"Where do I begin?!? After attending professional development for ABC, I was impressed on so many levels.
First, from a research standpoint, you provide the neurological findings linked to social-emotional growth
and development which provides a solid foundation for the ‘WHY’ behind the toolkit. From there, you link
where a learner with an under-developed brain or a brain that is triggered might be and the type of response
he/she may be experiencing. This knowledge provides insight into what type of learning is (or more often is
not) happening when the brain is in a state of fight, flight, or freeze. This information is incredibly
valuable to consider for any learner, but especially for those we would want to see benefit from the ABC
toolkit. Second, from a system and foundation standpoint, you had several elements and strands of learning
embedded in each component. It also provides various ways in which different learners could experience and
access the lessons addressing different learning styles. Third, ABC was likable and seemed simple enough to
start implementing right away! What I took away from it and really ‘took home’ for immediate implementation
was related to the idea of ‘flipping my lid.’ Thinking about this idea and how MY behavior looks in moments
of frustration, as much as what my sons’ behaviors look like when they are frustrated allowed me to be
reflective and think through what I could do to 1. Change my own behavior, 2. Teach my boys about ‘flipping
their lid’ 3. Teach them how to identify that feeling and coping skills when they feel that way. For me,
that AWARENESS about that concept provoked thinking about my actions and how I sometimes am reactive instead
of finding ways to remain calm in an emotionally charged moment to instead respond more rationally. This way
of thinking has prompted self-reflection and new level of self-monitoring that is a better model for my
boys. In addition, it has provided a way to articulate and talk about what my and my boys’ brains are doing
when frustrated and initiated dialogue around better ways to RESPOND instead of REACT!"
- Andrea J., Speech and Language Pathologist and Parent
“Jana Curtis is a teacher who fully understands the importance of relationship when it comes to instructing
children. She creates compassionate, caring relationships with each student that foster understanding of new
material and growth. With her SEL toolkit, she has taken a developmental skill (i.e., self-regulation) and
broken it down into a daily fun activity that can easily be implemented with a special education preschool
population to help teach children about their emotions.”
- Kristy B., School Social Worker
"In 2019, I had the pleasure of creating a workshop on childhood trauma with Jana for a local university. I
found her to be knowledgeable in the various aspects of trauma informed teaching practices including social
emotional growth and hands on techniques. Jana uses her wealth of experience in the field to help others to
understand the effect of trauma on a developing brain and how to set up environments that promote
resiliency. Jana is an engaging presenter that uses “jana-isms” to drive home important educator tips. I
have found that Jana uses her warm approach to connect with her audience and create a safe space for
- Kelly V., Adjunct Professor / Teacher Consultant
"The ABC toolkit has been a game changer to my parenting technique. In using the program my children are now able to fully talk about their emotions and make choices for their own self regulation. It is important for toddlers to understand that we know their feelings and understand them. The program has taught me to not tell my children that they are ok when they are upset. Instead, I am able to sit down with them and hear their feelings. When they feel "heard" my children are able to help themselves to overcome their emotion. I am acknowledging the emotion they are feeling and they are regulating themselves to get back to a calm state. "
- Emily R., Parent
"I had the pleasure of meeting Jana for the first time when I attended her breakout session on meditation and mindfulness. It was life changing! I was so inspired I began making meditation a daily habit. I also learned so much about the importance of self care and mindfulness. I also attended Jana’s full day workshop on the trauma informed classroom. As a Special Education School Social Worker I have attended many trauma workshops. Jana’s passion, energy and enthusiasm made the day fly by. She has a natural ability to connect with the audience and has years of experience and knowledge to share with others. I left there with so much more knowledge about trauma. I also learned new interventions and tools to support student success. Jana is such an inspiration and leader in the field of trauma and special education!"
- Heather M., MSW Early Childhood Special Education School Social Worker
"I have attended a couple of Jana’s sessions around mindfulness and trauma-informed instruction with young children. Jana’s enthusiasm and passion for this work shone through radiantly and left me wanting to go out and take better care of the world (or at least my own personal world and that of the little ones I service in special education, their families, and the school staff I consult with). I loved her “Janaisms”, personal anecdotes that helped convey the message of the importance of MINDFULness versus “Mind Full” ness and using techniques such as mediation (starting with 1 minute a day) to take care of ourselves so that we can better meet the needs of those in our care. Jana has a rich background of working with young children with special needs and she shares the multiple tools she has in her tool kit that help educators to better support students and families impacted by trauma. I look forward to learning more from her and the resources she has to offer and share"
- Grace N., School Psychologist