Back-to-School Bad Behavior Stoppers

 

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Back-to-School
Bad Behavior Stoppers
 

 


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classroom management help

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Seattle, WA: April 23-24, 2020

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Back-to-School

Bad Behavior Stoppers

If back-to-school means back-to-school behavior problems, you’re going to love the problem-stopping classroom management interventions we’ve packed inside this issue. Using these dynamic behavior management interventions can make the rest of your school year so much better.K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wells

Hello and Happy New School Year from me, 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. From helping so many schools for so long, I’ve definitely learned that no matter how rough the start of the school year has been, we can still help. In addition to offering you intensive live workshops, on-site training, online courses, and streaming behavior management workshops, we’ve packed some of our best behavior management strategies into this issue. But, if you want more than the sampling of great student management methods included in this article, come to Portland, Oregon on October 10-11, 2019 for the full deal, the entire 10 hour Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop.  There’s a terrific 30% off offer at the top of this article so here’s your chance to get the landmark, problem-stopping workshop at a bargain price. You’ll leave with 200 of our most powerful strategies, methods so state-of-the-art, that you just can’t get them anywhere else.

 

Back-to-School

Bad Behavior Stoppers

Strategies

 

how to motivate studentsMotivation: The Secret Sauce

Yes, sadly, we all know that there’s no magic answers when it comes to getting students to behave and follow the rules, but motivation just may be the fastest and best overlooked answer. Pictured at right is a bad behavior intervention that is very potent, and, even better, you can use it in a variety of ways. This is our Poster #724 but the best use of this device is to create a real version of that wheel that is pictured and have students play Wheel of Misfortune, where they spin to see what life challenges they may face as adults when life strikes. The wheel has bad breaks like “lose wallet,” “flood,” and “sick dog.” For each spin, as part of a class discussion, students can detail how a lack of education and skills could make the challenge even harder to deal with.

You can follow this game with a Wheel of Better Fortune, and in this version, students can describe how having education and skills can have them ready to conquer each incident of adversity. You are essentially using a game format to market and re-brand school and education as critical to surviving as an adult. Using this type of distracting format makes it difficult for students to maintain their oppositional behavior and contrary nature. When they get caught up in the game and discussion, your message about the incredible value of school and education may sink in a lot more than words could ever do. This type of modality will deliver your message infinitely faster than using mere verbiage that students can easily ignore or dismiss.

Motivation has the power to change everything, including and especially students’ behavior. Once students are more convinced of the enormous, lifetime value of school, their behavior can start to shift. Of course, you still need to teach the behavior skills that you want your students to have, but motivation makes a terrific first step towards less back-to-school bad behavior.

 

Take Repeat Behavior Problems Off Repeat

back-to-school successIt seems sometimes that the same kids are having the same bad behavior problems starting with back-to-school and well beyond. If you can reduce the repetitive problems, that can really make a dent in the amount of student behavioral issues you have to cope with each hour. So, for students who repeat problem behaviors and dig in their heels to stand behind their mistakes, we show you our Poster #740. You don’t need to buy the poster, but you will want to start using the phrase and concepts shown on this poster. The poster says: The First Rule of Holes: When You’re in One, Stop Digging. This phrase can introduce the idea that stopping bad behavior sooner is a success– versus continuing to persist in problem conduct. You can actually teach students that by stopping sooner, they are making valuable progress towards managing their acting-out issues. Students rarely just stop entrenched behavior problems. Any progress towards improvement is usually a very much up and down pattern.

By acknowledging and praising stopping bad behavior sooner, you are helping break the cycle that often is the source of the bad conduct in the first place. The cycle tends to look like this: The student uses problem behavior and is confronted. The student feels bad about having been caught and perhaps also feels bad that they misbehaved. Feeling bad creates the perfect condition to misbehave. It’s similar to you and that cake in the refrigerator. You ate one big piece and felt terrible about it. So, what did you do? Feeling awful about your over-consumption, you figure you may as well have another piece. Welcome to the First Rule of Holes. It works the same for us adults as it does for your students.

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student inspirational posterEncourage Discouraged Students

Feelings cause behavior. Feelings like frustration, hopelessness, discouragement and self-hatred can help create the perfect storm because they are the spark that ignites the behavior problems that you then have to manage. By helping students cope with or moderate their feelings, you dramatically lessen the fuel for the next meltdown or big behavior problem. One way to temper outbursts that stem from discouragement is to help students understand that they may not be as big failures as they feel they are. So many students are seriously down on themselves whether they voice it or not. Certainly, being unhappy with yourself predisposes a child to use problem behavior. Poster #551 gives you six examples to use to show students that most of the people who are big successes in life, first faced and overcame challenges that are similar to their own. Enlarge the picture to better read the details on the poster. You can also check out another similar poster, Poster #537, to see six more examples you can use to start a class discussion. By showing your students that their ups and downs are just like those of highly successful people, you remove a lot of the troubling feelings that contribute to behavioral issues.

 

classroom management helpStructure to the Rescue

I will never understand why adults allow chronic behavior problems to continue. For example, many teachers can struggle to get all their students to settle in at the start of class. They can spend minutes saying “Okay, settle down,” “Get in your seats” and “Stop talking please.” Instead, these same teachers could use structure to solve the problem before it happened. Poster #252 shows you one example of structure that transforms the problems at the start of class into no problems at the start of class.

Beginning with a high five clap, students join the teacher at the start of class by making motions that show they have two eyes watching, two ears listening and one mouth shut. This structure replaces the pleas for seats and quiet. For older grades, a simple rhythmic clap sequence can perform the same magic. I have seen educators at the start of an assembly, instantly quiet hundreds of noisy students without saying a single word. They simply initiate the clap sequence and instantly have perfect quiet. Why would anyone continue to beg for quiet when they can clap and instantly get it?

Structure is the solution for many chronic problems. Getting quiet at the start of class is just one example of how structure can solve it all. Structure also can help solve problems with hallway behavior, talk outs, attendance, verbiage, discussion skills– and almost any other chronic problem you face this school year.

 

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    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.

     

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What Works with Students Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

 

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What Works with Students

Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

 

 


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What Works with Students

 

Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

 

work refusal articleThey are without a doubt among the hardest students to reach and teach. I’m talking about students who avoid school tasks or refuse to work entirely. Some may become almost mute, others won’t even make eye contact, but the common thread is that the student is drastically underperforming when it comes to accepting, completing and returning assignments. If you’re like most teachers, you never had a class in college called Introduction to Helping Students Who Avoid Work, but you probably wish there had been lots of courses exactly like that. You don’t have to go back to college. Help is right here in this how-to article.

If you want even more strategies and information that can produce improved results from students who avoid or refuse school work, come to our Seattle Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop on April 18-19, 2019 and get hours of detailed, step-by-step instruction on how to maximize your impact on these difficult to teach students. Hello from the course instructor, Youth Change Professional Development Workshops director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. That’s a picture of me teaching in Seattle a couple years ago. I hope to see you back there in April when you can actually list out for me the student problems you want me to cover. You’ll leave with 200 use-now, more effective strategies.

 

Innovative Strategies for Students

 

Who Avoid or Refuse to Work

students who don't finish their work

 

Stop the Power Struggle

Most teachers know that is very easy to end up in a power struggle with students who don’t do much school work or none at all. As a mental health professional, I really need to point out that no adult ever won a power struggle and not adult ever will. So, if you have to admit that you do feel a bit like you are in a power struggle with some of your work refusing students, Step #1 has to be to acknowledge that to the youngster, declare a truce and back off for a moment.

Here’s why many or most students refuse work: Much of the time, these children and teens are terribly weighed down by some type of problem. Perhaps a parent is violent or missing. Perhaps they have an undiagnosed or diagnosed learning disorder that makes school work miserable. Maybe they are distracted or unmotivated. In this short article, we’ll focus on the first students mentioned above, the ones that are struggling with some type of emotional, social or learning problem. There are dozens of  free expert, how-to articles our site covering poor motivation that you can read. Building motivation in work refusing students can be a good help but if a student is too busy trying to stay awake after all-night domestic violence, motivation is only going to take you so far. Instead, being sensitive to what the child may be living through, may be a much more effective approach. Remember: You may be the only sane, sober adult in some students’ orbit. You definitely don’t want to add burdens. You want to be on their side as much as you can. Stopping any power struggles and explicitly talking about how to manage the work refusal is a great place to begin again.

students who don't finish their work

 

Ask the Expert

Who you think just might be the best expert to help you figure out how to best work with a student who is avoiding or refusing to work? That student. No one else may know why they are doing so little, so ask then listen carefully to the response you get when you ask for the reason for not wanting to start or complete tasks. If the student answers that they don’t know why, then ask “If you did know why, what might it be?” If that unexpected strategy fails, switch the focus to a friend or someone in popular culture and ask the student why that person might refuse to work. That switch may yield important clues and by shifting the focus to someone else, you may get more truth than the student would tell you otherwise.

Whether or not you succeed at getting more information, use the students’ expertise to improve the situation. Ask the student to help you understand what to do and what not to do to assist them. Tell the student you are on their side and don’t want to add to any problems they may already have. Tell the student that with their guidance, perhaps they could do less work on days they are struggling and more work on days they feel more able. Next, cooperatively develop a step by step plan that features tiny, tiny increases. If you aim for bigger increases, that creates the possibility of a big setback if the student fails. If the increase is tiny, and the student is saying that’s “too easy,” that’s perfect. You want the student to have some small successes but without the risk of a big fail. When this youngster fails, they often disappear from school or lose a lot of ground in other areas. This student is all about anxiety. Everything you do must decrease the anxiety because when the student experiences anxiety, that’s when they refuse work or disappear from school or class.

students who don't finish their work

 

It’s About Control

Typically, students who refuse to work are very anxious. They are struggling to cope. When they refuse to work, they are trying to take control over one of the few things in their world that they have any say over at all. You can struggle with them over the control but that is never going to go well. Instead, hand the control to them and you will see improved results. I suggest explicitly talking about control and anxiety with them, and reassuring them that you don’t want to add to their worries. Tell them you want to give them as much control over their work as possible. That can help them be a little less anxious. Their anxiety is the best guide. When it is high, reduce expectations. When it is relatively low, incrementally increase expectations for work. Let them know that you will give them slack when they are struggling, but in return, ask if they could work as hard as they can on days that they are feeling a bit better.

Be sure that these youngsters understand that they are going to need the skills taught in school, and if you two work together, they can accomplish that in a way that doesn’t put any strain on them. Once you are both on the same side, a general relaxation can occur and improvement can happen– but only to a certain extent. For example, students who are awake much of the night because their home is a battleground, will be limited in how much they will be able to do with little sleep and lots of worries.

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students who don't finish their work

 

To Push or Not to Push?

Do I push students who do nothing in school, or do I back off? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? You may feel that when it comes to students who refuse to work or avoid assignments, it’s lose-lose. If you push, these students tend to double down on their resistance. Many stop showing up for school or class. If you don’t push, then the fear is that you are not educating these youngsters at all. Here’s the solution to this mystery: Both pushing and not pushing result in big fails. “To push or not to push” isn’t even the right question. The better question is “What should I do to get more results from these youngsters? In our workshops, we spend hours answering this question. In this brief how-to article, I can’t fit in the wealth of techniques I’ll be giving in Seattle in April in our Breakthrough Strategies Workshop, but here’s a few key pro tips:

As a mental health professional, I can assure you that typically many students who routinely and seriously refuse or avoid work, are facing some type of emotional, social or behavioral issue that impedes their functioning. Even so, despite the significant (but often not readily apparent or visible) challenges these students may have, most of these youngsters usually have days that are better or worse. On days that this student is struggling, reduce your expectations. On days that this student appears to be doing a bit better, increase your expectations. For example, a girl’s dad is on the road driving a long haul truck 4 days a week. You may notice her functioning is markedly improved when dad is on the road. You may notice the girl’s functioning nose dives when dad returns. That’s the time to cut her slack. Make specific agreements with students that reflect this type of plan.

Students tend to be really grateful to know that you are not going to cause more burdens to be added to their shoulders at times they are already carrying a very heavy load. The upshot is that now that there is no more power struggling over classroom work, and the student realizes that you understand their situation, they tend to work as hard as they can on the days they are able. They also tend to develop a lot of loyalty for you and that helps fuel their desire to work when they aren’t weighed down by whatever they may be going through. As an aside, I have to be sure to remind you to be sure to report any concrete indications of abuse or similar, as you are required by your site.

students who don't finish their work

 

Your Goal

The goal for students who refuse to work can and should be shared with these youngsters. That means you will be sensitive to what trauma, crisis, disability, emotional problem or plight the child is dealing with, but not at the expense of education. There is a balance between being sensitive to what the child may be living through and your mission to educate. If you can find that middle ground between those two parameters, you can really maximize the results these students can achieve.

No, you don’t need to worry about these children taking advantage of you if you are using this methods with students who have a lot of anxiety. That is key. These methods will fail with other populations of students. These intervention methods are designed only for use with students who are anxious or struggling with problems like trauma, domestic violence or loss. Dealing with the anxiety and whatever is causing it, takes so most of this students’ energy and resources. They don’t have much energy or interest left to plot and scheme how to take advantage of your reasonableness and kindness so being manipulated while using these methods is not normally a concern with the target population. Yes, manipulation would occur if you employ these strategies with populations they were not intended for.

If you are using this method with truly anxious and troubled students, they are much more likely to develop enormous loyalty towards you versus expend energy to exploit the accommodations you provide. You may be the only kind, humane adult they interact with. They are unlikely to jeopardize their lifeline. That’s why the best goal is to help them learn to work as hard as they can on days that they’re able. Hearing about that goal can reduce the power struggles and bring relief to children who are awash in pain.

 

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

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    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.


Must-Know Strategies for the 5 Most Common Student Mental Health Problems

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Must-Know Strategies

for the

5 Most Common

Student Mental Health Problems

 
 

 

student mental healthThere is no question that you are seeing many more student mental health problems than ever before. Many educators typically lack extensive or even basic training on student mental health problems and end up lacking many or all of the honed, more effective strategies and tools that juvenile mental health professionals have developed. This how-to article for educators and other non-mental health professionals is designed to remedy that oversight as much as possible given the limited space we have for a complex topic. This Top 5 list of student mental health problems is based on the feedback of the teachers, principals, school counselors and special educators that have attended our in-person Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshops recently. (You can attend too as our next live conference is coming up soon in Seattle on April 18-19, 2019 — and, even better, our conference scholarships are still open! Just call 800.545.5736 to grab one now.)

Hello from Youth Change Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I have spent my career teaching about key student mental health problems and diagnoses to educators and other non-mental health professionals. I am hoping that you will be able to immediately use the information included in this important article for teachers, principals, special educators and other non-mental health professionals who work with children and teens. Even though non-mental health professionals can’t diagnose, the how-to article below is intended to give you the language to better understand, manage and communicate about your students who are struggling with their emotions and/or thoughts.

 

Must-Know Strategies

for the

5 Most Common

Student Mental Health Problems

 

student with conduct disorder1. CONDUCT DISORDER

If you don’t know this disorder backwards and forwards and inside and out, then you are a vulnerable target for your most seriously acting-out students. In our workshops, we spend hours and hours on this disorder because the student who has this disorder is normally by far your most impossible-to-manage student– and this disorder is very common. Affecting an estimated 11-14% of your students, this disorder means that the child or teen is wired differently than other students. Lacking remorse, empathy and relationship capacity, this child’s signature is his extreme acting-out. That was not a misplaced pronoun. “He” is very often a he, not a she. Girls don’t very commonly have this disorder but they can have it, and when they do, their behavior is often beyond extreme.

Here are some passable examples of this disorder from popular culture: J.R. Ewing from the TV show Dallas, Sid the boy in the first Toy Story movie, and Eddie Haskell from Leave It to Beaver. Everyday, ordinary interventions always fail with this population and generally make the situation worse. That means that your go-to interventions that work well or okay with other students, routinely let you down with this population. That’s why working successfully with children who have or may have conduct disorder requires that you use specialized interventions that are different from what you normally use. Since this youngster lacks a heart and relationship capacity, strategies that require empathy or compassion will always fail. There is no way I can capture this problem for you in this tiny space but there are countless free articles on our site to guide you, plus online courses and books. Go to our free, introductory Conduct Disorder mental health article to learn more about this common, serious disorder and to discover the kinds of strategies that must be used– and those that must never be used– with this very difficult-to-control student.

 

student mental health problem

2. CLINICAL DEPRESSION

Sure, lots and lots of adolescents are depressed but that’s not clinical depression. Clinical depression is more serious, more prolonged and more difficult than ordinary adolescent angst. For all mental health diagnoses, a mental health or health professional is needed to diagnose, but whether or not you can diagnose, you can certainly adjust how you work with children and teens who appear to be clinically depressed. The top go-to step for seriously depressed children and teens is working with  a mental health clinician. Next, after that, there are three major strategies that have been shown to be effective. First, depressed students often can benefit from having the chance to vent their concerns. Almost any adult can do a least some listening. Second, exercise, mindfulness training and meditation offer depressed students really useful tools. Along the same line, teaching students how to better manage their upsetting thoughts, can have a lot of value. The third strategy to consider is to arrange with the family for an anti-depressant but there is a risk of self-harm for this option, and this option can be difficult to set up. Studies suggest all three methods together work better than any of the strategies separately.

Depression needs to be taken seriously and it can definitely spur students to behaviors that are very concerning. As a society we are more attuned to paying attention to acting out, not giving as much notice to the more subtle, less obvious, less overt, more quiet phenomena of depression. Don’t let that cultural norm prevent you from devoting time to students whose behavior may be acceptable but their emotional functioning may still be of great concern. Depressed students are just as worthy and needing of your attention as students who command your attention with acting-out behavior. Read more about how to help students who face clinical depression in our free how-to articles.

 

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bipolar disorder

3. BIPOLAR DISORDER

I am including this student mental health problem here not because it is a very common disorder; it’s actually not as common as many other childhood and teen disorders. I am including it because so many of the teachers and principals that I see in my workshops and at conferences, are confused about what this disorder is all about. This disorder used to be called Manic-Depression and I think that old title was really helpful to remind non-mental health workers what this problems is all about. This disorder means that the child or teen gets really depressed then suddenly starts being out-of-control with little in between. They go from 0 miles an hour to 150 miles an hour in a flash. It is a very unpleasant, distressing disorder that can be extremely hard to manage unless the family gets a diagnosis and follows through very carefully on medication. Medication is the first, second and third best strategy. That is my silly way of saying that medication is just incredibly important.

I’m not sure if there is anything that even comes close to being as helpful as meds, but skill training can be very useful. The skill training must focus on teaching the child to take their meds. Skill training also needs to prepare the child and family to cope effectively with any issues that they may develop about the medication or its side effects as regularly taking medicine as directed is crucial to getting and keeping this youngster stabilized. When the child is unmedicated or missing doses, their manic behavior can quickly get very extreme and inappropriate, even illegal. If you are not a mental health professional and you think you are working with a child who could have this serious disorder, you need to alert your supervisor at once and hopefully you will be able to arrange a thorough evaluation. This disorder typically is found to start when the person is a young adult or older adult but it can occur earlier.

 

 

school mental health4. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

This disorder looks at first to be just like conduct disorder but that is not a very accurate perception. The difference between conduct disorder (C.D.) and oppositional defiant disorder (O.D.D.) may not be readily obvious but it is incredibly important. Treatment for O.D.D. varies dramatically from that offered for conduct disorder. While students with O.D.D. and C.D. typically both misbehave and can be aggressive and non-compliant, the behavior of the student with C.D. is normally far more extreme, frequent and damaging to people, animals and property. While that difference is important, the really important difference is that the child with C.D. lacks a conscience and that is a huge problem. Lacking a conscience, relationship capacity and empathy for others, the student with C.D. can track towards crime and other behaviors that society doesn’t permit.

The student with O.D.D. is believed to have a conscience, but that conscience isn’t doing very much to help. A good conscience can provide very good brakes for bad behavior. Absent that conscience, a child will do what they want, when they want, to who they want. That is precisely what makes children with C.D. so potentially dangerous and so very hard to manage in any environment. Being diagnosed with O.D.D. is far more hopeful than being diagnosed with C.D. as the hope is that if that conscience can be better activated, the student can behave better.

While both sets of students need extensive training to manage their fist, mouth and actions, the student with O.D.D. has a far more optimistic prognosis. The student diagnosed with C.D. will never learn to care about others and is pretty much always going to be reined in using consequences and possibly rewards. The student with O.D.D. can really do very well once their conscience is more dominant and they have mastered how to be a civilized, law-abiding, compliant human. If you are not a mental health professional, be sure to try to arrange a thorough mental health evaluation so you know whether you’re working with an apple or an onion. While these two disorders can look somewhat the same, you have to be very careful to proceed differently depending on which disorder is actually occurring in a student.

 

trauma informed5. STUDENTS WITH TRAUMA

Unlike the previous items, this issue is not a mental health diagnostic category. However, “trauma-informed” practice has been a prominent concept lately so that combined with the huge frequency of trauma, led me to include this issue here. If you work with kids, you are working with some youngsters who have faced, or are facing traumatic events such as abuse, violence, abandonment or crises. Students facing trauma who are evaluated by a mental health clinician, can receive varying mental health diagnoses (like depression and PTSD, for example), but it is that common thread of trauma that I wanted to address.

Students who are traumatized often have little energy for school or whatever service your site offers. These youngsters need help from a mental health professional but they also need to not face more unnecessary stress in your environment– even when they don’t do much school work, are selectively mute and uninvolved in activities. The key here, regardless of the diagnosis, is to strike a balance between being sensitive to what this child may be living through and your mission. When the child is more functional, increase expectations a bit but if the increase sends the child into a tailspin, then return to the last level where the youngster was successful. When the child is less functional, decrease expectations a bit and work cooperatively to maximize the child’s involvement but without adding to the child’s already heavy load.

Many of your work refusing students are children who are coping with traumatic events. After enduring serious incidents of trauma, children may be diagnosed with PTSD, Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, which is a very concerning diagnosis. These youngsters, in particular, need your site to be a haven, not more misery, so working with these children very carefully and delicately is strongly recommended. Children who have lived through much horror at a young age and lack resilience, are very brittle and easily broken. The bottom line is that you  may be the only sane, sober adult in the child’s universe. If instead of being helpful, you are yet another harmful adult, you can help track the child in the wrong direction. Conversely, if you offer help, empathy, guidance and a moderate, unstressful intervention plan, you can often engineer some progress, albeit slow.

 

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    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.

     

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    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
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Social-Emotional Learning Strategies to Improve Student Behavior

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Better Solve Behavior Problems with

Strategies for Students’
Social and Emotional Learning

 
 

 

teacher classroom management helpIf you’re a teacher and you’re not using social-emotional learning strategies all day long in your classroom, you may be able to really ramp up your academic results if you begin to incorporate that type of methods when working with students who present behavior problems.

Sometimes some students’ behavior can seem incomprehensible. Some students can seem to almost randomly act out with a cycle or pattern of the students being acceptably behaved for a long time, then poorly behaved for no obvious reason. Misbehavior that appears to be random, usually has causes that a teacher may not be able to readily see or even know about. Often, the student has problems at home, in the community, with their family, their mental health, substance abuse, or their functioning that are not readily discernible– even to the adult who may spend the most time with them during the week. But, if you could see into your students’ homes and lives outside of school, you would have all the answers you need to understand what is going on to prompt the problem behavior.

In this issue, we’ll take you behind the scenes as best we can, then load you up with both preventative and intervention strategies. This article is in keeping with the recent national attention being given to social and emotional learning, as well as the use of trauma-informed interventions in schools and classrooms. Here, we’re going to focus on students’ social and emotional problems, as well as the trauma that some youngsters have to cope with. Since most educators get very little mental health training to cope with the serious social and emotional problems today’s students present, this article will hopefully be exactly the help you better identify, understand and manage students’ social and emotional problems.

Hello from Youth Change Workshops’ Director Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I’m a mental health professional and I am going to be giving you some key mental health strategies to help you better manage your students’ social and emotional problems. Student social and emotional problems seem to be on the rise right now, so this article is well-timed to help you best help your students.

 

social emotional learning methodsStrategies for
Students’ Social and Emotional Problems

Here are some classic behavioral concerns that teachers often encounter with students– and the underlying truth about the powerful social and emotional causes that can be the cause of the evident behavior problem. After reviewing these scenarios, my hope is that you will stay mindful that today’s teachers have to always be stopping to look for the social and emotional causes of students’ behavior problems. It may be futile or quite difficult to try to resolve many common, everyday student behavioral problems without addressing the social and emotional issues that cause and sustain the behavioral concerns. Conventional training for teachers does not necessarily include thoroughly preparing educators to spot and manage students’ social and emotional issues, further complicating the situation.

 

“They’re Not Doing What They’re Supposed to Do”

It is really easy for an overworked teacher to focus on the obvious, things like missing school supplies, tardiness or disinterest. It is also really easy for teachers to come to view some students as just “not doing what they’re supposed to do.” The truth is that sometimes this type of ordinary, everyday problems– like having no pencil– are sometimes the manifestation of an overarching, larger issue that is having serious deleterious impact on a student’s functioning in the classroom and school. What teacher hasn’t chided a student for having no pencil? We’ve all done that countless times. Yet when a student’s social and emotional circumstances are not given sufficient heed, that ordinary intervention of chiding a child for having no pencil can create new problems in the student.

In the example below, the student sounds like he is becoming more angry, discouraged, frustrated and sad. The poem reproduced below, will take you behind the scenes and become a reminder for you that sometimes the real problem isn’t the missing pencil. Sometimes the real problem is what happened at home before the student even left for school. As you read this short poem, notice how focusing on the pencil will never help this student.

Cause I Ain’t Got a Pencil

by Joshua T. Dickerson

I woke myself up

Because we ain’t got an alarm clock

Dug in the dirty clothes basket,

Cause ain’t nobody washed my uniform

Brushed my hair and teeth in the dark,

Cause the lights ain’t on

Even got my baby sister ready,

Cause my mama wasn’t home.

Got us both to school on time,

To eat us a good breakfast.

Then when I got to class the teacher fussed

Cause I ain’t got no pencil

 

“They’re Too Distracted”

It’s true that the typical classroom includes many distracted students. But for many of these youngsters, the biggest problem isn’t their difficulty focusing. For many of these students, the bigger problem is likely to be something that the teacher can’t readily see or be aware of. In one of the schools near our office, there was a 10 year-old who kept complaining of a stomach ache nearly every day just around noon, and he would ask to go home. Understandably, the teacher was concerned about the daily distraction from academics and school. The teacher tried all the conventional strategies to address the somatic complaint:  Sometimes she would send him to the school nurse, sometimes she told him to just put his head down, other times she asked if he had eaten. Eventually, she sent him to the school guidance counselor who tried more of the same type of interventions, all focusing on the distraction of the tummy ache. After conventional interventions that focused on the distraction had all repeatedly failed, the counselor began to ask the boy if something was wrong, if something was troubling him. After a few times of being asked, eventually the boy did reply: “Yes, there is something wrong. There is something terribly wrong. My family is being evicted and I’m scared that if I don’t get home right away, that by the time I get there, the sheriff will come and my family will leave town without me and I’ll end up being an orphan.”

The interventions that focused on the apparent problem could never had engendered any improvement. By switching to an intervention that focused on possible social and emotional issues, the problem could be readily solved. The counselor had the parents explain to their offspring that they would never leave town without him, and the stomach aches stopped permanently. When you look past the apparent presenting problem to consider any possible social and emotional factors, often you can solve the original problem faster and far more effectively. This story is the perfect reminder to stop focusing on just the pencil or tummy ache, and start focusing on the unknown social and emotional concerns that may be the much bigger force behind a students in-school and classroom behavior.


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social emotional learning“They’re Lazy”

It’s easy to begin to see some underperforming students as lazy. Certainly, based on their work completion and quality, these students can appear to simply be uninterested and unwilling to put in the requisite effort needed to succeed in the classroom and school. A teacher came up to me at one of the workshops I was teaching and looking a bit embarrassed, she told me about one of her students, a girl who had begun to do very little work in school. The teacher had been really “on her case”– to use the teacher’s words– to do more of her school work and homework. Then the teacher headed into the teachers’ lounge and while there, she overheard the school guidance counselor talking. The guidance counselor was letting the school faculty know that the reason the girl had been doing so little in school was that the girl’s father hadn’t come home in a month and his absence was causing the family to be swamped with fear and grief. After hearing that, the teacher said “If I’d only known what the student was going through, of course I wouldn’t have added to her misery.” Make this teacher’s confession your guide to always taking the time to check in with struggling students to see if there are any significant social or emotional problems that could be interfering with their performance in your classroom.

“They’re Slow Learners”

It’s hard to imagine the scary, sad or lonely home life that some students face. For some students, their neighborhoods and communities are the setting for a brutal childhood that most of us can’t even begin to conceptualize. Especially if you were blessed to grow up in a home and community that were safe and nurturing, it can be tough to picture and remain sensitive to the grueling circumstances that some of today’s children and teens face.

The reality of our contemporary time is that the teacher may be the only sane, safe, sober adult in some students’ universe. That grossly magnifies the impact of the teacher’s behavior on these emotionally fragile students. When a teacher is not addressing potential social and emotional factors when selecting interventions, that delicate bond between the student and teacher can be quickly damaged. Conversely, when a teacher does factor social and emotional issues into the choice of intervention strategies, the bond between student and teacher can become really strong. That strong bond can create an environment where even traumatized, emotionally disturbed and troubled students attempt to work as hard as they can on days they are able– and that is the perfect goal for working with deeply impaired students.

You must strike a balance between the horrors that a child is living with, and your mission to provide education. The world still requires everyone to have adequate skills and education in order to function, with no exceptions given for people who had rough childhoods. So, by balancing the child’s pain with their need for a complete education, you are being sensitive to difficult circumstances that the child is facing, but you never abandon your mission to educate them. If you prioritize education over their suffering, you tend to lose ground with the child. If you prioritize their suffering over education, you tend to produce a child with limited education and skills. By attending to both priorities, you are still giving this troubled child an education, but without adding to the child’s already heavy load. The excerpt below will cement in this point so you can stay mindful of it in your classroom. The passage is taken from John Seryak’s book, “Dear Teacher.”

Gestures that some teachers make and may consider routine, might be the rays of hope a traumatized child sees shining through the bleakness.  I can’t multiply or divide without a calculator, but more  important, I know how to add and subtract because of a 1st grade teacher who gave me little plastic cars to count as I stood with my classmates who knew the answers off the tops of their heads.  A teacher offered me tools that giving up was not the solution.  Making adjustments and discovering the choices available was the lesson I was guided towards understanding.  Teachers may be lifelines for children in crisis.  All that I had left was school, my saving grace:  I want you to know about me, the traumatized child, who, somehow, survived…I’m not certain that the nature of trauma a child experiences is hidden.  I think, more often, it’s overlooked.

 

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    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.

     

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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.


Motivational Magic: Best Strategies to Motivate Students

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Motivational Magic:
The Best Strategies to Motivate Students

Includes Free Motivational Poster

 
 

 

motivate students teacher inservice workshopsIt just may be one of the biggest frustrations that teachers face. Trying to force feed education to students who aren’t interested, can feel like a losing battle.

Hello from Youth Change Director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. That’s me in the image on the right, teaching in Seattle, Washington. In all my workshops, I always begin by asking the participants to name the top issues they face in their classrooms and throughout their school. Motivation always is on the list. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing you in Portland, Oregon next week for the Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop (click) on October 12-13, 2017. Included in the 200 innovative, must-have strategies that I will give in the Portland workshop next week, I can promise dozens and dozens of strategies to motivate students of all ages. I specialize in strategies that are designed to work when conventional motivational methods have failed. So, if you work with very unmotivated students, plan to be in Portland next week. Whether or not you can attend our Portland workshop, check out the terrific strategies to motivate students that are included in this issue of our Problem Student Problem-Solver magazine. This small sampling of some of our best methods will give you the feel of the 50-70 motivational strategies I expect to teach in Portland.

 

Best Strategies to Motivate Students
 

student motivational posterGet This Motivational Poster Free!

For Use as a Poster, Worksheet or Discussion Starter

For Discouraged Students
 

Whether you use this awesome motivational poster as a wall sign, or to ignite a classroom discussion, this item is a terrific strategy to motivate students who are discouraged. It’s our Poster #328, but it also makes a good worksheet too.

Many discouraged students think that they are the only ones to struggle, fail or make mistakes. This poster can be a strong punch to the stomach, quickly convincing those youngsters that many of the world’s biggest successes floundered and got discouraged too.

To use this item as a poster, print it in color with dimensions of 11 x 17 inches. To use this item as a worksheet or discussion starter, you can print it out in any size you wish, or show the image on your projector.

 

Re-Brand and Market Education for the

Most Unmotivated Students
 

In my workshops, I often hear teachers describe teaching their students as being an awful lot like “trying to lead a horse to water and force it to drink.” After teaching a workshop in California, a teacher handed me a note. It said: “You can’t lead a horse to water and force it to drink, but you can give the horse salt and it will drink voluntarily.” That clever comment is exactly what I have been trying to teach for years about how to motivate students. You may wonder “what is the salt?” The salt is anything that lights a fire under a student. You may be thinking that many of your students claim to have no dreams, no goals, no preferences, no hope. Here’s a strategy for very negative and discouraged students for when it certainly seems that there is no human equivalent of “salt” for the unthirsty horse: Ask the student what they want to be when they grow up. If they give a useful response, then you can use that wished-for occupation as “salt” by showing how math, science, reading, writing and other educational skills will be required for that career or job.

However, for your students who profess that they have no goals and no hopes, here’s a terrific workaround. This alternative will also work well with your students who say that they want to grow up to be nothing. For students who claim that they want to “nothing,” say: “Okay, but if you did want to be something, what might it be?” For students who say that they have “no idea” what they want to be when they grow up, say” “Okay, but if you did know what you want to be when you grow up, what might it be?” This strategy allows the student to hang onto their negativity and discouragement rather than be expected to somehow jettison, overlook or override those strong, long held, negative feelings. You are in effect detouring around the negativity and discouragement instead of attempting to modify it. Attempting to modify the negativity will almost always fail but this “detour around it” tactic completely avoids the distraction of a power struggle over the student’s outlook. You have now learned that very important piece of information: what the student cares about in their future, and you can immediately use that information as “salt” as described above. You will use the students’ hopes and goals to re-brand school and education as the only path to reach their dreams.

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how to motivate students

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k12  motivational posterUnexpected Motivational Strategies

Can Produce the Best Results
 

Straight talk about motivation often produces meager results so ditch the verbiage in favor of unexpected strategies that catch students off guard and “sneak in” your motivational message about school and education. An example of these “sideways” motivational strategies is pictured at right. It’s our Poster #328. You can read its message: “Four thirds of math students don’t think they need to learn fractions.” Depending on your students’ age and skill level, they may or may not get the joke. For students who don’t understand the poster, it will be unsettling and uncomfortable and will plant the seed that “maybe, just maybe, I will need to know fractions and math.” That is the start of motivating students. You plant the seed and keep adding more and more strategies that build on that beginning. Remember: No student is going to say: “Wow! That motivational strategy really helped me to realize how much I need math!” In fact, the opposite is more likely: students will often not let on that a motivational strategy made them think, reconsider or worry about their lack of skills, or wonder if they would be unable to get by without learning fractions, and so on. Teachers plant a seed that they don’t always get to see flower and bloom. However, when you use unexpected motivational strategies, their impact is far greater than conventional interventions like just talking to the student.

 

Let Unmotivated Students Experience

Life Without Education
 

Teachers often wish they could somehow convince students that they will be incredibly vulnerable and terribly handicapped as adults if they lack education and skills. Here’s a dynamic way to let students experience the downsides of a poor education and missing skills. This activity requires a few props. You will need a large amount of small candies like M&MS or similar; a clean, 3′ by 5′ large table cloth or similar; and masking tape. Place the cloth on a table and scatter the candy all over it. Next, tape all of each student’s fingers together in random combinations using enough tape to seriously restrict each child’s use of their fingers for fine motor activities. Next, let one student at a time, or small groups of students, attempt to pick up and eat as much candy as they can in 10 seconds. Students will struggle mightily to pick up much candy and will be frustrated and impatient with their results. After each student has had a turn, discuss with the students their reactions, allowing them to emphasize how frustrating it was to try to pick up candy without full use of the fingers and hands. After students have finished venting their frustration, quietly say “Going through life without all the education you need is like trying to pick up M&Ms without use of all the fingers you need. This is what life can be like for you if you don’t get a full education.” This unexpected turn to the activity will cut through a lot of the oppositional reaction that students would have to a more straightforward, conventional approach. Students may remember this unusual activity and it can begin to chip away at the belief that “I can get by without education.”

 

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    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.


 

Help SED Students: Troubled Minds Worsen During Troubled Times Like Hurricane Harvey

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Troubled Minds Worsen
During Troubled Times:
How to Help Emotionally Disturbed Students

 
 

 

studentIf you find the current time period to be a turbulent time, consider the impact of the commotion on students with troubled minds. The impact can be considerable. Given the monster storm, Harvey, that is currently devastating a significant section of the United States, this article is meant to be timely help for anyone who works in the affected region. The article should still be relevant for anyone who works with severely emotionally disturbed (SED) students, or youngsters who struggle with anxiety, trauma, depression and fear.

Hello from Youth Change Workshops Director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. In this article, I’m going to cherry pick some of the very best interventions for severely emotionally disturbed  students and other populations who can be dramatically affected by turbulent times. If you want more than the handful of strategies included here, come to our Portland, Oregon Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop on October 12-13, 2017. In that professional development workshop, you will learn 200 more strategies to help troubled students, as well as those who act out, are bullies, disrespectful, truant and failing academically. Financial aid scholarships for the live workshop are available by making a quick phone call to us at 800.545.5736.

A quick shout out to Texas and Louisiana teachers, counselors and others affected by Hurricane Harvey:
We will welcome you free to our October, 2017 Portland Breakthrough Strategies Workshop, without any charge, if you are a teacher, counselor or other  youth professional from Texas or Louisiana with a work  address in the region gravely affected by the hurricane.
Email us your name and contact information to sign up for free. It is our attempt to give back to a region that has supported our workshops for decades.

Troubled and SED students often have substantial difficulty succeeding in school even during the best of times. During more difficult times, their performance and attendance can plummet. Here are some of our best methods to help emotionally disturbed, traumatized, depressed and fragile students who are struggling more as the world around them gets more turbulent.

 

help traumatized studentsStrategies to Help SED Students and Others

Affected By Turbulent Times

 

Become a Landmark

Being a troubled or severely emotionally disturbed (SED) student is kind of like riding a merry-go-round. For the child or teen, the world is kind of spinning around. To help, become a landmark so that the child doesn’t feel so adrift and disoriented. You can become the place to turn when the child’s anxiety, fear, angst or life events become overwhelming. As you become a reliable point of calm in the storm, the student may eventually learn to extrapolate that calm to other parts of their life. Be sure to specifically make these points with the student so they understand that yes, their world can seem to spin out of control, but you have to look for a place to shelter from the storm, and that place can be you and your classroom or office.

Look for the Helpers

Mr. Rogers, the TV children’s program host from years ago, always used to say in his most soothing voice: During times of chaos, tragedy and catastrophe: Look for the Helpers. It was a genius idea. By helping upset, troubled and disturbed students focus on the one part of the situation that is positive, it can reduce their fear, anxiety and trepidation. For emotionally disturbed students and other youngsters who struggle, the more their emotions are within a tolerable range, the more they can focus on school work. The reality is that all students will need the life skills taught in school, and that includes those who are living with violence, a weather-related catastrophe, family problems, mental illness and other life challenges. Assisting your SED students and others to self-soothe will reduce the amount of suffering they experience while potentially freeing up additional energy for school.

 

Find Their “Salt”

For troubled students, it can be hard to care about or work in school. The old saying that “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” is the perfect illustration. However, what would get that horse to drink? Salt. See if you can find what is the student’s “salt.” It could be getting them excited about a career goal that requires education. It could be having them read about Maya Angelou and others who rose above tragedy and trauma to greatness. It could be helping them escape the world through music, poetry, art or literature. It can be using their exposure to fire fighters and police, to learn about becoming a public safety worker when an adult. If you can believe that all students have things they care about, your are much more likely to help students to identify those valued things, and then you can use those things to convince the child that education is a way out of the pain– and the best and fastest way forward to a better future.

 

Article Continues Below

 

teacher workshop traum

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Learn 100s of Strategies for Work Refusers, Violent,
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troubled studentTroubled Minds? Meet Mindfulness

By now, the Mindfulness “revolution” has probably reached your part of the world. Mindfulness is the ideal intervention strategy to offer students with SED, anxiety problems, depression and similar. One of the key elements of mindfulness is to help the student stay focused on the present. In this current moment, the child is safe, has been fed, and is warm and dry. Help the students to focus on what is happening right now and to avoid worrying about the past and future. That can sound like a tough sell but you can also use meditation techniques to make that goal more achievable. Meditation can consist of having the child breathe slowly, eyes closed (if willing), while focusing on nothing but the breath for just a few minutes. Countless studies document that meditation can reduce specific problem feelings like anxiety, fear and worry.

Help Others

Studies often document that when children and teens in pain turn their attention to helping others, they feel better themselves. So, this is the perfect time to have your students create and implement a project to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey. This effort can become the perfect way to teach your fragile and troubled students that “helping others helps you too.”

Bloom Where You’re Planted

For students whose difficulty appears to be long term, teach them to “bloom where they’re planted.” For example, if a child is likely going to remain in difficult conditions in the Hurricane Harvey flood zone for a while, teach the student that they can go through the experience the “hard way” or the “easier way.” They can be miserable the entire time or they can look for anything positive. For example, the student may miss their home that is now unlivable, but they may really like living with their cousins and having someone to play with all the time. Teach students to keep looking for that positive among the negatives and once they find it, to focus on it. This intervention strategy can help some students avoid sinking into prolonged, deep depressions. Many recent neuroplasticity studies have established that it is possible through effective thought management to reduce the amount of depression a child experiences while building up the brain pathways that focus on the positive. Physical activity combined with talking, thought management and mindfulness is a potent combination that can definitely help over time. Without  these evidence-based techniques, students are statistically quite likely to continue to struggle emotionally and to worsen over time.

 

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    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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    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


 

The 5 Best Classroom Management Hacks

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

The 5 Best Classroom Management Hacks

 
 

 

classroom managementDid you know that you can avoid many classroom management problems before they start?

Happy New School Year from me, Youth Change Professional Development Workshops Director, Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I have spent most of my life writing books, creating posters and leading workshops to help teachers figure out what to do when classroom management has become a serious problem. Let me show you how to skip the back-to-school pitfalls that can make teaching so frustrating and exasperating for the next 9 months. These effective, must-do classroom management hacks are time-tested and teacher approved to work better than conventional approaches.

Youth Change Workshops cares about you and your students so if you need more help, we have our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop coming up soon in Portland on October 13-14, 2016. If you have a bad budget, scholarships are still available by calling 1.800.545.5736. You'll leave the workshop with 200 solutions for the classroom management problems you name at the start of our first day so you're guaranteed to get solutions for your exact students and their exact problems.

 

Top 5

Classroom Management

Hacks

 

classroom management articles1. Start Strong
    Because There Are No Do-Overs

No student will ever fight back or complain if you start out the school year being a very strong disciplinarian and then decide to loosen up a bit. However, if you start off being a weak or even moderate disciplinarian and decide later that you need to tighten up…well, good luck with that.

It is so hard to tighten up classroom management and so easy to loosen up. It always amazes me that this central premise isn't the foundation of every teacher's classroom management game plan.

Having spent my whole career helping educators tighten up problematic class management, I really can appreciate that it can feel like battle to re-invent a classroom once an unsatisfactory atmosphere has developed. It's almost like the classroom gets branded as a free-for-all. That's why I sometimes have to recommend that an existing classroom be "discontinued" instead of trying to wage an uphill battle to turnaround that negative perception. So, if you do find yourself fighting serious classroom management battles, it is better to start completely over. You can even re-name your classroom, redo the layout and make other cosmetic changes to emphasize that "Room 256" is gone and now this is "Beyond Room 256" or similar. Re-starting works best at natural break times like the end of a term or after a holiday break.

However, there's a caveat to this remodeling plan: If you tell your students that "things are going to be different," you better deliver. You'll still get challenged and tested and if you don't satisfactorily manage the challenges and tests, expect things to return to the way they were. If you don't satisfactorily manage what the students throw your way in your "new" classroom, it will become even harder to engineer the classroom conditions you need to teach. That means if you do create a "new" classroom, make sure you have acquired the skills, attitude, motivation, mentoring and backing you need to guarantee that your "new" classroom will be "new and improved," not just "new" but with the same old problems.

 

classroom management article2. Establish Rules
    In a Way That Ensures Compliance

Remember when they put that new stop sign in by your house? Remember how mad you were that you didn't even get a say about it and now you have to live with it? You thought to yourself: "Yesterday, I just rolled through here and today, I want to just roll through here." Wouldn't you have felt better about the new sign and complying with it, if you'd at least had some input into the decision to install it? Sure, and the same logic applies to your students.

When students arrive at the first day of school and are told that they need to follow this rule and that rule and this rule, they react a lot like you did when you thought about cruising through the new stop sign. What if you allowed students to help shape the rules? Well, the answer to that question is that you'd have the same set of rules but far better compliance.

On the first day of school, start with a classroom with no rules and let students take turns role-playing the job of teacher. Give a great prize in lieu of a paycheck. To earn the prize, the role play teachers just have to teach the other students to memorize a five digit number. Sounds so easy, doesn't it? Yes, but, this is a classroom with no rules. The other students can talk at will, leave the class at will, pop bubble gum, and so on. The role play teacher will soon become frustrated. When that happens, offer the role play teacher the opportunity to create rules and let the student attach his or her own name to the rules. For example, "Juan's No Cussing Rule." The rules are now things created by your students and their names are attached to them.

Students are far less likely to hassle or trash the rules that they invented and bear their names. This is a slam-dunk easy way to build in excellent classroom management and discipline from the first ring of the first bell.
 

classroom management3. Teach Behavior, Attitude and Motivation

     Before You Expect Them

Few teachers would expect math or reading skills before anyone taught them to students, but many teachers do expect students to start the school year with appropriate behavior, a good attitude and ample motivation. Sadly, those expectations are often not realistic in our contemporary time. Years ago, parents more reliably taught their offspring to behave acceptably, have a reasonable attitude and sufficient motivation. That is not always the case now. That means if you want to work with properly behaved, motivated students who have good attitudes, you are going to have to teach that. You can expect anything you want, but if you haven't taught it to the child– and no one else has taught it to the child either– then you are often going to be disappointed.

There are thousands of lively, effective methods to teach students to have acceptable behavior, attitude and motivation. Take a look at some step-by-step, how-to guides that are in our archive of past "Classroom Management Strategies" articles.

The bottom line is that good classroom management is predicated on students using proper behavior, and having adequate motivation and attitude. If you want good classroom management, you need to teach students to do their part. It is difficult– perhaps even impossible– to have good classroom management with students who are chronically badly behaved, unmotivated and have negative attitudes. If you want to change what you see in your classroom, start by training your students to look, act and sound like successful students.

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student classroom management4. Proactively Identify and
    Manage Problem-Starters 

There's always at least one, isn't there? There's always at least one student in every classroom who seems to start the fires and feed them once they're started. Identify this student on Day 1 and immediately develop an effective plan to manage him or her. If you wait until this student is in trouble for misbehavior, it's too late as these youngsters are often pretty cagey and slick– even at a young age– and can be master manipulators of both students and adults.

Even more important, you need to know that one-size-fits-all discipline techniques fit no one, and that is part of why this student can reign supreme on your turf. Just like you know 200 ways to teach spelling to fit each student, you need to know 200 ways to implement classroom management to fit each student. Often, your biggest trouble-maker doesn't respond to conventional, everyday discipline methods and behavior intervention strategies. You may have noticed that "nothing works" to control these seriously acting-out students. The amazing thing is that mental health and juvenile corrections staff have developed tailored techniques for the most extremely misbehaved youngsters, and have been successfully using these methods for generations. Even more amazing, most educators have not been offered these tested and researched techniques. The one exception to this statement is that special education teachers are sometimes fortunate to have been given training on how to manage the most extremely misbehaved children. These special educators may have been given some or a lot of practical training on how to manage students who have been given the mental health diagnosis of conduct disorder.

It is estimated that 11-14% of the population of children and teens have conduct disorder– whether diagnosed or not. The key thing here is that you can't use ordinary behavior management techniques with this population as those approaches always fail and usually make the problems worse. So, if you want to have the tools you need, the reality is that you need to upgrade your skills to include behavior management techniques designed for very acting-out students. We can help with that upgrade. You can rely on our site's free resources to learn classroom management methods designed to work more effectively with children with conduct disorder. These carefully tailored and researched interventions are going to work so much better than the generic methods that you're using now. There are lots of free articles on conduct disorder on our site. You can start by reading an introductory article on conduct disorder.

 We also have many live, online and on-site workshops on the topic. We also have books, ebooks and audio books that can quickly deliver these must-have tools so that you finally have the updated, targeted methods you need to rein in your most misbehaved, hard-to-manage students. You'll learn the reasons why you must work with the most misbehaved students by having many, ultra-high consequences; making sure that all interactions relate to what the student cares most about; making sure you know the student's most liked rewards and disliked sanctions; confronting all bad behavior every time; never giving second chances; drastically limiting discussion over sanctions and rule violations; maximizing supervision at all times; watching for set-ups; watching for manipulation, lies and delinquency, and if your boss and team permit, you need to stop being so fair.

The bottom line: If you can control your most misbehaved students and negative leaders, you're well on your way to controlling your entire classroom. 

 

classroom management for teachers5. Get Help Now

One of the top reasons that teachers quit is that they hate the state of their classroom management. Some teachers may improve on their own, but the vast majority of teachers who are living through a classroom management nightmare really need to acquire better tools and information. Since 80% of a typical teacher's training focused on academic content, it's not a surprise that classroom management can seem so daunting. Based on that percentage, one would expect that a typical teacher's day is dominated by content issues, but ask any educator and they will tell you that their day is dominated by students' behavioral, social and emotional problems– yet those are all areas given limited or no practical training in pre-service courses.

Severe or chronic classroom management problems are unlikely to change unless the teacher changes. If you've read this article looking for the way out of your classroom management war, the truth is that change isn't going to just happen. You are going to have to actively upgrade your skills and possibly, your personality style and demeanor. That's not to say that every teacher needs to have a loud and forceful personality, for instance– some of the best classroom managers are very quiet and laid back– but if students see you as an easy mark or easily fooled, some personal change may be required to combat that perception. That's why a mentor can be such a help. So, consider finding someone with great classroom management and a personality like yours– or what you wish your personality could be more like– and ask for help. While there is no substitute for upgrading your skill set to fit contemporary students, for some educators, tweaking their personality style and demeanor will also be necessary.

Students read us adults like open comic books. That means they sometimes know us and our weaknesses far better than we know ourselves. You may fool your boss, your co-workers and yourself, but you will almost never fool your students. So, it's incredibly important that you believe wholeheartedly that you can effectively manage difficult students. And, that's not something you can learn from a workshop. That's why upgrading your skills may need to be accompanied by finding a caring mentor who tells it like it is.

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    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.


How Teachers Can Help Depressed and S.E.D. Students

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

How to Help
Depressed and S.E.D. Students:

 Must-Know Tips and Tools

 


 
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Please spread the word!

Workshop Helpers needed to attend our Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop 100% FREE while helping with workshop logistics. Plus, helpers can earn 10 Clock Hours free, as well as optional college grad credit. Call 1.800.545.5736 to grab a helper slot or to get more details. Workshop Info


 


 


 2 FREE

Workshop Helper Registrations!

for Seattle on May 5-6, 2016

Details immediately below or call 1.800.545.5736
 

free teacher workshop

 

Before we give you some fantastic tips on how to teach and counsel depressed children and teens, would you give us a bit of a helping hand? We have a fairly big group coming to our Seattle Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop on May 5-6, 2016, but for the first time in two decades of hosting this workshop, no one has signed up for our Work Study Helper Scholarships. We are looking for two people who would like to attend the workshop totally, 100% FREE and in exchange, help with workshop logistics. It's easy work in exchange for waiving our usual $169 tuition. Would you please let your co-workers know about this awesome professional development conference at an awesome price? Helpers get the same workshop as everyone else and can also earn 10 free clock hours and optional college grad credit too. Call 1.800.545.5736 for details and to sign up. Workshop details are here.
 


 

How to Help
Depressed and S.E.D. Students:
 Must-Know Tips and Tools

 

teacherIt can be tough for teachers to know exactly what is the best way to help children who are severely emotionally disturbed (S.E.D.) Working with sad and depressed students can often be particularly difficult and delicate. Even counselors who specialize in assisting children and teens with depression and sadness, can find these youngsters very hard to help. So, if you are not a counselor, be sure to immediately seek help from a mental health professional or your supervisor if you have any safety concerns at all. This sampler of intervention strategies is not a substitute for that. The strategies offered here for S.E.D. and depressed students give you just a tiny look at of our more comprehensive offerings provided in our workshops, online courses and books— and this peek at our resources is definitely no substitute for consulting a clinician and our full professional development resources for additional guidance.

If you do want more than just a tiny taste of our innovative methods for children and teens with S.E.D. and/or severe depression, be sure to consider coming to our upcoming Seattle, May 5-6, 2016 Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth Workshop, where we will cover S.E.D. students in great depth. As you probably have noticed, we have two no-charge Workshop Helper slots open, meaning you can attend completely free and earn clock hours and college credit too. Call 1.800.545.5736 to sign up or get more details on this fantastic opportunity, and be sure to pass on the information to any colleagues who might want to participate for free in this information-packed classroom behavior management workshop.
 

SED studentStrategies for Depressed and S.E.D. Students
 

Yesterday Once More
When children and youth spend a lot of the present being very upset about problems from the past, ask them to "bloom where you're planted."

Power Walk
Vigorous exercise can have a powerful effect on depressed children and teens. Studies have consistently shown that exercise is one of the top three things that can help a child or youth stay ahead of depression.  New research in the past decade, indicates that mindfulness, yoga and meditation are hugely effective methods to help students cope with depression. However useful, exercise, meditation and mindfulness are not miracle workers. Don't forget that if you are not a clinician, be sure to immediately seek mental health guidance if you have any safety concerns about a depressed child. It is always better to play it safe as the severity of a youngster's depression is often not readily apparent.

Power Talk
Talk is the other intervention that studies have shown to be potentially quite useful to help depressed children and adolescents moderate the amount of sadness they are experiencing. We recommend that you combine this intervention with the preceding method– exercise. For example, you and the student can walk rapidly around your site while the child gets to talk about any issues that may be of concern. You can "Power Talk while you Power Walk". Children who "talk it out", are far less likely to "act it out". They are also less likely to "act it in"– to hurt themselves with behaviors such as self-harm, self-endangering, substance abuse or other similar self-destructive actions. Depression can be both acted out and acted in. We tend to think of depression as just being acted in, but it can be either.

For Right Now
For children who are sad about things from the past or future, ask them "What's wrong with this moment?" If they say that nothing is wrong right now, then ask them "Why would you waste the present worrying about what's done…or what may never happen?" Assist students to avoid squandering the present moment for a problematic past or potentially problematic future. This intervention reflects mindfulness concepts beautifully if you are helping your students learn to be more mindful.


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student with SEDDepression Solves What?
For children and adolescents who are often mired in depression, ask them to tell you exactly what depression solves. Assist the students to understand that depression solves nothing, and can make things worse when the child neglects responsibilities or shirks work due to sadness.

Cancel Stinkin' Thinking
Now that you have your students realizing that depression never solves anything, teach them to notice and stop depressing thoughts by thinking "Cancel" whenever they notice negative thinking. You can call the negative thinking "stinkin' thinking." If students protest that they will never be able to turn off all the negative thoughts, reassure them that just noticing the negative thinking is a huge first step. "Sell" the idea of reducing negative thinking by emphasizing that students will be probably more comfortable and experience less pain by simply reducing the amount of negative thoughts.

Take Action
Train depressed students to take an action rather than just wallow in sadness. This intervention is the perfect follow-up to the two approaches shown immediately above.

Depression Time
For students who really hesitate to take steps to stop their negative thoughts, suggest to these youngsters that they simply try to reduce the number of minutes spent on negativity. Next, point out that there will always be plenty of time to be depressed later, that students aren't giving up anything, they can always choose to be sad again later. Alternatively, have students determine how many minutes per day they spend dwelling on sad thoughts, then have them reduce the time by a percentage that is acceptable to them.

Important Reminder for Non-Mental Health Professionals: Please be sure to remember this article is no substitute for consulting your site's mental health professionals if there is any possibility of safety issues with a student who appears depressed or to be S.E.D. If you aren't sure, always immediately consult your mental health staff or your supervisor. These strategies are innovative techniques that may help this population, but these methods do not in any way replace immediately consulting a clinician with any and all safety concerns a child or teen may present. To learn more than this small strategy sampler offers, come to a workshop, enroll in an online course, or check out our books.
 


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    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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    © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved | Permission granted to forward magazine to others.


How Counselors and Teachers Can Help Troubled Students in Class

 

guide to helping troubled students in class

 

How Counselors and Teachers

Can Help Troubled Students

in Class

 
 

 

There are always words more dignified
than concealment"

–writer Anne Lamott
 

how to help troubled studentsRegardless of what type of job you do with youth and children, a part of that job should include noticing youngsters who may be suffering through unspeakable events at home. So, whatever your role with children, the information contained in this issue is critical, perhaps even life-saving for your children who are living with terrible pain and sadness.

My name is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. I've spent my whole life learning everything I can about troubled students, and I lecture and teach on the topic all over North America. I have also written books and created online courses on the topic.

When a child is 6 or 16, keeping a secret may seem like the only option when life gets scary. So, you may not be able tell from the words you hear from the youngsters in your classroom or office, but the number of children living with "bad secrets" might shock you. Although sometimes the child's behavior may give a hint of what goes unsaid, here are the best guesses as to how much pain children may actually live with. These numbers are only guesses drawn from research, but no one knows for sure, so feel free to disagree with the guesses. These numbers are offered to illustrate the high frequency of serious family problems that may exist.

Kids may not talk about it, but estimates are that about 15% of students may struggle with substances, or have a family member who struggles. In some regions, this number may seem low so adjust accordingly if alcohol and drug abuse are of particular concern in your area.

About 12% of your students are severely emotionally disturbed, or have a family member who is facing this problem.

how to help troubled studentsThe biggest problem facing your students in terms of frequency may be this next problem. A surprising 20% or more of youngsters live with sexual abuse or incest. More precisely, 1 in 3 of your girls, and 1 in 5 of your boys live with sexual abuse or incest. Of all the problem areas that students don't talk about, this problem may occur the most– but be the least likely to be disclosed.

At least 15% of your students– or others in the family system– live with verbal, physical and/or emotional abuse.

These problem areas can and do overlap. A child can be living with both beatings and incest, and also have an alcoholic parent, for example. These numbers may document what you suspect: that you are seeing more and more troubled students who cope with very serious family problems.

You already know that when a student discloses, as a youth professional, you must report the abuse to the proper authorities. More commonly, however, you have only suspicions with nothing concrete to support your fears. Here are some strategies to use with children who may be carrying such a heavy load that it may make it difficult or even impossible to successfully teach, counsel or help them.

 

student with mental health problemsStrategies to Help Troubled Students
 

STRATEGY
Would You Tell?

It is critical to understand why children don't tell the secret of what is happening at home. Here is a way to give you that insight: Name all the things that you care about the most on earth. You probably think of family, pets, your home, and friends. That is what the child can lose by telling. That's why so many kids don't tell. This understanding may sometimes help you clarify what is going on when you are not sure what is happening with a child.

 

STRATEGY
Before Anything is Said

You may want to be sure that your youngsters know the ramifications of telling before they tell. For example, at the start of the school year, teachers can tell students that if necessary, they are able to help with serious problems from home– and specify what types of problems that means. But, consider if that statement needs to also include honestly revealing what can happen next with regards to reporting requirements, and what consequences can result. Make sure that you use this strategy in a manner that is in keeping with the policies at your site, and that implementation is done in an age-appropriate manner.

Children may need to know what could happen if they disclose so they won't be devastated to later discover that they went "from the frying pan to the fire," saying "I never would have told if I knew what would happen!" At our workshop, we hear countless tragic stories of children who are not removed from perpetrators after disclosure and are harmed or killed; and we hear about children whose most private woes become front page news, and so on. If your child protection system– like many– might struggle to offer good help, consider telling the child that. Ideally, non-mental health workers should cover this information with the help of a counselor. Your goal is to be sure that students know how to identify adults who can help during times of crisis, and to honestly convey the results that the adults would likely produce.


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student with emotional problemsSTRATEGY
These Conditions Must Apply

If you do want to be available to help children who suffer, what can you do if you are not a counselor? First, if you do get a disclosure, get a counselor to help right away. Second, you can create an environment that feels safe enough that a deeply distressed child could trust it to accept help. There are a number of conditions that can create that safety. Here are just a few of the most important: Children want confidentiality; they need to know that their problems won't be blabbed everywhere. They want to know that they will have a say in what happens next. They want the adult to know what to do to help, not become upset, overwhelmed or agitated. They want to have a chance to say what they want to say without being cut off or sent away. They want to be treated with respect no matter how "horrible" their story.
 

STRATEGY
Your Role

You may feel that you just want to teach 7th grade, or just do recreational activities with kids, because that is the type of work you signed up for. You may have never anticipated having to possibly become involved with terribly difficult problems from home. Those feelings are completely understandable, but they may not fit our contemporary times very well when so many children live their lives in fear and pain. Although it may not be written on your job description, perhaps everyone who works with youth, needs to be attentive to the needs of troubled youth. If youth workers can't see the pain, then who will?

So many students in crisis later lament that no adult ever seemed to notice or care about what they were going through. You could.


STRATEGY
Strike a Balance

You may wonder how you can do your job when working with children who are devastated from what they endure at home. Here is a simple guideline to maximize your effectiveness with your distressed children: You never abandon your mission but you don't accomplish it at all costs. That means that you provide accommodations to the student when she appears distressed, and you increase your expectations at those times when the student appears more functional. If you can strike that balance, you can best offer your service to the troubled child without adding to the woes that the child already shoulders.

 

help troubled girls bookChild's Guide Troubled Family bookLIKE THESE STRATEGIES?

We have thousands more in our books, online courses and workshops. The smattering of resources listed in this issue are just a few of the solutions we have. Find more on this topic in our Child's Guide to Surviving in a Troubled Family, and What Every Girl Needs to Know About the Real World books and ebooks. When you are struggling with your troubled, sad, withdrawn, and distressed students, think of Youth Change Workshops. We can help!
 

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    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.


An Expert’s Guide How to Select Teacher Professional Development

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

An Expert's Guide
How to Select Teacher Professional Development

 
 

 

We know all about booking the best professional development for your teachers, counselors, special educators or youth professionals. We're the experts at Youth Change Professional Development Workshops and we're going to guide education professional development speakeryou step-by-step through the confusing world of finding excellent staff training or booking a great speaker for your next conference, school inservice day or counseling convention.

My name is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. and I'll be your guide. I've been a speaker for more than two decades and I'll share what I've learned with you here.

 

1. Identify Your Focus

Too often, we get phone calls from schools, conferences or districts asking for inservice but they are unclear on their focus. Different speakers zero in on distinctly different topic areas so know your focus area before you even begin to look for the right training for your staff.

professional development tipTIP: If you aren't sure exactly what is your most pressing training area, survey your staff and look for repeat requests and priority issues. Priority issues should include safety concerns, student motivation and basic classroom management concerns. If a school or class is unsafe, or if many students are unmotivated or out of control, a focus on academics or other areas will likely be wasted as safety, motivation and well-managed students are essential to everything else that happens at your site.

 

2. Identify the Results You Want

Once you are clear on the focus for your training, you need to figure out exactly what results you are seeking. We hear all the time about school and agency staff sitting through professional development trainings that delivered lots and lots of theory– but the hope had been to get immediately useable techniques. Before you begin your speaker search, make sure you are clear on what you hope to accomplish and whether you are seeking theoretical or practical solutions. Watch out for cookie-cutter workshops that are pre-fabricated and not tailored to your site, your students and your staff's exact needs.

teacher professional development guideTIP: Try to quantify the results you are hoping to achieve. For example, if classroom management is a top issue, you may want results that include a reduction in students referred to the principal for class disruption. Other examples: a reduction in the number of students suspended and improved attendance.

 

 

3. Choose a Delivery Method

In today's world, you have options beyond in-person workshops. While there is no question that in-person is the most effective delivery vehicle for most professional development courses, online training is an option to consider– especially if you are on a tight budget.

professional development tipsDEFINITIONS

Here are the terms to know:

An In-Person Course is provided live either at your site or at a general session hosted by the workshop provider.

General Session Workshops are live and open to anyone. They're sponsored by the course provider. See a sample of a general session workshop.

On-Site Workshops are in-person courses held at your conference, site or at your choice of site for your staff or whoever you decide to include. You can charge others to attend on-site training workshops. You can also use on-site training as a fund raiser by charging others a fee to enroll. View information on on-site training.

An Online Course is a pre-recorded workshop typically offered as a video or in a PowerPoint slide show format. There may or may not be the opportunity for questions or follow-up concerns following an online course. View examples of online courses.

A Webinar is a live course that participants view from their computer or other device as it happens. There may be the chance to interact with the instructor, often by typing questions. Recorded webinars can be later offered as online courses. 

All types of in-person and online workshops can offer college credit and clock hours.

To get a better look at what online workshops are about, look at one of our free mini-professional development online workshops.

 

4. Where to Look for Speakers and Workshops

Now that you know your focus, your goals and the formats that you are willing to consider, you are ready to search for the right speaker and the right workshop for your site.

You can certainly use a search engine to start looking for either live, online or on-site workshops. For example, to find Youth Change Professional Development Workshops, many searchers input "classroom management workshop," "how to motivate unmotivated students workshop," "classroom management speaker" or "school violence expert."

For general sessions and online courses, you just sign up to attend. For on-site training, it's a bit more complicated as you will read further below.

K12 education speakers bureauTo find a speaker or workshop for an on-site presentation, the other major search option is to use a speakers bureau. We love the two bureaus that we work with the most. They move heaven and earth to make sure that conference and inservice planners get everything they hoped for and so much more. We can heartily recommend Premiere Speakers Bureau and AEI Speakers Bureau. Here is what Youth Change Workshops' listing looks like at Premiere Speakers Bureau and at AEI.

Speakers bureaus do all the work for you and get that speaker to you on time no matter what. Sometimes the cost of a workshop or speaker can be the same whether you book directly with the provider or go through a speakers bureau. However, using a bureau can cost more as the bureau does take a portion of the speaker's fee you pay; many speakers raise their fee to cover that extra cost.

There are also Speaker Listing websites that list speakers without representing them. Here is how Youth Change Workshops looks on one of them.

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5. Costs for Speakers and Workshops

Online workshops can be quite affordable. Our online courses start at just $39 and include free clock hours. Tuition for our general session workshops start at $169.

Fees vary wildly for live on-site speakers. Generally, you can expect to pay a premium for any speaker who is a big name in their niche, and the more famous, the more you will spend. However, the size of the fee doesn't guarantee that you get the professional development you want. Speaker fees are not small. Because most speakers travel a long way to your site, expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars, probably more.

Most speakers charge not just a speaking fee but they also bill the host for air and ground travel, per diem and more. Some will also charge for the course workbook and by the number of participants. That can make it hard to calculate your final total to ensure it fits your budget. While this practice is the most common, it is not universal. Fortunately, there are speakers who buck the trend and use a simple flat fee instead.

K12 professional development tipsTIP: Here at Youth Change Workshops, we have always used a flat fee charge for speaking, with one single cost for everything. We don't add any fees for workbooks, participants, college credit or clock hours. The flat fee includes all travel and makes planning easy. Although flat fee is not common, we think it should be because anything that makes it easier on the host is the right way to operate. You may agree and decide to work only with speakers who offer a flat fee option.

 

professional development training tipTIP: Be sure when you compare flat fees with standard fees that you factor in the likely final cost you'll actually pay with the standard fee. Flat fees are financially best for the host because the speaker is covering everything and must absorb any unexpected costs. Compared to flat fees, standard speaking fees usually end up being a less favorable financial outcome for the host who has to pay for many more expenses, cover many more items and absorb unexpected costs.

 

 

6. What to Ask to Find the Right
Professional Development Speaker or Workshop

As noted earlier, the key element is to be sure to ask speaking candidates about their ability to help you reach your quantifiable goals. You should also ask for workshop flyers, course outlines, letters of reference, fee sheet, participant evaluations, press coverage, awards, clips and experience providing training on your topic in your type of setting. Also be sure to ask about the contract and fee payment arrangement. Some speakers require a deposit. Most speakers and speakers bureau only book on a nonrefundable basis. Why? It is hard to re-sell dates at the last moment. Be sure to check what happens if inclement weather, travel disruption or other unexpected event interferes with your professional development event.

 

7. Speaker and On-Site Workshop Contracts

Some speakers and bureaus have lengthy contracts for on-site training events but here are some of the basics that must be included on whatever paperwork you get: Date, times, place, topic, speaker name, fee, fee due date, cancelation/change policy, information on any additional charges, and AV and other setup needs. Nonrefundable, noncancellable dates are the industry standard as last-minute speaker rebooking usually isn't possible, and when it comes down to it, speakers sell dates.

If you will need to use a purchase order or proprietary school district or conference document, find out if the speakers bureau or speaker will accept it.

 

8. Certificates, College Credit and Clock Hours

Your staff may want or need certificates of completion, college credit or professional development hours from the training they attend. Ask if this is an option, and ask about costs. There is huge variation on the costs, from free to quite expensive. Here at Youth Change, we provide most certificates of completion and clock hours free, and our college credit is under $50.

Some professional development providers work with universities that charge a lot for credit. However, as long as the university is a regionally accredited university, the credit will work for degrees, salary increases, etc. Many regionally accredited universities charge very reasonable fees for credit that is just as valuable as that from a most expensive university. For example, we love working with Seattle Pacific University, a widely recognized, regionally accredited university with fantastic customer service for students, yet they charge just $45 per credit.

 

9. Follow-Up

Here at Youth Change, we warranty all our past participants, whether they participate in a live, on-site or online training event. That means we offer Live Expert Help, email help and toll-free phone help indefinitely. We also make it easy for our past participants to repeat our classes should they ever need to. Find out how the workshop provider will support your training participants once the live or online event is over.

 

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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.