How to Teach Students Who Are Too [Insert Emotion] to Learn, with Diana Kennedy (The Exceptional Educator, Ep. 2)

How To Teach Students Who Are Too [Insert Emotion] to Learn (

For a moment, I considered titling this episode, “How To Be A Cool Cucumber When Your Students Are Angry Apples.”

Too much fruit.

I don’t know about you, but remaining calm when a student is in pain is one of the most challenging parts of being an effective educator. And forget about actually teaching when a student goes nuclear.

Diana Kennedy

Diana Kennedy

To help us manage these common difficulties, I’d like to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Diana Kennedy. Diana is a fellow educational therapist who runs a thriving private practice in Marin County, California. She’s compassionate and playful, and one of the best educational therapists I know.

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You can right-click here to download an mp3 of the show.

In this episode Diana and I discuss:

  • Nurturing students who are the victims of trauma or who have witnessed trauma.
  • The most effective resources for supporting students who struggle with emotional regulation.
  • Using storytelling and mindfulness activities to help students name and express their feelings.
  • Balancing social-emotional support with “real” academic work.
  • Supporting individual students so they can self-regulate their emotions in the mainstream classroom.
  • Using meta-cognitive techniques to help students cultivate self-awareness of different emotional levels.
  • Teaching “self-conscious” kids to use breathing as a tool for emotional regulation.
  • Helping students who experience anxiety in the classroom mitigate (and even overcome) their anxiety.
  • When you should NOT ask students to show their work. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • The importance of separating your emotions as a teacher from the students’ learning process.
  • How to help kids understand and compartmentalize their learning differences.
  • Supporting students through transitions, like beginning-of-school-year and end-of-school-year worries.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Podcast:

Thanks for listening!

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher to get automatic updates when new episodes of the Exceptional Educator are released, or just sign-up for Blog updates to be notified first when we publish new content.

Diana shares provocative articles about educational therapy and learning disabilities on her blog.

If you’d like to see Diana in person, she’s presenting at the National Association of Educational Therapists Conference and the Learning Disabilities Association Conference this school year.

If you like this episode, please let us know what you thought by leaving an honest review on iTunes. If you’re not sure how to leave a review, here’s a quick video.


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  1. Kier

    Wonderful, Anne Marie!

    • Anne-Marie Morey

      Thank you, Kier! In your practice, I know you’ve done some pretty amazing things to help your students who have emotional challenges. What’s been most successful for you?

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