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20 Jul: Personal and Professional Boundaries- Protective Strategies

Personal and Professional Boundaries: Protective Strategies In the last post I talked about 5 types of personal and professional boundaries. In this post I’m going to cover a few key protective strategies you can use to protect yourself : 1. Documentation: When something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable, such as a student tries to cross one of your boundaries, document it and tell colleagues about it so you have a record. 2. Prepare Responses: Prepare responses for when students attempt to cross one of your boundaries. 3. Double Coverage: When working with a student that may attempt to violate boundaries (especially physical or sexual boundaries) make sure you are never alone with that student. We’ve included more detail on…

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11 Jul: Monthly Series: Personal and Professional Boundaries

PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL BOUNDARIES Maintaining healthy personal and professional boundaries is an important skill for educators. The more support a student needs from you, the more you need to be aware of special circumstances and issues around personal and professional boundaries. In this post I’m going to review some of the types of boundaries that educators need to know about. Staff-Student Boundary: This involves differentiating yourself as an adult and a staff member. If you dress or act like a student or if you engage in too much joking around, you will jeopardize your ability to work effectively with students. Work-Home Boundary: This boundary involves keeping your personal life separate from your work life. You should not visit or communicate…

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27 Jun: Our new poster is a hit! Did you get one?

  We enjoyed talking with educators at COSA and WASA about our newest poster, 3 Steps to Help a Student Regulate, and sharing with them our online training toolkits. If you’d like a copy of our newest poster (or our Trauma Informed Schools or What Makes an Effective Paraeducator posters), please email us at info@321insight.com with your mailing address and we’ll get one out to you soon.  

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30 May: Monthly Series – Part 4: Effective Reinforcement and Consequences for Behavior

Effective Reinforcement Reinforcing a behavior is something educators do to make the behavior more likely to occur in the future. The key element of reinforcement is that it is done at the time of the behavior. It’s much different than offering a reward. Rewards mean giving a student something only after they have accomplished something. Reinforcers can be social, (i.e. praise) or tangible (a token, ticket etc.). They should be given for specific positive behaviors. Don’t reinforce a student for not doing something negative (that’s bribery, and it’s a bad idea). Remember that reinforcers don’t work when (a) the student’s need is more powerful than the reinforce, (b) the student doesn’t have the skill to perform the desired behavior, or…

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22 May: Monthly Series- May- Part 3: Effective Prompting and Confronting of Challenging Behaviors

Effective Prompting and Confronting of Challenging Behaviors By Dr. Will Henson In this post I want to talk about two very common staff behaviors – prompting and confronting – and how you can use them. Effective Prompts Prompting is probably the most commonly used intervention. We do it all the time and it is simply reminding someone to engage in a desired behavior. To make it most effective, prompt what you want (“I’d really like to see you arrive by 8:00am.”) not what you don’t want (“Don’t be late to class!”). You can also prompt an alternative behavior (“Instead of ripping up our assignment when you are angry, maybe you could ask for a break.”) You can make your prompts…

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16 May: Monthly Series-May: Part 2 – YOU!

By Dr. Will Henson Probably the most important element in managing challenging behavior is…you! That’s right. Setting theory, and models and everything else aside the most important element in any interaction involving challenging behavior is the attitude and emotional tone set by the educator. If you can stay of the battle, keep calm and maintain a helpful stance you are going to go a long way towards being effective. Educators that get caught up in the conflict can often think they are providing important feedback when their tone and other non-verbal behaviors are escalating the situation. Remember that your communication during a behavior incident is critical. Remember the mantra: Calm, Centered and Confident when addressing behavior. What are some other…

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11 May: Monthly Series – May – Understanding and Managing Challenging Behavior

UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR By Dr. Will Henson It’s hard to write a blog post on something that fills volumes of literature. In my 15 years as a consultant to educational institutions, I’ve come to accept that sometimes all I have is a really short time to give people information they need – not to be experts – but to be more effective NOW. In this next series of blog posts, I’m going to cover some of the most important behavior principles. In this post I’m covering my number one foundational starting point, which is the way educators understand the nature of challenging behavior. HOW DO I UNDERSTAND BEHAVIOR? – The lens you apply to challenging behavior is probably…

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26 Apr: Monthly Series- Post 3: Engaging ALL students

Most educators I come into contact with say they are committed to inclusive practices and I believe in their hearts they have that commitment. However, actually doing the things that help include or engage all students in the classroom and learning process is not that easy. There is such a natural pull to engage more with students whose ways of processing information are like our own (like being highly verbal or how fast one can “think on their feet) or with those who we share cultural identity or political beliefs with. Basically, we tend to be most comfortable when we are engaging with people who are more like us or those who make our jobs easier. If we look at…