Educator Craig Smith teaches strategies that help autistic children develop self-regulation skills, resilience and a sense of self — nurturing their mental health and wellbeing.
While Craig’s passion lies in creative education strategies for children and young people with autism, his work is designed to provide a meaningful educational experience for all children and parents.
“One of the core goals in our school is to teach our students how to emotionally regulate,” Craig says. “This means that we work on helping our students to consider how they feel, what it is that lead them to feel this way, and what strategies they can use to help feel the way they want to feel.”
When he became aware of the Pixar movie ‘Inside Out’ it was such a natural fit, Craig says, to work out ways of engaging it for classroom practice.
“The movie is all about visualising the process of reflecting on your feelings and learning how to emotionally regulate, which is the perfect subject matter for us to address with our students,” Craig says.
“Using an iPad, our teaching staff were able to generate innovative learning activities that build off the content of Inside Out in a way that made the subject matter of the movie a deep, quality educational experience.”
Craig and his team built an iTunes U course, Explore Your Emotions, Inside and Out, out of the lessons they created and taught on the iPad, and have been excited to “share the course with the world”. The feedback on the many ways that other educators are using an iPad to engage emotional regulation in their classrooms as well is something Craig has found invaluable.
If you’d like to know more, Craig will be at Sydney’s Apple store chatting about Explore Your Emotions, Inside and Out this Thursday 21 April at 6:30 pm.