Adolescence is a time of opportunity.
Rapid brain development during adolescence makes it an ideal time to learn new skills and strategies for dealing with stress, improving communication skills, building a positive sense of self, and resolving conflicts.
About the Be CALM Program
The Be CALM Program focuses on early adolescence, during which there are both opportunities for rapid skill-building and critical developmental risks. The Be CALM Training Model and 16-lesson Be CALM student curriculum equips students with resilience-building skills and strategies for responding to and growing through developmental challenges common to youth, such as increased emotional reactivity, high stress levels, greater academic demands, changes in social systems and relationships, and physiological changes.
Be CALM strengthens self-regulation. Self-regulation is the act of managing thoughts and feelings so that one can behave in ways that support one's values and relationships.
Self-regulation is foundational to lifelong physical and mental health. Research shows that it buffers the effects of stress and predicts achievement more strongly than IQ.
Program Goals and Key Phrases
Press the Pause
on whatever you are doing or thinking and take 3 deep breaths.
Dealing with thoughts and emotions in healthy ways, especially when facing stress and conflict.
to the present moment
Noticing what is happening in your mind and body as well as in your environment.
about what is happening
Being curious about your own and others' values, identities, and perspectives.
to yourself and others
Working out conflicts with others to support healthy relationships.
The Be CALM Approach
The Be CALM team identified two significant opportunity gaps in reviewing the literature on self-regulation interventions for early adolescents: Gap 1 - involving adults, like educators, in supporting adolescents' self-regulation skills development; and Gap 2 - greater emphasis on supporting adolescents' emotion regulation as a significant component of self-regulation. The Be CALM Program targets the first opportunity gap with the guidance of our team's Applied Contextual Model for Promoting Self-Regulation, which emphasizes the importance of interactions with caring adults for promoting youth’s developmental skills and capacities, a process we describe as co-regulation. We followed the evidence to identify an intervention that targets the second opportunity gap. Research shows that focusing on emotion regulation has the strongest positive effects on adolescent emotional wellbeing, and the evidence points to mindfulness as a promising practice for strengthening emotion regulation.
Mindfulness is Pressing the Pause, on purpose, and Tuning In to the present moment with a Curious and Kind attitude.
"I was a tough nut to crack with mindfulness, but it was a success. Now I start everyday with mindfulness."
- Middle School Counselor Participant
The Be CALM Model
The Be CALM Model grew out of research and continuous quality improvement. Our model posits that to be able to provide co-regulation support and teach Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) effectively, educators need strong SEL capacity themselves. Our program utilizes mindfulness as a foundation for building SEL skills in both students and teachers, in a parallel process. The Be CALM model is well-aligned with nationally-renowned CASEL’s evidence-based SEL teaching practices.
START WITH EDUCATORS
Builds capacity for modeling strong SEL skills and teaching with intentionality, awareness, and curiosity. Strengthens relationships with students and promotes a safe, supportive learning environment.
MAKE MINDFULNESS MEANINGFUL
Focuses on applying mindfulness in situations that are relevant to educators and students. Gives educators and students choice and flexibility to discover practices and strategies that promote self-agency in their SEL skills development and personal mindfulness practice.
CONTINUOUSLY SUPPORT EDUCATORS
Optimizes impact of professional development and student curriculum. Supports educators in adapting and implementing the program and curriculum in ways that are culturally responsive, developmentally-appropriate, engaging, and relevant for all students.
APPLY SKILLS IN DAILY LIFE
Enhances educators' ability to apply a mindful coaching approach to help students apply SEL skills in real time to manage stress, difficult peer-to-peer interactions, and other situations as they arise.
TEACH SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM
Increases the number of tools in students' toolboxes that they can use to deal with stress, strong emotions, and conflict in ways that support their values and relationships.
UTILIZE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES
Makes learning and instructional methods active and student-focused. Promotes an inquiry-based approach to guide reflections and discussions.
The Be CALM Student Curriculum
2 Levels (6th-7th & 8th-9th)
The Be CALM curriculum integrates mindfulness + social-emotional learning for optimal emotional and behavioral processes. Mindfulness increases students' awareness of what is happening inside the mind and body as well as in their environment, so they can pause and think before responding to stressful or overwhelming stimuli or emotions. SEL instruction gives them skills and strategies they can use to make wise choices about how to respond in real-life situations.