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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

Book: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging your relationships, making you sick, and holding your happiness hostage. Save 25% off regular price. We are closing our Store and only have a few copies of this book on hand.  Have you ever: * compared yourself to others and seemed to come up short? * felt like…

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…

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…

The Problem with Zero Tolerance and Push Out Strategies

contactHow 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…

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….