So, mindful of the trauma of that moment I resolved to help pre-service teachers change their habits in less traumatic ways. Such a strategy is the 'memory tag' or "reminder" that a student can use to raise her consciousness concerning something about her teaching behavior she wants to change. For the past two weeks I have been working with Natalie, one of my student teachers, to slow her rate of speech when she is teaching. She's doing an outstanding job in the classroom but I felt she would get less tired and frazzled if she slowed down a little. To do this I suggested she put a Bandaid on one finger so that when she felt it it would remind her about her rate of speech.
Today when I observed her I couldn't believe the difference. She was speaking at exactly the right speed and everything about her was calmness. The fourth grade students were also noticeably less frenetic and so after I had observed the lesson I complimented her on her new found skills and asked her if she had tried the Bandaid idea. She held up her hand to reveal the largest costume jewelry ring I have ever seen. She said that every time she felt the ring she remembered to slow down. Isn't that neat!