Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What I've Been Reading: Lost at School

© Brick by Brick
I read a lot of things. Since I'm finishing my university classes this semester, I read a lot about teaching for school and not much on my own time.

But I'm trying to read through all my "to be read" lists (and I have several...long ones). The book Lost at School by Ross W. Greene has been on my "education" list for a while. I checked it out from our great public library and have just finished it.

It was a really great book - one that kept me thinking and pondering.

This book focuses on kids with challenging behavior. You know those kids - the ones that always seem to be "in trouble." (This book focuses on elementary and older students.) The ones that don's seem to respond to discipline plans or incentives or consequences or anything. Throughout this book I kept thinking "I wish I knew this last year."

The core of this book: Behind every challenging behavior is an unsolved problem, a lagging skill, or both.

Students with challenging behavior are lacking thinking skills or problem-solving skills to deal with concerns so they use whatever tools they have to deal with the issues...and that leads to challenging behavior. This book presents a plan to help teachers and students work together to collaboratively solve problems in ways that are mutually satisfying.

This book reaffirmed my own thinking - behavior is telling us something. Usually unmet needs are at the core of challenging behavior. And working with kids (instead of forcing things on them) will help solve the problem and diminish the behavior.

Meeting needs - helping kids develop skills - helping kids discover other tools and other ways to act - great goals that every teacher can support. That's been my goal all along. This book just helped me rethink how I was doing it and what I could do differently.

As I work with kids from now on, I will look for ways to talk with them and discover their concerns. Not just impose my concerns or my solutions. Working WITH kids, not ON them.

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