Archive | Educators

Starting Fresh

Beginning a new year. Or a new day. Note: I started this post on Feb. 8, 2014 and, like many things I started during the time I was working on the perfectionism book, lost track of it before I finished. I think the idea of coming back more than 2 years later to complete this […]

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Increasing Success for ALL Students

Strategies for changing or maintaining the students’ level of alertness and attentiveness There will be times when your students are starting to drift off or glaze over but you need their attention for a few more minutes before the bell rings. Or they come in all wound up and you need them to settle down […]

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Ways to Build Tolerance and Respect for Diversity

Practical strategies for positive change • Pay attention to peer-to-peer interactions. Increase awareness, advocacy, and a willingness to take immediate, positive action (regarding how kids treat one another). • Advocate for the underdog. Encourage kids to connect with children who seem isolated. Emphasize the value of inclusion. • Interrupt any instances of meanness, name calling, […]

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Wish List for Beginning Teachers

Interviews with new teachers reveal what they want most: Encouragement: Feedback that builds on their strengths, not just cautions to “do better” or “try harder.” Fairness: Not being placed in the toughest schools, given the most challenging students, or being the first asked to make last-minute room or grade level changes Honesty: Discovering that teaching […]

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Fear, Stress, and Learning

Obstacles to the learning process Excerpt from “Learning and the Brain,” chapter 4 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is available on […]

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Background and ESSA Context The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA—now also coined as the “Every Student Succeeds Act”—ESSA) was passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 10, 2015. It will be phased in over the next two years, and will not be fully in place until the 2017-18 school year when […]

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Presentation: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging our relationships, making us sick, and holding our happiness hostage Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Perfectionism may sound like a good thing, but it’s entirely different from the more realistic and achievable healthy pursuit of excellence. Working diligently toward improvement, learning, and growth is also far less destructive (and […]

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Book: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging your relationships, making you sick, and holding your happiness hostage. Have you ever: * Felt like no matter how much you did or how hard you tried, it wasn’t enough? * Compared yourself to others and seemed to come up short? * Set unrealistic, even harmful standards for […]

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Bibliography for The Perfection Deception

Resources for Bluestein Perfectionism Book Note: The following list includes the resources cited in the book, The Perfection Deception. Contributions are identified as obtained through email, written correspondence, personal messages, posts or comments on social media, telephone conversations, or face-to-face interviews or conversations between March 2013 and June 2015. This list does not include individuals […]

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Checklist: Characteristics of Positive Teacher-Student Relationships

Evaluate your relationships Use this checklist to evaluate patterns in your current relationships with your students. If you have implemented a specific discipline or motivation approach, does it encourage relationships in which the following are true? (Click here for a description of each category.) Proactivity: ___ I focus on prevention–not reaction. ___ I attempt to […]

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I-Messages: The Handout

More information about a destructive communication pattern This handout was developed to accompany a free online article, “What’s Wrong with ‘I-Messages’?” I first wrote about the problems with using this formula to try to get people to change their behavior in 1991. Evidence based on outcomes of using this formula has only strengthened my opinion. There are […]

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Making a Mistake in Front of Your Class

A defining moment in every teacher’s life How do you handle mistakes you make in front of your class? Some important lessons these two authors learned in observing teachers. In Anchorage, Alaska, a first-year teacher made a spelling error on the board during the first week of school. As often happens in these kinds of […]

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The Problem with Zero Tolerance and Push Out Strategies

How these programs are making things worse On March 4, 2015, I had the privilege of keynoting the National Youth At Risk Conference for the second time. In meeting with many of the participants who attended the keynote and my follow-up session, as well as what I’ve observed in my visits to schools around the country and […]

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Preventing Bullying in the Digital Age

Understanding and managing cyberspace aggression Guest blogger Amy Williams shares what to watch for and how to prevent meanness in the digital age. The ripple effect of bullying can be felt across all lanes of life. Similar to raging drivers on the road, aggressive Internet users can create a threatening environment for the people around them. […]

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Respect, Reflection, and Resources

Tips to Improve Teacher Efficacy Guest blogger, Dr. Jared Scherz, offers some ideas for teachers to enhance their professional growth and their experience as a professional educator. Respect Teachers need to be treated like professionals, offered meaningful feedback but allowed and encouraged to provide input of their own. If adjustments are needed, they are informed […]

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Top 5 Tips for Connecting with Parents

Building great home-school relationships right from the start I once heard a school administrator remind her staff, “Parents don’t send their bad kids to school and keep the good ones home. They send us the best they’ve got.” Teachers don’t get to handpick our “clientele.” The mix of students will include kids with a variety of skills, […]

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Product: “Pads” on the Back

Like Getting a Hug on Paper by Dr. Jane Bluestein & Dr. Lynn Collins Now available as Post-It® Notes! After selling the last of thousands of the original product, we decided to reprint these “Pads,” this time as a set of sticky notes. The new pads are now available in 5 packs of 50 sheets, and […]

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Starting Off on a New School Year

What to do on those first few days As is common for this time of year, I’ve been working with groups of educators getting ready for the beginning of a new school year. As is also common, I found that in addition to the usual questions I get about authority relationships, challenging students, and creating a win-win […]

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