Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #71
You are under no obligation to make sense. When a student tries to manipulate through argument or is whining or tattling, one way to neutralize the manipulation is to calmly act like a confused and/or crazy person. This can be done with short statements. For instance, if a student whines that the work is too hard, even though I know she can do it, I respond by saying, with a wide smile and my finger pointed straight into the air, “I, TOO ENJOY PIE!!” I can then keep teaching and living my life.
“Oops, oops, it’s monkey time!”
“I fear for the baloney bandits. I really do.”
“Hot pancakes for sale inside!”
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #72
OFFER HUGGING OPPORTUNITIES
Of course, check with your administrator about the use of hugs, but with some students, especially younger ones, they often truly need a hug. Sometimes students will exhibit negative behaviors just to get the attention that could be given through a hug. When things are going well, try telling a student who needs a lot of attention to just come up and give you a hug whenever he is feeling down, angry, or upset. You may be surprised how many times even tough kids will take you up on it.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #73
CATCH KIDS BEING BAD
It is a cute little thing when teachers say to “catch kids being good”, and it is a good practice, but it is also very important to make sure kids are monitored so that you can use interventions and consequences to stop negative behaviors from working for kids. If the behavior gets the student what they want, they will do it more, whether it is a positive or negative behavior
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #74
EFFECTIVE MONITORING PART I
POSITION YOURSELF BEHIND THE EAR
If you need to really be keeping your eyes on a particularly sneaky student, or you think a student may be up to something, putting yourself behind the student’s ear is strategically the best place for you to be. From this vantage point, you are able to see what the student is doing and where he is looking but he is unable to see you seeing him. The distance away is less important than establishing this position. Also, if you have a certain student that you know you will have to really keep an eye on throughout the year, you may want to position his seat somewhere that will enable you to be behind his ear when you are in a position that you occupy often, such as your desk, your reading table, at the board, etc.
Kid Whisperer Nation Teacher Tip #75
EFFECTIVE MONITORING PART II
USE THE “CRAZY IVAN”
You may have heard people say that you should never turn your back to students. Let’s file this under example number 25 billion of stupid advice given to teachers by people who don’t teach. OF COURSE you have to sometimes turn your back to students. It would be impossible not to unless you duct taped yourself to a wall. Instead, I here’s a real skill you can use to monitor effectively. It’s called the “Crazy Ivan”. This term was originally used by U.S. Naval Commanders to refer to a maneuver by Soviet submarine captains who would sometimes pilot their subs to do a quick 180 degree turn to see if there was an enemy following them. Doing a Crazy Ivan in class creates a situation where your students know that you could be looking at them at any time without warning. In turn, this makes attempting negative behaviors less likely.