2018 March

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28 Mar: Monthly Series – Post 1: Diversity and Inclusive Practices

By Dr. Skip Greenwood The concept of diversity is so complex that it’s a challenge to figure out where to even start talking about it. To better understand a concept I always look for key words or phrases in how that concept is defined or talked about. Webster defines diversity as “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements”: especially “the inclusion of different types of people (such as different races or cultures) in a group or organization”. A key word for me is “different”. What I have learned is the word “different” is more than seeing the obvious contrasts between individuals or groups such as sex, age, or color of skin. When it comes to diversity the…

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14 Mar: Regulate: Sometimes it is all you do

There are a lot of times I’m called into a situation with a dysregulated student. Even when teachers or paraeducators have a lot of training in behavior, they still aren’t always clear on what to say or do with a student who is severely agitated. When I’m working with a student in this state, my usual mantra is that all I’m going to do is work on bringing this student’s arousal level back down. This outlook helps me for a few reasons. First, I don’t have any expectation that I’m going to teach a lesson, win a battle, get some math done, get back on schedule, bargain, reason, motivate or do anything else with that student. Second, it allows me…

magic wand

06 Mar: The Magic Wand: It’s here!

Educators are often expected to fix almost everything. And there’s a one-liner educators often use about bringing their “magic wand” to a situation. Yeah, that’s educator sarcasm. But if there is a magic wand out there in working with students with emotional and behavioral difficulties, I have a guess at what it is – Managing your non-verbal communication!. Let’s start with the numbers. People get about 93% of your spoken message from your non-verbal communication: tone, rate of speech, posture, volume, facial expressions, etc. Students with a history of trauma over-rely on non-verbal cues to scan for perceived danger. In short, managing your non-verbal communication with students is as close as you are going to get to a magic wand!