Don't Feed The Beast

I wonder how many behaviors I inadvertently feed by attending to them. It’s so hard for me to refrain from giving a knowing look or small comment when bad behaviors surface. Unfortunately, these small bits of attention just feed the…

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Processing Time

I have a great cartoon. A student has his hand raised and when the teacher calls on him, he says, “Mrs. Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full.” In our world of ever-higher rigor, be aware of signs…

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Break the Habit

Ah, the double-edged sword of a habit - as a parent and educator, I know I have some strong interactional habits with the people around me. Some of my autopilot responses serve me well, but others perpetuate behaviors that trouble…

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Survivor: The Classroom

Up for a new adventure? I’m thinking about pitching a new reality television series: Survivor: The Classroom. Contestants are first divided into tribes, and then individually placed in classrooms abounding with students struggling with cognitive and behavioral challenges. With minimal…

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The Long and Winding Road

Keep things in perspective. This is just the beginning of the school year. Students are settling in, parents are adjusting, and teachers are working to break poor habits students have developed. All of these changes can present challenges, so do…

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Do The Right Thing

Older folk are familiar with these adages: “Leave things nicer than you found them.” “Think not of what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” These messages have a focus of others, not…

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Positive Interactions

Ever notice how you can walk into a school or classroom and get a feel for the climate without anyone saying a word? At the beginning of the year every individual has the opportunity to contribute to the overall emotional…

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Find The Balance

Just a word of caution for all you teachers: Your work is not your home. Your job should not be your life. I may be stating the obvious, but often times, in an attempt to do our job well, we…

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A Place To Call Home

It seems as if Juan Pablo the Chameleon is Movin’ on Up.  (Cue the theme song from The Jeffersons.)  Yesterday, we decided to upgrade Juan Pablo’s living quarters, as he was quickly outgrowing his original one.  As I transitioned him…

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