words and actions better.
The unit on self-control also included information such as using self-talk to remind yourself of why you should follow the rules, thinking of goals, and considering the consequences of your actions.
"Do your best and there will be no regret," said 5th grader Leo R.