ABOUT CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL DISABILITIES.....
Something I learned from a Glasser workshop and has been reinforced ever
DON'T TAKE THE BAIT! If there is no immediate danger to anyone and a
student is abusive I usually say, "I am sure you have something very
important that you want to say to me and I want to hear it. I can't
allow you to speak to me that way. Do you want to try again,
respectfully or do you need to go calm down?" Some times the respectful
response is immediate, sometime it takes days, sometimes never, but you
have chosen your battle and chosen not to get into that lose~lose
situation. Once a very agitated 1st grader had a screaming tantrum and
he got my usual response. He went to the back of the room and stewed
for the rest of the period. Three days later he came to me and said, "I
said some terrible things to you! Can you still be my friend?" One
thing for sure, when I take the bait and bite the hook NO ONE
WINS!!!That is when I go home with a knot in my stomach!!!
Another program that taught me a lot was a "Peace Making Curriculum" It
outlines steps to resolving a conflict and we have used it in our
district for 10 or 12 years. When the district provided prof. dev. on
the method, I tried it out on my husband to see if we could resolve a
conflict we had had going for years. It was resolved so well that we
can't remember what it was.
It is similar to many conflict resolution programs. The most important
step in this method is to repeat what you hear the other person saying
to see if you really understand the gripe. This way you are very clear
that both parties are trying to resolve the same thing. Suggestions are
made for possible solutions and a temporary agreement is made. If it
doesn't work then it is back to the drawing board but usually the
difficulty is in the understanding of the gripe and the feelings on both
sides. It can be interesting to see the kids go through the steps
without an adult to "Play to" and then come back to you to say they
have a mutual agreement. It is very powerful for children to come face
to bare face with the hurt feeling of the person who is on the receiving
end of the insult or the kick. In our school this is a private matter
until someone asks for a mediator
I am interested to see what responses come from Ricardo's request.
Teaching ART to some tough cookies for 36 years and not burned out yet,
thanks to some very good staff development.