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
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Regulators or Educators: Who Should Run K-12?

 

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An Open Letter to the Powers That Be

 

Regulators or Educators:

 

Who Should Run K-12?

 
 

 

Dear U.S. Governors and Legislators:

Inservice Presenter Ruth Herman WellsForty years ago, when I was young and beginning my career counseling troubled children and teens, I often found myself  working with gray-haired veteran educators, school administrators and counselors nearing retirement.  Being young and optimistic, I would tell them my ideas for how to fix the K-12 system so it worked better for the growing number of students with challenges. The veteran educators would listen then some of them would tell me how their efforts to reform K-12 education in meaningful ways had failed. They would tell me that they were leaving an education system that functioned no better than when they entered it.

My hair hasn’t yet turned gray, but I am no longer young or optimistic. I spent the last decades wandering North America training teachers and counselors to use updated methods to more effectively teach contemporary students.  As I teach, I sometimes hear myself saying that I too will be leaving an education system that functions no better than when I entered it. If I was more honest, I would not just echo the retiring veterans from forty years ago. If I was more honest, I would admit that I will be leaving an education system that is far worse than when I entered it a lifetime ago.

Everywhere I teach, educators say that they are not only utterly weighed down with more and more students with more and more serious behavioral, social, academic and emotional problems, but they must constantly grapple with high-stakes student testing at the same time they must themselves take elaborate, costly, high-stakes competency tests in order to keep their jobs.

Most of the teachers I meet give their hearts and souls to their students but after staring at them all day while I talk, I have to say that a lot of them look quite worn down and some seem to be wearing out long before retirement. Although they say it politely, the educators I train, confide in me that they wonder if lawmakers who work in a state capitol can know enough about the truth of K-12 schools to properly regulate the system as closely, intensely and extensively as they do. They wonder how well you can see into classrooms when you’re looking from way over in Albany, or up in Sacramento, or from as far away as Washington, D.C.

 

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I wonder too. From your office, can you see what I saw at the school in Cincinnati, where I was asked what teachers should say to students after another yet another young African-American child was shot overnight?

From where you sit, did you know that there have been schools in Texas that have had their requests refused when they asked permission to move high-stakes testing from the morning after the sudden death of one of their students?  

In Portland, Oregon, I was asked what is the right way to handle the middle schooler who wrote on the state-wide essay exam about his triumphant return to school after having to drop out due to family crises and homelessness.The boy had received a failing grade for his effort. Do you know that such incidents are so common they have a special name? They’re called “cry for help” essays, and are written by students who are losing the battle to manage their pain; the sadness just spills out of them.

From where you work each day, can you see Phoenix, where high school teachers asked me what they could do to manage groups of defiant male students who repeatedly refuse to wear shirts in class?

Did you know that in New York, it’s routine in some schools for students to swear at teachers, and even shove and threaten them?

In Atlanta, school counselors asked me about what could they offer teachers when students arrive sleepless because of all-night family domestic violence and substance abuse.

In Kotzebue, Alaska, I was asked for solutions for young students who have no sober caregivers to look after them.

Have you ever tried to enter fortress-like South Carolina schools that following shootings, now have guards and extensive search procedures that exceed those at airports?

Before you created the current testing-centric laws that dominate all things K-12, had you heard about situations like these in school buildings from Alaska to Florida?

For those of you who work in government buildings that aren’t school buildings, are you aware that these incidents are not even a little bit unique? Did you know that this is daily life for many K-12 teachers?

So, here’s a test for you, Mr. and Ms. Legislator, Mr. and Ms. Governor: Unless you knew all about what really happens inside of schools as described above, you just failed your final exam.

If you were not aware of the new realities of K-12 education, you could be micro managing and regulating without having the nuts-and-bolts, insider knowledge, college training, practical experience and expertise that this type of ground-level, up-close and personal daily management requires.

There is one question that I have been asked a lot in the past decade or so. This one query may be the most vivid example of the disconnect between regulators and educators. I am constantly asked by educators “What do I say to students when they want to know why they should even bother trying when our school has been graded and the school itself received a failing grade?”

As someone who has walked through corridors and sat in classrooms from South Florida to inside the Arctic Circle, let me suggest a better central focus than high-stakes student and teacher testing. As someone who has walked with teachers and sat with students, it seems to me that it would make more sense to focus instead on teaching children how to become prepared, motivated students with the needed skills to behave properly, and manage any social, emotional or behavioral concerns.

As someone who spent a lifetime training educators to help challenged students succeed socially, emotionally, behaviorally and academically, I just don’t understand how anyone could effectively manage school houses from state houses. I really believe that if you could see what teachers see from the front of the classroom, you would agree that K-12 education should not revolve around high-stakes testing. If you could see what educators see, you would know that K-12 should be focused on something far more beneficial: evolving to better serve the many troubled, defiant, challenged and violent students who come through the classroom door each morning.

 “There is no more important test of a nation’s place in history than the condition of its children.”  I don’t know if he had high-stakes testing in mind when he spoke, but please consider newscaster Tom Brokaw’s words as a plea for you to reconsider current regulations.

As you work in your government buildings, if you could hear the words being said in school buildings, you would hear teachers saying: “Legislators and Governors, give K-12 control back to educators.”

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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
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Last Chance Strategies Improve Student Behavior When All Else Fails

 

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Last Chance

Strategies to Improve Student Behavior

What to Do When Nothing Else Has Worked
 

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 FREE!

Workshop Slots

for Seattle!! 


 
 

 

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

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

Inside This Blog Issue:

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

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

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


Improve Your Most Resistant Students' Behavior: 3 Terrific Tips
 

1. Can You Be Wily?
 

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

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

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

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

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


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Improve Student Behavior Now

 

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Article continues here
 

2. What Were We Tantrumming About?
 

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

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

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

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

3. A Funny Thing About Humor
 

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

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

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

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    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.


Our New Professional Development Website for Teachers, Principals & Counselors

 

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checkMeet the New

Youth Change Workshops
 

Professional Development

 

Resource


Website


 
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If You Think We Look Pretty in Blue

We Have Freebies for You!

 

 


Skip Intro – Jump to Free Resources
 

professional development classWe've gotten a makeover. Not me. Actually, it's our website that has gotten a pretty dramatic makeover, the first in a very long time.

Hi. This is Ruth Herman Wells, Director of Youth Change Workshops. I'm the one teaching a professional development course in the picture shown at right.

Below you can see a picture of our new, improved, better-than-ever professional development resource website. Take a look at our "Before" and "After" glamor shots. Don't worry. Our site is now very beautiful, but still packed with serious answers for all your most serious student behavioral, emotional and motivational problems.
 

Youth change books

 BEFORE 

      AFTER   Youth Change Workshops website
 

Bigger Website, More Resources

Youth Change's site is bigger than ever before and better organized. There are still tons of free behavior management strategies, worksheets, expert help, and tutorials.

We are still sending our free sample student behavior improvement worksheets by mail. This  Behavior and Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog for teachers, counselors, social workers, juvenile justice workers and guidance staff is still being emailed to you each month, and it's still free too. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.
 

What's Free?

If you take a look at our new website and use this email link before April 5, 2013 to tell us what you think, we'll send you all the cool resources shown below for free. We think the resources below offer such effective strategies to prevent and manage students' behavior, motivation and emotional problems, that they can help your students look like they've had a makeover too.

classroom poster 39Teacher free resources for classroom managementclassroom poster 45

 

 

 


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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
     


    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.


Classroom Management Problems Solved: Professional Development Solutions At Your Fingertips

 

classroom management blog articles

Classroom Management Problems Solved:

Professional Development Solutions
At Your Fingertips

 

 

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

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

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

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

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

 

Classroom Management Survival Tips
Controlling Unmanageable Students

Start with Excellent Follow-Through

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

Different Strokes for Different Folks

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

 

Test Your Classroom Management Methods Now

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

 

Get a Mini Skills Upgrade

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

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

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

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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.


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

 

student behavior management blog


The Best
Back-to-School
Bad Behavior-Busters


Includes Online Class
with Surprising Strategies

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells

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

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

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

Get Control Uncontrollable Students Online Class
  FREE!

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

 

The Best Back-to-School Bad Behavior-Busters

Motivation: As Close to Magic as You Can Get

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


Teach Specific Classroom Behavior Skills remote control student activity

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

 

Provide On-Going School Skill Training quiet spray

 

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

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

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

     

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

     

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

     

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


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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    Contact Us*  *Not for Unsubscribing
     

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


The Best Apathy-Busters: Turnaround Bad Attitudes With These Innovative Interventions

 

teacher blog articles


The Best
Apathy-Busters:


Turnaround Bad Attitudes
With These Innovative Interventions

 

 

If you are seeing more and more apathetic and negative students, you will love the use-now strategies included in this issue. These innovative, attention-grabbing methods are especially designed to work when conventional approaches fail, and were developed to turnaround even the most negative, entrenched child or teen. I'm Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., the Director and Trainer for Youth Change Workshops, and these dynamic strategies are taken from my live, online, and on-site training workshops, as well as from my Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth books and posters.
 

Student Apathy Strategies


Strategy #1

 

School Pays Off

Student apathy posterApathetic students might see more value to school if they knew the pay-off for education. You can use this method verbally, as a poster, as a discussion starter, or as an activity. At left, you can see the intervention. It's our Poster #45. You can view additional, similar posters here.
The poster says: Graduates accept free education and a free diploma so they earn $329,000 more than everybody else. Each diploma doubles the dollars."

 

Strategy #2

 

Reach Beyond the Bluster

For kids who are "wrapped in barbed wire," their apathy and harshness hiding a very gentle and vulnerable child, ask them to decide which they would rather have: "a bruised heart or a boxed heart?" This can be a very effective intervention strategy with students who are guarded and prickly due to negative experiences with adults who are supposed to be consistent, caring role models. A follow-up activity: have the student create art or poetry illustrating some of the phrases shown in quotes above. This activity is best done one-to-one, in small groups, or used by counselors and mental health professionals.


Strategy #3

 

Reality Wins All Arguments

While lots of youngsters complain about their circumstances, some kids complain a lot and often about where they ended up. Some of these youngsters have plenty of legitimate reasons to complain, and some of
them don't. Either way, you can encourage your discouraged complainers to "bloom where they're planted." This is a wonderful intervention for several populations. For example, this approach has worked well with foster kids who are not happy to be moving a new foster care placement. The lyrical phrases shown above work really well as the basis for illustrations by students. Poetry, essays, collages, and other creative activities can also produce some very inspiring, memorable results, and initiate the change you want to engender.

 

Strategy #4

 

Hey, It's Me Plus 25

If you work with youngsters so apathetic or discouraged that they can't really imagine ever having a positive future, or any future at all, ask them to write an email or letter to you as though 25 years have elapsed. In the letter, students can describe what happened to them since they last saw you. For non-writers, they can draw or make a video or audio recording instead of writing, or, you can write for them. Students can make blog entries if they prefer that to a simple letter or email. Here's a variation for students who really resist this strategy: Have them make the letter be about someone else, perhaps a friend or someone they admire or feel neutral about. Once the letter is complete, you will have indirectly learned a lot about the letter's creator, even though the document is ostensibly about a third party. For students, who say "they don't care," ask them to complete the task as if they did care (even though they say they don't care).

 

Strategy #5

 

You Choose

Put the following phrase on the board and ask students to discuss: "This strategy is especially useful for children and youth who hurt themselves, abuse substances, are in gangs, or self-endanger. For younger students and for some other youngsters, you may wish to change the phrase to be a bit gentler. You can use this phrasing instead: "The same power you have to hurt yourself, you have to help yourself." Emotions fuel behaviors. The more you can help students manage their emotions, the less those emotions will interfere with school and education.


Strategy #6

 

When Crime Doesn't Pay

For kids who plan to use illegal activities as their source of future income, you can have a lot of impact by pointing out some surprising realities of your local, state and federal laws. For example, depending on which laws they break, offenders can lose not only the money gained by illegal actions, but also their home, possessions, and vehicles. Under some federal laws, the homes and possessions of relatives and friends may be seized even if these items weren't directly involved in the commission of the crime. It's important to stay aware that illegal activities are not near as lucrative as your kids tell you. Auto theft generates about $18,000 per year, for example, less than what a typical high school grad earns. Even worse, the authorities can take anything related to the auto theft while no one can just take away the graduate's money.
 

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

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

     

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

     

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

     

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


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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

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


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

 

school discipline blog for teachers


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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How Prepared is Your School to Notice and Help

Troubled Children?


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

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

     

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

     

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

     

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


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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

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


The Very Best Interventions for the Very Worst Behavior Problems

 

classroom management blog


The Very Best Interventions for the
Very Worst Behavior Problems

 


educational speakerEveryone at Youth Change Workshops is so excited that in January,  2011, our Director, Ruth Herman Wells was rated by SpeakerWiki as the #3 Elementary Education Speaker and #7 High School Ed Speaker in the U.S. She was also rated #8 of all Education Administrator Speakers. Ruth is known not just for her emotional, captivating speaking, but for her one-of-a-kind, unexpected behavior management interventions to turnaround the behavior problems presented by troubled youth and children. Here are some of Ruth's most popular, enduring, and effective classroom management interventions for students' bad behavior and attitude in school. Want more awesome behavior management solutions? Keep reading.

 

Me? Flunk English? That's Unpossible!

Just write this sentence on the board, then let the students discuss it:
"WiLl YOu RealY NevER ned a diPlOmA?" You may also repeat this exercise with this sentence: "Me? Flunk English? That's unpossible!" (The second sentence is from the cartoon show, "The Simpsons".) Ask your students to create other sentences like the two shown above. Also, you can ask your students to imagine how signs might be read by someone who hasn't learned to read very well. For example, ask them to imagine signs at the airport you better be able to read. They will devise many funny but provocative scenarios. Now that students see more value in reading and school, discuss with them how serious misbehavior at school keeps them from learning the information that they now acknowledge they need.
 

The Old Switcheroo Works Every Time

This is a very cagey intervention that reveals exactly who is the real problem. Make a list of problems that adults can have at work and in the community, such as "Mr. Frank is frequently late to work. Mr. Frank is angry at the boss for docking him pay for the time he's late, saying it is the boss's fault he loses money." Ask your students to determine who is accountable for the problem. Students will indicate that Mr. Frank is accountable. After the students determine adults are accountable in each scenario, present them with a second list of scenarios. This list should be exactly the same as the first list, but substitute youngsters for adults in each situation. Next, ask your group members to determine accountability. It may make for an interesting discussion, and provoke some new thinking. Few students will anticipate the old switcheroo. That's what gives this intervention so much power and impact. That's what makes this intervention work when more conventional strategies fail.

 

Live Through This– If You Can

Some students are very negative about school because they consider it to be a waste. Here is a fun intervention to show students that education may be essential. Have students write down the types of problems that an adult might have to deal with during one really bad day, then have them determine how many of these activities use skills learned in school. Your group will notice that education is needed to solve or manage all or most of the problems that happen to adults on really bad days. Include problems like the refrigerator is a bit warm, the car seems to slide for some reason on the wet road, and the bank says that your checking account is overdrawn.

 

The Texting Surgeon and the Distractible Pilot

Ask students to list their "dream jobs". Write the responses in a column on the board. Make a second column and ask the students to list problem behaviors that young people sometimes do. Include answers like swear, become distracted, and not follow directions. Next, draw a line from a dream job to a problem behavior. Ask the students to discern what could happen if the worker used the problem behavior. So, for example, what could happen if an airplane pilot didn't follow the air traffic controller's instructions? Another example: What could happen if a surgeon became distracted? Assist students to realize that problem behaviors can cause significant, even deadly consequences in many jobs, especially many of the jobs they describe as desirable. Ask the group to discuss how behavior problems at school will become behavior problems at work unless students decide to improve their conduct now. For students who say "I will just behave better on the job," challenge them to demonstrate those skills now by using only acceptable behavior for the next three months.

 

  •  


    Reprint or Repost This Article
     

    Bring the Breakthrough Strategies Workshop to Your Site

    Help Unmotivated, Failing, Troubled and Unmanageable Students

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

     

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

     

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

     

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


    Behavior & Classroom Management Problem-Solver Blog Articles

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

    Library of Congress ISSN: 1526-9981 | Youth Change, Your Problem-Kid Problem-Solver
    http://www.youthchg.com | 1.503.982.4220 | 275 N. 3rd St; Woodburn, OR 97071
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Gender-Proficient Strategies for Troubled Girls

 

classroom management blog


Gender-Proficient Strategies
for Troubled Girls

 


workshop trainer Ruth Herman Wells"I just finished counseling a student for 45 minutes. It's amazing how
rough life is on kids, and it seems to especially be girls. She's been to
20 plus schools, hasn't lived with her parents since she was 6, has been
living with first one sister then another. Her parents are into drugs, in
and out of prison. She couch hops through friends' houses so she can
play sports because the last bus out of town is at 7. Now her sister
wants her to change to a new high school, where she doesn't know
anyone. It's hard to see kids under so much stress. Sadly, this is an
epidemic. I'm not sure if girls are just more vocal about what's wrong
in their life or if affects them more, but this is the fifth or sixth girl I've
taught that has had just a dismal life, and has a hard time dealing with
just the daily stresses of what school and friends bring. Of those 5 or 6
girls, I can only think of one or two that have escaped the calamity of
their surrounding to do something. I hope this new girl ends up making
it. I'll do my best to see services start coming her way, but the cycle of
discover, help, and fail is hard to take."

Many of you can relate to the comments above, sent by a high school special ed teacher. His comments are especially true right now. When government faces hard economic times, service cuts are inevitable. Often, cuts to services disproportionately affect girls versus boys. When boys are troubled, they often act out in ways that affect the community. When girls are troubled, they often act out in ways that the community may not even notice. Troubled boys may slash tires, troubled girls may slash their wrists. The boy will leave behind angry victims demanding the child's behavior be addressed and controlled. The troubled girl will have no one demanding anything on her behalf.

When budget cuts come, they are not dispersed across the continuum of children's services. In tough economic times, girls tend to take the brunt of service reductions. In all classes of services, troubled girls receive fewer services, less intense services, for less time, and they're served later in life than their male counterparts. There is no indication that troubled girls have fewer problems than boys; all indicators suggest they may have more. So, in today's difficult economic times, where services for young females are very limited, it is imperative that everyone who works with youth, have gender-proficient strategies for girls. One-gender-fits-all strategies fit no one, so here are some gender-proficient strategies crafted especially for troubled girls.


Gender-Proficient Solutions for Troubled Girls


TEACH GIRLS TO
THRIVE DESPITE ROUGH LIVES

Finding help for troubled girls in these difficult economic times is
tougher than ever. If you're not a trained mental health professional,
it's never wise to attempt to provide therapy when you can't find
qualified help for a girl who is struggling. Instead of offering therapy
without having the necessary training, attempt instead to be a bridge
for the girl until help can be found.

Here is a strategy that may help without becoming as personal and intimate as a therapy techniques. When a girl is struggling to find her way, and feels lost and uncertain, offer her this guideline: Find a course of action that is good for the girl and good for others. This mantra helps train the girl to habitually choose actions that avoid self-harm.

You can vary this strategy by having the girl identify someone she admires, and imagine What Would X Do?, and emulate that.

Another variation on the first strategy: Say "no" to bad thoughts. The girl can imagine erasing or canceling upsetting thoughts so she can concentrate on school and other critical activities. All these strategies are just stopgap measures until qualified help can be found; ultimately severe problems will necessitate professional intervention if the girl is to avoid lasting consequences.

 

TEACH GIRLS TO
BETTER MANAGE DEPRESSION

Studies suggest that depression may affect girls at a higher rate than
boys. While skilled help would be optimal, you can offer some interim
assistance so that your girls can improve their skills coping with
adversity without being overwhelmed by depression. Here are a few
interventions that both mental health workers and others can use. Be
sure to follow your site's rules about reporting safety issues if you have
any concerns that a girl may be at risk of harm.

For girls who are sad about their difficult circumstances, teach them to
"bloom where they're planted," and discuss how to do that. For girls
who devote a lot of time to ruminating about their problems, refocus
them to the present, and help them turn their thoughts to "now"
instead of yesterday or tomorrow, which they can't influence anyway.
To further re-orient girls to focus on now rather than past or future
problems, suggest that every time they catch themselves mulling the
past or future, they stop and find three positive things about the
present. That disrupts the on-going ruminating.

Finally, for girls who report upsetting thoughts like mulling over events
from the past, offer interventions that teach the brain some new,
healthier habits. For example, when a girl is upset by thoughts like "I'm
always going to be upset," teach her to be the boss of her brain and to
reject her "bully brain" hassling her. It's a way of making the invisible
cognitive process more concrete and understandable so the girl can
visualize how her thoughts deepen her upset. Once she realizes that she
doesn't have to submit to the upsetting thoughts, she has a much
better chance of taking control of them, making her less vulnerable to
persistent, deep upset.

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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.