Posts Tagged relationships

Spark the Joy of Learning

Image of a spark that represents the joy of learning.

Many teachers and parents often ask me how they can instill a joy of learning in children who seem to hate school. Since it’s true that you teach someone something they don’t want to learn, the question then becomes, “How can you create interest so that the young person will WANT to do what you would like?” In other words, how can you spark the joy of learning? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Let the youngster know that you understand how he or she feels and that you will make no attempt to change the youngster’s feelings. (This approach is often referred to as paradoxical in that as soon as you indicate you will not do anything, the person very
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Strong Relationships Curb Discipline Problems

The brain and body are an integrated system. Feelings and cognition are interrelated and have a significant effect upon learning. If you are a parent, you know this. When your child returns home after the FIRST day of school, you may ask “How was school?” You also may ask, “What did you learn?” And you most certainly ask, “Do you like your teacher?”

We know from our personal experiences and through research on the workings of the brain that how we feel has a significant effect upon what and how we think and behave. Therefore, IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IS ONE OF THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL REFORMS THAT SCHOOLS CAN INITIATE. In fact, if you want to decrease discipline … >>>


Make Students Feel Special

Principals who desire to improve their schools, and teachers who want to improve their students’ academic achievements, need to keep in mind what psychologist Abraham Maslow conveyed years ago: People must FEEL cared for and cared about BEFORE they will take risks necessary to achieve.

Students too often receive messages in the form of words, gestures, actions, and bulletin board postings of achievements that convey to them that they must achieve well in order to be thought of as worthy.

Too many educators fail to realize that, with so many students, the foundation of success rests in human relations. This is especially the case with young students and students in poverty, where relationships are their most prized possessions.

At a … >>>


Responsibility and Discipline

At the heart of the concept of responsibility is the beautiful idea that it is about “response” (RESPONS-ability), which means that responsibility always has to do with relationships. In other words, responsibility is inherently mutual. You simply cannot use imposed discipline to make someone act responsibly.

So often we treat and confuse responsibility with obedience, as if responsibility can be imposed. Just as imposed discipline does not work, neither does imposed responsibility. There is a failure in the structure of imposition because it lacks mutuality. Although we think we give responsibility, responsibility must be TAKEN if it is to be implemented—hence its mutuality.

Responsibility has a counterpart: accountability. One reason that people resist imposed accountability is that the people at … >>>


It looked like poor behavior!

Like many of my Kindergarten students, I’m concerned about Damian because he doesn’t have an adequate vocabulary or many expressive oral language skills.  His articulation when speaking is also extremely poor; he’s missing a very large number of top teeth (as a result of years of excessive sugar in his diet.)  I’ve noticed that when he can’t find or clearly say the words he needs to communicate, he resorts to hitting or kicking to get his points across.  In fact, after just a week in school, we had to make alternate arrangements for him at lunch playtime so that his opportunities for getting into trouble would be fewer.  Damian now goes to the Resource Room for supervised play time and … >>>


Just 5 Minutes of Relationship

I had an interesting experience on Thursday evening during my Parent Teacher Interviews which were to be “student led.”

I prepared a typical list of classroom areas for parents and child to visit on a “Kindergarten Tour” and the children practiced explaining about activities we do at each one.  Things like:  “Here is my book box.  I’ll read you some books that I’ve made.”

During several of the interviews, older siblings attended.  While some of these intermediate students respected that their younger brothers and sisters deserved the limelight at this time, others did not. One grade 5 boy in particular was a problem.  At first he was just traveling around the room at great speed, but very quickly he moved

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Using Discipline without Stress to deal with an uncooperative student

In our second year of working with Discipline without Stress my teaching partner and I had a student with special needs.  Chronologically he was old enough to be in grade three but emotionally and cognitively, grade one was a much better placement for him.  Here is one experience with this boy that taught me a lot!


This past Monday morning when it was time to go to the gym for our regular Monday morning assembly, Casey had a photograph that a parent must  have given him outside; likely it was a snapshot of a birthday party that he had attended recently.  Being focused on the urgency I felt about getting to the assembly on time, I didn’t notice how … >>>


I want to encourage some very low students.


I work with very low math students. 
Part of my plan for next year is to convince them that
 things can be different. I want to convince them that they can find
 success and not be so frustrated! The worst behavior cases seem
 to be the kids that have given up.
 But then I worry! Maybe I shouldn’t try to convince them that
 they can succeed. What if I’m just setting them up for disappointment? What if they don’t realize that they will have
 to TRY in order for that to happen? I doubt myself constantly.
 Any suggestions?


I think you’re absolutely on the right track!

Convincing your students that putting in 
effort is a worthwhile thing to … >>>