Blog January 2019
Welcome back everyone! I hope you had a special holiday season filled with good food and those you love.
We are going to pick up this year by extending some of the topics that were introduced last year. One way I will do that is to introduce a new component to our menu. I will be starting to do podcasting by the end of the month. I will be speaking to professionals around the country and the world who are graciously offering their time. The varied topics will be of interest to parents, teachers, students and anyone who works with students. I have always had a dream to make professionals available without the high hourly rates. We have such a wealth of information available to us, but often it is expensive to access it. I hope to provide a forum for knowledgeable and respected experts to introduce themselves, share their views and provide a basis of information, so that we can then move forward and explore the topics on our own. We can access that information and begin our exploration into issues which affect us on a daily basis. I hope this “scratching of the surface”, will give us a foundation of information and questions so we can continue with our own legal, education, and health care professionals.
Last year we began by introducing many topics and approaches to working with students as well as the professionals who have developed and successfully applied their protocol in a myriad of settings. Topics included the importance of self-confidence or, as Albert Bandura called it, self-efficacy. We heard from Rita Pierson, who heralded the need for every child to have someone who is their Champion and believes in them. I introduced you to Ross Greene, Michelle Garcia Winner of “Social Thinking” and I tried to give you a snippet of information about CBT when I described the connection of our thoughts, feelings and the visible behaviors in that result by giving you a visual with the triangle. We even heard from some of the struggling students, themselves.
With the Podcasts that will be starting in January, we will delve into, more deeply, some of the related topics. We will speak with Psychologists and Psychiatrists who specialize in working with young people who have learning differences and educators who have developed special materials and written books that address approaches to working with kids who struggle in our educational system. And we will speak to educators at every level and every aspect of our public and private education system. Lawyers will also stop by to explain IEP’s and 504’s and what we, as parents and teachers should expect from the system.
Before I close today, I want to define several terms that we will be using over the next series of Blogs and in the Podcasts. We speak often of the value of punishments vs rewards. Everyone says “Natural consequences are best”. So let’s be sure we are all using the terms in the same way.
1. Punishment is a negative result of an inappropriate behavior that is not related in any way to the behavior. Example: Your child swears at you so you tell him he is grounded for the week.
2. Reward is a positive result of a wanted behavior that is not related in any way to the behavior. Example: Your child gets all A’s and B’s and s/he is given the promised money for each A or B. Note: As our children get older these kinds of rewards become more costly and as their interests change, we struggle to find something that they are willing/motivated to work for.
But, what if is not about motivation or what we did or didn’t do? What if it is about a lack of skills to deal with a situation or a reappearing problem. No form of punishment or reward can overcome a lack of skills.
3. Consequence needs to be divided into two parts.
Consequence A is a negative result of unwanted behavior that we may tell the child will happen, but is not related to the behavior, very much the same as a punishment. Example: If you hit your brother again, you will have a time out.
Consequence B is an outgrowth of the behavior. Example: A child/student is rude to a teacher/parent by loosing his/her temper and swearing at the adult. The child is given time to calm down by removing him/her from classroom or asking the child to go to his/her room and calm down. The adult then speaks to the child about the situation and together they decide how to best move forward. Is an apology due to someone? How would they feel if someone responded that way if the child asked someone to do something? What process, words or signal could the child use to avert the situation? What exactly was so upsetting? And others reflective questions to help understand the situation.
I would like to encourage you to be in touch, by subscribing to the Blogs and Podcasts at justeducationfirst.com and commenting on what you liked or may disagree with. Also, on who you might like to hear from and learn more about. Submit questions, topics and suggestions to help me plan as we move forward.
Thank you for staying with us. See you before the end of the month in our new podcast series.