My first teaching job was at a school with a large group of refugees from East Africa. These are actually the munchkins that got me the job at the school. I loved them and wanted so much for others to recognize what these little dears had been through and continued to go through living in the ghetto's of Phoenix. They were a tough crowd. My job was to teach them to speak and read English--not an easy task when many of them showed up for school ready to punch someone's face in.
Before each lesson I would do a few exercises to get them out of their brainstems (fight or flight center) and into their frontal lobes (creative, problem solving center). These exercises were designed by a woman named Becky Bailey as part of her "Conscious Discipline" philosophy. I have employed them with kids from all over the world and also in my own life when I'm starting to feel a little helter skelter. They are so simple and so effective.