Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2007


Sorry, it has been awhile since my last post. We have been in Canada giving seminars.
A question came up regarding passive aggressive students in the last seminar that I would like to address in this post.
Passive aggressive behaviour usually as the individual's feeling of powerlessness within their environment. By exhibiting non-compliance, complaining, not completing work tasks, or "purposeful" forgetting, while appearing to be polite, accommodating, and not understanding why people are frustrated with them. Could this behaviour actually be the result of the student's lack of self esteem and does the negative attention for the behaviour continue to drive the behaviour?
Student's learn very quickly that they receive attention for their passive aggresive behaviour. It may be that their behaviour is reinforced through receiving the negative attention rather than trying to avoid the task or assignment. Passive aggressive students may also feel that is not okay to expr…


Class Wide Peer Tutoring is a program that has been developed to help students struggling with math, reading and spelling. The program was designed for those from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The program is based on the following steps:
1. Dividing the class into two teams
2. Within each team - classmates form tutoring partners
3. Students take turns tutoring each other.
4. Tutors are provided with academic scripts. eg. Math problems with answers.
5. Praise and points are contingent upon correct answers.
6. Errors are corrected immediately with opportunity to practice to get the right answer.
7. Teacher monitors tutoring pairs and provides bonus points for pairs following procedures
8. Points are tallied by each individual student at the conclusion of the session.

Tutoring sessions usually last 20 minutes with 5 minutes to chart progress.

A web site to have a look at to get more of a full picture.....

A research article that had positive resul…


Let's start talking strategies:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Effective Methods in the Classroom by Robert Reid has some good ideas for working with ADHD students in the classroom.
1. Classroom environment- looking at both management within the classroom and the physical setup of the classroom needs to be analyzed. Classroom needs to be organized and clear consistent boundaries set up. Create a predictable, structured instructional regime with effective communication expectations.
2. Instructional schedules where the student is required to accomplish tasks at peak times.
3. Preferred vs. non-preferred activities. Schedule non then preferred with verbal praise.
4. Calm, brief, unemotional feedback in challenging situations.
An appendix is given that gives specific strategies for specific difficulties: For example: Problems getting started with tasks - visual cues for redirection.
5. Analyzing the antecedants. Task difficulty, noise, disruptions, stimulus overload needs…


Just finished two great seminars in Caloundra and Toowoomba. The one issue that teachers feel very strongly about is the need for collegial support and increased resources for working with challenging children. Recognizing the importance of inclusion with full support and resources needs to be addressed. Can we have full inclusion without the required resources?? Any thoughts??


Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Conduct Disorder are two disorders that are becoming very difficult in the classroom to maintain. Researchers have estimated that 6-16% of the population may be diagnosed with ODD or CD. Some researchers have even stated that 1 in 100 students may have these disorders. Early intervention is the key for these guys. Applying strategies at a very early age can be a decisive factor in how they learn to cope as they go through life. Here is a site that focuses on the perspective of a parent with a son who has ODD. I have also included a case study example for further discussion.


This post is in response to an inquiry received from one of the teachers that attended a New Zealand seminar. The question was in relation to a couple of students who would become very silly when they received positive feedback from their teacher. One of the areas that I cover in the seminar is centered on positive feedback for students who may react negatively when a teacher or authority figure tries to give them positive verbal reinforcement. Sometimes children may feel uncomfortable when given positive reinforcement and in turn may resort to exhibiting inappropriate behaviour. Refer back to the notes on positive reinforcement and starting to give feedback using the "third person labelling on the fly" where the teacher labels the behaviour but does not indicate whether it is positive or negative. Once the students are comfortable with this type of feedback move on to stopping at their desk and again using third person labelling. Depending on the age of the students y…


Just watching one of the videos that had come through You Tube. The doctor in the video asserts that immunizations cause Autism. I think this is a very bold statement as the wider medical community does not seem to share this belief. If immunizations were the cause of autism would all the kids who had immunizations be affected by autism? Is there a resilience to immunizations for some kids so they do not acquire this particular disorder? This link may be helpful in researching the statement:


Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as b…


“I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal.

In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escaped or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”

Dr. Haim Ginott


One of the greatest skills that teachers of today require is the ability to de-escalate a situation that may become volatile and out of control. Teachers are increasingly aware that students are coming to their classrooms with difficulty in social skills, anger problems, neurobehavioral disorders and learning disabilities. Teachers face an increase in school violence and oppositional students as well as parents. The skills and confidence a teacher has in dealing with challenging situations may be the key to preventing a power struggle with a student or parent.

How do teachers prevent or de-escalate a potentially challenging situation? This is a difficult question as each challenging individual is unique and the teacher may not be aware of the full history of the individual they are presented with. Here are some strategies teachers can try to keep situations under control.


1. Recognize the individual’s triggers. What occurs before a behaviour occurs? Can the trigger be …


Some people wanted the quotes from the beginning of the seminars. Here they are:

Children are our most valuable resource: Herbert Hoover

When I approach a child, he inspires me in two sentiments,: tenderness for what he is and respect for what he might become: Louis Pasteur

If we don't stand up for children we don't stand for much: Marion Wright Edelman

To value his own good opinion a child has to feel he is a worthwhile person . He has to have confidence in himself as an individual: Sidonie Gruenberg

While we teach our children all about life, our children are teaching us what life is all about: Angela Schwindt

We worry about what a chld will become yet we forget that he is someone today: Stacia Tauscher

One good teacher in a lifetime may change a delinquent into a solid citizen: Philip Wylie

It is not giving children more that spoils them, it is giving them more to avoid confrontation: John Gray

Level with your child by being honest. Nobody spots a phony quicker than a child: Mary Ma…

SAVE YOUR SANITY - Seminars in New Zealand

Hello all:

Arrived back in Australia on Thursday night after an excellent trip through New Zealand. We started our journey in Auckland and presented a seminar to 35 participants which was very successful. A question that arose out of this seminar was intringuing and worth evaluating. Do cultural differences affect the approach to behaviour and curriculum development? In this case the discussion centered around the Maori people and the dilemma that occurs within the community in relation to the importance of education and expected behaviours. How to get the families involved with the school if their children are experiencing problems academically or socially? The discussion also touched on the prevalence of child abuse within the community as a young 3 year old Maori girl was killed the week we were in Auckland. Her 17 year old step father as well as other members of the family have been charged.

The next seminar was in Wellington with 34 participants. Again I was overwhelmed by the welc…