"I have the best-behaved class that I have had in over 15 years. It is not because they are simply well-behaved kids. It is that I have set limits."
"Scott empowered me. He gave me confidence, answers, and a way of life in my classroom that increased everyone’s happiness and safety tenfold."
"This school year began much differently thanks to these skills! My students learned from the very beginning that I loved and respected them and that I was going to appropriately hold them accountable!"
I have a student for whom I have been given a behavior plan to use. It has been unsuccessful, just like every other behavior plan I have been told to use in the past. I have been given a myriad of time- consuming suggestions for how to modify work and his environment to limit distractions. This child takes up a majority of my time in class and even my planning time, which I spend documenting everything he has and has not done. Frankly, I am exhausted. I am afraid if someone tells me to try one more thing, I may not be very professional in my response. Do you have a suggestion for how I could respond in a professional manner so I can take back control of my classroom? I have been to your summer conference and have used the skills I learned with great success, but the way that I am being asked to work with this child is so time- consuming that I feel like I am too overwhelmed to function. – Mary, Columbus, Ohio
My five-year-old has always been well-behaved, but lately she has been refusing to do what I tell her to do, shouting “NO” at me when I ask her to do even the simplest tasks. I don’t know if I am panicking or if this is just a phase, but my instincts say that this behavior is going to continue unless I make it stop. So how do I make it stop? -Tracy, Cincinnati, Ohio
A week before Halloween, my seven-year-old daughter threw a huge fit at the store when I would not buy her a toy. It was so severe and embarrassing that we actually left the store with the groceries sitting in the middle of the toy aisle. She even kicked and hit me on the way out. I told her that night that Halloween was cancelled for her. No candy, no parties, no trick-or-treat. I told her 2nd grade teacher that she could not dress up for the school Halloween party, and could not get candy. My mother-in-law has been very upset about this, saying that this is not fair, and she’s implying that I am a terrible parent (which is nothing new). Am I right? Tell me I am right. -Mary Anne, Cincinnati, Ohio
I recently attended one of your workshops at my school. You touched on the idea that when a student does something that needs a consequence, you should do the consequence later so you don’t have to stop teaching and so you can come up with something that makes sense. My question is this: what if the student is hurting someone? I can’t wait to deal with that later. -Pat, Cincinnati, Ohio
I teach 5th grade. I have a student who visits the bathroom whenever he is bored. Yesterday he left the room ten times. I don’t believe in limiting bathroom breaks, because it’s a bodily right. He is missing a lot of instruction and it’s getting increasingly worse. What should I do? -Libby, St. Paul, Minnesota
First of all, I have attended 2 of your seminars and have absolutely loved them. I tried the “I’ll begin when you are quiet” technique today. They never got quiet. How much time should I spend waiting? I feel like I am wasting so much time. Thank you so much for your time. -Riley, Moscow, Idaho
When I take my kids out to a movie, restaurant, pool, beach, play palace, park, basically anything, immediately after we leave said activity, the kids are asking to do something else. No “Thank you,” no “We had a great time”, no appreciation… just “What do I get next?” I am so fed up with this behavior. This me, me, me attitude and entitlement is driving me crazy. What do I do? -Jessica, Saugatuck, Michigan
I grew up with nothing. It is one of the great thrills of my life to now be able to take my two children (14 and 16) on expensive trips, to give them gifts, and basically give them everything that they want. I can easily afford all of this. It does take some of the luster away when they don’t say thank you, unless it’s a serious luxury item. I bought my daughter a nice, new, luxury car, for example. Am I right in thinking they will come to appreciate these things in time? –Manual, Sacramento, California