A Pop Quiz for Teachers and Special Educators: Are You Using Yesterday's Training with Today's Students?
Innovative Classroom Management Strategies That WorkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Teacher Professional Development That Stops Class Management Problems
Teachers: Do you ever wonder if you are using yesterday's strategies with today's students? You very well may be. Here is a quick quiz that will aid you to discover if your college training prepared you for the serious, chronic, and overwhelming problems that contemporary students present in the mainstream, special ed, alternative ed, or charter school classroom. If you think that the problem is you, it may be your skills, which are geared for Beaver Cleaver, not Beavis and Butthead.
At our teacher training workshops, teachers often express dismay that their training did not adequately prepare them to win the race for the top. We also hear a lot of comments that teacher training prepares teachers for a world where guns meant water pistols.
The accompanying graphics illustrate new methods not taught to teachers in college, but that could help solve some of the current problems in schools, especially concerns with bullying, violence, work refusal, truancy, disrespect, peer conflict, school failure, and apathy. All the methods pictured are taken from Youth Change Professional Development Workshops' books and posters, link above. (To get a free sampling to test with your students, click the link above.)
Take this quiz to test your readiness for managing the considerable behavioral, emotional, and social problems of the contemporary mainstream or special education classroom.
1. Can you name the most potentially violent kid, and how must you work with him differently than everybody else?
2. There may be just 3 major ways that kids can respond to adult directions. Name the 3 ways.
Bonus Question: What is the only effective way to get children to comply with adult directions?
3. Do you know which student is most likely to drop out? Name them.
Bonus Question: What other problems will this child quite likely face?
4. This is important. Name the youngsters most at risk of extreme violence?
Bonus Question: Do you work the same with these youth, why?
5. Other than preventing violence, what's the most important school readiness skill to teach to students. (Hint: Schools don't have a written plan to teach it, but all require it)
Bonus Question: When is the time to this?
1. CONDUCT DISORDERS (CDs)
"Conduct disorder" is a mental health term that essentially means that the child is sociopathic. A whopping 11-14% of today's students may be conduct disordered.That means you have at least one or two of these unmanageable youngsters in your classroom. Conduct disorders can be the 1% of students who take 99% of your time. While you can continue to successfully use relationship-based approaches with any other child, these methods inevitably fail with conduct disorders who, by definition, can't relate normally to others. Use yesterday's methods with conduct disorders and you will quickly discover "nothing works." If you use conventional relationship-based approaches with CDs, it conveys to them that you do not understand them. Actions that are normally appropriate under some circumstances, such as giving one more chance, can be dangerous-- even disastrous-- with conduct disorders. If you do not know this child backwards and forwards, you may lack key tools to ensure your safety and the safety of other children.
2. The youth can become OPPOSITIONAL. The child can CAPITULATE if coerced to do so. The child can comply; that's ACCEPTANCE.
Bonus Question: Only acceptance is the way to gain compliance. Power-struggling means everyone loses-- especially you-- as no adult ever wins a power struggle with a kid. If you must hassle and harass a kid into capitulating, that is not a positive way of interacting that will work in the "real" world. Plus, imagine the harm you might do hassling a troubled child by coercing compliance from them. Acceptance is the standard that works everywhere and won't damage even a very vulnerable child while gaining their compliance.
3. TEEN MOMS
The dropout rate for teen moms is by far the worst.
Bonus Question: Teen moms also have the highest risk of poverty of anyone, and have a high need for welfare services.
4. CONDUCT DISORDERS, THOUGHT DISORDERS, EXTREMELY DEPRESSED KIDS
Note how this answer is far more sophisticated and complex than the simple sound bites you hear in today's media. If a contemporary teacher doesn't know what these three mental health terms mean, that is a big impediment to ensuring safety.
Bonus Question: Each of these 3 children needs a very different kind of help. For example, the thought-disordered child might be able to benefit tremendously from medication, while there is no medicine for conduct disorders. Here is the bottom line: To best prevent extreme violence with today's students, teachers must understand how to work with different kids very differently.
If the student isn't in your classroom, you can't work your magic on them. Every school expects attendance, but while many sanction poor attendance, very few schools routinely teach basic attendance skills to students.
Bonus Question: Teach skills on Day 1 of the school year.
For questions or more information, visit Youth Change Professional Development Workshops or call 503-982-4220.