Tired of Nagging Your Kids?

Here’s What you Can Do Instead You’ve probably heard them all. “Awww, Mom!!” “Do I have to.” Or my all-time favorite, “You can’t make me!” Or maybe your kids’ routines are more along the lines of pouting, arguing, ignoring you (or agreeing and then ignoring you). Either way, in the day-to-day dealings with children, there…

Motivating the Unmotivated

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…

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…

Book: Managing 21st Century Classrooms

How to avoid ineffective classroom management practices! You know all those behavior management strategies we learned to use? Well guess what! Some of them are actually making things worse! It’s long past time for our approach to classroom management to catch up to the kids we’re teaching. This easy-to-read book explores common misconceptions about classroom management and…

It’s Only Disrespect if I Think it’s Disrespect

Attitudes are in the eye— and ear— of the beholder Do you have snarky people in your life? This post was adapted from material originally written for beginning teachers. The same ideas and strategies are equally effective in home and work environments, as well as any educational setting. Just substitute “student” (or “kid”) for “child,”…

“Magic” Sentences for Effective Communication

Positive language for avoiding conflict, negotiating agreements, and taking care of yourself “Magic Sentences” are key phrases that offer practical ways to use specific language to prevent, minimize, or de-escalate conflicts with others. Different sentences will be useful in different situations. These examples represent a win-win approach to relationships, and while they were originally developed for…

What’s Wrong with I-Messages?

Problems with a popular formula © 1991, 1999, 2003, 2013 This article was originally written for an issue of Families in Recovery, a parenting magazine that is no longer in print. Although the examples primarily feature parent-child interactions, the dynamics, issues, and alternatives are applicable to any relationship. A man in one of my workshops…

What’s so Hard About Win-Win?

Getting past old win-lose traditions This article was written for Educational Leadership magazine. A similar version appeared in the September 2011 edition of that magazine. Talk about safe, respectful schools and at some point, the term win-win is bound to come up. First coined in the 1920s by human relations and management pioneer Mary Parker…

Rules and Boundaries

Effectively creating structure in your classroom When I started teaching, I had some reservations about being completely in charge and responsible for the rules, so I tried involving the students in this task. Part of my intention was an honest stab at building a positive, win-win classroom environment, wanting to acknowledge the students’ needs for…

5 Characteristics of a Good Boundary- For Educators

 A positive, effective shift from rules and punishments Unlike rules (with punishments or negative consequences), boundaries* are characterized by the following: Clarity Boundaries are clear, specific and clearly communicated. They work best when you have the students’ attention, when they understands what you’re requesting, when the positive outcome of their cooperation is clear and when…