Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #46
DON’T DEMONIZE BEHAVIORS
Is there anything wrong with running? Chewing gum? Talking to your friends? Of course not. There is, however, something wrong with doing these things while taking a test. Freaking out about these behaviors as a teacher makes you look like a crazy, mean person to students who know that these behaviors are not inherently evil. Just asking students to save those behaviors for later is a better intervention than to tell them to simply stop the behaviors.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #47
DON’T EXPECT KIDS TO BE RATIONAL BECAUSE THEIR BRAINS DON’T WORK
This is a scientific fact. The human brain is not fully functional until the age of 25. This is why trying to reason with a student is as helpful as trying to reason with a drunk hamster. Effective teachers don’t spend their time reasoning with kids.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #48
DON’T DOUBLE-HANDICAP YOUR STUDENTS
Students with special needs are often disabled again by teachers who set standards of behavior that are far too low for what these students are capable of. The lower behavioral expectations are often more disabling than their original disability.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #49
DON’T DOUBLE-INJURE YOUR STUDENTS
Students who are going through a tough life event such as the death of a loved one, abuse, etc., are often injured again by their teachers who excuse negative behaviors while they are going through these tough times. Behavioral expectations for a student whose father just died are the same as they are for everyone else. When we are utilizing empathy and using consequences instead of punishments, we can hold students accountable without hurting their self-concept. This still holds true when the student is going through something horrible. The limits still being in place can actually be comforting while the student feels out of control in other areas of her life.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #50
PREFACE WITH EMPATHY
If you are not prefacing potentially difficult situations with the same empathetic response every time (mine is “Oh, man”), you have no idea what your students are capable of behaviorally. Without the use of preventive empathy, you will be forever stuck in classrooms where students will be much less cooperative than they could be.