ParaSharp

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18 Feb: More Effective Professional Development

by Dr. Will Henson This is Professional Development month here at 321insight, and our focus is on helping people get better at delivering professional development to their staff. When Dr. Skip Greenwood and I started 321insight, we had a specific vision in mind when it comes to professional development. First, we wanted to give people tools that made them more effective, right now.   To that end, we felt that the two+ hour-long trainings were a problem. That kind of time commitment is something few educators can do more than a couple times a year. This was especially important as we worked to develop material for paraeducators, who often had no extra contract time for professional development.  We settled on 5-10…

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04 Feb: Professional Development -Translating New Ideas to New Practices

by Dr. Rick Robinson Professional development is the practice of reflecting on our skills, and getting better at what we do. It is a common focus for educators who wish to continue to grow and progress in their expertise. Often, however, the process of reflection and change can be a lot more difficult than it sounds. It is extremely common to come away from a workshop or training with exciting ideas and goals, but then struggle to implement them effectively. Has this ever happened to you? Professor of Psychology and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, George Loewenstein, Ph.D., coined the term “hot-cold empathy gap” that seems to offer a path forward for us in making professional development more effective. Dr….

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17 Dec: Holiday Break Wellness

Holiday Break Wellness  by Dr. Will Henson Since I started working in the world of education, and especially since diving deep into trauma-informed practices, I have realized the importance of educator wellness.   Education is a relational business, one in which we don’t just bring our skills, but ourselves. We can’t fill the needs of students if our own cup is empty. Our ability to be whole and healthy is at the heart of how successfully we educate.   Despite what the holiday season is supposed to represent, it can often be synonymous with stress. You’ve got two weeks off! Let’s talk about how to use it.   Here are three tips for being well this season: If you can follow these…

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17 Sep: Personal & Professional Boundaries: Self-Disclosure

By Dr. Will Henson In writing our Personal and Professional boundaries video for the ParaSharp© series, we outlined several important boundaries educators needed to be aware of. One that needs some important discussion as the school year gets started is maintaining healthy boundaries around self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is talking and sharing information about yourself.  Here are some things to remember to keep self-disclosure healthy and helpful to your students: The Headline Rule: Before you disclose something, think about how it might sound as the headline on tomorrow’s newspaper. Imagine that you tell students that since you are an adult you drink beer and think this is okay. The headline might read “Mrs. Smith Defends her Drinking Habit.” The Political Campaign Rule: Before you disclose something, imagine you…

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03 Dec: 321insight interview at AESA!

321insight’s president Alia Jackson was interviewed at the recent AESA Annual Conference by the EduTechGuys. Listen to this 10 minute podcast to hear her thoughts on the importance of providing relevant and easy information and tools to all staff in a school. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/alia-jackson-321insight-aesa-2018/id1339642733?i=1000425034022&mt=2  

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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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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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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…