I just closed my eyes and now it is time to start all over again. The morning shower is about the only time I am going to have today with a little silence. That moment of peace is my chance to brace for the day. The problem is that in my moment of peace I can’t take my mind off of my kids who are struggling. I can’t stop thinking about the things I should have done to make learning a little easier.
The one consequence that actually creates the biggest issue is the DRI – the Differential Reinforcement of Inappropriate behaviors. The DRI is a fancy way of saying the response to an inappropriate behavior, typically a punishment.
As I listen to educators tell me about their daily trials, one said something that really struck me. “We just need our kids and our teachers to remember what it meant to be nice.” Nice is a simple sounding concept and in fact it’s a pejorative in some athletic circles that deride niceness as term of weakness. But that wasn’t the nice she was speaking of.
Who are the students in your class that need to be heard? Who is trying not to be noticed but wishes with every fiber of their being they were worthy of being noticed? What child or adolescent or teen is in your life but if they weren’t you wouldn’t really notice? Take a few moments now to notice them.
When does learning become drudgery rather than a joy? We often ask the when question but I think the one we should be asking is the why question. Why does learning lose its luster? If truth be told, learning never truly has to lose its luster.
One of the real issues facing schools today is the readiness of kids to begin. Are little ones ready for Kindergarten? If not, is Pre-K the answer? What should the focus of Pre-K be? Is it academic readiness or is it social preparation?
There are many issues besides depression that teachers need to be aware of as the holidays approach. Did you know that besides depression – eating disorders, shoplifting, fatigue, overt aggression, sexual acting out, and other extreme behaviors increase amongst many kids during the holidays? We have to ask two questions: why and what do we do about it?
For some reason when people talk about behaviors and behavior programming at school, there is an automatic default to exceptional and alternative education. It is as if the word behavior is a pejorative that means “anywhere but the classroom”. But what is really interesting is that, while behavior solutions, behavior programming and behavior modification are getting relegated to the specialties within the educational array, we are seeing a mainstreaming of social and emotional learning (SEL).
Kids who get in trouble do so again and again. Why is it that the same kids seem to always be in trouble no matter what is tried? Schools have ISS, alternative schools, codes of conduct contracts, and so on. When I went to school we had Coach Velasquez and his paddle. That didn’t work either.