How to Apologize to Your Students

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a sixth-grade student teacher. Because I attended your conference last summer, I am the only adult at my urban school who doesn’t yell all day long, every day. It’s been amazing. That was, until yesterday. I was with a sub when my cooperating teacher was out. The students got out of control because the work left for them was three grade levels too difficult. I lost it and yelled at them – a lot. They had never heard me yell, and they did what I said, but they acted very hurt and/or angry the rest of the day. What do I do when I see them after the weekend? I have been asking the other teachers and everyone says not to apologize. What do you think? -Brad, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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How to Troubleshoot When Consequences Don’t Seem to be Working

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I attended your Kid Whisperer University last summer. I am struggling with the delayed consequences skill. For most students, the interventions are working well. The students for whom I need to delay consequences are repeat offenders. It’s typically attention seeking kids that are abrasive with any type of authority. They are constantly searching for the grey area and loopholes in rules and directions. Do you have any suggestions?  -Scarlet, Shaker Heights, Ohio

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How to Minimize Attention to Negative Behaviors

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a kindergarten teacher. I have a well-behaved class except for one student. He is impulsive, he touches people, he blurts out, he takes materials from other students. I feel like I am constantly saying his name to tell him to stop doing all of these things. I think I spend 30% of all of my time talking to this student about what he is doing wrong, and his behavior just keeps getting worse. What do I do? -Kimberly -Des Moines, Iowa

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How to Handle an Unmedicated Student

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a third-grade teacher and I have a student who is medicated for attention and behavior problems. He is generally fine when he has taken his medicine, but he is totally out of control when he doesn’t. My principal and I have tried everything to try to get his parent to give him his medicine every day. I know the behaviors will get worse when there are no consequences for his actions, whether he is on his medication or not. I don’t know what to do. -Mary, Biloxi, Mississippi

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How Teachers Can Deal With Negative Colleagues

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am a fourth-grade teacher who is worried about a situation that I foresee happening this year with adults. Last year was my first year in my building. I quickly found that lunch and recess times were stressful times for both staff and students, as these areas were loud and unruly, and staff spent a lot of time yelling at kids. I decided to try and help out in these areas as much as possible. I use your blog and podcast to help me help my school, and we have changed the way we do some things. I have had colleagues tell me to stop helping because they say that if I help during these times, our administration will demand that everyone help too. I am not going to stop helping my school, but I am dreading the conversations with other teachers about this. Any advice? -Kim, Oakland, California

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How to Deal With a Kid Who Hits Other Students

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach in a PK-K Montessori room. What do you do for children who are hitting/hurting others or saying and doing unkind things on a consistent basis? Parents are involved in this, we’ve had meetings, the student has been assessed, etc… but it just keeps happening to the point that other parents complain about their child, worrying about this student picking on them or hurting them. We go through the steps of helping the student who is hurting to use their words and say, “Don’t hit me,” or “That makes me feel bad,” and then the child who’s hitting will have a chance to say something like, “Are you okay?” and “What can I do to help you feel better/fix your heart?” and so on. This child has gotten really good at these exchanges, but the behavior still gets worse. So now we’ve started suspending him, which has also made the behavior worse. -Lee Ann, Eugene, Oregon

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How to Survive the End of the School Year

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I teach fourth grade. I have three weeks of school left. I am going to lose my mind. I would estimate that I spend at least half of my time with kids correcting them, lecturing them, or telling them what to do. I’m not getting much teaching done. My students are going to end the year behind where they are supposed to be since I can’t really teach effectively. That ship has sailed. I just need to know something simple that I can do so that I CAN SURVIVE THE NEXT THREE WEEKS! -Jenna, Los Angeles, California

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