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Helping Kids Process Big Emotions: A Practical, 4-Step Approach

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Show Notes:

Many of you have likely just started the school year, or maybe you're about to. And, I realize that the first six weeks are especially crazy. I totally get it. Beyond getting your classroom prepared, you also have to prepare yourself for managing behaviors and getting to know all the different personalities that your new students will have. 

To add to the unexpectedness of a typical school year, many of you will welcome students who haven’t even been inside a classroom in over a year due to the pandemic. This won’t be an easy adjustment for all children, as they begin to process the grief they have felt after being in isolation at home without access to their peers. “Helping students transition back to school following a pandemic” is most definitely not a course covered in University!

If you are a brand new teacher, it’s possible that you don’t have your own children yet. For this reason, I can assume that you may feel extra unprepared when it comes to having strategies to help children work through their emotions. Well, I have a very special treat for you, because I have an incredible guest on the show today to help with just that. Her name is Jo Dodd, and she will share an amazingly simple and effective way to help children process big emotions in a healthy way. I think you'll find that these strategies are useful for adults as well!

Jo Dodd is a coach and indie-author who writes books for kids WITH her kids! After a 6-month furlough in 2020, Jo took a bold leap, stepping away from a 25-year career in Corporate America, to launch Jotopia Productions, LLC, where she writes content to encourage children (and their adults!) to embrace their light within and share it with the world. Jo's books focus on the power of positive thinking, embracing diversity and crushing fear. With a background in Learning and Development, and a family full of educators, Jo has a passion to help children learn through creativity. Pair her books with a pre-written lesson plan and you'll have a class full of happy, engaged students!

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • How to help students to focus on their breathing as a way to calm down and reduce anxiety.
  • Why it's important to become aware of where an emotion is rising in your body.
  • Strategies to help your students name their emotion and healthy ways for them to release it.
  • Giving space for children to process their emotions and practice corresponding skills.

Click on the images below to purchase Jo's books! 


Also, be sure to download this freebie to help your year get off to a great start:

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

Connect with Jo:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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