Behavior

3cs

04 Dec: The “3Cs” – Challenges, Changes, and Conflicts

By Dr. Rick Robinson As we approach the holiday season we may begin to see students, particularly those with histories of significant adversity and/or active stressors, having difficulty managing what I call the “3C’s” -Challenges, Changes, and Conflicts. The holidays can be challenging for all of us. On the one hand it is a time that can be filled with gratitude, giving, sharing, belonging, and excitement. On the other hand our routines may be disrupted, we may sleep less and eat more, have stressful and fatiguing travels, increased anxiety, uncomfortable interpersonal interactions, as well as disappointments. Some of our students may experience less of the upside and more of the downside over the next 6 weeks or so. From now…

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26 Nov: The Importance of Giving Students Opportunities to Practice Skills

By Dr. Skip Greenwood I ended the last blog talking about the need to make a skill “familiar”. By doing so, we increase the chance that a student will be able to access a skill they have been taught when they really need it. Of course this brings up the question; “How do we make a skill familiar?” One key way to help make a skill more familiar is to put a focus on the student practicing or rehearsing the skill you teach them throughout the school day. It takes a small bit of planning but it is so powerful to embed opportunities for students to use newly learned skills during classroom time, recess and specials. When you want students…

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13 Nov: Teaching Emotional Management Skills

by Dr. Skip Greenwood A number of teachers we talk with express frustration that their students do not use the emotional management skills they have been taught once the student becomes escalated or is in crisis. This frustration leads them to question whether teaching emotional management skills to students makes sense. The answer is an unequivocal YES but the process of teaching skills always has to be thoughtful and is not as simple as just providing instruction. This is particularly true when we are teaching emotional regulation skills such as relaxation techniques that we want students to use during escalation or crisis. Whenever we think about teaching skills we have to keep in mind there is a difference between learning…

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24 Oct: Halloween on a Wednesday?! More Self-Care and Self-Regulation Strategies to Help!

by Dr. Rick Robinson We recently shared information regarding a vital self-regulation and self-care strategy– intentional breathing. Well-developed intentional breathing skills are foundational tools in an educator’s toolbox. Rounding out the skills in our toolbox can help us manage times during the school year where stressors are on an upswing; doing a lot of little things well can turn into a big thing. A time to practice new tools for our toolbox will present itself shortly. This school year, the calendar has provided us with that unenviable situation where Halloween falls on… a Wednesday. The fun and excitement of the holiday are accompanied by disrupted schedules and routines, sleep patterns, diet and so on-for students, their families and for educators….

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19 Sep: How do kids achieve success?

How do kids achieve success?  When I consult on cases for school districts, I often find that students who are failing have encountered one of two polarities: (a) People have given them too little support or (b) People have lowered their expectations of them. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of doing two things at once; simultaneously giving a student more support while at the same time expecting more. In order to do these together let’s look at both: SUPPORT is helping a student grow. It’s not doing things for them, or letting them play on an ipad all day. Support is assistance that helps lead a student to action. It could be believing in them, encouraging,…

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05 Sep: The Two Sides of Trauma

The Two Sides of Trauma by Dr. Will Henson One of the most important revelations for educators who adopt a trauma-informed lens is understanding how a student’s dysregulated behavior might be part of “fight or flight” response. For example, a student being confronted by an adult might perceive danger (even where there is none) based on their history. They may then find their heart racing and overall physiology gearing up to meet this imaginary threat. This is what we call “hyperarousal“. When I give trainings on trauma I often carry with me a rubber tarantula which I suddenly place on an unsuspecting educator’s table. I do this to show people that “fight or flight” responses aren’t logical or rational. They involve…

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21 Aug: Pay Attention to What You Want More Of

Pay Attention to What You Want More Of by Will Henson PsyD There’s a simple rule I use when working with kids of all kinds – I pay attention to behaviors I want to see more of. And conversely, I don’t pay attention to behaviors I don’t want. Many educators I’ve observed pay positive attention (e.g praise) to behaviors they like and negative attention (e.g confrontation) to ones they don’t. The problem is that if you do the latter you are letting the child direct your attention, and often the inappropriate behavior is an invitation to you to attend to them in a negative way – such as a power struggle. Try this instead: Show a lot of interest in…

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02 Aug: Proactive or Reactive?

PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE? Imagine a friend tells you they have had three major kitchen fires in the last week and asks you what to do next time it happens. Are you going to teach them how to use a fire extinguisher? How to dial the fire department faster? You are probably going to wonder what in the world is going on in that kitchen that causes fires to keep happening. Whenever I give a talk on behavior, educators throw me scenarios where wildly dysregulated kids are doing dangerous things and they ask for solutions. The problem is that their question starts when they are pretty much out of options. The real magic of managing behavior (and kitchen fires) isn’t in…

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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…