Re-Brand to Improve Persistent Student Behavior Problems

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Re-Brand
to Improve the Most Persistent
Student Behavior Problems

 
 

Expires 5-6-15

 

 

 

You would think someone who works really well with misbehaved students K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wellswould be great with misbehaved dogs. Well, I discovered there is little carry-over from unmanageable students to unmanageable pets. Even though I teach a class called Control the Uncontrollable Student, I had to sign up to attend a class called Control the Uncontrollable Dog.

So, my mastiff-St. Bernard is really well-behaved when there is nothing going on. But Bergie, my normally sweet-natured, well-behaved companion turns into a loud, tantrumming, non-compliant, out-of-control opponent as soon as he sees another dog. His new trainer said that seeing another dog had become improve behaviora time for Bergie to misbehave and do whatever he wanted. She said that I needed to re-brand. Now.

Re-branding worked. Almost immediately. After three years of failure. With Bergie, we used treats to re-brand. Seeing another dog no longer meant tantrum time. It meant treat time. He quickly learned to look at me to get a treat, which was much more fun than melting down and tantrumming.

The same concept of re-branding works with students too. If the start of class has become party time, if class discussions mean texting time, if punctuality means showing up 5 minutes late, it's time to re-brand. It's time to teach your students that a chronic problem time is changing to something completely new. Here are some re-branding methods for you to use to finally put a stop to some of your most frustrating, long-term student behavior problems.

 

Re-Branding to Improve Student Behavior

Strategies

improve student behaviorRe-Brand Strategy

Start Over

For years I've taught that it is often easier to completely stop a bad situation than fight an uphill battle to make it better. So, if it's April and your classroom management situation is grim, stop fighting to make it better. Instead, end the class, and start over fresh– even if ending the class is largely symbolic and superficial.

So, you change the class name, you re-decorate and you re-arrange the furniture– but first, and more importantly, you actually teach your students how to perform the behaviors that you want in your classroom. (Here are dozens of free resources for teaching students those behaviors.) You need to teach the behaviors as systematically and thoroughly as you teach academics– to the point where your students are experts and veterans at behaviors like chair-sitting, hand-raising, talking one at a time, etc. Provide lots of reminders using posters, signs, door hangers, etc.

You also need to acknowledge the problems that existed and strongly emphasize that the problems will stop now. Once you issue this edict, you will have to follow through. Every time. Yes. Every. You will be tested so be ready to be rock solid at following through on your new expectations. If you don't, you will have great difficulty recovering. If you do maintain the standards of the new environment, you will have successfully re-branded.

The lesson for the future is this: It is always easier to create a firm, in-control environment and ease up later if you feel the need vs. tighten up an out-of-control environment. No one will fight you if you try to ease up on a very tightly run classroom, but count on a battle if you try to tighten up an out-of-control classroom. It's better to get your brand right from the start than to have to  re-brand later on. But if your brand has become a problem, and repeated rescue attempts have failed over months, then it's time to start over.

 

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classroom rules postersRe-Brand Strategy

Change the Conversation

In my live classes, I constantly hear about students' foul language that seems to be unstoppable. As with any behavior problem, you want to teach students the skills to behave differently, but on this issue, you have to be sure to also change their attitudes, and to give them clear motivation to choose different words. Cussing is comfortable, familiar and easy. Why give it up? You have to supply that answer and the answer has to be convincing.

Here is just one of our hundreds of methods to help with that. Ask students to name all the jobs, businesses and activities they hope to do. Have them list their answers in a column. Next, have students cross off items that are incompatible with cursing. So, for example, pilots can't swear at the air traffic controller, and employees can't cuss at bosses, co-workers or customers. The remaining items on the lists should be very few, if any. You've now begun to motivate students to behave differently. Once more motivated, you can teach the skills needed to reduce cursing. Once more skilled, provide constant reminders like our Poster #523 shown above. Your re-branded classroom can become known as a No Cursing Zone, which is exactly the change you hoped to accomplish.

 

student conduct posterRe-Brand Strategy

Practice Makes Perfect

When you want your students to learn an academic skill like multiplication, you teach the skills and ensure there is lots of repetition. Students may have to work with the times tables a long time before learning all the basic combinations. The same logic applies to teaching behavior. If you want students to learn to behave better, then you are going to have to teach it, and ensure that they get plenty of repetition until the skills are "cemented in."

When you use lots of repetition, it's important to vary the teaching methods used so that your students stay engaged and continue learning. Here is an example: Our Poster #543 depicts a Bingo game that you can make and use to teach or remind students of expected classroom behavior skills– especially what to do and what not to do. Enlarge the image of the poster to see more details. Activities like Classroom Excuses Bingo can make re-branding both successful and do-able even after long term problems.

 

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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.

     

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Improve School Climate: Innovative Classroom Management Strategies

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

Improve School Climate:
Innovative Classroom
Management Strategies

 
 

 

Speaker shows how to improve school climateIt may be a new year, but you are probably still dealing with the same old "kid problems." The bad attitudes, disrespect, peer conflict, lying, school failure or family problems didn't change when you flipped the page on the calendar.

Don't let last year's problems create another difficult year. Resolve to stop using last year's failed solutions, and instead substitute updated, more effective methods like those contained in our books, instant ebooks, online and live workshops.

I'm workshop presenter and keynote speaker Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. These innovative classroom management strategies are intended to improve school climate faster than conventional methods. I've worked hard to ensure that that your school climate is enhanced when you use these novel strategies.

This may be the right moment to stop using methods that didn't work well in 2005, and will fare no better in 2006. If you don't decide now to switch to more updated, more effective methods, you may continue to find your job discouraging and frustrating, and your students may continue to struggle and be very hard to manage. What better time to make the switch than as you flip the page on the calendar? You might actually discover that working with difficult kids doesn't have to be so difficult.

Resolve in 2006 to try these creative, new ideas to replace some of those worn-out, failed interventions that you should leave behind in 2005 if you really want to improve your school climate now.
 

Classroom Management Strategies to
Improve School Climate
 

ideas to improve school climate1. Chronic Problems Don't Have to Be Chronic

Classic chronic problems– like students misbehaving when they need help– do not have to be "the way it is." You can change chronic problem areas, and you should, because these problems take a huge toll on you, and on your students.

RESOLVE to Stop Chronic Student Behavior Problems
Here is a brand new intervention to use with students who act out when they need help in class: Teach your students "1, 2, 3, Help Me." It's a system that students can use to easily communicate with you when they need help. "1" means "I can do it on my own." "2" means "I need help starting," and "3" means "I'm going to need help the whole way through." Now, even non-verbal students can easily get help without acting-out.

2. Stop Guessing What to Do

Do you want your doctor guessing how to cure your illness? No, you want her to know what to do. Are you guessing why children are mute or absent? Do you wonder how to contain severe acting out? Guessing is often ineffective and can be dangerous. If you have to guess a lot, it may be a sign that your training may not have sufficiently equipped you to understand the increasingly serious emotional and behavior problems that today's students present.

classroom management strategiesRESOLVE to Stop Guessing About Student Behavior
If you use the same generic interventions with your entire broad range of students, that's like having a single wrench in your tool box. You would have to use that wrench when you really needed a screwdriver or a hammer. How well would that work? Upgrade your skills with your students to fit all the different types of students and problems that you work with. Start with conduct disorders since conventional methods like character ed, can actually make them much worse– and these are already your hardest-to-manage students. If you are not knowledgeable about conduct disorder, read some of this blog's educational articles on the topic. They are shown in the right hand column of this page

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3. Stop Relying on Talk

Students only remember what you say for about 30 minutes, and even then, they tend to remember only about about half of what you said. Verbiage is not the best access channel to reach all students so stop making it your sole or primary approach.

RESOLVE to Use a Wider Range of Modalities
improve school climateHere is a dynamite intervention that doesn't rely on just what you say. It gets the job done better than mere speech. It's our popular Poster #37, "If You're Rude, You're Our Dude." It is from our brand new "Behavior Change Handouts: Becoming a Motivated and Prepared Student and Worker" ebook but you can make your own version if you don't want to purchase it. This sign without any verbiage can accomplish more to improve student behavior and school climate than paragraphs of words ever could. The poster is just $8.

As far as not just relying on verbiage as your only classroom and behavior management intervention, think of it this way: If your tool box contained just a wrench, you'd be so happy to discover hammers and screwdrivers. That analogy may apply to the tools you are using to teach or counsel. Are you aware that there is an endless supply of more effective interventions that could make your job easier and your students more successful? Just look at our huge resource website to see, and notice that hundreds of strategies are free.

RESOLVE to Try One New Intervention Every Week
Here is an easy way to get 52 new methods incorporated into your skill set. Add a new, improved technique each week. Our website has has hundreds and hundreds of school climate improvement methods that will work better than your old approaches. The Innovative Solutions area of the website has many, many free strategies and makes a great place to start.

Here is one other place to start: Some older students think they "know it all already." Don't use the conventional method of confronting that belief. Instead, ask them to explain what "repair and deduct" means when said by a tenant with a bad landlord. Few youngsters will know that term even though it could be terribly important. (It means that a tenant can arrange needed repairs when a landlord has failed to do so– plus the tenant can deduct it from the rent. Don't know this? You might have to live without plumbing or heat!)
 

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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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The #1 Behavior Improvement and Classroom Management Intervention That Students Can’t Resist

 

teacher classroom management blog

 

The #1 Behavior Improvement and
Classroom Management Intervention
That Students Can't Resist

 
 

 

K-12 Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wells Can you name the #1 style of behavior improvement intervention that your students can't resist?

Here's a hint: It's an intervention that everyone has, but many of us forget to use. It's a method that is practically guaranteed to capture your students' interest and attention, and to make them more likely to receive and remember your message. What is it?

It's the same thing that just motivated you to keep reading this  article: Curiosity.

It's such a powerful technique, yet so seldom used. Reaching troubled and problem youngsters is tough. We need to be sure that we are utilizing all the best techniques, so here are a few new strategies that use curiosity to hammer home your message.

These behavior improvement and classroom management strategies are taken from my books and workshops. I'm Classroom Management Instructor and Keynote Speaker Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., Director of Youth Change Professional Development Workshops.
 

Behavior Improvement Interventions
That Use Curiosity

 

Behavior improvement interventionStreet Closed, Details at 11
Don't you hate those teases that the local news channels do? They tell you that a major street is closed by saying "Main thoroughfare shut. Will you be able to get to work tomorrow? Find out at 11." You are dying to know if the closure will affect you, aren't you?

Curiosity truly can compel your attention. Adapt those news previews to your site. For example, you could make an announcement or post a sign that says: "Get an 'A' on the next quiz. Find out how 3rd Period." or "What silly joke will Mr. Gomez tell during Math? Be there to find out." These easy-to-do interventions will not only generate a buzz, but a side benefit is the way they can create a welcoming, fun or warm atmosphere for your students.

Counselors, it's easy to adapt this device for group counseling sessions. To develop team spirit and to help group members become more open, you could make an announcement like this: "Within the first 5 minutes of Group, Ms. Leeds (the counselor) will reveal one of her most embarrassing moments in high school. Be on time to find out."

A Voice From the Future
Normally in life, there aren't very many opportunities to actually to learn from the future, so this intervention is a curiosity in that regard, but also in other ways. This intervention can be implemented in a high tech manner, or a lower tech way. Ask students to write letters to themselves from the future. So, for example, ask freshman to write letters to themselves as though they were graduating seniors. The low tech implementation requires that you save the letters and mail or deliver them in several years.

The high tech method is easier. There are services that will deliver the letter at whatever time you select. When students are writing their letters, steer them to craft thoughtful, emotional, or inspirational creations.

There's No Substitute for This
This has been an incredibly popular method. This student behavior improvement strategy can instantly improve the conduct that your students use when they have a substitute teacher in their classroom– and their curiosity is the reason why this technique almost never fails.

The day before you anticipate having a sub in your classroom, get enough envelopes so that you have one for each student. You will also need a roll of duct tape. When your students arrive the next day, there should be an envelope taped to each youngster's desk. Have the sub inform the class that inside each envelope is some type of goodie. All the students who have good behavior will be allowed to open their envelopes when the teacher returns, and will get the goodie. All the students who have problem behavior will not get the goodie, and will not be allowed to even look inside the envelope. It is your choice what to select for goodies.

You can offer extrinsic rewards like "Get Out of Class Early" passes, or intrinsic rewards like going for a walk together, or you can offer a mixture of both types. You should customize each goodie to fit each student. Substitute teachers absolutely adore this approach, and report that it completely transforms the behavior they get in the classroom.
 

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student behavior improvementThe Phrase of the Day
This is an intervention that is so much fun and you can use it every day. This strategy has several benefits. First, it creates a wonderful, friendly atmosphere. Second, it can lessen the tension that some youngsters can feel during the time they spend in a difficult class. Third, students will begin paying careful attention to the verbiage that occurs because they are curious about what is going to happen, and when.

Here's the intervention: Each day, ask one student to select the "Phrase of the Day" from the verbiage heard in class. Give that student a loud bell or air horn to signal the class at the moment someone has spoken the new "Phrase of the Day." The selection is completely up to the student, but the entire class will be expectantly waiting for the alert that the phrase was selected. At the end of class, students can compete to see who still remembers the exact "Phrase of the Day."

You can consider offering a prize to the winner, or even better, let the winner be the person who gets to choose the next day's "Phrase of the Day."
 

What Might Be
Ask students to detail the activities that they don't want to do at your site. Have students list those activities in a column on one side of a page. Next, ask your students to determine what they would be in life if they could be anything they wanted. Have students list those responses in a second column. Next, write this sentence on the board, and read it to your students: "My job is to get you to do what you don't want to do so you can become what you do want to become."

Discuss the sentence in conjunction with the students' two columns, assisting students to realize that your job is to help them reach their goals, and their job is to remember that, and act accordingly.

Want More Creative Strategies Like These?
We have hundreds more in our books, ebooks, audio books, live and online workshops. Working with difficult kids doesn't have to be so difficult. We can help.
 

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    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

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

     

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

     

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

     

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


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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