Getting past defenses, disinterest, and disengagement

Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein

Of all the challenges teachers face, the one mentioned most consistently over the years has been, “How do I engage kids who aren’t motivated and just don’t care?” Few things are more frustrated that having your planning and enthusiasm met with groans, shrugs, or eye rolls! What’s a teacher to do?

Here are all sorts of practical, positive ways to break down students’ defenses, pique their curiosity, and start seeing the light go on in their eyes. We’ll examine what’s underneath the behaviors we see as “unmotivated,” and look at effective, classroom-proven strategies to reach a wide range of students!

Learn simple, practical ways to avoid power struggles, defuse resistance, eliminate passivity and helplessness, and engage kids who have all but given up. We’ll also explore strategies for improving parent involvement and support, and building student responsibility, commitment and self-management.

Topics include making success possible for all students, accommodating a wide range of learning behaviors and academic abilities, making a connection and establishing emotional safety, creating win-win authority relationships, increasing positivity and meaningful feedback, supporting the needs of non-traditional learners, and putting the fun back in teaching!

These are techniques that can work with all kids at any grade or ability level.

Participants will learn to:

  • Challenge students appropriately to minimize the chances of kids “checking out” when they are bored or believe they cannot be successful in school
  • Improve engagement and time on task by accommodating kids’ cognitive, physiological, and neurological needs
  • Build collaboration and cooperation within the classroom and school
  • Improve the odds for success and engagement, even among students with a history of failure and marginalization
  • Improve school climate to minimize behavior problems based in social and emotional conflict (including reducing negative student interactions and bullying)
  • Develop simple, practical, and positive strategies for motivating student cooperation, commitment, and accountability
  • Increase time devoted to instruction and student engagement
  • Establish win-win authority relationships to accommodate kids’ needs for autonomy and choice, while reducing power-struggles, opposition, and indifference
  • Reduce negativity and stress in the classroom
  • Build relationships with and support from parents and colleagues

Note: A version of this presentation is also available for parents.

Information about related materials:

Book: The Win-Win ClassroomPositive Classroom Management
Book: The Beginning Teacher’s Survival Guide: Win-Win Strategies for Success
Book: Creating Emotionally Safe SchoolsA Guide for Educators and Parents
Book: Managing 21st Century Classrooms: How do I avoid ineffective classroom management practices?

Related links:

© 2016, Dr. Jane Bluestein

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