Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 121
DON’T FORGET THE “FORGETTABLE” STUDENTS
Of course I don’t mean that these students are actually forgettable, but many teachers spend a lot of time working with high achievers and correcting the poorly behaved kids. The kids who are neither are often not given enough attention. It’s easier to start acting out for most than to achieve at a higher level, so not giving those well-behaved “kids in the middle” attention often turns them towards negative behaviors. Simply peppering the classroom with 8-10 noticings per day of proper behavior from these “middlers” can be enough to make these kids feel acknowledged and show the class that doing the right things works for kids. An occasional teacher outburst about how wonderful one of these kids is can have the same effect.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 122
SPEAK IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE
If a kid tries to manipulate via the use of an argument, you can make this behavior non-functional by simply speaking in a language that the student does not speak! It is most effective if you smile like a crazy person and simultaneously walk away or start talking to another student immediately afterwards.
Kid: I don’t want to do this stupid assignment. This is BORING!!!!
You: Donde esta Juan? Juan esta en la biblioteca! Yo tengo una lapiz!
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 123
SMILE WHEN ANGRY
Difficult kids know they are winning when they see you get angry. That is why if you smile when you get angry, those tough kids will be less likely to keep pushing your buttons. It takes a while to get good at this. I have become great at it over time. My self-training method is to simply think of it as acting crazy, because I know that acting crazy is easier for me than smiling when I’m angry, and I know that looking like a crazy person shows kids that they can’t control me. It stops them in their tracks. So I just think “CRAZY SMILE” when angry thoughts try to enter my thinking. Whether kids think that you are happy or crazy, they are far less likely to act out.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 124
IGNORING EXPLAINED, PART I: WHEN TO IGNORE
Teachers often are given the suggestion to ignore negative behaviors. Depending on the situation, this advice can range from excellent to criminal. When a kid’s negative behaviors are only causing a problem for him, this is good advice. When they are only mildly annoying for others, or extremely annoying for a very short period of time, they can be ignored as long as the teacher feels like ignoring them. When these behaviors cause any type of problem for others, interventions and consequences must be used, even if the behavior is attention-seeking. The extreme examples of when ignoring is a terrible idea is when the behavior of a student puts other students in danger emotionally or physically.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 125
IGNORING EXPLAINED, PART II: IGNORE WITH YOUR BODY
As long as you know that a student is not in a position to physically injure someone with his movements, feel free to keep your back to him while he is exhibiting an attention-seeking behavior. Be intentional about paying a lot of attention to positive behaviors.