School Psych Made Simple

Staff Edition

Mid- Winter Blues

Here we are, Christmas vacation has come and gone and we are in the middle of our school calendar! The sentiment from one of my close friends after returning from break was, "I don't even remember how to teach!!" I felt the same way after 11 days of sleeping late, staying out late and simply doing whatever I wanted without worrying about educating the youth of America.

Jump-Start January

Now is the time to re-energize and get focused on how to make the next six months engaging and enjoyable for ourselves and our adorable little learners. I'm not the best at coming up with good ideas, but I like to think I know them when I see them! Here are a few things to give some thought to as we continue to forge relationships with our kids in order to help them grow and learn.
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Time Wisely Spent

The 2 x 10 strategy is a way to gain the allegiance of the child or two (or perhaps three or four depending on the classroom!) who are the most disruptive and least likely to go with your flow! Establishing a bond, not related to teaching these children anything, allows them to see you as a real person and someone who has taken a genuine interest in them. Kids who feel connected and truly cared about are less likely to look for attention in negative ways in the classroom. The time spent in enjoyable conversation with these kids could decrease the time you spend reprimanding them when they simply won't stop calling out for attention.
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Doing a Little Detective Work

In her blog, Glennon Doyle Melton shares a really interesting approach to looking at the patterns of popularity and social structure in the classroom by asking kids who they would like to sit with on a weekly basis. By getting this information privately from each child, a teacher is able to look at the trends and recognize who may need more support socially from week to week. It is like taking the social temperature of the class to find out who is hot and who is not and how to foster more interactions for the "cooler" kids.
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The Force Awakens

The big talk among many of our students (one first grader, in particular!) was seeing the Star Wars film over the break. As much as the cinematography was brilliant to watch, the themes embedded in the film are plentiful, ranging from peer pressure to family stresses to anger management issues. The Helpful Counselor provides some details to guide discussions or writing topics that will engage kids who have had the Force Awakened in them!
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