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Self-regulation in Schools: An Essential Requirement for Students

Self-regulation in Schools: An essential Requirement for Students Self-regulation is a must-learn skill that you must develop in order to improve your personality, and it should be taught at all levels in schools.

Self-regulation is an important aspect of social and emotional learning. Self-regulation is the ability to keep track of one’s attention, thoughts, and emotions. Students who can control their emotions and behaviour are better able to interact with their peers and respond to the day’s activities. Self-regulation training in schools is now a requirement.

Students in schools are the backbone of our society and represent any country’s future. As a result, the most important aspect to be taught and learned in our schools is self-regulation. In my many years of teaching, I’ve noticed a shift in student behavior. They are no longer tolerant of their peers or, in some cases, teachers. These incidents occur as a result of students’ lack of self-regulation training.

Definition of Self-Regulation

Self-regulation helps us in taking a halt between a feeling and an action—taking the time to think things through, helps in keeping calm in the time of anger, making a plan, and waiting patiently. Students, as well as adults, frequently struggle with these behaviours.

The Child Mind Institute defines self-regulation as a set of skills that students acquire as they grow older. Students must practice self-regulation habits on a regular basis in order to best develop these skills. It is not enough for teachers to introduce strategies and expect students to use them as needed. Every day, students should be encouraged to use these strategies while playing, interacting with teachers, and navigating their own responses and emotions.

Why is self-regulation important?

Students who lack the ability to focus their attention and persevere will be pulled left and right by their immediate impulses within the educational system. Furthermore, students who do not learn self-evaluation strategies will be unable to direct their attention effectively to the areas that require it the most.

While some students may consider poor study conditions, confusing lessons,  self-regulation enables students to navigate these conditions by discovering workable solutions. Self-regulation helps us to improve the encoding of knowledge and skills in memory. Self-regulation helps us in reading comprehension and writing.

Related: Self-Regulation Ability: Nature & Importance

Problems with Self-Regulation

How do self-regulation issues emerge? It could begin as an infant being neglected. A child who does not feel safe and secure, or who is unsure whether his or her needs will be met, may struggle with soothing and self-regulation.

Later in life, a child, adolescent, or adult may struggle with self-regulation, either because this ability was not developed during childhood or due to a lack of coping strategies. If left unchecked, this can lead to more serious issues like mental health disorders and risky behaviours like substance abuse.

Lack of proper training of self-regulation in schools’ teachers also responsible for risky behaviour among students.

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Self-Regulation Phases

There are three periodic phases in the development of self-regulation skills.

First Phase: This is the first phase before actual performance and it prepares the ground for action. It lays out the task to reduce the uncertanity among students and contributes to the creation of a positive mindset. Give more importance to short- term first and then go for long- term while deciding your objectives. Students need to consider the following:

  1. When will you begin?
  2. Where will you be working?
  3. How are you going to get started?
  4. This phase includes what conditions will help or hinder their learning activities.

Sonam, for example, needs assistance in thinking about her Arithmetic homework and reflecting on what she can do to improve her grades.

Is there a better time or place for her to complete her homework?

Should she start at school with her friends who are doing better in Arithmetic than she is?

Should she plan to work on a problem for at least five minutes before giving up and moving on?

Should she have a friend ready to assist her in person or over the phone?

Should she request a tutor?


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Phase 2: Performance control; This phase involves processes during learning as well as the active attempt to employ specific strategies to assist a student in becoming more successful.

We must request that students consider the following:

  1. Are students achieving their objectives?
  2. Are they being misled?
  3. Is this taking longer than they anticipated?
  4. What conditions allow them to achieve the most?
  5. What kinds of questions can they ask themselves while working?

Sonam, for example, must consider her math performance in comparison to other content areas.

Should she stop and take a break when she becomes frustrated?

Should she do her Maths homework first thing in the afternoon, rather than later in the evening?

Should she listen to music or work in silence?

She is supposed to be implementing and evaluating the success or failure of some of the strategies she considered in phase 1.

Phase 3: Self-reflection; After the performance, this phase involves self-evaluation of outcomes in relation to goals.

We must request that students consider the following:

  1. Did they complete what they set out to do?
  2. Were they interrupted, and how did they return to work?
  3. Did they plan enough time, or did they require more time than they anticipated?
  4. Under what conditions did they get the most work done?

“What did I do differently?” Sonia might wonder.

“Was it successful?”

Was it possible to solve more Arithmetic problems by changing your work or time habits?

Did calling a friend who was doing Arithmetic homework at the same time make a difference (as planned)?

Did establishing a time limit help? Was it beneficial to praise oneself aloud during this time?

Steps in the development of good self-regulation:

  • Self-observation is the systematic monitoring of one’s own performance; keeping records is an important part of this.
  • Self-judgment is the systematic comparison of one’s performance to a standard or goal (e.g., re-examining answers; checking procedures; rating answers in relation to answer sheet, another person’s).
  • Self-reaction—engage in personal processes (e.g., goal-setting; metacognitive planning; behavioural outcomes); self-administering praise or criticism; rehearsing, memorising;  goal-setting; structuring environment ; asking for assistance.

Some tools and practises to enhance self-regulation in the classroom are listed below which can benefit the students. They are also beneficial to everyone:

Self-regulation Practice Tools for Classrom


Mindful Activity to improve Self-Regulation

This teaches young people to intentionally focus on the present moment by drawing attention to the body, space, and emotions in order to gain control. Mindfulness enables a young person to pay close attention to a situation without passing judgement and to breathe deeply. This works well for classroom behaviour and anxiety because it gives the student agency in the situation, allowing them to take a moment and then choose to engage in their own time.

Change of Activity Improves Self-Regulation in Classroom

This is an opportunity for students to take a break and engage in a relaxing activity if they feel anxiety and tension. Make specific areas or activities in the classroom available to students to help them regulate their emotions or behaviours. For example, choosing a colouring sheet, light jokes, listening to soothing music, or engaging in a physical activity such as stretching can help students shift their focus.

Courtesy: Giphy



Meditation and Yoga Improves Self-Regulation

This activity will necessitate the assistance of the teacher or another adult in the area. Taking the student out of the classroom to concentrate and focus allows them to process their emotional or behavioural responses and then centre themselves. This will necessitate some scripted language as well as time set aside to participate. Yoga as per Indian Acceptance is the most effective way of learning self-regulation. Alternatively, all students can do this on a regular basis to start their day on a positive note.

Courtesy: Giphy

Zone of Reflexion

We never ask students to be more interactive as teaching is one way traffic in our schools. Allow students to write in order to reflect on their emotions and behaviours.

Teachers can ask guided questions or allow students to write on their own. I recommend that the adult and student use this reflection to decide what should happen next or how they should respond to other situations that may elicit strong emotions or challenging behaviour.

At home and in the classroom, games and activities to help kids understand and control their emotions.

The Zones of Regulation is a framework based on cognitive behavioural therapy that uses four colors–blue, green, yellow, and red–to help pupils identify their feelings and state of awareness.

 Establish Success Routines for Self-Regulation

While many of these strategies are aimed at the student, educators can also play an important role in developing success routines. Consider the specific areas in which your student is struggling and devise routines and strategies to help them.

If a student never seems to remember to bring back their homework, provide them with a specialised homework binder to take home. If a student frequently calls out during lessons, make a plan to call on them at least once when their hand is up.

Role-Playing helps in Developing Self-Regulation among Students

Act out scenarios based on any of the topics you discuss in small groups or with partners. Role-playing is not only entertaining for children, but it also makes it memorable. It should be noted that acting out the socially appropriate way to handle situations is always most beneficial. As a result, it is extremely beneficial to pair students with peer role models who can assist children in brainstorming solutions to problems.

Teachers/staff should take advantage of teachable moments as students move throughout the day. This will help students develop the habit of self-regulation and encourage them to practise on their own. Students who have healthy emotional and positive behaviour intelligence can navigate their learning environments and their world more effectively. As educators, we can continue to support their development by teaching them important skills that they can use both in and out of the classroom to build se;f-regulation.


  1. What is the definition of self-regulation?
  2. Is self-regulation the backbone of society? Explain.
  3. Why is self-regulation important for students?
  4. What are the problems with self-regulation in schools?
  5. Does your school teach you about self-regulation?
  6. What are the three phases of self-regulation?
  7. How can you develop self-regulation for yourself?
  8. How does yoga help us to improve self-regulation?
  9. How does meditation improve self-regulation among students?
  10. What are mindful activities for self-regulation?
  11. What is the zone of reflection?
  12. How does self-regulation help us to be successful people?
  13. How does self-regulation improve our learning skills?
  14. How does role-playing help students improve self-regulation?

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A Word From RLE Mission on the skills you need to learn

RLE Mission requests that everyone assist children in developing self-regulation skills. Assist them in the development of self-regulation abilities so that our nation may be free from tension and anxiety. Let us learn to remain calm in any situation. The sign of maturity in any community is the capacity to disagree. A lack of self-control in any aspect of society leads to disorder and is the cause of numerous social issues. Any country’s progress is hampered by the absence of self-control among its citizens. Due to people’s lack of self-control, we experience such annoyances in our surroundings every day, which becomes the cause of mental harassment and, on some occasion,it becomes the cause of horrible crimes.

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