Topics: Classroom Management, Instructional Strategies, Social Emotional Learning, Positive Behavior Supports, anxiety, Trauma Sensitive Learning, Mental Health Awareness, Student Engagement, Teaching with Equity
Educate, Listen, Look, and Learn
Growing up in the 70’s, I am acutely familiar with cigarettes. Slogans and smoking campaigns like You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby, Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should, The Marlboro Man, and Joe the Camel were used to make us believe smoking was safe, even glamorous. As a 6th grader at Fuller Elementary School in Minneapolis, I remember feeling stunned by a woman, a former smoker, who used an electrolarynx to speak to our class about the dangers of smoking. If you’ve never heard a person speak using an electrolarynx, watch Tips From Former Smokers from the Centers for Disease Control.
As I look back, I can still see a floor full of mesmerized sixth graders sitting “W” style, listening to the “Look-At-What-Smoking-Did-To-Me” speaker holding the electric-razor-like device to the hole in her windpipe to speak. The goal, I know now, was to “scare us straight,” and keep us away from cigarettes and the diseases doctors were discovering they caused. But, with our youthful sense of invincibility, before we knew it, we, too, were sampling those--as advertised--“slender, sexy, cool” cigarettes.
Today, a new delivery system of cigarettes with different names are on the market and, once again, young people are being coerced into using them. Juul and other e-cigarette companies calculatingly changed the verb from smoking to vaping, giving the impression that what we are inhaling is a water-like substance.
Creating a Diverse Curriculum
When I think back on all of my years of K-12 schooling, the only diversity included in the curriculum (if you can even call it that) were the ubiquitous studies of westward expansion, slavery, civil rights and a few prominent figures that emerged from those time periods. What I took away, as a young person of color, was that the influence and contributions of people like me were relegated to the margins of history. An additive to the mainstream narrative.
As classrooms in the U.S. continue growing in diversity, teachers are tasked with creating a more inclusive curriculum to reflect the voices and perspectives of a broader spectrum of people. By teaching the established curriculum, minority students often feel disengaged and unempowered resulting in lower levels of achievement. But when educators work to create a set of curricula that is relevant, meaningful, and affirming to diverse identities, their efforts result in positive outcomes both socially and academically. Research also shows that not only students of color, but white students greatly benefit from a diverse curriculum as the exposure enables them to grapple with multiple perspectives and build a better understanding of both self and others.Read More
Helping You Put Behavior Puzzle Pieces Together!
Student behavior is a puzzle. Many pieces are necessary to make up the complete, TRUE picture. Does the child have positive connections with staff and other students? Does the child need routine? Could the child benefit from resilience building? What is developmentally normal? Has the child experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences or trauma? What is the function of behavior? Does she have a skill deficit? What is his learning style? Is she receiving proper nutrition? Did the child get a good night’s sleep? So many pieces…
Because behavior is extremely complicated, it is often a daily challenge for educators. For this reason, Learners Edge has put together a list of the best behavior books for teachers. Think about what is missing for you to solve the behavior puzzle in your classroom. Then, check out our recommendation based on your needs.
Building a rewarding relationship
Ever think that students behave better for teachers they like? Rita Pierson agrees!
Ever heard of the relationship bank account? The concept is simple, to take something out of said account, you need a balance from which you can withdraw “funds” when you correct behavior! There is only one way to get that…positive deposits!
Ever heard of the praise ratio? Experts disagree as to whether it’s 4:1, 5:1, or 6:1, but either way, you should be praising (building the relationship bank account) at least five times as often as you make a withdrawal.Read More
Penny boards are token economy systems that can be used with students needing positive behavior reinforcement. This video blog will take you through creation and use of a penny board to help your students improve their behavior.Read More