Rethinking Labels and Grades

As a Special Education educator, I have struggled my entire career with the various labels that are assigned to students in our schools.  When students are viewed through the lens of their particular label, whether it be dyslexic or autistic, learning disabled or...

Our students need to struggle

  Jo Boaler recently wrote an article that began with the following paragraph: “As parents and teachers, we do just about everything we can to make sure that children don’t struggle. It turns out we are making a terrible mistake. Research shows that struggling is...

How do we ask?

There are two common ways that teachers make requests when teaching. One is called a start-up request and the other is called a shutdown request. For example,   “We need quiet hands please,”  is a start-up request. The instructor is asking for a new behavior.    “Stop...

Behavior Chart Drama

I recently viewed a funny clip from the Ellen Show featuring a very articulate kindergartner who took great delight in explaining his classroom’s color behavior chart to Ellen. It was quite complicated and Ellen was struggling to understand it. Earlier this week I ran...

Teaching Behavioral Expectations

In my last post, I stated that children misbehave in school because they lack the skills to be successful.  I realize this doesn’t include all misbehavior, because every student has his own set of life circumstances that he/she brings to school, but I do contend that...