Why are we burning out all the professionals who help our kids?

pediatric profiler pictureBelow is the link to an article written by a relatively new teacher (about 5 years in the classroom) who lists all the things that she has done for her students and all the struggles they have experienced during her tenure.  She is strongly considering quitting the profession but wants the policy makers to understand why.

This burnout is not just occurring in the schools.  If you ask any of the professionals whose passion is helping children and adolescents, you will year the same issues, the same frustrations, and the same hopelessness about how we, as a society, are letting down our youth.

Love, Teach: What I Wish I Could Tell Them About Teaching in a Title I School

Please start a conversation here or among your colleagues about what she has said and what we can do, both at the grassroots level and at the policy level to turn this around. One thing is certain, we need our “in the trenches” professionals to be part of the conversation and solution, not just the ones who have to live with the “wisdom” of others.

Smart is Dumb

I always enjoying reading Robert Whipple’s blogs because our views on how to lead are so similar. And those that know me know that I refer to Detective Columbo frequently as a model of how to work with children and adolescents, rather than the way today’s TV cops interrogate suspects. So much more information is gained by softly leading others to insights, than by trying to ram it down their throats. And believe it or not, sometimes others, including our children and adolescents do have good reasons and ideas.

Dud ManagerIn his famous program, “Effective Negotiating,” Chester A. Karrass, makes the observation that, in negotiations, often appearing dumb is a great strategy.

The idea is that acting naïve causes the other party to fill in some blanks with information that may ultimately be helpful to you in the negotiation.

Conversely, acting as if you know everything is usually a bad strategy, because you end up supplying too much information too early in the conversation. This habit gives your opponent in the negotiation a significant advantage.

As I work with leaders in organizations of all sizes, a similar observation could be made about leadership. Being dumb is sometimes smart, and being too smart is often dumb. Let’s examine some examples of why this dichotomy is a helpful concept.

To make enlightened decisions, leaders need good information. It sounds simple, but in the chaos of every day organizational issues, it is sometimes…

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Why positive behavioral supports work better

pediatric profiler picture

It is refreshing to see that schools are now recognizing that zero tolerance and negative responses to all actions does not allow the student to develop a sense or mastery over their own behaviors.  Students need to know that they are meeting expectations, not to just assume that if they are not being criticized or punished they are doing what the teacher or principal wants.

As a society we need to remember that children and teens don’t have all the answers.  They need to hear often that they are making progress and developing mastery skills.  They are not choosing to do it wrong or to make things worse.  They need us to help them learn the steps to success.

Check out this article about how well positive behavioral supports work.

It’s Faux Trust

Parents, educators, and others who work with children with developmental and behavioral challenges on a daily basis will find Robert Whipple’s latest blog one to think about.
When dealing with challenging children/teens, we tend to blame them and demand that they comply with certain standards. But frequently they will point out the inconsistencies of this in that the adults don’t feel like they need to follow the same expectations. I have parents and teachers tell me that they will show a child/student respect after they receive respect from the child/student. What they fail to take into consideration is that children learn about life from us. If they never experience respect, even when very small, they don’t have a template on which to build an expression of respect for others.
A great example of children doing as they experience is when my children were small, the two older ones came to me and said that I had to stop swearing because their 18 month old sister was copying me. Now I didn’t think I was swearing but they said that my “Oh my God” when overwhelmed was swearing. Now I hate to admit it but my 18 month old did sound “cute” saying “Oh my God” in her toddler voice, but I respected my other children for speaking up about something they felt was important. So over the next few months she and I went through a transition of “Oh my God, gosh” to eventually “Oh my gosh”. Now she is in her 20’s and I am back to “Oh my God” and she says much worse, but I did show my children it was important to trust me that I would do the right thing when it was brought to my attention.
Recently, however, it came back to haunt my oldest child. Her 3 year old daughter came into my office, went to “her chair” and immediately said “Grandma, you have to move that “s..t”. I politely asked her to repeat herself to make sure I heard correctly and she said “Grandma, you need to remove your “s..t” so I can sit down. I then asked her (politely) to say “Grandma can you move your stuff so I can sit down” which she did graciously and I complied. I then texted her mother that Karma sucks and she now would have to clean up her language.
As you read this blog, look at where you may be demonstrating faux trust and think about how you can turn that around. It will help both you and the children/teens you work and live with.

?????????????????I get a lot of gift catalogs and always chuckle when they advertise the “faux plants.” Why they do not call them “fake plants” is pretty obvious. Nobody would want to buy something fake, so they give the items a fancy name as if that is really going to fool anyone. They keep doing it, so the method must be working for them.

I work in the arena of trust, and I think the notion of “faux trust” is one worth exploring. Stephen M.R. Covey dealt with the topic of faux trust behaviors very well in his first book, The Speed of Trust. Stephen identified 13 key trust behaviors and then identified the opposite behavior and also what he called the “counterfeit” behavior: one that looks real but is not genuine. Here is the list from Stephen’s book.

Trust Behavior –  Opposite –  Counterfeit

1. Talk straight –  Lie or…

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Helping Toddlers Expand Their Language Skills | Child Mind Institute

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Early language acquisition is instinctive, but parents can have a big impact on accelerating development. Here are some tips to help get kids talking.

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

How well does your child speak?  Where did he learn?  These are important questions that are closely related to how you, her parent, interacted with her during daily activities.

This is an extremely well written article that helps you learn the steps and strategies that will help your child develop a well developed language system.  And guess what, it doesn’t cost anything but time playing and interacting with your child!

Let me know how many of these strategies you are using with your children.  I would also love to hear of additional strategies that you found helpful.

See on www.childmind.org

Nice Kids Get Treated Nicely: Study

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Reputation matters among kindergarteners, Japanese researchers found

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is an important study not just for children but for parents and teachers when working with children.  In my practice I will frequently hear parents complain about their children not respecting them.  I ask if they model respect to their children and their reply is “I will show my child respect when he starts showing me respect.”  How do they know how to “do respect” if they have not seen it or experienced it?  Remember, our children learn from watching us – just think about swear words for example.

Let’s focus on being the models and providers of respect to children so they can learn how to do it. Then when they do it, let them know immediately that you appreciate their respect.

See on health.usnews.com

The $4 Million Teacher

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

South Korea’s students rank among the best in the world, and its top teachers can make a fortune. Can the U.S. learn from this academic superpower?

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is an extremely interesting article that highlights how inovation can improve education for children.  Of course it also talks of the increasing use of “shadow education systems” as they call tutoring centers.  But as this article points out, the children in South Korea have made significant advances over the US since the Korean War. They are now ahead of the US in many areas.

Why do we, even with tutoring centers, still lag behind countries like South Korea?  What can we learn from them to help our children succeed in life?

See on finance.yahoo.com