CORE Start Program

CORE Start is a restorative, high-productivity technique that can help beleaguered teachers and "wired" students (apathetic or checked-out) make the most of their classroom experience. It transforms learning by creating a healthy, sustainable balance where students practice how to self-direct their time, adapt to challenges, and create their lives and work "in the Zone" instead.  See the below infographic for the CORE Start basics, then read details about how to adopt this transformative learning process for your students and yourself.



Use CORE Start to Avoid Extremes

Too many of us bounce back and forth between overexertion and under-exertion. Use the chart below to determine: 

Where Do I Spend Most of My Time ?

Over exertion
Low satisfaction (never enough!)


"Hard" work – workaholic - Lots of busy work
Hyper alert/hyper activity
Inefficient – (results don't equal effort)
Too much structure – no free time - never enough time
Hard on body - push self; run on fumes - can feel manic, compulsive
Chronos (Greek: clock time) – quantitative, sequential, measured in minutes/hours etc.

CORE Start Zone/ Balance/ Eustress/ Natural Human rhythm

Well-paced - Balance of action & rest; active & inactive (half-mind) – ebbs and flows of activity
Produces Optimal results – including unexpected insights
Where need to start to get into the Zone (flow)
Longevity possible (marathon vs. sprint vs. stopping); helps build momentum
Creates space/opportunity for inspiration; allow for quiet; enables listening to intuition
Less stress on body/mind/soul/emotions
Sufficient structure to be supportive of most intelligent activity (with space for thinking, reflecting, adjusting)
Optimal to launch creativity - sink into Zone; here can become unaware of time
Allows to determine the “why?” of activity - set & adjust intention -keep up motivation

Satisfaction, happiness, contentment, calm


Too little stress

Low Satisfaction

Procrastination; lack of focus; give up
Why bother – what’s the point?
"Lazy" - wasting time 

Not organized - Inadequate structure
Don’t get much of anything done
Inefficient due to insufficient activity/idleness
Lack of focus/intention - can feel depressed

Kairos (Greek: time that is created by events – not measurable; the time of being)


The Many Benefits of CORE Start in Education

CORE Start is one of many complementary streams of educational innovation that are emerging at this time in human history. CORE Start is a powerful way to combat “pollution of the mind”, high stress, and the constant anxiety of mental white noise and FOMO (fear of missing out) – by restoring this subtle mind-erosion with feelings of balance, well-being, calm, peace, confidence, and happiness.

In the Core Start program we teach a new research-based classroom management structure, with which teachers can start experimenting and then adjust to their own and their students needs.  The CORE Start process is a small -- but profoundly efficient and effective -- teaching adjustment. It takes only 4-5 minutes of each class session to establish, maintain, and wrap-up a much more productive environment for learning and retention. With this series of small new habits, much more time can used successfully in classroom activities, rather than in trying to get students to focus and pay attention. 

To learn more about the CORE start program and/or to become certified in teaching it, contact us for a free consultation


Specific Benefits for Students

Problems/Pain areas we address:

• Associate school and learning with pain, failure
• Lack of focus, attention, concentration in school and elsewhere
• distracted, FOMO while in school and elsewhere
• Hyper-alert state – wired, stressed, anxious, agitated
• Constant interruption (external & internal)
• Difficulty studying, doing homework
• Mental, physical, spiritual imbalance, insecurities, FOMO
• Global problem: “pollution of the mind”



Results we provide:

• Improve attention & study capacity, i.e., ability to focus
• More respectful classroom behavior (for teacher, classmates, and self)
• Self-management skills: Increased ability to learn & remember, plus to study on own; learn how to set boundaries so accomplish goals
• Also more able to solve problems and be creative
• Experience small successes that lead to bigger ones – incremental change
• Become significantly more productive (vs. frustrated/bored) during classroom time
• Build a calm, supportive learning community of teachers & peers
• Develop better study habits, positive thinking, effective work skills over time
• Better health: Mental, physical, spiritual balance, sense of well-being, confidence
• Enjoyment of optimal environment for learning; learning transfers to rest of life
• Replace mental space taken up now with white noise/FOMO – with room to learn
• With more calm/less conflict & anxiety, will increase respect for human difference, including different learning styles, i.e., students more able to proceed at own pace


Specific Benefits for Teachers


Problems/pain areas we address:

• Burned out, stressed – thinking about quitting teaching
• “Classroom management” takes too much of time/effort; just babysitting
• Expected to multi-task; constant interruptions & distractions
• Have to deal with sullen, agitated, rebellious, entitled students
• Inability to do real teaching; students cannot or will not focus
• Increasing disrespect for teachers, other students, themselves
• Lack of support by administration or other teachers
• Sense that things are getting much worse
• Physical danger in schools a growing, national problem (aggressive outburst, threatening behavior, fighting, bullying – even violence from guns, knives,)


Results we provide:

• Much more effective and easy classroom management with innovative tools
• Increased calm, focus & enjoyment – not just for teaching, but also for rest of life
• Improved overall sense of well-being, health (mental, physical, spiritual)
• Recapture original energy/enthusiasm for teaching; job satisfaction; reason for hope
• Increased teaching effectiveness; increased life/relationship effectiveness
• Best use of personal & classroom time – less repetition and wasted time
• Improved interactions & relationships with students
• Better results in students’ learning and productivity
• More respectful, energized and focused students
• Ongoing support for implementation in own life & work
• Tailored materials & techniques for different age groups 


The Research: Why CORE Start works so well

The Power of Pragmatism

CORE Start shows teachers and students how to build higher-functioning, pragmatic learning habits. Pragmatism is an American philosophy, started with Charles Sanders Pearce while teaching at Harvard University; this approach asks: what works, what doesn't work, and why - and prompts you to adapt according to this feedback from the real-world. Pragmatism was adopted world-wide for business improvement processes in the 1900s (TQU, PDCA). CORE Zone is a pragmatic process, then that allows teachers and students to experiment with the CORE Zone process so they can become more clear, powerful, and in charge of creating their own future. CORE Start also reduces the constant internal white noise that prevents students from learning -- so they are more receptive to other innovative educational tools, rather than automatically ignoring, resisting, or rejecting them.

Successful Changing of Learning Habits

The CORE Start is based on The Compass Course (the successful Balancing Act life & work skills training for youth).  For both students and adults, new habit formation is key to successful change and optimal functioning. BUT, as we all know, change is very, very difficult. In fact, only 1 in 9 people will change if they are told that if they don't, they will die. (See Alan Deutschmann's brilliant book "Change of Die" for the research.) The Balancing Act change process comes from a process that incorporates the research that increases odd of successful change from 1 in 9 to a whopping 90%!!! CORE Start greatly improves the odds of change by having teachers and students: 1. Reset; 2. Reframe; 3. Re-prioritize; 4. Relate; 4. Repeat; 6. Reform. (See full Balancing Act spiral process that starts at the CORE).

Eliminating interruptions

Another major reasonbCORE Start increases effectiveness of study & learning is by eliminating interruptions. Research indicates that when our concentration is interrupted, it takes a full 20 minutes to return to the same level of concentration so we can pick up the threads. So…sending a quick text, answering a call, etc. breaks up focused learning in ways that are extremely difficult to recover from. And if there are even a couple of interruptions in a 60 minute time block, the learning will be minimal.

Interruptions result in frustration, a giving-up response, a sense that I can’t learn – and inhibited memory (because you didn’t grasp it in the first place). Recent research indicates that “wired” young people test even more poorly on memory than seniors!

Getting it right from the Start.

CORE Start signals an individual’s brain, body (and ripples out to all peers in classroom group) that I’m now settling in to do this activity.

The CORE start habit formation is a research & experienced-based gold standard. It is a great place to start – to calm, center, focus students in a room. This process is designed for the “utilitarian good” – i.e., it should work for most of the students, most of the time. And this fact in turns, helps create ripple effects both inside and outside a given classroom.

Powerful, Positive Ritual

Humans have a deeply instinctive need for ritual. The CORE start high-learning process is a modern-day educational ritual that is all the more powerful, because, by and large, most students lack supportive rituals that are built to make them a success in life and work. As we know, so many feel adrift/lost by having to figure these things out for themselves. Moreover, the alternate "rituals" developed by youth often conform to the lowest common denominator, which impedes their emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development (group cyberbullying to establish dominance, early sexuality to prove value/attractiveness, non-studying or ignoring teachers/parents or destroying property to flaunt authority & be part of group; drug use to numb to pain, other self-harming & suicide)

Good ritual also has emotional component – provides security & comfort, balance & well-being – an evolved level of homeostasis for individuals and the entire group. It also invites learning to happen at all levels of intelligence (not just mental, but also increases the odds that learning will be deeper, igniting emotional & intuitive & body learning also.) 

And don't forget! If you want to learn more about the CORE start program or become certified in this program, contact us for a free consultation.