Sunday, September 26, 2010

Preparing For Success- Choices, Not punishment!!!

Do you have students who are consistently oppositional and Reactive?

Here is one strategy that may work...

I like to call this one, Choices or as it is often referred to by others; "Controlled Control". In many cases, when we respond to undesirable behavior by using punishment the student will react and rebel and the behaviors may become more troubling. Instead of punishment (ie. isolation, etc.) use choices to empower him to have control over his environment.

One thing that we MUST remember with many of these students is that any punishment given may not compare to the circumstances of their lives. Punishment will likely push the student away from you and build a cycle of opposition between you.

ex. Start every redirection with "Which would be better for you?" or "You choose. Pick one of these. You can..."

Before providing choices it is often worth assessing whether the student understands the task objective and determining that their behavior is or is not due to a lack of understanding. An example in which the student might exhibit off task behavior or has a lack of work production, might go something like this-- " I see that you are having a hard time staying focused on your work.  Which would be better for you? For you to sit over on the other side of the room, or for you to sit near my desk?

Remember, behavior is learned, it has a specific purpose, and the behavior we see does not define any child. 

Students with these struggles need us to be patient with them, show them we care, and show them that we won’t reject or abandon them if their behavior becomes difficult. After all, they all need to have their teachers in their corner. It will take time, but the return on your investment of positivity, patience care and understanding will set students up for success.

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