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Cultivating Classroom Management - You Can Manage Your Classroom
24 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
Becoming a Trauma-informed educator
In this episode I speak about becoming a trauma-informed educator. More than ever, teachers, principals, district leaders, coaches and staff members must become attuned to the understanding of trauma and how it relates to behavior, actions and attitudes of students and of other adults in any given learning community. I discuss some of the findings of my work and what I have been teaching in my courses over the past few years. This list of mental health professionals who I have referred to is brief for the purposes of keeping this first episode concise, but there are many wonderful resources in the field. Levine, P. (1997) Waking the Tiger: The Innate capacity to heal from trauma. retrieved from: https://www.worldcat.org/title/waking-the-tiger-healing-trauma-the-innate-capacity-to-transform-overwhelming-experiences/oclc/36201037 Minahan, J. (2019), The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, Educational Leadership, 77 (2) 30-35. Van de Kolk, B. (2014) The Body Keeps the Score, Penguin, NY https://anchor.fm/behaviorbabe/episodes/Jessica-Minahan-on-Treating-Anxiety--Trauma-in-Public-Schools-e94kbi retrieved from: https://www.worldcat.org/title/waking-the-tiger-healing-trauma-the-innate-capacity-to-transform-overwhelming-experiences/oclc/36201037
25 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
The Trauma-Informed Classroom - Episode One
This podcast focuses on the trauma-informed classroom. Right now we are in a collective trauma caused by all the worldly strife that we are facing. As educators, it is essential to think about this trauma and how to share our ideas with our co-teachers, colleagues, teacher assistants, Paraprofessionals and counselors. Teachers can start to understand trauma and become more aware of it. Levine, P. (1997) Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, the Innate capacity to heal from trauma. Minahan, J. (2019), The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, Educational Leadership, 77 (2) 30-35. Van de Kolk, B. (2014) The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Penguin, NY https://anchor.fm/behaviorbabe/episodes/Jessica-Minahan-on-Treating-Anxiety--Trauma-in-Public-Schools-e94kbi
10 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
How to Survive and Thrive During Uncertain Times
If you are experiencing mental stress during these times of uncertainty you are not alone. Being new to remote teaching, online teaching or hybrid teaching would be hard enough without some of the "other challenges" such as students who are disengaged, changing formats set forth by administration, new demands or challenges with technology. In this podcast, I recommend some simple ideas for putting students first, seeing the big picture, feeling more confident and staying centered. What does good teaching mean in the face of ongoing challenges? It is my hope that this podcast will help teachers reflect on finding ways to be confident, to take risks, to show enthusiasm for one's subject matter and to seek help and support for the little "glitches" in technology that one is bound to face. Thank you for listening!.
13 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Burnout - Short Term Burnout
In this episode, I speak about how to recognize Burnout. This type of Burnout is a slow sizzle that catches you unaware. Too much screen time, constant planning or not being able to reach students who are disengaged feels very different I the virtual world than when teaching in person. Here’s how to spot if you are becoming burnt out (virtually).
22 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
School Discipline and Classroom Management - Unifying Practices
In this episode, there are many ideas for approaching school discipline as a support mechanism to improve overall climate and tone. This podcast speaks about the overlap in systematic approaches to school-wide disciplinary and classroom management as one system. This podcast also recommends reasons for using a team approach and at the same time recommends ideas for teachers when MTSS, PBIS or RJ/RP is not in place.
13 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
Promising Practices - Restorative Justice, Restorative Practices and MTSS
This episode focuses on essentials of building positive culture in a school learning community and in the classroom using proactive and preventative measures. Restorative Practices which continue to evolve from the field of Restorative Justice are built on community building and promoting pro-social behaviors through inclusive practices that invite communication and agency amongst members of the community. When Restorative Practices are practiced with fidelity throughout a school learning community it has potential to have impact on school culture, climate and tone. The restorative process, which was adapted to reduce removals, referrals to for detention or other consequences such as suspension can reduce incidents in schools. When students are empowered, but at the same time held accountable for behavior there is a different dynamic than one in which discipline is imposed from top-down. Restorative discipline is not meant to uproot a school discipline system or undo the school discipline code. It is meant to work with a larger behavioral health system within a school. Please listen to find out how the restorative process can be integrated with Tiers I and II of PBIS or MTSS. As a side note, there is a great deal of content and research that went into this podcast, however more detail is best covered in a publication. I hope for means of sharing this in the near future. References Watchtel, T. (2005), Social Discipline Window
19 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Really? Restorative Justice Now? Why?
In this episode, I speak on how Restorative Justice can play a role in the return back to schools. I start with a little narrative about myself, speak a great deal about current issues and finish with the implications for Restorative Justice. I am very vocal in this podcast and do not mince words. Maybe my New York hard edge needed to come out after staying in quarantine or being hit with some heavy emotions. I think this morning's new about violence in the streets and stray bullets has spurred off a need to get to the core of anti-violence. I believe teachers can make the difference. A thought: Start by visualizing someone you admire very much. Keep that vision in your head and ask what would he or she do? What would he or she say to me? Again, I hope that you have a smooth transition back. But now we need to visualize how to change classroom dynamics because the work is now - before school starts.
7 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Thoughts about. Classroom Management - As Schools Begin to Open
In this short podcast, I share some random thoughts about classroom management as we contemplate opening of schools in person, in hybrid fashion or some other unusual configuration. Schooling will never be the same, but isn't some of that a good thing?
6 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
Want to learn more about your own teaching? Do a demo video in the privacy of your own home.
If you want to improve your teaching skills, your behavioral management skills or just sharpen up your interview skills, do a demo video in the privacy of your own home. Creating a video just for ourselves, helps us to be better at teaching a skill or thinking about how to manage a behavior. It also helps us to identify habit that we do not know that we have such as facial expressions that emit the wrong message, off-putting body language or a tendency to not smile when we teach. The camera can pick up on nervousness, a voice tone that is too soft or not confident or a voice that is booming or overbearing. This is such a great tool to learn how to be better teachers and to even help compete when trying to land a teaching job. To begin: Think out a small demo lesson with simple, sequential steps to prep for the video. Mentally rehearse and then set up the camera so that the viewer can see your best, hear you audibly and focus on the skill that you are teaching. Film yourself or better yet, have a trusted family member or friend help you out with the filming (being safe of course). Next, watch the video back and being as objective as possible, go over the positives in the video and as objectively as possible, think out what could have been improved. Mentally take notes for the next time, REPEAT! Practice makes perfect.
25 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Tips, tricks and Strategies for Classroom Management - Updated
In this podcast, I go through some of the tips, tricks and strategies. These are strategies for face-to-face classroom management that I have enjoyed using in the classroom and sharing about in my time!
27 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
PBIS in a Nutshell
PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) is a school-wide tiered prevention/intervention system of behavioral support that is most prevalent or common in the United States. This podcast gives an overview of PBIS. More about this episode
7 minutes | Jun 10, 2020
A Time for Healing in schools
There is so much to discuss and it seems to be difficult to put into a format that is adequate. Still, it humbling to do so. I write and speak in the format that allows me to speak and I thank the podcasting industry for allowing me to do so. This freedom is so essential. Now, here is the message I want to share: It is time to consider how schools must change and face glaring issues that befall us. Although schools have been trying to re-think school discipline, classroom management and general governance principles, there is still a long way to go. Listen to this podcast to think about the healing that needs to be done during these difficult times. Disclaimer: I speak very strongly about standardized testing. I am for rigorous instruction, but certainly not a one-size-fits all approach. I am for academic excellence, but not at the cost of teaching the whole child. At the front lines, teachers, counselors and school leaders must enter a brave new world. We are entering a post-pandemic reality in which we have been forced to face glaring racial inequities, trauma and pain in response to the death-murder of George Floyd. I wish you great healing, love and peace in these difficult times.
13 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
Behavior Change - helpful terms and strategies
In this podcast, I go over specific terms to know when formulating behavioral plans. I review those terms and provide examples. I also would include references (see below). I highly recommend working with an IEP or the school behavior team when considering behavior planning for students with more intensive needs. References Iris Peabody Vanderbuilt website (n.d.) https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/fba/cresource/q2/p05/ Simonsen, B. & Myers, D. (2015) Classwide Postive Interventions and Supports: A Guide to Proactive Classroom Management..
30 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
In this episode, I review some basic principles of behavior change. This is a review of behavioral principles for students or small groups of students who may need more intensive behavioral supports. I highly recommend these resources. References Iris Peabody Vanderbuilt website (n.d.) https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/fba/cresource/q2/p05/ Simonsen, B. & Myers, D. (2015) Classwide Postive Interventions and Supports: A Guide to Proactive Classroom Management..
12 minutes | Apr 28, 2020
Tools of Engagement online - The Flipped Classroom Model
In this podcast, I speak about how the Flipped Classroom works to engage students and cut down on disengagement, acting out or boredom. I speak about the advantages and disadvantages of the Flipped Classroom model and why this model has potential.
9 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
How are you doing with Online Learning? Checking in
If you are anything like me, it isn't the teaching itself that is a challenge right now - it is all the interruptions. Maybe, it is your roommate, your family or your barking dog? Teaching online is vastly different from teaching in person. One thing is for sure, we need our learners to be engaged. In this podcast, I speak about the challenges and some ideas that I see as helpful for staying the course!
3 minutes | Apr 27, 2020
Check-in - How are you doing with online learning?
This is a very quick check-in about how I am doing with online learning. How are you doing? What have you learned in this process? Are you juggling your personal life with online learning? How are your learners doing with online learning? Can you imagine what else is happening in their home? This situation is tough for everyone. When this is all over, there is much to think about. One thing I wonder about is online learning and parent engagement, classroom management at home. How are you doing with that? Are your learners engaged? In this three-minute spot, I open up these questions.
10 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Seeing the Humanity in Ourselves and Others
As teachers we so often help students to make good choices. Whether the choice is as simple as not cutting class, not touching or hurting a peer or whether it is to do classwork or homework, there is a sense that a teacher is one who teaches underlying principles and ethics. Although the notion of teaching ethics is not popular in modern schooling, as teachers we lead children and teens to make ethical choices in how to behave, act and treat one another. At this time in our educational history, there is a different role that teachers must play. They must learn to see a broader perspective as virtual teaching is a narrow focus that only lets us see part of the ultimate struggle of students and families. During this most difficult time we learn how to look at a different perspective of others and ourselves. We must draw strength from deep within ourselves and focus on resilience. At the same time, we cannot be too hard on ourselves. Trauma affects the mind, body and how we perform. The renown Dutch psychiatrist, Bessel Van de Kolk has years of expertise on trauma and how it affects the brain, body, emotions and daily functioning. Although we can look at different generations and trauma that had to be faced, the heroism of how each generation was able to be resilient, come through the trauma and rebuild their lives, this is a different kind of trauma on a worldwide scale. The enemy is a faceless, cruel invader that we know not much about except that as it spreads, it mutates. The most common defense that we have right now is to stay inside at home and to practice social distancing, good hygiene and to be alert about our own physicality. As we shift our lifestyle to meet these new requirements, we must become internally focused. While many of us have spent the last year teaching, attending staff development, engaging in social events with family and friends; the time has come that we are forced to make an internal shift. Personally, I had a banner year of speaking in public upstate New York and at home in New York City, making presentations to fellow colleagues, teaching my graduate classes, facilitating workshops, attending professional development for myself and collaborating on planning a citywide conference. With all of these events grinding to a halt, I have become ever so much more aware of the need for being gentle with myself. I have also become aware of the need for balance of logic thinking with intuitive thinking, spirituality and hope. Many educators are used to spending time prepping for lessons, engaging in research or writing papers for a class or a presentation. But this is a time for deep internal work. This may be time to consider life's goals, but not to be hard on oneself and not to "force solutions". As we learn to accept our own humanity, become more still and peaceful, it is helpful for visualizing the humanity in others. When I start to get short with someone in my family or a student, it is important to remember that everyone is suffering and that although it may not seem like we are all in this together, we really are one in this fight. There is one fight to fight in terms of beating this nameless faceless enemy. May you enjoy this podcast or find a moment to be peaceful with yourself. Whether it is to read a little spiritual book or take a walk around the block (not near anyone), remember to see the humanity in yourself. Be good to yourself. Have patience and be loving to yourself. There will be time to advance and carry on your goals. Do not seek in desperation. Peace and Love! This is Cultivating Classroom Management.
14 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Teaching amidst Trauma - Learning to Lead
During this time of unprecedented trauma, grief, pain and heartbreak as teachers we have a challenge before us. There is a need to see through the lens of our own emotions outwardly to do the very best we can to lead our students, our parents and guardians and ourselves into the new world of communication through virtual classrooms. As we all structure our days around teaching and preparing to teach in a new way, there is a sense that as teachers, we too are learning to walk and talk in a different way. Through our deep seat fears, there have been many losses - of loved ones, neighbors, friends and public figures. We have lost dear ones and have witnessed our family members and friends mourn the loss of their dear ones, experience loss of jobs and not be able to pay the rent. We have scrambled for food and have had to worry whether we can buy our medications or basic supplies. We have also had to face being tempted, tested and face the ultimate trial of having to delay gratification. Delay of gratification for an adult is difficult during normal times. When think of those facing an addictions such as trying to quit smoking, resist that chocolate cake or stop shopping compulsively, it is difficult enough. But when we think about having to delay gratification for a basic human need such as socializing with your best friend or having to skip our book club meeting, not attend a work meeting or play it doesn't quite make sense. If this is difficult for an adult, imagine what it is like for our students? Suddenly, our students cannot see their classmates, attend their soccer game, run and play outside with groups of pals or go to a movie with their friends or family. Some of our students are so young, they have no idea what this even means. Our adolescents are facing time in the house instead of hanging out with friends and even our young adults are isolated, scared and facing having to be underemployed, unemployed or the last person standing on a job where everyone else is let go. During these hard times, we have to step up and be a presence. Being aware of this new virtual world can be advantageous. When we understand the multiple ways that students are taking on these big emotions and dealing with it, we can begin to be cognizant of how to set up a relationship that is new and different, to set expectations, to invite the students in and to help both students and parents learn about "learning" in different ways. First, we must understand how different it is to take in information in our "brave new world". Our students are learning through multi-modal ways more often than we know. This term is known as " Multiliteracies". Taking in information through print only is no longer the way that students learn. Think about how many ways that we as adults learn and all of the choices that are afforded by digital media and multiply it times ten. Our students are always taking in information via print, apps on their phone, social media, websites, videos, and countless other forms of multi-modal communication. Since the brain is constantly taking in new information, it is also having to filter the information, lest there is no energy to process it. As teachers it can be part of our job to direct that information to awaken students to take in information in a way that is meaningful and productive. Another role is to be a great encourager. In this podcast, I provide tips for not only leading students in these practices, but for finding ways to integrate learning experiences with parent/guardians, to build independence and curiosity and to create a virtual classroom that can spark great discussions or experiences. In the final analysis, teachers also have to re-engage themselves from the constant wear from trauma teaching. I end the podcast with some tips on how to do that. Thank you for listening!
17 minutes | Mar 30, 2020
Reducing Digital Clutter when Designing your Online Learning Program
Although fully online learning is a savings grace for our learners, one of the downsides for teachers experiencing the transition is having to design online learning in a fast and furious manner. Although it is wonderful to have a plethora of online tools and resources, sometimes it feels like too much. I speak about how to think about keeping a program simple and streamlined at the onset. It is important to think about learning online as making meaning for the learners, not just as a means to deliver content that will be quickly forgotten or tossed aside. Making meaning of the learning comes out of using the right tools, interactivity and finding meaningful investigations and choice projects for learners. Reducing digital clutter also means monitoring personal clutter in rudimentary ways such as keeping out of being inundated with news, social media, e-mails or texts. In this stressful time, it is easy to get lost in an information overflow. I am grateful to share some of the basic tips that have worked for me and to also share some of the areas of my own that need improvement. By opening myself up as a reflective teacher who has been engaging in online learning and taking many workshops, I hope to take out the self-consciousness of feeling the awkwardness of transitioning from in-person and hybrid models to fully online teaching. Thank you for listening and stay safe (at home) if your local authorities are calling for it!!
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