Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tips #26-30

Kid Whisperer Nation Tip Number 26

DO LESS

As you are going through your day, notice whether you are doing anything that a kid could do instead. If it is something that could be done by a kid, have them do it. Make it easy on yourself: don’t make any job charts, and if you have a job chart, throw it away (they are too much work). Simply give a kid the job and let him keep it until he forgets to do it or does a bad job. Then just fire him and have him hire someone else.

Depending on the age of your kids, do you really need to do attendance, open your own blinds, take out the trash, or write out the day’s activities? You have enough to do. Let them help!

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 27

USE BLOWDARTS, NOT BAZOOKAS

If you can get a kid to stop exhibiting a low-level negative behavior just by looking at them, then do that. If you don’t need to speak, don’t. You don’t have the energy to spend your time bossing kids around, and doing so will make your kids determined to cause problems for you in the present or future.

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 28

IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT DISCIPLINE, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

With apologies to the underrated film Playing by Heart::

Talking about discipline is like dancing about architecture.

Kids don’t listen to what we say, but they notice what we do. If we are lecturing on the importance of responsibility, hard work, etcetera, we are wasting our time. Even worse, savvy and tough kids know that lectures are the last resort of a desperate teacher in the last throes of his last nerve. The lecture puts blood in the water and invites a feeding frenzy.

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 29

WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE ANGRY

It may not feel like it at the time, but that kid who is acting like a jerk and annoying everyone is doing you a huge favor—if you handle it the right way. When you have a student who is annoying other students with her behavior, don’t own the kid’s behavior and don’t try to protect the other students from being annoyed unless failure to do so is likely to cause serious or permanent injury. Use a group consequence in order to hold the group accountable even if it is only that one student causing the problem. For instance, when using the Calm/Assertive Class Hallway Procedure, we allow consequences to befall the entire class over and over until every single student has really had it. Then we pull the offender out with calm empathy and give her the consequence later. The rest of the class rallies together to exhibit the positive behavior and accomplish the goal of getting to the room successfully. In this way, we are the nice, calm, scorekeeper, and we allow the kid to suffer the real-world, natural consequence of people not liking her when she is acting like a jerk. This benefits the offender more than anyone!

 

Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip Number 30

BE WARY OF PRAISE

Kids, especially kids with trust or self-esteem issues, will often not accept praise. Kids with trust issues will think that your praise is a lie and that you must want something from them. Kids with low self-esteem feel so uncomfortable with someone having a positive view of them that they will actively work to change that view by exhibiting negative behaviors! So instead of praising generally (“You are awesome!”), try Specific Positive Noticing, a method I learned from Dr. Bob Sornson: “I noticed you worked hard on this assignment. I noticed that!”