How To Teach Social Skills In The Classroom With Miriam Campbell

How To Teach Social Skills In The Classroom With Miriam Campbell

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Social skills are essential for surviving and thriving in school - helping pupils connect with one another, understand social boundaries and cope with the demands of the classroom. But what happens if a student has difficulties with one or more of these social skills?

In this week's School Behaviour Secrets, we interview Miriam Campbell - author, former teacher and speech language pathologist. She explains exactly what social skills are, what to do if one of your students is having difficulties interacting socially - and how to get them to develop and use new social skills in the classroom.

Important links:

Book a free consultation with Miriam here

Buy Miriam's Bubble Double book here

Get it touch with Miriam by email:

Visit Miriam's website Skills For Connection.

Join our Inner Circle membership programme:

Download other FREE behaviour resources for use in school:

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Show notes / transcription

Miriam Campbell  0:00  

My favourite part is the next level, where on the bottom of almost all of my constructs, on the bottom of my sheets is always that "I choose" because empowering students to recognise whatever the circumstances, whatever their background is, whatever their history is, there's always a place for choice. And that's something that I feel like our students are sorely sorely lacking, especially in today's culture and society, where there's such a push on the other needs to take care of me and less personal responsibility.

Simon Currigan  0:25  

Hi there. My name is Simon Currigan and welcome to this week's episode of school behaviour secrets. And I should warn you if you're not listening carefully to this week's episode, I will keep you back after the podcast until you've paid attention and learn the material. Remember, it's your own time you're wasting. I'm joined this week by my knowledgeable co host Emma Shackleton, who I'm sure never got kept in at play time. Hi, Emma.

Emma Shackleton  1:28  

Hi, Simon. I did actually. But maybe we'll save that story for another day.

Simon Currigan  1:33  

Maybe. Emma. Before we get to this week's interview. I just wanted to ask you a question. Now according to a survey of 7000 Australians, what five qualities did both men and women consider important qualities for sexual attraction in a partner?

Emma Shackleton  1:51  

Okay, I'm not quite sure where we're going with this. But I trust you. I think top five qualities for sexual attraction in a partner Well, in no particular order, let's guess, good sense of humour, looks, age, maybe how kind they are? And maybe honesty or trustworthiness.

Simon Currigan  2:12  

Okay, interesting answers. We've certainly got an insight into your psyche. The answers 7000 Australians gave in no particular order, by the way were; trust, openness, emotional connection, physical build, and attractiveness.

Emma Shackleton  2:27  

So wasn't too far off the mark. Then where are we going with this thing? Are we looking at moving to the dating podcast genre?

Simon Currigan  2:35  

No, not just yet. The thing is, if you look at three of those qualities, certainly; trust, openness and emotional connection, for they all rely on having good social skills. Good social skills are essential to form any kind of relationship including friendships, and social skills are the focus of my interview today with Miriam Campbell, who is an expert on supporting students with their social and emotional learning in school.

Emma Shackleton  3:03  

Okay, I get it. We're focusing on social skills development. While I'm glad that's safer ground. Just before we play that interview, can I ask our listeners to do a quick favour, please, small actions can have a big ripple effect. So if you're finding the information that you hear in our podcast helpful or useful, please consider sharing with a couple of your friends or colleagues in education. That way, you will be helping us on our mission to reach other like minded individuals who want to do their very best for the kids that they work with. And that is bound to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So now, here's Simon's interview with Miriam Campbell.

Simon Currigan  3:45  

Today, we're very lucky to have Miriam Campbell on the show. Miriam is a speech language pathologist, social worker, former teacher and mother. She currently works one to one with parents providing support for social skills and social and emotional development, her social skills book Bubble Double is newly available on Amazon and has already helped hundreds of families and classrooms with supporting social skills acquisition, her school professional development training programme Skills for Connection is the first of its kind in integrating social and emotional skills naturally, throughout the day, including through academic lessons, Miriam, welcome to the podcast.

Miriam Campbell  4:25  

Thank you so much. It's so great to be here. I'm so excited to be here.

Simon Currigan  4:28  

It's really good to have you here. And we've never really touched on this topic in the podcast before, which is a bit of a shocker really, because social skills are so integral to our children's survival and thrival in schools. Is 'thrival' a word? I don't know, I'm gonna go with it. And so I'd like to start by asking specifically what are social skills and why are they important? 

Miriam Campbell  4:49  

So when I think of social skills as like the skills for connection, and that's really that's the name of my programme, because in my mind is not anything other than a way to connect, it's the desire to connect with another. And so it looks different across different cultures, it looks different across in families, but it is a language and it's, you know, the part of my speech language background where it's a agreed upon language amongst people, it is definitely our way of engaging with other people. It has rules that are set into it that helped us be able to connect with another person. So it's always about connection, whether it's, you know, the conversation part of connection, or whether it's the perspective taking part of connection, or the communication, the conversation skills, the eye contact, the body space, the language, and especially now with the new awareness of the diverse, you know, approach that people have towards connection, it's really a way of us being able to understand like, who am I? And who is the other? And how do I cross that divide between the two? So that way, I don't have to live in an island by myself, and they don't have to live in an island by themselves. And we can actually all grow in the process as educators, as therapists, as children, as parents, as leaders, principals, that is really how I see it. So the programme that I do, really addresses all the different groups because it is incumbent upon all of us, it's not just something we're teaching the kids, we have to be living it in order to be able to teach the kids. That's what I think social skills is.

Simon Currigan  6:14  

And this threads through our kids lives in school. Yeah?

Miriam Campbell  6:18  

Yes, very much. And I was in school as a therapist as a speech therapist as a social worker. And then as a teacher, I actually transitioned into teaching because I felt first of all, I wanted to understand what the teacher was going through, I had spent a lot of time taking kids out of the classroom and even doing push in. And it's a very different, you know, ballgame. Like I learned that teachers are our heroes. When I stepped into the classroom and recognise more and more, the longer I was in the classroom, how much teachers have the power to be able to actually teach these, you know, theoretical concepts that we had been talking about in the therapy sessions in real life. When the struggle with the math came into how do I deal with flexible thinking? How do I deal with growth mindset? How do I do self awareness? How do I identify my emotions? How do I regulate my emotions when I come into a conflict? And really what that did for you know, what that is doing for the schools that are integrating this approach is  it allows them to see the conflicts that they engage with, with the students as opportunities, because instead of like the kid freaked out in class, you go home, you're driving home from, you know, working, having had a terrible day, it's something that's not even in your own control. It wasn't even something that, it becomes like this issue. This conflict is now space and room for me to teach, for me to learn myself as far as regulating my own emotions, and developing my own self into the most compassionate, empathic, patient person that I want to be as a person, but as a teacher, and as an educator, and then also helping my student develop those skills. So it's like, allows when we see it as an integrated part of everything we're doing, how we walk through the halls in the school, oh, we're thinking about the other classrooms and we're quiet because we think about that they might be taking a test, they might feel jealous that they don't get to go out right now and they have to be in the classroom. It changes the way that we think about the rules in school and it changes our conflicts that we address in school and it allows us to really provide life skills for our kids. So a math lesson that may or may not be relevant for a student who chooses to go into writing or chooses to you know, it becomes something that that math lesson becomes integral because they learn how to overcome challenge or I say math because I'm not a mathematician. I'm projecting for all those kids out there. But whatever the skills, whatever the challenges are either in conflict with bullying in the classroom or cliques in the classroom or struggles with it isolation or anxiety. All the things that are we see our kids are struggling with we have an access to be able to actually give them tools you can as a professional as a teacher as a therapist can have this confidence Oh, I know what to do. I know what I want to grow in myself when my student is you know, melting and tantruming and how to address the rest of the classroom and it just allows for us when we see ourselves as developing skills for connection throughout the day as teachers as as the staff as the adults in our kids lives, it changes the whole thing everything is an opportunity. It's all you know, learning and it's all growing and it's beautiful and exciting and the energy that people have, how I feel burned out from this becomes okay, this is what my student is dealing with. Even now I hear all the time about like the, you know, the learning loss from COVID. Learning loss like are we talking academic learning loss? Return my life learning loss? Because the skills that so many of our students had to learn. How do I entertain myself? How do I deal with the conflicts that are at home with siblings, with school, with zoom, with all the things that our kids had to deal with. When we see our lives not as the boxes but as like learning opportunities and growth it energises us as teachers and it allows us to help you know, water our kids and water our students to be able to grow in that way as well.

Simon Currigan  9:54  

I really love that approach the idea that you can look at, say a behaviour issue in class and something that's interrupting the learning, something that, you know, we've got to deal with. But actually, it's a coaching opportunity. There's a missing social skill there. And actually, we can jump in and make a positive difference if we've got the right tools.

Miriam Campbell  10:13  


Simon Currigan  10:13  

And we feel confident about what we're doing to make a real difference for that child, not just in my lesson, but perhaps the lesson after lesson after in the lesson after and when they go home. And when they're playing with their friends.

Miriam Campbell  10:22  

Yes, and I always find myself like, you know, when I hear about like having the confidence, I'm not talking about perfection, I'm talking about the learning process. And when we see ourselves in that process of learning, when we see ourselves like, oh, I actually didn't know what to respond when the student XYZ or I felt my blood boiling. And I felt my face turn red. And I felt myself losing it, that honesty to be able to be part of the process of developing our own skills as educators. Like I screamed at that student, I, you know, flipped out at that student. Being able to be honest with our own process of, I don't have a skill in this, or I'm working on a skill. And this is also part of that process, just like we want our students to be able to see themselves on a lifelong trajectory of growth and development and progression. We see ourselves as that as educators, oh, I don't know how to deal with the student that is having a very difficult, you know, difficult time focusing and it's disruptive to the students around them. Okay, let me be honest with that, let me reflect and develop those skills. 

Simon Currigan  11:20  

Why do you think some children seem to learn the social skills easily and naturally, while others find it more difficult?

Miriam Campbell  11:26  

That is the million dollar question that everyone, all the scientists are asking, you know, why are there so many more ?Definitely. We have autism and all these things. There are like probably, you know, you could think for yourself of how the world has changed in the last two years, in the last er, five minutes!

Simon Currigan  11:41  

It's only two years, only two years, but it feels like a lot longer.

Miriam Campbell  11:44  

But even as far as like the advent of internet, how much the increase of anxiety amongst our kids, it's so directly proportionate, like you could see it in the study. That's it's ridiculous that there isn't more action being done to help protect our kids from this, from the media exposure, that they are just being, you know, flooded with and the impact that's having on our kids. But there's also some people have inborn traits that are making it more difficult. Let's say attention makes it harder to be able to be aware of yourself, of your own process, and also can make it more difficult to be aware of the other. That's an issue, our parents being more distracted. Just think in the schoolyard, how many teachers are scrolling through on their phones, they're not supposed to have their phones on them, but how much our kids are seeing, lack of social interaction engagement. That's how we learn anything is through our models. That's our guide. And whether it's, there are models of what we don't want, or our models of what we do want and we want to imitate, we want to provide models where they can imitate us, we don't want to be that teacher that's like, oh, I want to be like, not like that, too. And I'm learning through the No, we want them to learn through Yes, but there's so many components of the pieces that cause it to be challenging for our kids nowadays.

Simon Currigan  12:48  

What kinds of behaviours might we see in the classroom that result from difficulties with social skills? What are the telltale signs as an adult teaching and watching my kids in the classroom?

Miriam Campbell  12:58  

It's such a good question, I would say everything. How's that?! Meaning, like when you think about, let's say, a child is struggling with anxiety or flexible thinking, for example. What is underlying that? You know, a child who struggles with flexible can be very often has difficulty with their environment and doesn't understand their environment, which might be a cognitive skill of sequencing or cause and effect. So they don't understand the randomness, that is their patterns of their life, that they don't really see the patterns. So they are very inflexible with they must have this marker or you said we were going to go to the gym on this day. They're very inflexible, that can be sharing or telling of an underlying skill. Difficulty with perspective taking, so a kid that's really like having a hard time, like having things done their way, they need it to be their way. For somebody who is struggling with bullying, or a student who's struggling with being bullied or like emotional regulation, like I could go on and on and on. I would say like, I'm nervous to this because I'm sure someone who's gonna be able to come up with a difference. But I would say everything that is a challenge in the classroom, at its core has its roots in needing development in skills for connection, whether it's with ourselves or with others or you know, everything that encompasses. 

Simon Currigan  14:05  

Okay, so we see our child is having difficulty socially in the classroom. How do we then identify exactly which building blocks? which social skills that they might need to support to develop?

Miriam Campbell  14:17  

That's where the fun part comes, because the more aware and open we are to really seeing our students, the more we're going to pick up and they're going to tell us where their holes are. I was just speaking to a parent doing a parent coaching with parents and they were saying how their child keeps on asking them like, wait, what's the day that we're doing this? What's this? you know, and she's able to realise it. So we work together to help her realise that it's a sequencing issue. So that was like a cognitive challenge versus another parent who was struggling with a child who has difficulty with turn taking. Their siblings are banging on the bathroom door. They want their turn, you know, and what are they going to do? It's figuring out like, I teach constructs, I teach 12 constructs of different processes. I do it in six different courses, and I walk through what the specific skills are that are underlying other skills and so like if you're struggling with self awareness, how do you connect? How do they let them see the connection between their body language and what they're communicating and with other persons thoughts they might have? And their and their feeling about that? And then therefore their response about that? That's nice. Yeah, I think I feel like choose model that I teach them or let's say perspective taking. So then like how to integrate, okay, so like, Who are you in this? and be able to validate the student in their own experience. And then the student then is challenged, okay, well, who are they in it? This is who you are in it. You're seen, you're heard, you're validated, you're, you know, accepted. Now, who was the other ? And then my favourite part is the next level where on the bottom of almost all of my constructs, on the bottom of my sheets is always the "I choose" because empowering students to recognise whatever the circumstances, whatever their background is, whatever their history is, there's always a place for choice. And that's something that I feel like our students are sorely sorely lacking, especially in today's culture and society, where there's such a push on the other needs to take care of me and less personal responsibility, that piece of the I choose is really what helps us be able to empower our students. So where I had a student I was once working with later the teacher had contacted me, how do we work with a student? he tells me I have ADHD, I'm a lot of bunch of other kids with ADHD, they need to understand me. And I remember, like, he was really struggling with this, I changed the details, obviously, because he, he couldn't see his own role in it. And he couldn't take responsibility of his own role in it, or even see the hope. And when we tell our children, you have choice, it gives them hope to be able to be better, to be different to be more advanced, more evolved, like all the things that we admire about, you know, overcoming and achieving, we allow them to have space to actually access that for themselves. So when I go into a school and teachers tell me, okay, there is a bullying issue in this classroom, then we can actually address Okay, so where are the holes? Is there self esteem issues here? Does a person have self awareness? Are they succeeding in anything is the hole more a place of that they don't have the cognitive skill or that they don't have enough self, that they can't get to the next stage? Where are the holes that are happening, and then address them. And again, giving our students that piece of I choose, you have a choice in this. And when I do teacher trainings, this is something that as a teacher may or may not have happened to me, it was in the classroom, it happened to me. And I'm in the middle of teaching. And I had a very, you know, as everyone does, students of all different ranges, and I had my student go to the back of the classroom, one of them and shut the light off in the middle of my lesson. Now, I was in a school where I did not have support to be able to send a student out for being disruptive, the student either was with me, or they were outside by themselves in the hallway, there was no, you know, school social worker or anybody to help support this teacher. And so I had to like think about my choices. So like thinking through, let's say, my construct of what I see, I think I feel I choose, okay, I see my you know, the lights off, I think the room is about to erupt in chaos, I feel panicky. I choose to run out of the room and never come back. Just escape. I think this might be a problem. I feel concerned, I choose to take a deep breath. Okay, I see the light is off. I think this is an interesting challenge. Because I have taken a breath, I have new thought, new blood flow, I have new progress, okay, I've now, I've seen that my I'm a person of choice, I can either run out of the classroom or as a person of choice, as a teacher, I can choose to find a solution in this space. So I ended up doing was teaching with my hand over the light and how much the students heard, I don't know, that was the best I could come up with in the time. And that's also okay, even if that wasn't the best solution. And maybe after the fact that could have maybe thought to I don't know, page somebody to maybe come or come up with other type of solution. In the moment, that was the best choice. And for me to be able to have that self reflection of okay, I'm also a person of choice. I'm also person of self awareness. I'm also person, it's also incumbent on me to choose my response, who I want to be in this moment and model that for my students. But the underlying pieces of each component are the pieces that we learn as educators to be able to see where our students are struggling, where do they need that support.

Simon Currigan  18:54  

You make such a good point. Because the stories we tell ourselves about the situation we are in and the kinds of people we are, kind of dictate our response to. And so you gave the example of a student, if you tell yourself the story that I cannot succeed in this situation. And I can only succeed if everyone helps me, and I have no choice, then that kind of writes what's going to happen next, really, and it's probably going to be negative. As an adult, if we're struggling to teach a class. If we tell ourselves the story, I cannot cope in this situation I need to run away, then that's probably what will happen. And we'll have a terrible afternoon. But if we rewrite that story consciously and say, well, there is something I can do here, it might not be perfect. It's not gonna be a brilliant afternoon, but actually, I have got what it takes to cope in this situation. That reframing is really powerful, isn't it?

Miriam Campbell  19:42  

It's very powerful. And to me, people have a hard time with this distinction, because if everyone should accept me the way I am, and that means like I'm in the right, then I can't really make any mistakes. But if I'm responsible for my choices, then I can make a mistake and it actually allows for more compassion when we see ourselves as responsible and as people of choice, you know, and when we don't respond the way we want. I actually did a training in a preschool once. And the principal came up to me afterwards. And she said, aside from like, the teachers appreciating what it was, she's like, what you offered us was the opportunity to be able to be imperfect in what we do. And when we have the capacity to be imperfect in our learning process, then we can actually improve. She said, You know, there was teachers that had been there for years had that for the first time, we're asking questions, I could ask questions, because they didn't have to be perfect in their skills for connection, because it's a lifelong process. So if you don't have to be perfect, you actually can grow. Because if you have to have in your head that I am perfect, then you can't actually grow, you've already hit the ceiling, there's no space, like, you can't break that ceiling. The skills I'm using I use in my own life, I'm growing myself, I use them as a parent, I use them as, as a spouse, I use them as a, you know, in my work, I always have to be growing, I have to be able to say like, oh, that podcast, I didn't really love what I said that time or I didn't like the way I framed it. And I have to be able to be honest about that. That class I gave, but that didn't really work out. So well. Let me try and grow. Let me try and adjust. And then I'm always going to be assured to be improving.

Simon Currigan  21:04  

That's such an important point. So Miriam, one stumbling block that I've seen that's common for social skills interventions is say the pupil goes away to work in a group or individually with a member of staff, and they practice one of the skills and they're able to use it in that small group or that one to one environment, that then they have real difficulty transferring that knowledge to the real world where they actually need it. What have you found is the secret to helping them use those skills throughout the day practically, when they actually need them?

Miriam Campbell  21:34  

That is such a scary question, because it actually is probably at the heart of most of the difficulties of social skills intervention, it actually made me take pause when I was considering what to do like, should I be encountering this very terrifying truth that the skill integration is the hardest part of social skills. Conceptually, very often our students have the concepts and sometimes they can even do in practice, although that is, you know, the next level up is when they can do it in practice. But how do we get it actually into their life. And that was really when I started transitioning, I started out working with kids directly. And then I found I would either go into the classroom and try and talk to the teacher, and they were obviously trying to take care of that 30 other kids in their classroom, or I would as a, you know, try and reach out to their parents very, very difficult to reach out to, you know, connect, especially in the school setting. That was very, very hard. And so I was having difficulty reaching the teachers difficulty reaching the parents, and how do I get the skills that my students are working hard on developing from our sessions to real life? And that was partially why I decided to start teaching, like, what would it look like if a teacher who's with the students for so many hours of the day actually could integrate these skills. Now, what I found was, is that without having like a programme or infrastructure, even though I'm a speech therapist, I'm a social worker, I'm trained in this, it is so hard to fit it into your day, how do you and you know, add another subject to your class. So that was when I really realised it has to be something that is plastic, and that it's fluid and how it's naturally integrated. Or it's something that as the teacher I'm thinking about in my own process, and through my thinking about it, I'm able to relate to the students through that lens. So that was how I created the Skills for Connection was I wanted to give teachers constructs where they felt confident I understand this construct, I understand how to use it. So that's what they would do like a school's training, and then they would figure out okay, the follow up questions are, how do I actually fit fit that? And how do we actually use these skills? So that way, when I am seeing the student notes, this is how I say and when How do I use this construct to do a social studies lesson? How do I use this construct to do a math lesson? How do I use this construct to discuss the conflict of noisiness in, you know, the lunchroom. Any conflict that came up, if we have these constructs in place, and our teachers feel confident in it, then they're able to be the ambassadors of social skills throughout the day. And that was where change happened when everyone was on board. And I'm talking about like the school was on board. And you know, the schools that have you know, they're really taking this seriously then do parent trainings at night where then like the train their parents how to use it, so that way, the students all day long are hearing about the connection between their thoughts and their feelings. Just because that's how people are talking, Oh, I see your arms are crossed. I see you looking down. I'm thinking something's bothering you feeling concerned. I always ask, how are you doing? What's going on? Are you okay? I see that your papers crumpled up. I think you like a ball or something. I feel curious. I just ask, Why is your paper crumpled up? Whatever it is, like teaching the contracts in a way that that is how we talk. We talk in that manner. We talk about Oh, I see from your perspective, you got there into that seat first and your bag was there. And you know, you thought this is your place and you feel justified. And you know, you're thinking like this is mine, some rightfully mine and what's happening in his perspective, you know, and you can even challenge the students to do that. So, when the teachers are the ambassadors then first of all, we get the benefit of all the teachers being able to develop the skills themselves. So every teacher walks into the classroom and walks into the day and they see, you know, their co worker. And they see that their co workers texting when they walk in and they think to themselves, I see them texting, I think that they don't like me, I feel annoyed, I choose to badmouth them to the other co worker. With the skills that we want our kids to do with our teachers are thinking about these things in the whole school environment changes, it's a whole paradigm shift for the entire school. What's tricky about it is it doesn't have the nice beautiful package of you know, you have half an hour a day, watch this video, do this exercise and then do this thing. Now I do have schools that are amazing staff have actually developed further because every culture is so different within the school, even the staff themselves know, okay, these are this is what my community could be comfortable with that. And that's perspective taking to think about what the parents would want. And to think about, you know, how can we create a joint effort, but being able to actually integrate these things throughout the day requires personal responsibility. Where Okay, so then I'm writing down, my goal is, let's say I want to use three constructs today, my plan is to use it with this thing, this thing and this thing, but I have flexibility. Because once I know the constructs and this issue comes up, I know how to apply it or after the fact I know that I failed in this or I messed up or now can now how I want to learn from that situation. And now I can use the construct there. So it's something that because it's actually real, then it doesn't come in a nice bow, as nothing that's a real ever does.

Simon Currigan  26:20  

It sounds like we have a lot of school leaders listening to this show head teachers, deputies assistant heads, that kind of thing. And by the sound of what you're saying is to get the most out of this, we need to be threading this out throughout the school day, throughout the range of lessons that our kids experience. And as school leaders, what we need to do is provide the structure that makes it easier for our staff to be able to implement on the classroom day after day after day. 

Miriam Campbell  26:46  

Yes, and it even can be fun. Like I have a school that has like a competition. Like how many I see. I think I feel choose did you get into your classes today? And like part of their lesson is which construct Are you teaching during this lesson? You're teaching a civil war session? Sorry, I'm from the States. When we teach the lessons, we teach it through the concepts of perspective taking when we talk about problem solving as one of the constructs. And we talked about well, like, what do you think they could have done? You know, that was what happened? The wars have happened. What could have been done? Let's brainstorm. Let's try and think about their perspective. Let's come up with a brainstorm of all the things that are bothering them. Now let's come to the brainstorm of possible solutions. Okay, now, well, that would that have settled their problem. And teaching them the actual skill that we want them to deal with when they deal with a bully in the lunchroom, when they deal with the conflict of who's sitting in whose seat? Or whatever the components are. That are the real things that happen in life? How can we give them those skills? And we think about that, like as educators like how can we use these situations as opportunities? How can we use the classroom as space to be able to do this and it's fun? It's it really is it changes the dynamic from being one of stress to being one of opportunity and choice and possibilities.

Simon Currigan  27:53  

We've been talking and I think we've only just scratched the surface of this topic. If you're a teacher or a parent listening to this podcast, what's the first step you can take today to start helping your pupils with their social skills?

Miriam Campbell  28:05  

Well, of course, you should definitely email me for a free demo, that's for sure But aside from that, what every person can do, right, this moment is being able to acknowledge for themselves and they are also part of this journey, where I as a parent am part of this journey, I as a teacher am part of this journey. This isn't a kid's problem. This isn't a student's problem. This isn't a Corona problem. This isn't a, you know, 2022 problem. This is here we have in front of us, our lives and the lives of all the people that we can impact and we are all part of this journey. It's not Oh, that kid has this diagnosis. It's I am struggling with perspective taking because I am having a hard time relating to the student that's on me. Now that doesn't there for me the student can't grow or that we don't have hope for the student. But that's good for me to take responsibility. Okay, I see that I've placed for for me to grow in this. How can I explore? What can I brainstorm? What can I do? That's a different construct that I teach about? How can I see this as an evolving process that I too am part of and I too, am responsible for that. And I would say, today, you could do this next minute you can do How can I relate to my spouse? I could I relate to my coworker? How can I relate to my employees, my employer, my students, the you know, Superintendent, the person at the front desk, everyone, it's all in all of us. And it's exciting because we all can grow in it.

Simon Currigan  29:17  

And how can listeners find out more about your website now you've said to email you but you've got other resources, you've got a book on Amazon, can you tell us how to get a hold of those.

Miriam Campbell  29:26  

So I do cohorts and you can check out any of my cohorts on skills for I'm on Instagram skills for the number four connection and I you know, routinely put out like social emotional regulation, I just did a series on that you again, free demo, which helps, you know, see what the construct could look like. I do free consults because I am so excited to share this with everybody and I have a WhatsApp group for parents and a different Whatsapp group for the professionals that obviously though we all are part of this, but it's you know, just there's different questions that come up when you're dealing with a classroom and when you're dealing with your child at home. And yeah, and Bubble Double is available. That's my book on Amazon that really talks through and spells out different skills of social skills, and also allows it to be something that is playful and wonderful and exciting. And bubbles. You know.

Simon Currigan  30:14  

It doesn't have bubbles. Miriam. Last of all, we asked this of all our guests, who is the key figure that's influenced you? Or what is the key book that you've read? That's had the biggest impact on your approach to working with kids?

Miriam Campbell  30:27  

Influenced me? I would say my parents, and I would say that they are role models that people who are always growing, I have eight siblings, and even when the youngest was in school, my parents would still, you know, be learning about parenting, and they had tonnes of experience. And that really showed me that we're never finished growing, and we never have to be, you know, stuck. With any place we are, we always can get way beyond, way more connected and way more expansive. And just I would say they're the ones that have influenced me the most.

Simon Currigan  30:55  

Miriam Campbell, it's been a pleasure. I've learned a lot, certainly. Thank you for being on the show. 

Miriam Campbell  31:00  

My pleasure.Thank you so much for having me. It's been so great. Thank you.

Emma Shackleton  31:04  

Really interesting to hear Miriam talk there, especially about how social skills underpin so much of our students success in schools with friendships, as well as succeeding with their academic work.

Simon Currigan  31:18  

Yeah, completely. They're so important, and I put links to Miriam's or website and book in the episode description. 

Emma Shackleton  31:25  

And of course, there's a whole number of reasons why a child might have difficulty with their social skills. And we've got a free download that could help. It's called the SEND handbook. It's newly updated, and we've written it to help you to link behaviours that you see in the classroom with underlying conditions such as autism, ADHD, and trauma.

Simon Currigan  31:47  

The idea isn't for teachers to try and make a diagnosis because that's the role of medical practitioners. But to help educators start making connections between the behaviours they see in the classroom and possible underlying needs, so we can start getting help from the right professionals and get early intervention strategies in place.

Emma Shackleton  32:06  

The handbook also gives you a wealth of fact sheets full of useful information about seven underlying conditions, including FASD, PDA and ODD. It's a completely free download, visit Click on the free resources tab, and you'll see the SEND handbook available to download for free from the top of the page. We'll also drop a direct link in the episode description. 

Simon Currigan  32:36  

And finally, if you found today's episode interesting or valuable, don't forget to open up your podcast app and hit the subscribe button. If you haven't done already. This will tell you app to automatically download every episode as it's released so you never miss a thing. It's like series link from your telly but for podcasts and subscribing will make you feel as happy as a squirrel who's just stumbled across a particularly large pile of nuts. Now that's happiness.

Emma Shackleton  33:01  

On that note, thank you for listening. We hope you have a brilliant week and we look forward to seeing you next time. Bye for now. 

Simon Currigan  33:10  


(This automated transcript may not be 100% accurate.)