Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 146
BE REALISTIC ABOUT THE GRAVITY OF THE “RISK” IN “AT RISK” KIDS
For some reason, teachers are not allowed to speak in “Polite Teacher Society” about how desperate kids’ situations often are. If a kid is growing up within the confines of generational poverty and has been suspended multiple times in his school career, he has an incredibly high chance of committing crimes that will land him in prison as an adult or while still a juvenile. Why can’t we talk about this? Go ahead and say this about a kid out loud, in front of God and everybody. That is the starting point, because once you acknowledge the immediacy of the issue at hand, you can get to work to retrain this kid to exhibit behaviors that will allow him to be employed and happy in the future. If you don’t acknowledge the risk and then use skills and procedures for this retraining, that child is very likely to end up depressed, incarcerated, or dead before his time.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 147
FIND OTHER TEACHERS WHO HAVE POSITIVE ATTITUDES ABOUT KIDS
I realize that this may be easier said than done, but your job is hard enough as it is. Being around teachers who complain about how terrible students are can make a tough job even tougher. Find teachers who are realistic about students, but feel that they can get positive behaviors from kids if they use the proper skills and procedures. Stay strong with each other. Share my blog posts. Notice each other’s successes with kids. Stay strong and stay positive!
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 148
DON’T TRY TO TEACH WHEN THINGS ARE GOING POORLY
When we try to teach amidst chaos, we tacitly approve of it. The use of specifically and explicitly taught interventions and consequences can get you the behaviors that you need to have in order to teach. They allow you to arrange your students’ world in such a way that kids can either be cooperative, or suffer the consequences of not being cooperative.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 149
DON’T LET A PRINCIPAL CHANGE THE TERMINAL DESTINATION OF A BEHAVIOR
When we utilize an administrator to help us with a discipline situation with a student, it causes many, many problems. One of the biggest problems that it causes is that it gives away our control over the terminal destination of a student’s behavior. In other words, if a student has a temper tantrum, yells at the teacher, and throws a chair, and then the principal does nothing but talk to the child about his feelings, all of those negative behaviors have become functional behaviors and will be more likely to occur again, because he gave one-on-one attention to what are, most likely, attention-seeking behaviors
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 150
HOLD KIDS ACCOUNTABLE WITH CONSEQUENCES, EVEN IF THE PRINCIPAL TAKES YOUR KID AWAY
In a previous Teacher Tip, I suggested to never allow a principal to have anything to do with discipline in your room. However, I understand that if you have not had all of the skill and procedural instruction necessary to avoid utilizing an administrator, this may not be possible. If an administrator does become involved, you still need to have logical consequences that come from you for the student’s infractions.