Teacher RSS Feeds Can Help Stop Classroom Management Problems And Streamline Your Time
By Ruth Wells
It may be a new year, but you are probably still dealing with the same old "kid problems." The bad attitudes, disrespect, peer conflict, lying, school failure or family problems didn't change when you flipped the page on the calendar. Don't let last year's problems create another difficult year. Resolve to stop using last year's failed solutions, and instead substitute updated, more effective methods like those contained in our books, instant ebooks, workshops and web site. This may be the right moment to stop using methods that didn't work well in 2005, and will fare no better in 2006. If you don't decide now to switch to updated, more effective methods, you may continue to find your job discouraging and frustrating, and your students may continue to struggle and be very hard to manage. What better time to make the switch than as you flip the page on the calendar? You might actually discover that working with difficult kids doesn't have to be so difficult. Resolve in 2006 to try these 6 new ideas to replace some of those worn-out, failed interventions that you should leave behind in 2005:
1. Chronic Problems Don't Have to Be Chronic
Classic chronic problems-- like students misbehaving when they need help-- do not have to be "the way it is." You can change chronic problem areas, and you should, because these problems take a huge toll on you, and on your students.
RESOLVE to Stop Chronic Problems
Here is a brand new intervention to use with students who act out when they need help in class: Teach your students "1, 2, 3, Help Me." It's a system that students can use to easily communicate with you when they need help. "1" means "I can do it on my own." "2" means "I need help starting," and "3" means "I'm going to need help the whole way through." Now, even non-verbal students can easily get help without acting-out.
2. Stop Guessing What to Do
Do you want your doctor guessing how to cure your illness? No, you want her to know what to do. Are you guessing why children are mute or absent? Do you wonder how to contain severe acting out? Guessing is often ineffective and can be dangerous. If you have to guess a lot, it may be a sign that your training may not have sufficiently equipped you to understand the increasingly serious emotional and behavior problems that today's students present.
RESOLVE to Stop Guessing
If you use the same generic interventions with your entire broad range of students, that's like having a single wrench in your tool box. You would have to use that wrench when you really needed a screwdriver or a hammer. How well would that work? Upgrade your skills with your students to fit all the different types of students and problems that you work with. Start with conduct disorders since conventional methods like character ed, can actually make them much worse-- and these are already your hardest-to-manage students. Visit this link to get the introductory basics: http://www.youthchg.com/hottopic.html.
3. Stop Relying on Talk
Students only remember what you say for about 30 minutes, and even then, they tend to remember only about about half of what you said. Verbiage is not the best access channel to reach all students so stop making it your sole or primary approach.
RESOLVE to Use a Wider Range of Modalities
Here is a dynamite intervention that doesn't rely on what you say. It gets the job done better than mere speech. It's our popular Poster #37, "If You're Rude, You're Our Dude," reduced in size to become a handout. If you click the link, you will be able to open the handout and then print it to use with your students. It is from our brand new "Behavior Change Handouts: Becoming a Motivated and Prepared Student and Worker" ebook. This series has nearly all our dynamic handouts and you can own and print them in just seconds. You can find the ebook at http://www.youthchg.com/printable.html. You can get the handout version of Poster #37 right here if you have PDF software on your computer: http://www.youthchg.com/poster37.pdf. If you need PDF software, get it free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.
4. Explore the Endless New Tools that Exist
If your tool box contained just a wrench, you'd be so happy to discover hammers and screwdrivers. That analogy may apply to the tools you are using to teach or counsel. Are you aware that there is an endless supply of more effective interventions that could make your job easier and your students more successful?
RESOLVE to Try 1 New Intervention Every Week
Here is an easy way to get 52 new methods incorporated into your skill set. Add a new, improved technique each week. Our Help and Solution Center at our site (http://www.youthchg.com/favori.html) has hundreds of methods that will work better than your old approaches. Here is one to start: Some older students think they "know it all already." Don't use the conventional method of confronting that belief. Instead, ask them to explain what "repair and deduct" means when said by a tenant with a bad landlord. Few youngsters will know that term even though it could be terribly important. (It means that a tenant can arrange needed repairs when a landlord has failed to do so-- plus the tenant can deduct it from the rent. Don't know this? You might have to live without plumbing or heat!)
5. Put Technology to Work Solving Your "Kid Problems"
You no longer have to go looking for answers. Now you can make answers come to you. If you haven't heard about RSS (Really Simple Syndication) you are missing out on the hottest new way to put the internet to work for you.
RESOLVE to Try RSS
It is so easy to learn about RSS. Start with our site's sign up page at http://www.youthchg.com/education.html. It will explain what RSS is, and let you sign up for our feed. Every time we add new interventions, add a new resource, post another free handout, or publish another issue of this internet magazine, you will be the first to know because you will be alerted by receiving an RSS feed. No more hunting through our huge site to find the new ideas or best methods, they will come to you through RSS. Technology will have done a lot of the work for you.
6. Make Technology Your Assistant
So many of you are being asked to do more with less. Because of recent technological advances on the internet, technology can do automated tasks for you, freeing more time for you to work with students.
RESOLVE to Use RSS Feeds to Save Time
When you want to know the newest requirements of "No Child Left Behind" or what decisions were made by your state Department of Education, you now probably take time to read the newspaper or go to a web site to get an update. RSS Feeds can do that work for you. For example, instead of going to the Indiana Department of Ed site to hunt for the update, you can set up a feed that brings the update to you. You no longer have to read the newspaper to get the news on schools and children. A feed can bring it to you. An example of a news feed that delivers just the news about schools and children, is shown on our web site as an example at http://www.youthchg.com/contact.html. Look for the moving scroller that is most of the way down the page.
About The Author
Ruth Wells MS is the director of Youth Change; click here. http://www.youthchg.com Get free samples and see 100s more of her problem-stopping interventions at Youth Change's web site. Ruth is the author of dozens of books and ebooks, and conducts professional development workshops.