Expert Help with Student Acting-Out, Behavior and Classroom Management

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

More Behavior and Classroom Management

Q & A

From

The Breakthrough Strategies

 

Professional Development Workshop

 
 

 

Our Behavior and Classroom Management Blog issues that answer your questions are always so popular. We  have listened to the many subscribers who wrote in, and will answer more of your questions again in this issue. Just like the participants in our live Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop, it is clear that subscribers like to set the topics, and get immediate solutions for their most challenging "kid problems."

As always, children and teens acting-out is a hot topic, but this blog issue also takes a look at child and adolescent self-harm, which can be thought of as acting-in.

classroom management expertThe questions featured in this issue come from our recent Breakthrough Strategies Workshops' participants. If you would like to attend one of our upcoming behavior and classroom management conferences, our professional development schedule is here.

I'm Youth Change Workshops Director and Professional Development Instructor Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. and I'm here to answer your questions so email us any queries you have.

 

classroom management trainingMore of Our Best Answers to Your Questions
 

About Troubled and Problem Youth & Children

 

Q: Maryann is a school counselor in Pemberton, NJ. She requested "strategies to use for children who seek attention by acting out."

A: Maryann, we did a whole issue on this subject several months ago, perhaps before you were a subscriber, so it's too soon to devote a whole issue to this topic, but let me give you a couple favorites.

► There is an old saying: "children would rather be praised than punished, but they'd rather be punished than ignored." With that in mind, wait for the acting-out student to be properly behaved, and then offer attention. Although misbehavior compels the adults to give attention, it starts a cycle of misbehavior netting attention, so by acting out, a student can extract notice. That's the exact opposite of what you want to occur so catch your students "doing good" and offer attention then. You are eliminating the need to act out to be noticed. There are even stickers you can buy for younger students that say "Caught doing good."

► Class clowns are the classic example of students who chronically act out. Be sure that teachers have their class establish a recommended number of times to talk out, then expect students to follow that standard. Without a quantifiable standard, you are expecting students to adhere to a standard that is unspecified. That isn't fair or reasonable. For class clowns, work with them to learn about the proper frequency of comments, the correct type of content, and appropriate duration. If you can channel the input to be appropriate, you will give that student lifelong skills to be beloved in the work place for making light, well-timed, often much-needed, humorous comments. You have transformed acting out into a potential, major work place asset. Everyone loves the co-worker who can break up the staff meeting with a well- timed, wry comment or socially acceptable joke.

expert classroom management

Q: Theresa, who teaches kindergarten, wants more of a focus on younger children. She writes: "I'm not a new teacher (15 years) but, the behaviors I have seen and dealt with the past two to three years are becoming much more common. Out of a class of 16, 8 of them have really horrible behaviors. One even killed a cat this year! Thanks so much…I would love to come to a workshop if you are ever in Wichita, KS."

A: If you let us know that Kansas schools and children's agencies aren't facing desperate budgets, we may look at hosting a session in your state. We try to host classes in regions where youth professionals have an adequate professional development budget. Right now, the closest we'll get is Texas or Indiana, which isn't exactly close. You can always ask your school district, professional association, teachers' conference, or local Education Service Center to sponsor a class. It's been a while since one of the Kansas Ed Service Centers hosted us. Or consider the course online. Now, if you had taken our Breakthrough Strategies class, or if you have been very carefully reading this blog, then you would know the answer to this question. Theresa and everybody else: before reading further, stop and consider if you already know the answer to this query, because we have touched on the answer a lot in previous issues of this magazine– and we devote hours to the subject in class.

The most misbehaved children may be "conduct disorders." From past issues or class, you may remember that those words refer to a specific mental health category that describes the most out of control students. While only a counselor can diagnose, anyone can be concerned that a child falls into this category. Theresa, here is the critical element: you must work completely differently with these students. If you use conventional methods, you will find "nothing works."

For Theresa and others of you with very young students, here's more bad news: the younger the severe misbehavior begins, the worst the outlook. The good news: if more professionals could identify and correctly work with young conduct disorders, the better the chance of aiding that child to avoid that otherwise grim prognosis for the future. Sadly, without targeted intervention, conduct disorders are at high risk of violating the law, and ending up imprisoned. Properly working with that 5 year old conduct disorder today can have incredible impact on his future. That is why Theresa's question is so important.

Anytime you have a young (or older) child doing the most extreme behaviors such as animal abuse, that should be a "red flag" to alert you to consider using the specialized methods that work with conduct disorders. The second and third issues of this magazine offered you an glimpse into this large population, and Theresa, you use exactly the same type of methods with both older and younger students. You can read a lot more information from other Behavior and Classroom Management Blog issues in our detailed Blog Index. You can also just look in the brief Blog Index (at right) for articles listed under "Conduct Disorders." However, a few articles will not substitute for fully upgrading your skills with this growing population.

Anytime you have a young (or older) child doing the most extreme behaviors such as animal abuse, that should be a "red flag" to alert you to consider using the specialized methods that work with conduct disorders. The second and third issues of this magazine offered you an glimpse into this large population, and Theresa, you use exactly the same type of methods with both older and younger students.
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Article Continues Below

 

 

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Q: Here is the email we got from Angela: "My topic suggestion is one that I do not think is addressed enough anywhere– self-mutilation. It is a far more common problem than once thought."

A: Angela, you didn't tell us your job, or where you were from, but wherever you are and whatever your job, you are correct. If you are a counselor, you may have noted the increase in the amount of disturbed youngsters, especially in the early grades. The answer we give to your query is going to depend on your job. We are going to play the odds and guess that you are a teacher since we have more teachers as subscribers than counselors. Let's hope we guess right.

If you are not a mental health professional, then whenever you have specific data to suggest active self-harm, you need to immediately notify your administrator or counselor. Only counselors and other mental health workers should be managing behaviors that could be– or become– life threatening. I am not saying that superficial cutting of the wrist automatically indicates a potential suicide attempt, but ensuring the child's safety must be the job of the mental health worker, and there are no exceptions to that– even if your budget-crunched school lacks a counselor. You will need their guidance, and there is no work-around that is worth risking a child's life.

Even though non-mental health workers must consult a counselor, you still need to understand what makes these children tick, and adapt how you work with them. Plus, other behaviors may really be, or border on self- harm. For example, extreme tattooing or piercings, reckless driving, and serious promiscuity are just a few examples. To understand these youngsters, remember that distressed children don't manage their distress in "appropriate" ways. They don't enter class and say "I feel neglected so I would like additional interaction and nurturance today." They manage their distress in primitive, inappropriate ways like self-mutilation.

For non-counselors, you want to adjust how you work with the child by striking the balance between your mission and the child's distress. That means that when the child is distressed, you may lower the expectations. On days the child is more functional, you increase expectations. You also observe for safety concerns and let your mental health worker guide you on all else. Even if you lack an on- site counselor, it is not wise to learn counseling by practicing on a distressed youngster. Instead of counseling these students, be nurturing, involved, alert, and available. Offer them time, and listen to what they say– and don't say. Ask them what they need.

Sometimes, these youngsters just want someone to notice. But leave the counseling to those trained to do it. Even if you have to move heaven and earth to arrange it, your energy is best spent ensuring that each hurting child has access to a capable counselor who knows exactly how to help.

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    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Last Chance Strategies Improve Student Behavior When All Else Fails

 

behavior classroom management blog

 

Last Chance

Strategies to Improve Student Behavior

What to Do When Nothing Else Has Worked
 

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arrowdrawn5

 FREE!

Workshop Slots

for Seattle!! 


 
 

 

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arrowFree Workshop Slots
for Seattle!! 

 

 

teacher professional development class

While we have a good size group coming to Seattle on May 2-3, 2013 for our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop, for the first time ever, we have not had anyone sign up for scholarship slots. Usually, we run a long waiting list for these slots, and usually we charge a token fee for them.

However, the workshop is just weeks away so we are making 3 scholarship work-study slots completely without fee. If you grab one of the slots you pay nothing to attend, but you would help out with the workshop logistics. It's an awesome opportunity. You can still earn college credit and clock hours too. Call 1.800.545.5736 to grab one of these workshop slots, or email with questions.
 

Inside This Blog Issue:

This article is full of creative behavior and classroom management strategies to improve student behavior. If you're frustrated because you have been unable to reach and improve the behavior of some of your students, these colorful techniques were developed to solve that problem right now.

Hi everyone. This is Ruth Herman Wells penning this blog issue, and I've come up with some very lively, hard-to-resist student activities and strategies that you're going to like.

These innovative techniques distract students from their usual rigid viewpoints, thoughts or verbiage by involving them in a task or activity. While they are caught up in the task or activity, they may actual relax enough to be affected and changed, which is exactly what you want. I think you're going to love these new tools to improve student behavior.


Improve Your Most Resistant Students' Behavior: 3 Terrific Tips
 

1. Can You Be Wily?
 

Most of us tend to use direct, clear communication. Of course, normally, that's a good thing. But, it's not a good thing when it comes to attempting to change the behavior of a student who is fighting you every step of the way.

motivational poster 1Think of it this way. If I say to you that I am going to change your politics, how much do you hear of what I say? Probably almost nothing. When you attempt to improve student behavior, it's similar to attempting to "improve" an adult's political views or religious affiliation. It's not going to happen.

So, stop telegraphing your intent. Be wily instead. So, instead of saying to a student that he needs to be more motivated and care more about school, something he's resisted quite vehemently, try less direct strategies instead.

What are less direct strategies? One example (Poster #001 above) is pictured here, but the most critical component of indirect techniques is that they don't tackle the concern head on. So, instead of saying "You need to care more about school," you rely on methods that show the extreme downsides of dropping out and/or the extreme benefits of finishing school. You avoid being "personally" involved whenever possible and rely on externals to provide the communication as much as you can. That's why posters and activities can make great indirect strategies.

The more the information comes from you, the more the student can react. The more you are placing the light bulb over the student's head but the student pulls the cord instead of you, the more behavior change can be expected to occur.


Article continues below

 


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Improve Student Behavior Now

 

professional development inservice

 

Article continues here
 

2. What Were We Tantrumming About?
 

This behavior management intervention works so well that I consider it a must-have classic to improve the behavior of students who really get stuck and perseverate. That makes this technique ideal for oppositional, argumentative, defiant and angry students, but it also is great for students with Asperger's symptoms too.

It's so simple and practical you are going to easily remember this behavior improvement strategy. When a student is continuing to persist in being upset over something, simply switch the subject. Here in Oregon, we sometimes just say something as simple as "How about those Ducks?" referring to the local university sports team. You can switch the subject to anything.

Yesterday, I taught at a charter school in Columbus, Ohio. A teacher in that inservice training had a similar technique. He noted that he just simply says "You have been heard" and walks away. He says it works especially well with extremely misbehaved and manipulative students who otherwise can "hook us" in then reel us in like fish on a line.

Lots of us do have a tendency to linger or debate. Neither is useful so consider training yourself to severely limit time devoted to tantrums, debates, arguments and complaining.
 

3. A Funny Thing About Humor
 

They don't teach you much about it in college but the power of humor with resistant students could fill many courses. How do you stay resistant when you are smiling or laughing? You can't. That's why humor can often accomplish what more straightforward techniques can't.

Even better, humor works with a huge array of problem areas. When I train teachers and counselors, I am always sure to emphasize that humor is the top choice of intervention style for two of the student behavior problem areas that you see the most. Humor can help reduce aggression and anger at times that other methods go unnoticed. But, humor is also a fantastic technique for another common but completely different problem: anxiety.

Here is a sample strategy that I like best with younger students. Imagine the student is very agitated. You grab your own arm at the elbow and hold it. You make sure that the student sees this unusual pose, then you ask the student to grab hold of their own arm in a similar way too. Most students initially resist but many will eventually comply if for no other reason than they're curious. Once the student has hold of their own arm, you can ask with a smile: "Good! Now do you think you can keep a grip on yourself?" As you can imagine, many formerly agitated students will break into a giggle or smile.

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Free Printable School and Classroom Posters for Teachers and Counselors

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

poster203big
Free
Printable School and Classroom Posters

for Teachers and Counselors

 

 

 
 

 

 

Youth Change Teacher Professional Development WorkshopsTo help us celebrate our all-new website, we're giving away some school and classroom posters that are perfect for teachers, counselors, juvenile justice workers, foster homes, residential treatment programs and just about anywhere that there are children and teens.

Hi everyone. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I'm the Director of Youth Change Workshops. We hope that you think our all-new professional development website really is easy to use, and packed with the behavior and classroom management strategies you need to turnaround defiant, K-12 Speaker Ruth Wellsdepressed, traumatized, delinquent, homeless and struggling children and teens.

We are hoping you will help us celebrate the re-launch of our site by downloading four of our most popular school and classroom behavior posters free. The details are just below so click or scroll down.
 


Schedule Your On-Site Inservice Workshop Now

While Open Dates Still Remain

Learn 100s of Behavior Management Strategies for
Work Refusers, Bullies, Truants & Failing Students

1.800.545.5736 or email

Behavior & Classroom Management Problems Stop Here

 

poster203big poster285 school posters

Get All 4

Classroom

Posters
 

FREE!

classroom posters

free teacher resources

Before April 10, 2013, click the picture above to share our new website with a co-worker, then email us to tell us that you shared our site.

We'll send you the link to all 4 free posters that you will be immediately able to print and put on your walls.

Your co-worker can get all the free printable posters and so can you.

You must use the link above to share the site and also email us by April 10, 2013.

If you don't make the April 10 deadline to get them free, or if you prefer to have professionally printed posters, you can order the posters by clicking on their images above. Clicking on the image will take you to where the posters are sold for $8 each. When printed by us, they are 11 by 17 inches in size. They're printed on glossy, medium weight poster stock. We'll ship your posters right away.

Have questions? Need help? Email us.


Check out some of our other resources for

Teachers, Principals, Special Educators, Therapists

 

Guidance Counselors and School Psychologists
 

They are all now easy to find on our new website.

 

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


 

Classroom Management Problems Solved: Professional Development Solutions At Your Fingertips

 

classroom management blog articles

Classroom Management Problems Solved:

Professional Development Solutions
At Your Fingertips

 

 

education speaker Ruth Herman WellsYouth Change Workshops has been providing training to educators and mental health workers for more than two decades, but some of the classroom management problems we’ve been hearing about lately just seem to be in a league of their own. We’re hearing about students shoving teachers, students refusing to follow staff directions, and we’re hearing about kids who refuse to even wear shirts in the classroom. Fortunately, we know how to help.

I’m Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. Our classroom management methods were created to target your most defiant, utterly unmanageable students. If you have a few or a lot of students who fit that description, you’ll use every word in this blog article.

Some tips to managing unmanageable students are below, but, even better, for a limited time, we’re letting our subscribers try our new online class, Control the Uncontrollable Student without any charge. This fast professional ezinetag10development seminar will show you how to get back in charge of oppositional students, and how to stay in charge of these challenging youngsters if you’ve been successfully managing them so far. The Control the Uncontrollable Student Online Class (click) is normally $39, but you will get the course with no charge if you take the two easy steps described below.

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

Take 2 steps by 12-31-12:
(1) Share our site (http://www.youthchg.com) with your co-workers on your website, blog, Facebook page (click), or similar. (2) Click here to email the details of how you shared us, and we’ll send you the link to the online class by return email. It’s that easy.

 

Classroom Management Survival Tips
Controlling Unmanageable Students

Start with Excellent Follow-Through

Even if you want to have warm, friendly bonds with students, you absolutely need to start your school year with tight, firm, consistent classroom management. That means that if you set rules, you enforce those rules. Period. And, yes, that means no “not noticing” infractions that might be difficult to address. Students may be counting on just that reaction. Remember that many acting-out students read us like comic books and know us perhaps better than we know ourselves. Either you start off strong, or you will be stuck trying to fix classroom management problems that are much, much harder to fix than get right the first time. If you start off too tough, students won’t protest when you ease up. If you start off too weak, you’re in for a big battle when you attempt to tighten up.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

No teacher would ever attempt to put all students in a single size of desk, or have all students use a single math book. You are used to tailoring your classroom to meet the specific needs of each child. That approach now needs to be extended to student discipline. One-size-fits-all discipline doesn’t work with seriously misbehaved students. If “nothing” seems to work to rein in your most difficult students, now you know what is going wrong. Read below for more on how to fix it.

 

Test Your Classroom Management Methods Now

Here’s a quick test for you to gauge your classroom management intervention strategies: If you are using relationship-based approaches like character ed and values clarification, for example, you are using inappropriate strategies that are almost certainly doomed to fail. Many of your most out-of-control youngsters are “wired” differently than other students. Recent research into the brain has now confirmed what mental health and juvenile corrections staff have suspected all along: you must switch to interventions that avoid relationship elements. These youngsters will generally behave worse if you don’t. It’s critical that you learn the more effective, specialized techniques required with this type of student. If you want to see methods that have been crafted and tested to work better, the online course, Control the Uncontrollable Student, is offered to you without charge above for a brief time.

 

Get a Mini Skills Upgrade

Here is a list of the most critical do’s and don’ts for working with the toughest students to manage. If you memorize these, and carefully adhere to the list, it’s a place to start. This mini skills upgrade is no substitute for more extensive learning, so more comprehensive professional development options are shown below.

DO: Provide far more than minimum sanctions so students can’t evaluate the risk of consequences for misbehavior. DO: Keep the sanctions very steep to minimize misbehavior. DO: Make sure every interaction with severely acting-out students includes a focus on the one thing they care about most– me-me-me. DO: Be wary of heartfelt apologies and don’t reduce sanctions for tears and “sorrys.” DO: Function as part of a cohesive team. Staff interaction problems result in students playing and winning at Divide and Conquer.

DON’T: Debate or discuss. Just talk then walk instead of being played during prolonged discussions. DON’T: Give second chances. DON’T: Be so predictable. When students can forecast your actions, they arrange their misconduct accordingly, perhaps misbehaving at 10 AM when you normally leave the room momentarily. DON’T: Interact in a mode other than businesslike; heart-to-heart is the path to being played. DON’T: Doubt your ability to manage acting-out students because they can smell uncertainty from afar. Find a boss or mentor to help if you are uncertain. No strategy can compensate for uncertainty.

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


The Best Back-to-School Bad Behavior-Busters– Includes Online Class with Surprising Strategies

 

student behavior management blog


The Best
Back-to-School
Bad Behavior-Busters


Includes Online Class
with Surprising Strategies

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells

If back-to-school means back to student behavior problems, then you're going to love the problem-stopping classroom management interventions we've packed inside this issue.

I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. For over two decades, I've been training teachers, counselors, principals, and youth professionals around North America. I really believe that I have the most dynamic, unusual, attention-grabbing classroom management methods to help you build a better new school year– no matter how much bad behavior you see in your classroom. In addition, ezinetag10 to the lively strategies described below, subscribers of this magazine, can try my new online class absolutely free, and get even more behavior change methods.

One of my newest online professional development classes is Control the Uncontrollable Student (click). Normally $39, this online course is offered without charge to you if you take the two steps described below.

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

Take 2 steps by 9-25-12:
(1) Tell your co-workers about our website (http://www.youthchg.com) by posting about us on your website, on your blog, your Facebook page (click), on Pinterest (click), or similar place. (2) Click here to email us the link to the page where you posted. We'll verify that you posted about us, then send you the link to the online class by return email. It's that easy.

 

The Best Back-to-School Bad Behavior-Busters

Motivation: As Close to Magic as You Can Get

motivational activity You know there's no magic answers when it comes to getting students to behave, but motivation may as be as close as you can get in the real world. Motivating your students to truly believe that education is the key to survival, can make everything better. In my live professional development classes, I sometimes pretend to switch the topic to funeral insurance, and ask the participants if they will stay in the room. No one ever wants to stay. Your students can't get up and leave physically, but they can leave in many other ways. The device shown here is just one of our thousands of motivational methods that can motivate, motivate, motivate! To print or save this cool behavior management device, simply click on the image or here.


Teach Specific Classroom Behavior Skills remote control student activity

Stop wishing there was a fun, fast way to stop constant classroom management problems like loud talk, interruptions, and run-on comments. We've got an intervention that offers everything you've wished for. Bring a television remote control to school and then you can "mute" students, "slow" them down, or "fast forward" them. Your whole class will be laughing and asking for a chance to operate the remote control. You will have transformed a chronic classroom management problem into a non-problem. Even better, you will find that by creatively training kids to be skilled students, almost any behavior problem can be improved or eliminated.

 

Provide On-Going School Skill Training quiet spray

 

Did you ever notice that while your school has an elaborate academic curriculum, it has no formal, equivalent curriculum for teaching kids how to be students so they can fully benefit from the academic instruction that is offered. Just as you must provide on-going assistance to learn and remember academics, you must provide on-going assistance to learn and remember school behavior skills. The humorous intervention pictured here, Quiet Spray, does just that. It is another example of how chronic classroom management problems can become history. To make a bottle of Quiet Spray, simply label a spray bottle accordingly. The bottle can be empty or you can add some plain or scented water to it. Teachers tell me, for best results, let students spray themselves. Some teachers comment that they can actually see students relax when they mist themselves– whether the bottle contains water or is empty. Either way, this easy-to-do, fun intervention is an almost sure bet to work in your K-12 classroom.

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Most of What You Know About Violent Students is Wrong– Includes Online Class with More Effective Strategies

 

classroom management problems blog

Most of What You Know About
Violent Students
is Wrong


Includes Online Class
with More Effective Strategies

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsAs a mental health counselor who specializes in working with hard-to-manage children and youth, it always makes me upset when I read another article disseminating misinformation about extremely violent,unmanageable kids.

For decades, mental health,juvenile corrections, and juvenile court professionals have had tested, documented methods to best manage unmanageable, violent students. Even though these tools have been widely available for a half century or so, most of these targeted techniques and time-tested insights into unmanageable kids have not reached most K-12 educators.

Today, another major education outlet printed yet another misguided article that urged teachers to build stronger relationships with their most severely misbehaved, violent students. The author asserted that relationship-building is the best way to reduce violence, bullying,cyberbullying, disrespect, defiance, property damage, and harm to others. That assertion isn't just wrong, it's dangerous.

Any mental health professional can tell you that strong student-teacher relationships are important with MOST students, but that relationship-based approaches always fail with the violent students who act out the most. Even worse, attempting to use relationship-based approaches with this population doesn't just fail big-time, but these tactics generate other problems.

Here is just one example of the serious fallout that occurs when counter-indicated methods are used: Relationship-building sends an unintended message to the seriously misbehaved student, who interprets the trust-building efforts to mean that the adult "doesn't have a clue who they're dealing with so I can do what I want and get away with anything." Just as no one single text book would work with all students, one single style of behavior management interventions will not work with all students.

When educators use one-size-fits-all methods with severely misbehaved students, they will find "nothing works." You may have already have discovered that nothing seems to work to rein in your most unmanageable students. Now, you know why.


I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change
Workshops. This issue has must-have, tested, documented, established,
more effective strategies for unmanageable students. These behavior
management strategies will work better than the counter-indicated
approaches you are using now. These methods are taken from my new
online class, Control the Uncontrollable Student (click). These methods
are also offered in my live workshops, and on-site trainings. We have
special treat for the readers of this magazine: If you would like to take
the $39 Control the Uncontrollable Student online class FREE, see the
easy directions below.


online classGet Control Uncontrollable Students online class without charge.
Take 2 steps by 4-5-12:


(1) Post a link to our website (http://www.youthchg.com) online on
your website, blog, Facebook page, or similar place. (2) Click here to email us the link to the page where you posted. We'll send you the link to the online class by return email. It's that easy.

 

The Top 5 Truths About Unmanageable Students
That Educators Need to Know Now


1. Learn Targeted Methods for Conduct Disorders


Mental health professionals have identified that some extremely
misbehaved youngsters are wired a bit differently than the majority of
students. They tend to be boys, and make up about 11-14% of the
population. Mental health clinicians have the ability to determine if a
youngster has a problem called "conduct disorder," a mental health
diagnostic category that describes children and teens who have no
conscience, no remorse, no empathy, and no real relationship capacity.


Advanced research in the 1990s and into the 2000s has clearly shown
that the brains of these youngsters are different, that the place where
relationship capacity should "reside" in the brain is not "lit." That is why
relationship approaches will never work. Every educator must know
about this youngster since conventional approaches always fail with this
type of student. Targeted methods must be substituted instead. You'll
need more than the quick info included here so read more on our
website here or view our online class as described above.


2. Learn the Operating System of Conduct Disorders
 

Most students are relationship-based creatures, and relationship-based
approaches like character ed can be tried. Character ed is so popular
right now in the world of education. Sadly, popularity doesn't correlate
with effectiveness or even worthiness. Relationship-based methods like
character ed can never succeed with youngsters who have conduct
disorder as this disorder means that these students lack empathy. It
also means that their "operating system" is different than most other
students. Instead of having an operating system that is based on
relationships, youngsters with conduct disorder care about one thing: I-Me-
I-Me. Character ed methods don't address that. That's why you
have to learn and use methods designed especially to work around that
difference. What works? Read Step 3 below.
 

3. Learn Targeted Behavior Control Methods
 

Students with conduct disorder only care about what happens to them.
That's why all interventions with them must revolve around that
dynamic. If you look at the sites that have expertise with the most
acting-out students, places like juvenile corrections, for example, they
tend to use a specific style of interventions. These sites tend to be very
regimented, very strict, and to respond very quickly and strongly to
misconduct. They developed this style of intervention because it worked.
If relationship methods had worked, they would be using those instead,
but those techniques failed, so they switched to what worked better.
You need to switch too. With other types of students, use relationship
methods if they work for you, but stop expecting them to ever help
conduct disordered kids behave better.


4. Avoid the Predictable Pitfalls
 

Students with conduct disorder are often very savvy. They can read us
like open comic books and easily manipulate us. There are many
predictable mistakes that caring adults can make over and over again
unless taught to do otherwise. What is one of the most common pitfalls
that will get you played? These youngsters may discern that you are a
good-hearted person, so they may manipulate you by getting you to
believe that you have shown them the error of their ways. Because of
that, be careful about automatically believing when the extremely
misbehaved child suddenly expresses remorse or sheds copious tears.
Instead, discern if there will be any benefit from expressing remorse.
For example, if apologizing gets the sanctions for misbehavior lessened,
then you want to be careful about believing that the remorse is
genuine.

Students with conduct disorders are very manipulative. Even
though it may be uncomfortable for some of us to acknowledge, it's part
of what they often do. All of us need to accept that premise in order to
be effective working with these youngsters. When you are repeatedly
vulnerably to the pitfalls, the student can easily manipulate and control
you and your classroom.
 

5. The Whole Team Must Know How to Control Conduct Disorders
 

The best way to manage unmanageable students is for every member
of your team to learn the do's and don'ts. That includes the school
secretary, and the bus driver who has to turn his back to even the
most aggressive students. When the whole staff understands how to use
different tools with these students, misbehavior can be more easily
curtailed. Sadly, the reverse is true: When the whole staff does not
know how to use targeted tools, then it becomes party time for your
most acting-out students, who are savvy enough to save their worst
behavior for the staff who are least likely to be able to manage them.

You need to have every link in the chain be strong. Your success with
conduct disordered students will be only as good as your weakest link,
so thoroughly educate everyone who is expected to be able manage
even the most unmanageable students.

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


The More You Learn The More You Earn: Motivational Methods That Teach Diplomas Deliver Dollars

 

student discipline blog


The More You Learn
The More You Earn:
Motivational Methods That Teach
Diplomas Deliver Dollars

 

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsIn our down economy, it's now more true than ever: The more you learn, the more you earn. Your students need to know that now, rather than live out the reality of life in a rough economy without thatmagic piece of paper. More than ever before, a diploma is ticket of admission to this new millennium.

I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. I know that you are going to love these unexpected, attention-grabbing, motivational methods. We designed them to work when conventional approaches fail, and to convince even your most resolutely unmotivated students that without education, they can't even make it through the morning.
 

Exciting, New Motivational Methods

TEACH DIPLOMA = DOLLARS

motivational poster 163This first intervention is so unusual and unexpected, that it can impact students when conventional methods fail. You can use this method verbally, as a poster, as a discussion starter, or as an activity. At left, you can see the intervention as a poster; it is Poster #163. It says:

Cap? Check.
Gown? Check.
High School Diploma? Check.
Pay Check? Check.
Every diploma is worth $329,000 more pay.

 

TEACH NO DIPLOMA = NO DOLLARS

This next intervention works especially well with students who are unaffected by conventional motivational methods. We suspect that the reason that this stramotivating poster #4tegy is so effective is because it is a bit confusing at first. Students can't fight or resist information they don't yet understand– which is exactly why this strategy is so useful with very oppositional and negative students.

If some of your students can't discern the answer on their own,
engage other students to help them. This intervention works best as a discussion starter, but you can also use the intervention as verbiage or as a poster. At right is our Poster #4. The poster shows a picture of a diploma, and the caption says:

A piece of paper.
Your meal ticket.
What do you see?
Not sure?
Don't take a lifetime to figure it out.

 

TEACH DIPLOMA = DOLLARS

motivational posterThis next intervention has endless variations.
The best, most powerful way to use this
strategy is to post this message on your wall.
The message is from Poster #128, and says" All Jobs Now Require a Diploma." Can you imagine the reaction you get when you post this poster in your classroom?

Let students express their dismay then call their attention to the tiny print at the bottom. That small print reads "Think this poster is scary? Try life without a diploma." This strategy packs a punch, but you can alter the approach to be almost anything your imagination can conjure
up. For example, "All Jobs Now Require Math…Computer Skills…
Writing Skills." Those versions and many more are in our Posters area.
 

TEACH NO DIPLOMA = NO DOLLARS

Some students may believe they have ways to avoid needing a diploma. Welfare is often cited as a way to survive without education. Here's what these students need to know: Welfare still exists, but just barely, and it's days may be numbered entirely as the economy necessitates more cuts to government services. Share these facts: The number of people receiving welfare has been slashed by a staggering 50%. The time you can be on welfare is shrinking even faster. The amount of money you can receive is getting smaller. Some states have cut welfare by an amazing 90%. Illustrate these facts to students using play money. A good follow-up activity: invite local welfare officials to discuss with your class if welfare will definitely exist throughout students' expected lifetimes. Also discuss with students: How will you function without welfare and without a diploma and education? Also, ask students to name jobs they could do without a diploma or education, and to consider if those jobs will even exist.

 

  •  


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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Bring Order to Behavior Disorders Insider Secrets for Controlling Uncontrollable Students

 

school counselor blog


Bring Order to
Behavior Disorders:
Insider Secrets for
Controlling Uncontrollable Students

 

Some students' behavior goes beyond just being extremely misbehaved. Some students actually have mental health problems that are called behavior disorders.

Counselor training includes extensive preparation to manage each type of behavior disorder. That is why counselors can sometimes more successfully manage youngsters that educators struggle to control. Most counselors learn specialized behavior management tools tailored for each type of acting-out disorder. Most of these targeted tools work really well for educators too– except that educators are not normally routinely offered this essential training on behavior disorders.

While we are all aware of the hazards of labeling students, we have to have some shorthand to know exactly who we're talking about. If we didn't call a rose a rose, some of us might think Shakespeare was talking about dandelions. If we describe the flower each time, we can end up pretty confused, and long-winded too: "that red, no, I mean pink, no, it's white, no, it's a yellow flower that smells really sweet and may bloom all summer." So, as you read this article, of course you want to be sensitive about students being labeled, but hopefully you can agree that the use of common mental health terms will assure that we all know exactly which students– and which behavior disorders– we're talking about.

workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsI'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops. At Youth Change, we firmly believe that educators and other non-mental health workers are smart enough to make those distinctions. This article will help you understand the categories and corresponding tools to use– or not use– with each type of student. In this issue, we will focus particularly on a single type of behavior disorder.

Unless you're a mental health professional, you can't diagnose the
disorders featured in this article. But you've never been able to diagnose other disorders– like ADHD, for example– but you most certainly have learned how to fine tune how you work with youngsters you believe could have that difficulty. Using that type of adjustment process of carefully tailoring your interventions without diagnosing will work for any mental health disorder that you think you might be encountering. While a diagnosis from a mental health worker would be incredibly useful, you can still work successfully with severely unmanageable youngsters either way.

There are two major mental health disorders that characterize the most extremely misbehaved students. Some youngsters have Oppositional-Defiant Disorder. That is a mental health diagnosis that describes kids that have consciences but sometimes act like they don't. This diagnosis can only be applied by a mental health professional but will be very important for any youth worker to know about and understand. This diagnosis is far more hopeful than the second disorder, "Conduct Disorder," which means the child lacks a conscience and a real capacity for relationships. While the oppositional-defiant child (ODD) may also appear to have little
conscience or relationship capacity, you may be able to improve that
difficulty with the right approach and methods. With conduct disorder (CD), such improvement isn't possible.
 

Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder & Conduct Disorder


WHAT DOES OPPOSITIONAL-DEFIANT DISORDER LOOK LIKE?

Oppositional-defiant kids are often some of your most misbehaved students. They may disrupt your class, hurt others, defy authority and engage in illegal or problematic conduct. Though students with ODD may look similar to conduct disorders, their bad behavior is usually less severe, less frequent, and of shorter duration. The ODD label is often inaccurately applied as this dynamic can be a difficult concept to grasp and apply correctly. Because many mental health professionals understandably hesitate to assign the heavy-duty conduct disorder label, they sometimes use the diagnosis of ODD as kind of a parking spot. This convention results in people using methods for ODD with conduct disordered youngsters who would have potentially benefitted from methods for CDs instead. CDs will be adversely affected and poorly managed by the use of strategies designed for students with ODD. In this issue, we are focusing on strategies for children and teens who appear to have ODD.


THE 3 AREAS OF HELP FOR ODD YOUTH

To help the child with ODD, you must focus on:

  1. Skill building
  2. "Pulling up" that conscience– example strategies are below
  3. Improving their relationship skills.


For skill building, teaching them how to regulate their anger, actions, peer skills, verbal output, etc. will be critical. (Note that CDs benefit from this training as well.) But equally important, the child with ODD must be aided to care about others, and to be guided more by conscience. (Note that CDs almost never benefit from this type of aid, and usually become more out-of-control as they assume the adult has "no clue" if they are using methods that involve utterly foreign and irrelevant concepts like conscience, remorse, guilt, and trust.)

In our workshops, we give dozens of effective interventions for stimulating the conscience of children and teens who evidence ODD. We will supply a
few of the best here. These interventions will only focus on stimulating that conscience or "compensating" for it. If you want more than the handful of ideas given here, or you want to see how to build skills and relationship capacity– those other two key intervention areas for students who evidence ODD– consider signing up for our live or online distance learning workshop, or purchasing some of our books that will deliver hundreds of the solutions you need.


STRATEGIES TO STIMULATE OR SIMULATE THE CONSCIENCE

for Students Who Appear to Have ODD

You can use these methods with or without the diagnosis. Remember that these interventions must be combined with the other key focus areas for students with ODD: skill training and relationship training. Also, remember these methods are not appropriate for use with that other type of very misbehaved youngster, children with conduct disorder.

 

STRATEGY #1

Before a child undertakes a problem behavior, ask the youth to imagine that s/he will read about that act on the cover of the local newspaper
in the morning. Ask the child their reaction. If they say that they wouldn't want to read about it in the newspaper the next morning, then you can say "Then don't do it!" This image makes a fast and easy guide for kids to follow to evaluate whether or not to do questionable behaviors. This intervention is a good choice to use with children whose conscience provides little guidance.

 

STRATEGY #2

This intervention can be used before or after the child has engaged in
misbehavior. For example, let's say the child has stolen the teacher's pen, you can say "I want you to imagine that we're making a video about your life. Are you impressed?" That uncomfortable sensation that the child may have in reaction to this intervention may be the conscience stirring.

 

STRATEGY #3

After the child has engaged in a problem behavior, such as stealing a pen, as in the example above, ask the child, "So what's your integrity worth to you?"

 

STRATEGY #4

To adapt the intervention shown above for young children, simply rephrase the question to "So what's people believing in you, worth to you?" Or, rephrase it to "So what's people trusting you, worth to you?"

 

STRATEGY #5

Have students list problem behaviors, and write their responses in a column on a board. Next, in a second column, have them list the most likely consequences of each behavior. Inform students that they can no longer say "I didn't know what was going to happen next," or make similar disclaimers because they have just shown they can make good guesses to predict the future. This strategy is another substitute for the conscience  as students can "guess ahead" before choosing to engage in problem behaviors.

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Human Pressure Cookers: If Anguish Turns Violent Do You Know What to Do?

 

school discipline blog for teachers


Human Pressure Cookers
If Anguish Turns Violent
Do You Know What to Do?

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsIn 2005, annual state-wide testing in Texas included
an essay section. Of the one million essays submitted, nearly 700 youngsters wrote about their own abuse, neglect or rape (USA Today, March 28, 2005). Around the same time, The New York Times suggested that a recent Minnesota school shooting may have occurred because "anguish turned homicidal." In the next sentence, they wrote: "Teachers are ill-prepared to identify and address the normal emotional difficulties of their students, much less the aberrational ones." Further, they correctly observe that "school counselors, who are better suited for the task, are severely outnumbered."

Those words from 2005 carry even more weight 6 years later as counselors are often among the first staff jettisoned in the ubiquitous layoffs of our current difficult economic times.

For more than two decades, I have criss-crossed North America training teachers, counselors, principals and other youth workers to better understand and assist troubled youth and children. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., Director of Youth Change. For all those years, I have been saying over and over, in school after school, in city after city, that anguish can easily become rage.

However, the media continues to simplistically lump together all students who engage in serious school violence such as school shootings, and repeatedly names bullying as the sole cause of the extreme behavior. That over-simplified sound bite has made my job much harder because bullying is often not the sole– or even primary– contributing force that spurred tragedy.

The central force was the developing rage and on-going depression. The
simplistic focus on bullying means that quiet anguish that doesn't involve bullying, can more easily pass unnoticed by adults and any opportunity for prevention is lost. It is very discouraging that in my workshops, most teachers, principals, counselors, and other youth workers do cite bullying as the main cause of school shootings. In the 2005 Minnesota case, the young shooter was a pressure cooker. The signs of depression, alienation and frustration were there to see; and bullying may not have been a factor at all.

It is time for youth professionals to refine how they view school shooters. By subscribing to media characterizations that over-emphasize bullying, youth workers are more likely to miss the most important clues: depression, anguish and frustration. These powerhouse emotions can easily occur without any bullying.

If you want to become better prepared to notice and understand youngsters who are human pressure cookers, there is only one option. If your background does not include mental health basics, now is the time to upgrade your skills. Concern about a potential tragedy at your site is not the sole reason that non-mental health workers must finally broaden their expertise. The real reason that these youth professionals must become more skilled in basic mental health methods is that for every sad child who does pick up a gun, there are hundreds more who struggle and suffer more quietly. We now know that by 2005 there were at least 700 of them in Texas.

Children in Oregon have also confessed distress in that state's essay exam. Some of those sad stories lacked proper punctuation, or had sub-standard sentence structure, and ultimately received failing grades. A child tells of beatings or a recent rape, or writes of homelessness, or a lost parent. Not only will the cry for help fail to be answered, the cry for help itself is graded as failing.

In 2005 in Texas, a student died the day before the state-wide exam was scheduled. The school staff asked to delay the exam to allow the children time to grieve. The students were nonetheless required to take the test, seated next to the empty desk of their newly dead friend and classmate.

High stakes testing mania has become the center of the education universe. It consumes countless dollars, aggressively devours teachers' time, and diminishes the importance of every other educational activity. If a teacher wants to keep her job, she must produce the right testing numbers. With eyes firmly focused on testing, teachers are left precious little time to even think, never mind notice children's anguish.

Testing is most certainly not the cause of this country's problems with extreme school violence, but testing has most certainly contributed to the problem. Flunking cry for help essays, compelling testing even hours after death, and our relentless pursuit of magic numbers are just a few of the ways that we sacrifice children's humanity to the gods of testing.

If we put a mere 10% of the effort we devote to testing mania, into noticing and helping deeply troubled children, perhaps we could stop some of the shootings before they occur. Further, since you can't push profoundly distressed children to perform well on tests anyway, perhaps by noticing and attending to the distress, many sad children would accomplish more academically.

 

How Prepared is Your School to Notice and Help

Troubled Children?


How do you know if your team is properly noticing and helping distressed students? Further below is a quick litmus test to determine if your team has a solid, basic mental health knowledge base, plus the inclination and willingness to notice deeply depressed youngsters who might one day explode; brief answers are provided as applicable:

1. Can your staff name the 3 students at highest risk of engaging in
extreme violence?
Answer: Conduct disorders; thought disorders; extreme agitated,
depressed kids.


2. Conventional behavior management methods don't work with the
three students identified in Question #1. Does your staff know how they must intervene differently with each of those three types of students?


3. Can your staff name the symptoms of major, clinical depression, and the three methods that work best to prevent explosive rage?
Answer: There are a vast array of symptoms that can signal depression. While only mental health professionals can diagnose,
all youth workers can watch for sad moods especially without
apparent cause, diminished enthusiasm, anxiety, hopelessness,
feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, problems with concentration, changes in sleep, changes in weight, changes in
appetite, and suicidal gesturing or comments. These are a few
of the most common signs. The best methods to address
depression, especially with the help of your school counselor:
exercise, talking and carefully monitored anti-depressants.


4. Can your staff name the most important methods to use– and not
use– with conduct disordered students?
Answer: The single most important method is to keep the costs
of misbehavior high, and the benefits low. For diagnosed
conduct disorders, all conventional, relationship-based
approaches should be discontinued since they often make the
problems worse while failing to produce improvement. If you
have used conventional methods to rein in conduct disordered
students, you may have ended up feeling that "nothing works"
to control their misbehavior.


5. Is there a mechanism at your site or within your community to
ensure that all children are noticed by their teacher, mentor or other
adult so that warning signs (like violent website postings, essays
expressing distress, threatening remarks, alienation, and desperation)
are not missed?


6. Candidly speaking, what would your staff say is the highest priority at your site?
Answer: Academic achievement and high testing scores really
shouldn't be the top answer in our current violent times. The top answer offered by your team should be site safety, or else safety is not the priority that it must be in our current violent times. Educational goals will quickly assume lower status if your team ever loses students or staff in a shooting or other tragedy. School safety should be the one thing that is more important than anything else that occurs within the walls of your school. Without school safety, nothing else matters.

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


Next Generation Classroom Management Tools

 

classroom management blog


Next Generation
Classroom Management Tools

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman WellsSchool Skills Training can change your life, and the lives of your students.

School Skills Training interventions give you next generation classroom management strategies today. My name is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I'm the director of Youth Change Workshops, and creator of School Skills Training strategies.

School Skills Training means that you teach your youngsters how to be students, just like you teach your youngsters academic subject matter.

Amazingly, most school districts have carefully crafted, elaborate plans for teaching academic content, but no curriculum at all to teach the foundation School Skills that youngsters need to fully take advantage of academic offerings.

School Skills Training should include teaching students to be motivated, appropriately dressed, how to interact with other students, how to ride the bus, behave in the hallways, and also how to complete assignments, attend every school day, and have acceptable teacher interaction skills.

If you try it, you'll find that teaching kids to be students works much better than just stating the rules and expectations. Without having School Skills, students will struggle to follow the rules and avoid consequences. With School Skills, students are practiced veterans at performing the skills they need for school, and now can achieve their full potential.

 

Next Generation Classroom Management Interventions

You're going to use these creative, unexpected, next generation of classroom management strategies every day you teach


Stop Classroom Management Problems
TEACH MOTIVATION FOR EVERY SUBJECT
Including Reading

Literacy Poster #185If you want students to care about school and the academics you offer, you will have to teach them the value of school– especially if parents are not selling the value of  education for you. Poster #185, pictured here, works both as a poster or a worksheet.

The scrambled text says "This is what life is like if you can't read."

What a provocative, compelling, attention-grabbing way to help your students grasp the minute-by-minute, second-by-second importance of reading to functioning in the world.

To order these full size, color, glossy posters, for $8 each, click here.

 

Stop Classroom Management Problems
TEACH SPECIFIC SKILLS
Including How to Follow the Dress Code


Dress Code Poster #196Stop hassling chronic behavior problems by training your students to have the skills and motivation they need to comply with your school's dress code. Yes, it is possible to stop the unending struggle to get students to dress appropriately for school, especially if you show them how  mastering what to wear to school  prepares them for what to wear in their future jobs of choice.

Poster #196 begins to convince students that if they can't dress appropriately for school, they aren't going to be ready to dress correctly for the adult work place, and the jobs and careers they say they want to succeed in as adults.

To order this poster for $8, click here.

 

Stop Classroom Management Problems
TEACH STUDENTS TO AVOID MISCONDUCT
Including How to Stop Cyberbullying


cyberbullying poster 280When you were being trained to be a teacher, cyberbullying hadn't been invented, so you may feel unprepared to tackle a problem that can happen both in and out of school.

The reality of our world today is that you have to teach every School Skill behavior you want to happen or stop happening in the classroom and school.

This printable can be used to start a discussion, or students can use it as a template to illustrate what is and is not cyberbullying. This printable appears to be a familiar social networking site that is often used for bullying.

Until students are clear on what words, phrases, actions, postings, and text constitute cyberbullying, you are going to struggle to gain compliance. While it's just a first step, helping students become clear on what is and is not cyberbullying is a must-do first step.

Without an education on the topic, it is too easy for youngsters to claim "But I didn't think it was cyberbullying." Take that excuse off the table before students even start to use it this school year.

To order Poster 280, click here.

 

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

    teachermissYou have students who struggle. We have solutions for students who struggle…so your job doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have cutting-edge strategies to manage group and classroom management problems like behavior disorders, trauma, disrespect, bullying, emotional issues, withdrawal, substance abuse, tardiness, cyberbullying, delinquency, work refusal, defiance, depression, Asperger’s, ADHD and more.

     

    Schedule the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Workshop to come to your site. This is the one professional development inservice that produces results, results, results. Call 1.800.545.5736 now. This surprisingly affordable inservice also makes a terrific fund raiser. College credit and 10 professional development clock hours are available. Your staff will finally have the more effective, real-world tools they need to work with today’s challenging, difficult youth.

     

    Contact us now, and begin solving your worst “kid problems” today. Call 1.800.545.5736, or email.

     

    Working with Troubled Students Doesn’t Have to be So Difficult
     


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

    Subscribe Unsubscribe/Change Subscription
    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.