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Introductory teacher training manual

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    Introductory teacher training manual Introductory teacher training manual Document Transcript

    • Introductory Teacher Training Manual For New and Substitute Teachers Learning the basic and essential skills that everyone who works with students in a classroom setting should know.
    • ----------------------------------------------------Introduction and Contents ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 2 Completing the Online Training The manual does contain all the content taught in the Introductory Teacher Training program, however it does not contain the lesson quizzes or Exams required to complete this training program. To complete the online training you will still need to create an account with us and complete the Final Exams online to earn your printable Certificates of completion. Contacting the Sub-Hub™ Use the information below to contact the Sub-Hub™ Mailing Address: The Sub-Hub 509 N. Tampa St., Suite 2A Tampa, FL 33602 Website: www.thesub-hub.com Guide to this Manual Throughout this manual you will come across several icons (shown below) which are intended to call your attention to a particular activity or idea. Main Concept This icon draws your attention to a summary statement highlighting the main concept of a lesson or section. Reflection This icon identifies a personal reflective moment or question which you may want to take time to address. Action Step At times we will suggest that you take an action step stemming from what you’ve just learned in the lesson or section. Brain Bit This icon is used to highlight research associated with a particular concept, idea or technique.
    • ----------------------------------------------------Introduction and Contents ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 3 Table of Contents COURSE ONE - SUBSTITUTE TEACHING 101 ...............................................................8 LESSON ONE – ASSESSING YOUR SKILLS.........................................................................8 ASSESSING YOUR SKILLS..........................................................................................9 Subject Areas............................................................................................ 10 My Skill Set - Exercise Part One ..................................................................... 11 WORKING WITH DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS ...................................................................... 12 Early Learning Group (Ages 2 – 6) ................................................................... 13 Elementary School Group (Ages 6 – 11)............................................................. 14 Middle School Group (Ages 11 – 14) ................................................................. 15 High School Group (Ages 14 – 18) .................................................................... 16 My Skill Set – Exercise Part Two ..................................................................... 17 LESSON TWO – WORKING WITH SCHOOLS ..................................................................... 18 WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?................................................................................... 19 Policies and Procedures ............................................................................... 20 When Things Go Wrong ................................................................................ 21 Bloodborne Pathogens ................................................................................. 23 Exposure Prevention ................................................................................... 23 Child Abuse & Neglect ................................................................................. 25 Child Abuse Reporting ................................................................................. 26 What I Need to Know Questionnaire ................................................................ 27 LESSON THREE – ESTABLISHING YOUR LEADERSHIP........................................................... 28 TO TEACH IS TO LEAD.......................................................................................... 29 Being the Leader........................................................................................ 29 Applications of Leadership Techniques............................................................. 30 Why Do I Need to Be the Leader? .................................................................... 31 TEACHER TALK................................................................................................. 32 Positive Phrasing........................................................................................ 32 Applications of Positive Phrasing.................................................................... 33 Pause Time............................................................................................... 33 Why Use Pause Time? .................................................................................. 34 I” Message................................................................................................ 35 Applications of “I” Messages ......................................................................... 35 LESSON FOUR – POSITIVE DISCIPLINE ......................................................................... 36 MAINTAINING DISCIPLINE ....................................................................................... 37 Applications of Positive Discipline Techniques.................................................... 38 Why Use Positive Discipline Techniques............................................................ 38 MANAGING YOUR STRESS....................................................................................... 39 Rituals – Importance of Structure ................................................................... 39 Applications of Rituals ................................................................................ 40 Affirmations and Visualization....................................................................... 40
    • ----------------------------------------------------Introduction and Contents ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 4 Energy .................................................................................................... 41 Managing Student Stress .............................................................................. 42 LESSON FIVE – HONORING DIVERSITY ......................................................................... 43 HONORING DIVERSITY .......................................................................................... 44 Types of Student Diversity............................................................................ 44 DIVERSITY AND BULLYING PREVENTION ......................................................................... 45 How Kids Bully Others ................................................................................. 46 Forms of Bullying ....................................................................................... 46 Who Gets Bullied? ...................................................................................... 48 Handling Bullying ....................................................................................... 49 LESSON SIX – LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS ........................................................................ 50 CROSSING LEGAL LINES ........................................................................................ 51 DON’TS – Never Become Violent with Students ................................................... 51 DON’TS – Never Touch a Student in a Sexual Manner............................................ 52 Sub-Hub Policy – Just Don’t Touch .................................................................. 53 Positive Ways to Work Without Touch.............................................................. 55 Harassment .............................................................................................. 56 Recognizing and Handling Harassment ............................................................. 56 CROSSING LINES OF APPROPRIATENESS ......................................................................... 58 DON’TS – Avoid Discussing Students................................................................. 58 DON’TS – Avoid Parent Gossip........................................................................ 59 DON’TS – Avoid Talking to Students Like Friends................................................. 59 Keeping Your Speech Professional................................................................... 60 Minimum Necessary Rule.............................................................................. 61 COURSE TWO - ADVANCED CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT .............................................. 64 LESSON ONE – CALMING STUDENT NERVES ................................................................... 64 UNDERSTANDING STUDENT RESISTANCE ........................................................................ 65 Comforting Little Guys & Gals ....................................................................... 66 Appealing to the Mutual Respect of Older Students............................................. 66 LESSON TWO – MANAGING THE ROOM ........................................................................ 67 Global Scan .............................................................................................. 68 Developing Global Scan................................................................................ 68 Walkabout................................................................................................ 69 Using the WALKABOUT to Stop Disruption ......................................................... 69 LESSON THREE – GET AND KEEP THEIR ATTENTION .......................................................... 70 Be Quiet! ................................................................................................. 71 Attention-Getting Tricks .............................................................................. 71 Staying On-Task......................................................................................... 72 On-Task Techniques .................................................................................... 73 LESSON FOUR – POSITIVE DISCIPLINE ......................................................................... 74 BRIBERY AND COERCION: THE CARROT AND THE STICK ......................................................... 75 Alternatives to Bribery: Rewarding Positive Behavior........................................... 75 Alternatives to Coercion: Applying Consequences Calmly ...................................... 77
    • ----------------------------------------------------Introduction and Contents ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 5 PICK YOUR BATTLES – IS THIS REALLY A PROBLEM OR IS AN EGO THING? ....................................... 79 Diffusing Argumentative Behavior .................................................................. 79 SITUATIONAL PITFALLS ......................................................................................... 80 Pitfall Preparation ..................................................................................... 81 LESSON FIVE – POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ........................................................... 82 The Emotionally Safe Learning Environment...................................................... 83 Routine vs. Spontaneity ............................................................................... 83 Never Humiliate, Use Sarcasm or Belittle Students!............................................. 84 Respecting Physical Needs ............................................................................ 84 It’s Ok to Be Imperfect ................................................................................ 85 COURSE THREE - INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES ........................................................ 87 LESSON ONE – BEING PREPARED .............................................................................. 87 Organizational Processes.............................................................................. 88 Organizational Materials.............................................................................. 89 Establishing Expectations of Behavior.............................................................. 90 Personal Expectations of Behavior .................................................................. 90 LESSON TWO – THE UNIQUE LEARNER ........................................................................ 92 THE UNIQUE LEARNER.......................................................................................... 93 LEARNING STYLES .............................................................................................. 93 A – The Auditory Learner.............................................................................. 94 V – The Visual Learner ................................................................................. 95 K/T – The Kinesthetic/Tactual Learner............................................................. 96 Your Learning Style .................................................................................... 97 MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES ...................................................................................... 97 Characteristics of Each Intelligence ................................................................ 98 Intelligent” Lesson Plan .............................................................................. 100 LESSON THREE –.............................................................................................. 101 BRAINY” TECHNIQUE.......................................................................................... 102 MIND-MAPPING ............................................................................................... 102 Encouraging Mind-Mapping .......................................................................... 103 MUSICAL INSPIRATION ......................................................................................... 104 Suggested Music for the Classroom ................................................................ 104 COOPERATIVE LEARNING ...................................................................................... 105 Using Cooperative Learning Effectively ........................................................... 106 LESSON FOUR – CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING............................................................ 107 ASSESSING STUDENT UNDERSTANDING......................................................................... 108 Creative Assessment .................................................................................. 108 Fearless Assessment................................................................................... 109 Positive Critique – Grading with a Purpose ....................................................... 110 Effective Grading: Description, Correction & Encouragement................................ 111
    • ----------------------------------------------------Introduction and Contents ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 6 LESSON FIVE – EFFECTIVE LESSON PLANS ................................................................... 112 Writing Effective Lesson Plans ...................................................................... 113 Create Your Own Lesson Plan! ...................................................................... 113 COURSE FOUR - EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT EDUCATION ...............................................114 LESSON ONE – DEFINING SPECIAL NEEDS .................................................................... 114 EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT EDUCATION ........................................................................... 115 Defining Special Needs ............................................................................... 115 People-First Language ................................................................................ 116 Positive Language ..................................................................................... 117 LESSON TWO – SCHOOL PROCEDURES........................................................................ 118 School Procedures and Special-Needs.............................................................. 119 Exceptional Student Educational Plans............................................................ 119 Working with Paraprofessionals .................................................................... 120 LESSON THREE – COMMON DISORDERS ....................................................................... 122 COMMON DISORDERS .......................................................................................... 123 Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ............................................... 123 Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) .............................................................. 125 Conduct Disorder (CD) ................................................................................ 126 AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS ................................................................................ 127 Autism – Common Aspects ........................................................................... 128 Asperger’s Disorder ................................................................................... 128 LESSON FOUR – GENERAL STRATEGIES....................................................................... 130 STRATEGIES & TECHNIQUES ................................................................................... 131 A Balanced Approach.................................................................................. 131 Using Pictures .......................................................................................... 133 Applying Use of Pictures ............................................................................. 134 Importance of Routine................................................................................ 135 Your Changing Strategy............................................................................... 136 LESSON FIVE – NON-INSTRUCTIONAL ASPECTS............................................................... 138 NON-INSTRUCTIONAL ASPECTS ................................................................................ 139 Medications ............................................................................................. 139 Heightened Bullying................................................................................... 140 Working with Parents ................................................................................. 141 COURSE FIVE - WORKING WITH AT-RISK YOUTH ......................................................143 LESSON ONE – WHO IS AT-RISK?............................................................................. 143 Who is At-Risk?......................................................................................... 144 Recognizing At-Risk Youth ........................................................................... 145 Identifying Signs of Youth Who are At-Risk....................................................... 145 Examples of At-Risk Youth........................................................................... 146 Reflection: At-Risk Kids I’ve Known................................................................ 148 LESSON TWO – FUNDAMENTAL BUILDING BLOCKS ........................................................... 149 Fundamental Human Needs.......................................................................... 150
    • ----------------------------------------------------Introduction and Contents ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 7 Providing Building Blocks............................................................................. 150 Thinking Building Blocks.............................................................................. 152 LESSON THREE – BEST PRACTICES ........................................................................... 153 The Importance of Structure ........................................................................ 154 Being Consistent ....................................................................................... 154 Compassionate Approach............................................................................. 155 Catch Them Doing Right.............................................................................. 156 Set Challenging, Achievable Expectations ........................................................ 157 Compassion vs. Pity ................................................................................... 158 LESSON FOUR – ACADEMICS AT-RISK ........................................................................ 160 ACADEMICS AND AT-RISK STUDENTS........................................................................... 161 Putting Learning in Context ......................................................................... 161 Not Relying on Support from Home ................................................................ 163 Use Peer Support and Mentoring ................................................................... 163 Be Aware of Undiagnosed Medical Conditions.................................................... 164 LESSON FIVE – COMPASSION FATIGUE........................................................................ 166 COMPASSION FATIGUE......................................................................................... 167 Handling Compassion Fatigue ....................................................................... 167 Family and Compassion Fatigue..................................................................... 169 Preventing Compassion Fatigue..................................................................... 169 SUBSTITUTE NECESSITIES ..................................................................................170 APPENDIX......................................................................................................171 My Skill Set............................................................................................. 172 What I Need to Know - Questionnaire ........................................................... 173 10 Steps to Be Prepared ............................................................................ 174 Sample Expectations of Behavior................................................................... 175 Learning Styles Assessment.......................................................................... 176 Substitute Teacher Report......................................................................... 180 Lesson Plan Template ............................................................................... 182 Fundamental Human Needs ........................................................................ 185 Avoiding Compassion Fatigue ..................................................................... 186 Teaching Inclusively for ESOL Students......................................................... 187 My Tolerance Scale .................................................................................. 188
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 8 Course One – Substitute Teaching 101 This course provides substitute teachers with the essential tools and information they need in order to perform the job. This includes how to work professionally with schools and school districts, students, co-workers and parents. It also includes fundamentals of classroom management and positive discipline. Lesson One – Assessing Your Skills This lesson covers the following: Assessing Your Skills Subject Areas My Skill Set – Exercise Part One Working with Different Age Groups Early Learning Group Elementary School Group Middle School Group High School Group My Skill Set – Exercise Part Two
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 9 Assessing Your Skills One of the most important first steps you must take when you decide to begin working as a substitute is to make a fair and honest assessment of your own skills. By taking assignments, especially at the OUTSET of subbing, which fit within your current skills you ensure success and will gain new skills through additional subbing experiences. Skills assessment includes which subjects you are qualified to teach and what age groups you are prepared to handle. Oftentimes people feel that they are ready to teach any age group or any subject simply because they took that subject “back when they were in school,” or because they are parents, “I have 2 teenagers, how hard can it be to teach High School?” SUBJECTS The reality is that substitute teachers DO actually have to be able to teach the subjects that they say they are prepared to cover. The days of busy-work and Teacher’s Edition textbooks are behind us! Today’s teachers work extremely hard to build engaging, multi-faceted and fast-paced curricula and students cannot be led by somebody who cannot adequately teach the subject. At times substitutes will be needed to cover a teacher for the better part of a week, month or even a semester. Schools must be able to trust that you have only listed subjects which you can teach to the students. This does not necessarily mean you have to have a PhD in the topic, but it does mean you have to have either a very thorough and/or a very recent exposure to the topic. AGE GROUPS An additional reality of substitute teaching is that working with GROUPS of children and/or teens requires a vastly different skill set than working with individual or small numbers of children and teens. In other words, just being a parent or babysitting does not mean that you will be prepared to handle tens to hundreds of students. Additionally, having a lot of experience with teenagers will not prepare you to work with toddlers and vice versa. The rest of this lesson will focus on helping you to examine your current skills and tools and to accurately assess how they may best apply to being a substitute. That said, by the time you have completed this whole course, you will be better prepared to serve as a substitute for any age group and we hope that you will enjoy the opportunity to expand your skills. Many school districts offer ANY assignment to all subs in their sub pool, meaning it’s up to you to decide whether to take an assignment or not. Be sure to take the time to really consider your skills and only take those assignments which you are actually qualified to teach! This will only make you more valuable to the district.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 10 Subject Areas: How much Expertise is Enough? It can be challenging to assess whether or not you know a subject area well enough to teach it to others. If you’ve taught a subject before either as a sub, teacher’s assistant, tutor, or professional teacher, it is likely that this subject area will qualify as a skill you can honestly claim. Even if you have only taught the subject on a handful of occasions, having done so will help you to decide if you feel qualified to do so again. If you have never taught a subject before it can be more difficult to assess your readiness to do so. The best way to generate an accurate list of your skills in this case is to follow these steps: Step One: Create a List Generate a list of all subjects you feel that you studied in particular depth, or over a long period of time. For example, perhaps you’ve been playing the piano for 12 years. Step Two: Prioritize Place subjects in which you have a great deal of experience or for which you have a strong passion at the top of the list. Place those subjects where you have the least experience or passion at the bottom of the list. Step Three: Qualify Next to each subject list your experience with or exposure to it. List how many years you studied the topic, and at what level. For example, “I studied math throughout high school including Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus. I also studied higher Calculus in college.” Or, for example, “I studied Spanish, but only through 9th grade.” List how RECENTLY you engaged in active study of the subject. Step Four: Assess Examine your list and assess it honestly. If your experience with a subject area was more than 5 years ago or was less than 1 year’s training, especially at or below the high-school level, then you may not be qualified to teach the subject. It is important to the school and your students that you try your best to list your skills as accurately as possible.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 11 My Skill Set – Exercise Part One In the Appendix of this course you will find a document named My Skill Set. Go to the Appendix and print out this document. Complete the exercise described on the previous page and then list the Subject Areas you identify on the My Skill Set document. In the next section of this lesson you will learn how to assess your ability to work with different Age Groups as well. You may want to bring a copy of this completed document to all your school interviews or supply it to the school district during your application process and we guarantee the school will be impressed and enthusiastic to work with you. Demonstrating such preparation at the outset ensures that you will be given many opportunities to serve as a substitute teacher. Reflection We strongly suggest taking assignments in the beginning which you feel fit your current skills well so that you can set yourself up to be very successful. However, after you’ve had a chance to take several successful assignments, you may want to “branch out” to work with a new age group or in a different topic area. Take some time now to think and write about what steps you might take to ready yourself to take a different assignment. How could you increase your skills or learn more about a different age group or topic area?
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 12 Working with Different Age Groups As a substitute you may be asked to work with children ranging in age from 2 to 18 years old. Children of different ages vary widely in their development and needs. It is important when assessing what age groups you are qualified to work with that you examine the characteristics of these different groups and what you must be prepared to do in order to work with each of them. Early Learning The first group is often called the Early Learning or Daycare group. These children will range in age from 2 to 6 years old. You will need to understand the developmental needs of toddlers in order to work with this group. Don’t think that you won’t be teaching them, however. Even toddlers have rich curricula of topics that they will cover in your care. Elementary School Group The second group is the Elementary School group. These children will range in age from 6 to 11 years old. You will work with many other teachers in the school to provide the full range of learning topics for this group. This group will be beginning to receive grades for subject work. Middle School Group The third group is the Middle School group. These students will range in age from 11 to 14 years old. Though many people feel that middle school students are “hard to work with,” they can be great fun if you are well-prepared. High School Group The fourth group is the High School group. These students will range in age from 14 to 18 years old. Many people assume that teaching high school students will be “easiest” because they are so close to being adults. The reality is that each age group presents its own challenges and rewards. Adequate preparation is always the key to handling an age group professionally. Let’s move on to explore the specific needs and characteristics of each group in more detail.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 13 Early Learning Group (Ages 2 – 6) Summary: Typically teachers working with this group have the same students all day long, often from early in the morning to the early evening. Early learners participate in a range of activities with the same teachers and often in the same room/playground space all day. Physical 2 – 3 year olds thrive on unstructured play, such as running, swinging, climbing, and playing in the sandbox or at a water table. They may be in diapers and require oversight/assistance with toileting. They will need naps. 4-6 year olds can participate in organized games and have developed better eye-hand coordination so they can roll or kick balls and play catch. They require oversight/assistance with toileting. They may need naps. Providing them with a snack or meals may be part of the daily routine. Social 2-3 year olds enjoy playing alongside another child. They may resist adult demands, are most comfortable with routine, and are not able to make decisions. 3-4 year olds like to share and engage in cooperative play, imitate adult behavior and may have an imaginary friend. 4-5-6 year olds prefer to pay with other children and becomes competitive Emotional 2-3 year olds fear separation from familiar adults, have a sense of humor and can understand facial expressions of others 3-4 year olds are affectionate and may have imaginary fears 4-6 year olds feel pride in accomplishments and can accept responsibility Intellectual/Language Development 2-3 year olds have a vocabulary of between 150 and 900 words, respond to requests such as “show me your nose (arm, hand foot), should not be expected to answer all question even though understands what is expected. 4-5 year olds follow directions even though the objects are not in sight, understand contrast, such as long/longer, talk about activities as they participate You are likely to have to deal with changing children or assisting in changing clothes. You may hold or cradle the children (if very young). For this reason you must be very aware of what constitutes APPROPRIATE TOUCH with children and be sure to follow procedures that protect you from an accusation of impropriety.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 14 6 year olds can follow three commands given without interruption, understand simple time concepts (later, morning, tomorrow), can repeat sentences as long as nine words. All benefit from participation in a range of activities: art, music, pre- reading/reading, work with number concepts, computer games, nature studies Learn best by playing, hands-on activities, observing others, listening to others, and interacting with others. Elementary School Group (Ages 6 – 11) Summary: Students in this group exhibit a wide range of physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. If you are subbing in an arts or physical education position, you should expect to work with many different groups of children who come to your classroom. If you are subbing in a classroom teacher position, you may have the same group of children all day and be expected to escort them to activities, taught by other teachers, such as art, music, or physical education. Be prepared to have children in your care/room for the majority of the day. Physical With younger children oversight of toileting activities may be required. Poised for new learning experiences and have the ability to absorb new skills required for both team and individual sports quickly. Some may not like to participate in competitive sports but non-competitive activity, such as dance, swimming, walking, running should be encouraged. Social Relates to peers according to rules Progresses from free play to interactions that require teamwork Need for self-discipline increases with each year More able to sit quietly and listen Bullying occurs more frequently As puberty approaches, romantic relationships are mimicked Be prepared in ANY school setting to supervise children during lunch, recess, in the hallways, and for brief periods before and after school. Be sure to understand your responsibilities. Ask the school, “Is it the regular teacher’s turn to perform any of these additional duties?”
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 15 Emotional Structure and routine make this age group feel secure, 90% expected activities and 10% surprises Need adult guidance as they experience a variety of ideas, opinions and attitudes divergent from the home Sensitive to comments from others Intellectual Engages in organized, logical thought Problem-solving skills evolve and include less self-oriented solutions Can reverse quantities (4+3 is the same as 3+4) Reading, math, writing, science, social studies skills are the main focus of instruction in classrooms. Middle School Group (Ages 11 – 14) Summary: While this age group exhibits a wide range of physical development, what is more pronounced is the range in emotional development between ages at the lower and higher ends. This group is going through one of the most complicated stage of human development, puberty. Be kind but FIRM! Consistency in the application of discipline is ESSENTIAL when working with this group. Be prepared to see different groups of students throughout the day. Try to get to know them as quickly as you can. Physical Growth spurt for boys occurs 2.5 years later than for girls, onset for boys is 12.5 and the onset for girls is 10.5 Sexual maturation is the main change during puberty. Adolescents are preoccupied with their body image. Wide range of maturation, given two individuals of the same age, one may have completed puberty before the other has begun. Students may be physically larger than teachers and subs should not be intimidated by this. Social Students are a million times more interested in interacting with each other than focusing on what is being taught. Romantic relationships develop. A pecking order is important to this group.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 16 Sexual harassment, bullying, and sexual overtures toward each other and sometimes toward the teacher occur. Harassment and bullying takes less obvious forms. Bullying and harassment can occur on-line or outside of school and spill over into the classroom environment. Emotional Strong emotions caused by hormonal changes create stress among this group. Girls have more negative self-images than boys. Students are exerting their independence and may challenge authority. Structure and routine are essential to feelings of security and safety. Even if adolescents act like they do not want to be told what to do, they may secretly appreciate guidance. Intellectual The level of instructional material requires a teacher trained in a specific subject area. Computer and internet access is more frequently used as an instructional tool and subs must know school policies regarding use of this technology. Adolescents are capable of solving abstract problems such as algebraic equations. Adolescents can imagine the ideal characteristics in themselves, others and their environment. Adolescents systematically test solutions to problems. High School Group (Ages 14 – 18) Summary: Though the range in age suggests a wide range in physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of the students, in many ways this can be a less volatile group than the middle school group. They are growing into their adult selves and gaining confidence. Consistency in the application of discipline is ESSENTIAL when working with this group. Be prepared to see different groups of students throughout the day. Try to get to know them as quickly as you can. Physical Students in the early years of high school exhibit a wide range of physical development By the end of high school, most students are fully matured. Students may be physically larger than teachers and subs should not be intimidated by this. Social Romantic relationships develop Bullying is still prevalent but tends to lessen as the capacity for empathy grows.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 17 Believes others are as preoccupied with them as they are with themselves. Believe they are personally unique. Emotional Is developing an image of themselves and their worth Differentiate self-images in different contexts. Ex. "I am a good student and I am a poor athlete." Teacher should provide choices and the opportunity for open conversation. Intellectual Thinking becomes tied to concrete reality Can process - "if y occurs, then x will happen" Lessons should involve greater self-sufficiency Students challenge adults on an intellectual basis, be prepared to treat student opinions respectfully My Skill Set – Exercise Part Two As mentioned previously in this lesson, in the Appendix of this course you will find a document named My Skill Set. Hopefully you have already printed this document and completed the exercise to assess your skills in Subject Areas. Using the new information you have gained on the characteristics of various age groups and the responsibilities associated with teaching them, list the Age Groups you feel qualified to work with on the My Skill Set document. Bring a copy of this completed document to all your school interviews or submit it to the school during the application process and we guarantee the school will be impressed and enthusiastic to work with you. Demonstrating such preparation at the outset ensures that you will be given many opportunities to serve as a substitute teacher.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 18 Lesson Two – Working with Schools This lesson covers the following: What Do I Need to Know? Policies and Procedures When Things Go Wrong Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Prevention Child Abuse and Neglect Child Abuse Reporting When Things Go Wrong – Questionnaire
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 19 What Do I Need to Know? All schools have long lists of very important policies and procedures which must be followed regarding a wide range of topics. These policies and procedures are typically rooted in the LEGAL requirements laid out by the state. For this reason it is essential that you make sure you are aware of these policies and procedures. When you are going to work for a school for the first time, make sure to request information on their policies and procedures. They typically have a MANUAL or HANDBOOK which you can request that they can provide. Typical questions you should be able to answer about school policies and procedures include aspects such as: Policies and Procedures What is the daily schedule for regular classes, special classes, lunch, and transportation? What are the school rules? What are the consequences for breaking the rules? When Things Go Wrong In addition to basic policies and procedures that govern the way that everyday operations happen at the school, there are also questions you should ask regarding steps to take when something goes wrong. These could include: Who is available to assist with discipline if I need it? What are your emergency procedures? What if a student becomes ill or is injured? Though emergencies and accidents, by their very nature, are often difficult to prepare for there are typically school procedures in place to help you handle the most common of them. Being knowledgeable about these procedures will not only make you more prepared, it will reduce the risks to the students who are in your care. You will be ready to make good decisions under stressful circumstances.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 20 Policies and Procedures As mentioned previously, schools have policies and procedures in place which all must follow, including you. Taking time to review the district policies and to asking the right questions will make you better prepared to perform your job in a professional manner. Keep in mind that though many school policies differ, many are the same and you will get more used to asking the right questions and finding the right answers as your experience grows. Who within the school is the sub’s liaison(s) when he/she has questions? This is probably the MOST important question for a sub to ask because you CAN’T memorize the handbook. You will have questions and probably need assistance at times. Make sure the school gives you at least 2 people (and their phone extensions) whom you can call upon for assistance. The reason you need 2 is that teachers and administrators are busy and often away from their desks. You may not get the first person right away. What are school rules? …especially regarding tardiness, attendance, dress, food, beverages and gum. These are aspects on which subs may be challenged by students seeing them as “inexperienced.” Ask the school if they have any other very serious rules that they are on the “look-out” for such as smoking on campus. What are school policies/consequences regarding violation of rules? Often you will want to know the procedures related to the rules above. These can be found in the manual or handbook provided by the school. What are the school’s reporting and documentation requirements regarding disciplinary incidents? In the modern era, it can be very important for the legal protection of both the teacher and the school to maintain clear and detailed records of disciplinary incidents, especially from older children who may pose a physical threat to the teacher or other children. Make sure that you ask the school what documentation requirements they may have for these incidents. What is school policy regarding cell phones, iPods, GameBoys, Computers and Internet use? Ah, modern gadgets. Every school has a different take on these things, but you’ll definitely need to be aware of their expectations and rules. Who other than the sub interacts with students during the day? This is a useful question because you can extend your support system by becoming aware of other teachers and administrators who work with “your kids.” For example, the music teacher may let you know that a student wasn’t feeling well in her class earlier that morning. This might give you a helpful “heads up” you wouldn’t have gotten if you’d been isolated from the students’ other teachers. Read the Instructions! Many school districts will give you a handbook or manual and expect you to review it. Though you needn’t memorize the whole thing you SHOULD read it before subbing. It will be especially important to your school district that you read any SAFETY policies or procedures as this is of major importance to schools today.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 21 What is the daily schedule for regular classes, special classes, lunch, and transportation? This is the basic everyday operations stuff, but you need to know it. Make sure to keep a handy visual copy of the school’s schedule around that you can easily glance at and keep yourself on track. Otherwise, if your school doesn’t use a bell system, you could find yourself accidentally keeping students for too long or letting them leave too early! How do I handle students with medications? There are many students today who have to take prescription medications during the regular school day. Make certain to ask how this is handled and if any of the students you will be responsible for have to take medications. When Things Go Wrong Though you would no doubt like to skip thinking about things going wrong when you are “only the substitute,” the truth is that there’s no way to know when bad things are going to happen. What you can do is the best job you can to be prepared for it when it does happen. Much like the list of questions you should ask regarding Policies and Procedures, there are questions you should ask related to how to handle unexpected problems. Who is available to assist with discipline? No matter how well trained you are in positive discipline practices, there can be times when a student is more of a challenge than you feel prepared to handle. And don’t be surprised if this happens when you are working with small children! There are many reasons why children “act out.” Children can have physical, emotional and behavioral triggers or reasons for misbehaving, and the problem may be outside of your skill set. If you feel this is the case, you should ask for HELP! Make sure you know who you can turn to if you need help. What if I feel that I or my students are endangered by a student? Though this is awful to think about, it is important to address it. SAFETY in schools is paramount. A teacher and his/her classroom of students must always feel that they are safe from physical harm. If you feel that you or your student(s) may be threatened by a student or a situation you encounter, you MUST SEEK ASSISTANCE immediately. Your contact will likely be the same person as was listed for the previous question, however, make sure you bring up this scenario so that you will be PREPARED for it if it arises. What are emergency procedures? You know this basic stuff…what if there is a fire or a chemical spill or a danger of explosion (Some of you will be subbing in Chemistry, right?). What do we do in the event of an emergency? One thing to let a school know about your SKILL SETS is whether or not you are certified in First Aid and CPR. If you are fantastic…if you are not, we recommend it! It provides an extra level of comfort for you and the school knowing that you are trained in these important emergency procedures.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 22 What if a student becomes ill? This will probably vary based on the severity of the illness encountered. If the student is well enough to excuse him/herself to see the school nurse, then you will probably simply have the student do this. If the student is too ill, you will need to know who to call to assist you. Also, you will need to know who to call if the student’s illness has created a risk of infection to other students (ex – regurgitation, blood, etc.). Make sure you know the policy on this. You may be asked to contact the student’s parent or guardian to make arrangements for the child’s care. SPECIAL NOTE: On a page that follows you will learn specific actions to take to protect yourself from becoming exposed to bloodborne pathogens while working. What if a student is caught with a weapon? This is an important question no matter how “safe” and “quaint” the school or town may be. The school policy on such a topic is put into place to keep as many people as possible safe. Ask about it. What if a student is caught with drugs and/or alcohol? This is important because of the legal implications. Be sure to follow the school’s procedures to ensure the safety of the students and the legal compliance of the school. What if there is an accident involving injury or blood? Accidents involving injury require adequately trained personnel. If you are not trained in First Aid, or if your training is not adequate to handle the incident, be sure you know who to contact. Additionally, you must remember that you can NEVER expose yourself or your students to another person’s blood, even if the person bleeding is a small child. You must take precautions and be sure to contact the right person at the school. All schools have policies and training regarding Bloodborne Pathogens (such as HIV). Ask them what to do. What are your policies regarding reporting of child abuse? All schools are REQUIRED BY LAW to report suspected child abuse or neglect. On a page that follows you will learn more specific information about this topic.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 23 Bloodborne Pathogens All employers must educate their employees about ways to reduce their exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the workplace. Bloodborne pathogens are carried in body fluids, so the risks for someone like a doctor or nurse are MUCH greater than your risk of exposure in a classroom environment. This section will provide you with the information you need to reduce your exposure risks while serving as a substitute. You may not have heard the term bloodborne pathogens before, but you do need to know what they are and how to protect yourself from exposure to them so let’s explore the words “bloodborne pathogens” to learn more. The word “bloodborne” breaks down to “blood” which you understand already, and “borne” which means to be carried by. This means something is being carried in a person’s blood. The word “pathogens” refers to something which causes infection or illness. So a bloodborne pathogen is something which is carried in a person’s blood and which causes infection or illness. Now you may be realizing that you DO know what bloodborne pathogens are if you know anything about HIV, for example. HIV is an example of a bloodborne pathogen because it is a virus that is carried in human blood and it causes the disease known as AIDS which is extremely serious and typically causes the eventual death of the person who has it. Bloodborne pathogens are “infectious” which means that they can be passed from one person to another in certain ways. All workplaces are obligated to train employees in the steps that they must take to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The purpose of this is to provide you with good information so that you feel LESS worried about this and MORE prepared than you did before training. Though we are raising topics which can cause anxiety or worry you should know that transmission of bloodborne pathogens at work is extremely rare, but training is always is a good precaution to keep everyone prepared and safe. Next you will learn how to protect yourself from exposure to bloodborne pathogens at work. Exposure Prevention Routes of Exposure You will not be exposed to bloodborne pathogens directly at work because you don’t work in medicine or research that handles human blood/fluids directly. The concern for you is exposure through INDIRECT routes including: Infected blood getting into your mucous membranes: the eyes, inside of the nose, or inside of the mouth Infected blood getting into an open cut or wound on your own skin
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 24 An object penetrating your skin which has infected blood on it such as a needle or other sharp object or possibly (though this risk is small) through a human bite which penetrates your skin. Obviously you only face this risk when you assist another person who is INJURED and BLEEDING. Proper Precautions You must take precautions no matter who you are helping, (even a small child), because you don’t know who may be a carrier of a BBP. There are 2 most important RULES: Rule #1 – You should ALWAYS use latex or vinyl gloves! Put the gloves on before assisting the bleeding person in stopping the bleeding or cleaning the wound. These should be in the classroom or a nearby First Aid Kit. Be sure to know where this kit is located and be sure to bring extra gloves on any field trips off campus. It is often a good idea to BRING a few pairs of gloves in your sub “goodie bag.” If you DO NOT HAVE GLOVES you can ask the bleeding individual to place his/her hand and any bandages or cloth over the wound and apply the pressure themselves to stop the bleeding. Do not touch blood without gloves as you may place yourself at risk for infection. Rule #2 – Get custodial assistance in cleanup. Custodial staff is trained in the proper cleanup of biological hazards like blood or regurgitation. They know the appropriate cleansers and processes to use to decontaminate surfaces and materials. Exposure Reporting If for any reason you ever feel that you may have been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen, you will want to report it to the school so that they can assist you in the follow-up procedures needed to assess whether infection took place. When we say reporting an “exposure,” we do NOT mean telling the school every time you assist someone who is bleeding, because if you follow the precautions above, you are not at risk of being infected. Exposure means that someone else’s blood contacted may have entered your body through your eyes, inside of the nose or mouth, an open wound on your own skin or through breaking the skin by a sharp object with blood on it (Ex – a piece of glass with the other person’s blood pierces your skin…you can see how unlikely this is). IF one of these things happened, you should report it. Bloodborne pathogens can also be carried in other body fluids and organs, so you should be cautious regarding contact with any injury. Besides HIV, the two other major bloodborne pathogens of concern are the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses, both of which attack the human liver and can cause serious harm or even death over time. The most common exposure risks are DIRECT including: sexual contact, needles, or direct exposure to blood, fluids or organs. Employees at greatest risk of exposure to BBP work in medical and research fields.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 25 Child Abuse & Neglect In 1974 the “Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)” was passed. This law made it a LEGAL REQUIREMENT for individuals working with children to REPORT ANY SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE. In some states the law extends to ANY INDIVIDUAL who believes that a child is being abused at any time. Because you will be working in a school environment this law applies to you, meaning that as a sub you must REPORT any suspicion you have that a student is being abused. The CAPTA law defines child abuse and neglect as: Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker (like a teacher) which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation An act or failure to act which presents an imminent (immediate/soon) risk of serious harm. Though individual states are responsible for defining child abuse and neglect specifically, most states recognize 4 major types: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. These may occur alone or in combination. GENERAL examples (which may not apply in all states, but help you know what to look for) include: Neglect, which is defined as “a failure to provide for a child's basic needs,” includes: Physical (e.g., failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision) Medical (e.g., failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment) Educational (e.g., failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs) Emotional (e.g., inattention to a child's emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs) These situations do not always mean a child is neglected. Sometimes cultural values, the standards of care in the community, and poverty may be contributing factors, indicating the family is in need of information or assistance. Abuse includes: Physical abuse – which is physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a child. Sexual abuse - which includes activities by any adult such as fondling, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. Emotional abuse - which is a pattern of behavior that impairs a child's emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance. Emotional abuse is often difficult to prove but is almost always present when other forms of abuse are identified.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 26 Child Abuse Reporting You are now aware that it is your job LEGALLY as a substitute teacher to report any suspected child abuse or neglect you observe. How to Report You may decide to report the information to the school directly to get their guidance or you may use the ANONYMOUS hotlines available in nearly every state (see links). Consequences for You – If you DO REPORT You may be worried about what happens to you if you report suspected child abuse… “What if I am wrong? Do I get in trouble?” “What if the person I am accusing tries to hurt me in some way?” What you need to know is that the law protects your privacy. As mentioned above, you can always report anonymously using the state hotlines if you wish. Even if you don’t use an anonymous method, your personal information will not be given out to anyone. Also, there is no consequence for you if social services investigates and determines that there was no abuse or neglect unless they believe you’ve made a false accusation on purpose. This is very rare and is not a concern for you if you’ve made your report in good faith. Consequences for You – If you DON’T REPORT If something happens to a child and it’s determined that you/other adults were aware of it and failed to report it, you CAN be prosecuted. This is why it’s ALWAYS best to report it. It is the LAW. District Incident Documentation Policies When you are making an accusation of this nature it can be helpful to have some clear documentation of what you have seen or discussed that makes you suspicious. Make sure you are aware of the school’s policies regarding documentation of incidents or believed incidents. An example of this might be: March 13, 2006, Susie Lindstrom showed up with a large bruise on her upper arm. When asked, she said it was from falling off her swingset. This manual does not contain legal advice. This is a rapidly changing area of the law. You should consult with your employer and/or a lawyer if you have any questions about your reporting duties. Online statutes can become out of date and are subject to legal interpretation depending on particular facts and circumstances. For more information on this topic visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway by visiting the site below. http://www.childwelfare.gov/ For state abuse reporting hotlines, visit the site below. http://capsli.org/hotlines.php
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 27 What I Need to Know Questionnaire In the Appendix of this course you will find a document named What I Need to Know. Bring this document to your interview or be sure to ask these questions during your application process to prepare yourself and to demonstrate your commitment to working within the school’s policies and guidelines. If your school district does not have an interview process you may need to review the school handbook to determine the answers to these questions. Print out this questionnaire and use it as a guide to go “look up” the answers to these important questions. Reflection Take a moment to think about what would be the most stressful situation you could envision facing while substituting…a challenging student, a student becoming injured, a student threatening others’ safety… Write your thoughts and compose some questions you could ask the schools to help prepare for this potential situation and lower your anxiety about it.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 28 Lesson Three – Establishing Your Leadership This lesson covers the following: To Teach is to Lead Being the Leader Applications of Leadership Techniques Why Do I Need to “Be the Leader?” Teacher Talk Positive Phrasing Applications of Positive Phrasing Pause Time Why Use Pause Time? “I” Messages Applications of “I” Messages
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 29 To Teach is to Lead On the first day of your first assignment as a substitute, when you find yourself staring into the waiting eyes of your group of students you may ask yourself…will they accept me as a teacher? The more important question to ask yourself is will you behave like a teacher? All teachers are essentially leaders. Good leadership will always earn you the respect and acceptance of the students, but you may not be sure what you have to do to be a good leader. This section of the course teaches fundamental leadership skills. You will learn how to establish yourself as a leader, how to communicate effectively and how to resolve conflicts. Developing these leadership skills is essential to being recognized by the students at the authority figure and teacher. These skills will also help you to excel in any future jobs you take. Being the Leader Establishing yourself as an authority figure can be intimidating, especially if it’s the first time you have taken on such a role. In order to gain the respect of the students you must look and act the part of a confident, capable leader. This means the following things: Standing – You will spend the majority of your days on your feet. This gives you a height advantage over most students and establishes you as an authority right away. Dressing Appropriately – Look at what you wear on the job as your work clothes. If you are wearing something sloppy or inappropriate you will lose the respect of the students, your coworkers, and supervisors and parents. (Much like the old adage that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, arrive to school in very professional attire such as business casual. Then use the dress of your fellow teachers as a guideline in future assignments if you find you are “overdressed.”) Smiling Confidently – Even if you aren’t in a great mood or feeling confident you need to project a positive attitude. This gives the students confidence and will probably help to turn your mood around. Speaking Slowly and Clearly – Thinking before you speak is extremely important when working with children. Make sure that what comes out of your mouth is professional and it will gain you respect. Though you may not have adjusted to the idea of yourself as a leader yet, it is important to start thinking of yourself that way. In the short term, it will make your days at work easier. In the long term, these leadership skills will serve you throughout life.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 30 Applications of Leadership Techniques You are working at an elementary school and are waiting for the kids to arrive in the morning. All kids meet their teachers in the gymnasium prior to adjourning to the classroom. Students arrive in groups over ½ hour period, but you can’t leave to go to your classroom until they are all there. You must entertain the kids who have already arrived while you wait for the rest. You are trying to take attendance, but are doing so while seated and without speaking to the children. Your kids run around and roughhouse while you scan the chaos for attendance and try to chase them down. Periodically, you scold or yell at one of your kids, but you aren’t really gaining control of the situation. You look around at the other teachers to see what you are doing wrong. Several of the other teacher’s kids color and play games at a table while the teacher takes attendance. These teachers obviously set out games and activities in advance and let the kids know what was expected when they arrived. They take attendance while STANDING UP, SMILING and SPEAKING CLEARLY. They scan the room with their eyes frequently to make sure that they know where all the kids are and what they are doing. This difference occurs simply because the other teachers’ kids view them as an authority figure because they are standing and speaking as if they are in charge. There is no simpler way to take charge than to act as if you are in charge! Why Modeling Good Behavior is Important It may seem like a cliché, but research has shown time and again that children do as we DO, rather than as we SAY. This means that your actions will often have more impact than your words, so be sure to be aware of both. One of the best things about using STANDING to establish your leadership is that you can then use sitting or kneeling on one knee as a way to establish a “caring” persona when a student really needs it. If a child is upset and needs you to spend a moment with him/her one-on-one you can demonstrate your caring by getting on his/her level (sitting, squatting, kneeling on one knee) and looking him/her in the eye and providing that focused, caring attention he/she needs. Such a gesture would NOT have as much impact if you were not STANDING like a LEADER most of the time.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 31 Why Do I Need to Be the Leader? There are many very good reasons why, as a substitute teacher, you must behave as an authority figure or LEADER starting on your very first day. To maintain respect and discipline If the students have respect for you as an authority figure it will make your days much easier and will reduce your discipline problems. It is easier to establish yourself as a leader at the start of your tenure as a substitute, rather than being too informal with the students at the beginning, and then having to reestablish your leadership halfway through the day or week. It is not uncommon for students to seize the “opportunity” to push the boundaries of respect and proper behavior when their teacher is replaced by a substitute. Many students will believe that you don’t know what the rules are, or that you aren’t prepared to enforce them. By behaving as a LEADER on your first day you will send a message to the students that you are capable and that you are in charge! Example Leadership Skills I always arrive to work in clean, appropriate clothing. I understand that clothing plays an important role in establishing my separation from the students. When I greet the students I keep a positive tone, even when I am not feeling so cheerful myself. Reflection Which of the 4 leadership skills listed: remaining standing, dressing appropriately, speaking clearly and slowly, and projecting a positive attitude is your best skill? Which leadership skill do you probably have to work on? Take some time to record ways in which you will improve or practice your leadership skills.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 32 Teacher Talk One of the most important skill sets you can develop as a teacher is communication and conflict-resolution. It is important that you always remain professional in your speech with the students, co-workers, supervisors and parents. There may be times when speech turns confrontational or when you must confront someone else. It is at these times that you will want to have specific techniques that you can call upon for clarifying issues, calming emotions and reaching a solution. Next you will learn about 3 specific skills: Positive Phrasing – communicating as clearly as possible Pause Time – listening effectively “I” messages – diffusing tension and building toward solution-finding Let’s move on to learn about and practice each of these specific skills. Positive Phrasing You will spend much of your days guiding and instructing your kids. In order to improve the chances that they will do what you ask, you must instruct them in the clearest way possible using Positive Phrasing. In order to understand why Positive Phrasing is important, let’s do a demonstration together. Follow this command: DON’T picture a gorilla! What happened? No doubt you pictured a gorilla! Why did you still picture the gorilla even though you were told not to? This happens because the human brain doesn’t easily recognize negative commands. Your mind read the command and it understood the word gorilla right away and simply pictured one immediately…it failed to notice the DON’T command in front of the word gorilla. This should give you some idea of what Positive Phrasing is and why it’s important. What do you think happens in a child’s brain when you tell her, “Don’t run?” Her brain focuses on the word RUN, exactly what you didn’t want her thinking. What you did want her thinking was WALK, and that is what you should tell her to get the behavior you want from her. Positive Phrasing is simply telling someone exactly what you want him/her to say or do.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 33 Applications of Positive Phrasing As you just learned from the previous demonstration, Positive Phrasing is a very efficient way to instruct children and teens to elicit the behavior that you DO want from them. Learning to develop and use this tool will improve your students’ ability to “listen” to you. Example We all use negative commands quite frequently, but negative commands are not efficient at eliciting the behavior that we want from kids. You’ve already seen the example of using WALK instead of DON’T RUN. Take a moment to think of some other common commands for kids and how they can be reworded to be positively phrased instead. Negatively Phrased Positively Phrased Don’t run! Walk. Don’t Yell! Speak softly. Use Your Inside Voice. Don’t hit! Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t do that! Remember our agreements. Don’t’ go in the street. Stay on the sidewalk. Don’t forget your homework. Remember your homework No eating in class! Put the food away. Though this is not a complicated idea, it may take time to get used to using positive phrasing. When you are working with kids it is very helpful to be able to communicate as clearly and quickly as possible. Practice using positive phrasing in your everyday life to get used to using this skill. Pause Time Most people are under the impression that they are “good listeners,” however; many of us are not as good at listening as we think. Developing good listening skills is an essential part of communicating effectively. Have you ever found yourself in the following situation? Someone is speaking to you, and you’re so busy thinking about your response that you miss the entire second half of what they were saying. While the speaker was talking, you focused on remembering your response because you were excited about it. At that point, you stopped being a “good listener,” and you may have missed something important. Our brains have a natural tendency to make associations. When others speak, the brain brings up related information. This draws our attention to our own thoughts and away from the speaker. When having a fun conversation with a friend, this may not be such a problem, however, in a conflict situation, good listening is necessary to solving the problem.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 34 Pause Time So how do you get around the brain’s natural tendency to stop listening? The answer is to use Pause Time. Using Pause Time is simple. Here is an example: 1. When a child is speaking to you, listen quietly. 2. Focus all your attention on listening to what the child is saying. Your brain will race to process the information, but internally redirect your focus to listening. 3. When the child has completely finished speaking, PAUSE. Give yourself at least 2-5 seconds to thoughtfully consider what he/she has said. 4. Compose your response calmly and THEN respond verbally. 5. Continue the conversation in this manner, listening carefully to the child and allowing him/her to completely finish what he/she has to say before responding. Why Use Pause Time? Good listening skills are essential to being a good teacher. Let’s examine reasons why this is so and how you can use Pause Time on the job. To diffuse anger / avoid conflict Being a good listener is the fastest way to reduce someone’s anger. Often a person is angry simply because they felt that they weren’t being heard in the first place! Good listeners are very valuable and will always be appreciated. To improve communication and understanding When we speak to each other, we are often misunderstood. Developing good listening skills helps to improve our understanding of each other when speaking and is important to improving your overall ability to communicate. Remember, communication is not simply about what you tell others, it’s about what they share with you! Example uses of Pause Time A parent confronts you angrily about the consequences his child received in your class that day. You use Pause Time to reassure the parent that you are listening and that you care about his concerns and want to work together to reach a good solution. Another teacher is angry with you for taking the keys to the equipment closet without letting her know, so she couldn’t find them. You use Pause Time to listen and come up with a working solution – a sign-out sheet for the equipment closet keys. Pausing can be a good communication strategy in general for example, even when questioning students be sure to PAUSE for a few seconds following the question to give the respondent time to think and respond. Often we’re in such a hurry that if the respondent does not answer right away, we simply answer for them or move on to another student to answer the question. Slow down! You’ll be amazed what a difference such a simple technique can make.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 35 “I” Messages So often when we are in a conflict situation, we point the finger and say, “You don’t understand!” or “You always think you’re right!” By blaming the other person and focusing entirely on what he or she is doing wrong, we immediately place the person on the defensive and a conflict begins. There is another way to handle a problem you have with someone else: use “I” messages. “I” messages are especially useful when you have a conflict with another adult such as a supervisor, colleague, or parent. When you're angry with someone but you need to discuss the problem, it is absolutely essential that you both keep your cool! An “I” message focuses on the way you feel as a result of their behavior. By focusing on yourself, the person feels less like you are attacking them, and they become less defensive. Diffusing their anger with an “I” message is the first step toward solving the problem. For example: I feel frustrated when you release your class early as I am supposed to watch them in the hall but must remain with my students and leave yours are unsupervised. How can we resolve this situation to make sure no one gets hurt? The main point of using an “I” message is to describe the way you feel when the person engages in some challenging or problematic behavior, rather than focusing on how bad he/she is. You can move more easily to finding a solution by avoiding blame. Applications of “I” Messages Using “I Messages” is most useful for diffusing anger and taking steps toward solution-finding. When you know you are going to have to address a problem with someone else, focus on how it affects you by using an “I” message. Here is an example: Challenge: A student is talking to a friend in the back of the room while you are giving directions for an assignment. “I message” would be: I feel frustrated when you talk while I am giving directions because you and the other students will not hear them and will not know how to complete the assignment. Suggested Solution: “If you have a question please raise your hand to ask me. If you’d like to discuss the directions, I’d prefer that you wait until I’ve finished giving them.” You will probably feel awkward the first few times you use this formula. That's natural. It's a new skill that requires practice. If the person still becomes defensive, remember to stick to I messages and stay calm. Always steer the conversation toward finding a solution and use Pause Time (previous part of this lesson).
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 36 Lesson Four – Positive Discipline This lesson covers the following: Maintaining Discipline Applications of Positive Discipline Why Use Positive Discipline Techniques? Managing Your Stress Rituals – Importance of Structure Applications of Rituals Affirmations and Visualization Energy Managing Student Stress
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 37 Maintaining Discipline Most people who work with groups of children or teens would say that maintaining discipline is one of the biggest challenges of the job. It is one thing to discipline one or two children; it is entirely different to maintain control over a group of 20 or more. There are some absolutely essential aspects of maintaining discipline in a relaxed and effective manner. These include: Be Consistent – This is the single most important aspect of preventing and managing discipline problems. You must establish clear guidelines for good behavior and then stick to them consistently in order to be a good, fair teacher. Appearing to favor some students over others will upset them and cause more misbehavior. Be Firm and Respectful – Just like adults, children and teens want to be treated respectfully, but that doesn’t mean that you should allow them whatever they want. Be ready to tell your students “no” firmly and respectfully when it is needed. Remember, you are responsible for their safety. Maintain Your Leadership – You absolutely cannot be your students’ friend. You do want to be friendly, but no matter what happens you must always remember that you are in charge. It is natural to want the students to like you, but it is more important that they respect you as a leader. Give Choices – No one likes to be told what to do go give your students choices whenever possible such as: working on a project or finishing their homework, painting a picture or reading a book, using the computer or writing in their journal, and so on. Use “Cooling Off” Periods – When students, even older students, are overly upset encourage them to take some time to calm down either by breathing deeply or simply resting for a minute or two. Do this before handling a complaint or argument and it will make finding a solution a lot easier and calmer. These strategies for maintaining discipline are the difference between a smooth working experience and a stressful one! In this job, it is best to be a fair, friendly teacher, rather than simply a friend. In many states a classroom teacher, including a substitute is considered in loco parentis, meaning that they are serving in the role of a parent in guiding and protecting the children in their care. This is a serious responsibility.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 38 Applications of Positive Discipline Techniques It is extremely common for new teachers, or any individual who works with youth, to struggle with implementing discipline. Example When school started you wanted to be the coolest, most fun substitute teacher your students ever had, but your great intentions didn’t turn out so well. ACT ONE: Being the “Friend” - You try to be friendly and joke around with the students. You give in to their requests more frequently than you should. At first they really liked you and said you were their favorite teacher! But within hours/days they started complaining that you were playing “favorites” by letting some kids break the rules. You didn’t intend to favor anyone, but your inconsistency in applying consequences for misbehavior makes it seem that way to your students. Now they call you “unfair” and complain all the time. You are getting frustrated with their constant whining and don’t know what to do. ACT TWO: Maintaining Discipline - You must reestablish your leadership. You must stop being so casual with your students and treating them like they are your friends. You also become very consistent in what you will and will not allow. At first they won’t be pleased with the new, stricter teacher that you have become. Over time, however, their attitude towards you will soften as they realize that you are doing your job: being a firm, friendly and fair leader. They will respect you for it and will soon turn back into the sunny, happy students who began the day or week with you. Why Consistency is Necessary… It is natural for living creatures to become stressed when their routine changes (such as when they have a substitute). It’s even worse when there is no clear routine or boundaries or expectations of behavior. When children are not sure what kind of behavior is expected of them, they become stressed as they worry about “getting in trouble.” When they are given clear, consistent boundaries and expectations they will relax because they know how to avoid “getting in trouble.” Why Use Positive Discipline Techniques Positive discipline techniques not only make the day run more smoothly for the students, they make it run much more smoothly for you! To prevent discipline problems Many discipline “problems” that arise when working with kids are rooted in 2 things: unclear boundaries and stress. Unfortunately unclear boundaries add to kids’ stress, making them more likely to “act out.” The best way to prevent most discipline problems is to use clear, consistent boundaries for behavior that all the children understand.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 39 To establish effective respectful control Acting like you are one of the students, rather than the leader, will end with them treating you as such. In order to make people “follow” you, you must LEAD. To do so, you have to set yourself apart in your behavior and act as the leader. The students will respect and appreciate a good leader more than they will a “friend.” Example Strategies for Maintaining Discipline 1. Be consistent in your application of consequences for breaking the rules or agreements. Avoiding playing favorites will help you to maintain discipline. 2. Remember that the students are not your friends. Be professional at all times in your conversation, behavior and relationships with them. This will not only reduce your discipline problems, it will keep you from making a big mistake (More on this in Crossing Legal Lines and Crossing Lines of Appropriateness). Managing Your Stress Working with kids is definitely one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have, but it is also one of the most stressful! When you have 20 or more students to keep track of, teach and even entertain, that creates stress! Unfortunately, stress has a lot of ill-effects on your ability to do a good job. When you feel stress, your body experiences changes including a rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, tightened muscles and a reduced ability to think analytically and make good decisions. In order to be at your best for your students, you must be able to manage and reduce your stress. It is your responsibility to lead your students in a manner that is both professional and enjoyable for them. This section of the course teaches 4 specific stress management tools: Rituals, Affirmations, Visualization, and Energy techniques. You will learn to use these tools to lower your stress on the job and create a positive working environment in which you and your students can relax and enjoy learning. Routines – Importance of Structure Purposeful, positive routines are an essential classroom management tool because they lower stress. Consider how much a child's behavior changes when his/her daily routines change such as when on vacation at a birthday party. Parents wonder why a child in this situation is more likely to "act out" when the occasion should be "happy". The reason is quite simple; change creates stress because it represents the "unknown". Whether you call it excitement or anticipation, the root emotion is actually stress. The child is thinking, "What are we doing next? Where are we going? Who are these people?" and so on. So where you see a fun time, the child can easily get nervous and behave differently than is normal for him/her.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 40 Structure is Vital Routines are the most important “tool” that you can use when working with children, particularly younger or very emotional children. Despite what we tend to think, children actually prefer structured environments that offer some choices, rather than unstructured or over structured environments. When children are given no clear boundaries, they can become anxious and stressed. Using routines in your classroom lowers the students’ stress because human beings are naturally comforted by repetition. The children know "what to expect" and they feel secure as a result. In this manner, using routines smoothes the “emotional path” for the student, preparing him/her for the events to come. Using routines will also lower your stress because you will always feel prepared, making it easier for you to achieve the energy and focus that you need to do a good job. Applications of Routines It is likely that the normal classroom teacher for whom you are subbing will have established routines that he/she uses. Stick to these rituals as much as possible to maintain stability for your students. You may also want to establish some stress- reducing PERSONAL routines. Example Personal Routines In order to increase your preparedness for work, you always make sure to arrive with at least 30 – 60 minutes of extra time so that you can: Review the day’s schedule, and familiarize yourself with it Prepare all of the equipment that you will need for the day so that it is close at hand once the students arrive. Walk around the school and familiarize yourself with nearest restrooms, exits/entrances, the location of the office, and the location of other important rooms including the music room, art room, gymnasium, cafeteria and library. Example Student Routines 1. When children arrive to after-school program, they always place their “stuff” in a pre-prepared spot and sit at their table for attendance. 2. A small sub-group of children is assigned each time to do final “cleanup” after arts and crafts are over. Staying Positive It's important to successful teaching to stay positive; your attitude will affect your students for better or for worse! When you teach you have to stand up in front of a room full of expectant people and speak, direct, interact and answer questions. For many people, this is like “public speaking”, and it triggers stress and anxiety. If standing in front of your students to teach them gives you butterflies in your stomach, you will want to use positive thinking in the form of WORDS and IMAGES to build your confidence.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 41 WORDS: Using words to build self-confidence is also called "affirmation". Affirmations are personal, positive phrases that you repeat to yourself over and over. An example for a new teacher is, “I am well trained and well prepared. I feel confident that I will do a great job!” Even though it may feel silly, repeating such things to yourself has been shown by scientific research to make a positive difference and to lower stress. IMAGES: Some people prefer pictures to words and will create visual "affirmations" of themselves being successful. It is like directed daydreaming. Instead of letting the daydream take you where it wants to, control the image yourself and picture yourself doing a great job! Using these little tips and skills will help you to reduce stress, increase the sense of preparedness and behave as the confidence, capable teacher you know you can be. Energy When you are stressed, you have a lot of energy, but it is unfocused. You can’t think clearly or make good decisions. In order to lower your anxiety and raise your focus, you need to use simple deep breathing, which will bring your energy under control. If you are not taking control of your breathing, it will take control of you; so, when you are stressed, just remember – take a deep breath! Next we are going to practice doing proper deep breathing or “belly breathing.” Deep breathing that uses the abdominal or belly muscles triggers nerves in your body that force you to relax even when you don’t think you can! It’s like pushing a button in the body that causes relaxation. Practice doing it correctly. Breathe in deeply and slowly, letting your belly extend naturally and then breathe out slowly, bringing your belly in as you exhale. Repeat this several times. You will feel your heartbeat slow down and your relaxation increase. This type of breathing will always help you relax. It works every time.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 42 Managing Student Stress Though most of the skills listed previously were intended to help you to reduce your stress and increase your ability to do a good job, all of the skills can also be used to help reduce the kids’ stress. Why It Is Important to Reduce Stress in the Classroom One of the main reasons that reducing student stress will be of importance to you is that this will also reduce the BEHAVIORAL and DICSCIPLINARY challenges they will exhibit. Additionally, and equally importantly, reducing their stress will make it more physiologically possible for them to learn. When a human being is “stressed,” the parts of the brain which are essential for learning simply shut down, making it difficult to take in or learn new information. The 2 most important tools for use with the students are Rituals and Energy (Belly Breathing). Rituals – Everyday Stress Reduction Rituals, as you learned, are something that you build into the school day to reassure the students and provide stability. They are used on an everyday or ongoing basis to reduce overall stress levels for the entire group. Energy – Relaxation RIGHT NOW! Belly Breathing, our “Energy” technique, is fantastic as a one-time, right-now, “I have to calm down IMMEDIATELY” type of tool. Teach this tool to the students as an anger or frustration-management tool. Require younger students to take deep breaths BEFORE handling disciplinary issues to reduce the emotions involved and reach a solution more quickly and quietly. Make sure to remember to utilize these tools to reduce both your stress and the students’ stress to ensure a more enjoyable and productive learning experience for all.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 43 Lesson Five – Honoring Diversity This lesson covers the following: Honoring Diversity Types of Student Diversity Diversity and Bullying Prevention How Kids Bully Others Forms of Bullying Who Gets Bullied? Handling Bullying
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 44 Honoring Diversity One of the most important jobs of the modern teacher is to honor and embrace the growing diversity of the student body. While most people think of racial, ethnic or religious differences when faced with the term, “diversity,” to an educator, the term includes these differences and many, many more! Today’s students have a wide range of needs based on physical, emotional, behavioral, and intellectual differences, as well as cultural ones. Federal laws relating to children with disabilities, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specify that all students who have disabilities are entitled to a free, appropriate public education, regardless of skill levels or severity of disability, in the least-restrictive environment possible. These efforts make students with disabilities more visible in every type of school setting, from the early education to the high-school classroom. When you begin work as a substitute teacher it is the school’s responsibility to inform you of the special or outstanding needs of any of your students. It is then YOUR responsibility to fulfill the obligations of the school to these student(s) and to do so with a positive and caring attitude. Let’s move on now to learn more about the different aspects of diversity you may encounter as a substitute. Types of Student Diversity As mentioned previously, the modern classroom is filled with an ever-diversifying population of students, many of whom have differing needs. While this might sound at first like a lot of “extra” work and accommodation for the teachers and schools, the beauty of it is the exposure that students gain to a variety of life experiences and perspectives. Students will differ racially, culturally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, behaviorally, and intellectually. Special plans and programs are put into place to help students who need extra assistance and to provide stimulation to those who are advanced in certain or many areas. Some terms and situations you may come across as a substitute include: IEP – Individualized Education Plan A child who has difficulty learning and functioning and has been identified as a special needs student is the perfect candidate for an IEP.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 45 Children who are struggling in school may qualify for support services, allowing them to be taught in a special way, for a variety of reasons: learning disabilities behavioral disorders emotional disorders mental retardation autism sensory impairment speech or language impairment physical impairment (orthopedic) developmental delay Other children, who have advanced skills, either overall or in one specific area of learning such as math or reading, may need an enriched education curriculum so they don't become bored. 504 Plan A subtle difference from an IEP, 504 Plans also assist students with identified special needs to obtain an education in a traditional public school setting. It can be tricky to determine the difference between children qualifying for an IEP and those qualifying for a 504 plan. For your purposes, you need only know the actual PLANS that are in place for your students and follow the guidelines provided when serving as a substitute. Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) This category may apply specifically to students with diagnosed behavioral issues, syndromes or disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. English Language Learners You may have students who are learning English as a second language and who may require special plans to incorporate this learning into their daily schedules. Health Requirements You will want to find out if any of your students are taking prescription medications and what the procedure is for administering those medications. Diversity and Bullying Prevention Unfortunately one of the side-effects of having a diverse population is seeing an increase in the number and types of bullying incidents. Bullying is most often directed at individuals who are seen as “different” in one way or another. An additional important term you MUST know as a substitute is HARASSMENT. Harassment is term with a very specific LEGAL definition and is covered in greater detail in the LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS section of this course.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 46 Though bullying and harassment sound like similar terms, the difference between them is that harassment is well-defined and is ILLEGAL. The rest of this lesson is devoted to identifying and preventing forms of bullying. Bullying is defined as influencing others through force or threats of force. Bullying happens to many children, adolescents and yes, even adults. It can happen verbally, physically or even electronically. Most everyone can remember a time they were bullied or they bullied others themselves. It's all too common. As the teacher, it is your job to keep all of the students in your care safe. That means that you must be able to recognize bullying and you must work to stop/prevent it as much as possible. Too often bullying is viewed as something that kids simply “do.” Adults take a “kids will be kids” attitude and turn the other way. Unfortunately bullying can have a devastating effect on the victims and is a COMPLETELY 100% UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR IN ANY SCHOOL. PERIOD! How Kids Bully Others As a teacher, it is an important part of your job to try to prevent bullying as much as possible. The challenge begins with recognizing bullying behavior. Where do you draw the line between kidding around and bullying? Let's look at several ways that kids bully each other to help you to better understand the difference. Forms of Bullying Include: Verbal bullying Emotional bullying Physical bullying Sexual bullying Cyber-bullying Harassment The intention of bullying is to intimidate another person. All forms of bullying are wrong because they threaten the victim's physical or emotional well-being. You must learn to recognize the types and signs of bullying and work to reduce or eliminate it from your programs. Forms of Bullying The following section describes six forms of bullying. Read about each form and then take Notes to record instances of each kind of bullying which you have observed or experienced directly. Keep this in mind when observing your students and keep an eye out for the six forms of bullying. Verbal Bullying involves name-calling, constant put-downs, mocking and laughing at a child's expense. This form of bullying is probably the most "tolerated" form of bullying, but the intimidation should never be tolerated, no matter whether it comes from words or actions.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 47 Emotional Bullying is often a subtle form of bullying and is often common among preadolescent girls. Because girls often feel less comfortable engaging in physical bullying, they tend to resort to emotional bullying. Emotional bullying can involve isolating or excluding a child, like not allowing the child to sit with your group at lunch or challenging a child to a dare. It can also involve spreading rumors. Physical Bullying can accompany verbal bullying and involves behaviors like kicking, biting, hitting, pinching, pulling hair, pushing or threats of physical harm. Though often the most obvious form of bullying, it is essential that physical bullying be stopped IMMEDIATELY. All students must feel physically safe at all times. Sexual Bullying involves unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive or inappropriate comments, suggestions, threats or gestures. Sexual bullying must never be tolerated, and if it arises from a particularly young bully, you may also want to bring this to your supervisor's attention. Sexual bullying from a very young child can be a hallmark of sexual abuse. Cyber Bullying has grown significantly in recent years. This is when kids bully one another through emails, instant messaging, text messaging, internet chat rooms and online blogs (web-logs). Bullies use this technology to harass victims at all hours, in wide circles, and at warp speed. Imagine how much easier it is to start a rumor about someone on the internet than it was in the past, when rumors were spread by talking. This type of bullying is particularly tough to spot because the victim will typically keep it from you. If your students spend time on computers during the school day, be sure to pay attention to any email or instant messaging that may be going on. A child who is being bullied in the open is likely to be attacked in cyberspace as well. HARASSMENT, as mentioned previously, is a form of bullying which is very specifically defined. It is directed at individuals based upon their race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or disability. Because there are LEGAL implications associated with harassment, we will cover this in more detail in the LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS section of the course. It is included in this list so that you realize that it is a form of bullying that can occur between students An additional common hallmark of bullying is that the target is often harassed frequently. In other words, you are more likely to be observing bullying behavior if it seems to be directed at the same child or children frequently. Bullies often lock onto particular targets and keep harassing that particular victim. The following section helps to clarify the characteristics that are most common in victims of bullying.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 48 Who Gets Bullied? Although anyone can be a target of bullying, victims of bullying are often singled out based upon certain characteristics. Typically any child who is perceived as "different" or "weak" in some way is more likely to be selected by bullies for harassment. The thing you must understand about bullying is that it is all about POWER. Bullies pick on victims in order to establish their POWER not only over the victim, but over all the children in the program, classroom or school. Often when one child is bullied, other children are afraid that it will happen to them as well, so they either refrain from defending the victim, or they actually JOIN the bully. Some of the traits which cause a child to be bullied include: Signs of perceived weakness such as a quiet, withdrawn, sensitive or insecure child. This may also include a child seen as physically weak such as a short or skinny child. Signs of difference physically such as being overweight, of a different race, dressing differently, or wearing glasses. Signs of difference economically through items such as clothing, jewelry, electronics or through the home in which they live. Signs of difference culturally through dress, customs, food or speech. Signs of difference socially through social awkwardness or behavioral differences like hyperactivity. Profile of a Bully It is often possible to create a profile of a potential bully as well. Bullies are typically* outgoing, active, expressive and often manipulative, using flattery and lies to control people, including the adults, around them. They have learned to get their way by force or intimidation. Unfortunately, they may not know a better way to relate to others. They may not know how to control their feelings, thoughts and actions. They may think others are out to hurt them, so they strike first. Through bullying and intimidation they feel a false sense of high self-esteem. *It’s always important to remember that such a characterization is general and will not apply to all bullies. Modeling What They See… It’s important that you remember always that your students, even those who you find are bullying others, are children and not “bad kids.” There may be many reasons why a bully feels compelled to strike out against others; sometimes it is a sign that they are being bullied themselves in another environment. Research has shown time and again that children model what they see or experience around them. Children who are victims of, or who witness physical or verbal abuse in the home or neighborhood, very often act out abusively towards others. That is why the approach we suggest for handling bullies is important to keep in mind. Compassion and guidance must always be the foundation of your discipline.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 49 Handling Bullying As the teacher it is your job to handle bullying when you observe it, but this can be challenging to do. You may not be sure exactly how to handle the behavior. Avoid Becoming a Bully Yourself One thing that is very important to remember is not to become a bully yourself. Often there is a tendency to think that “a taste of their own medicine” will stop a bully. Adults will often react angrily or attempt to humiliate the bully. While this will reduce his/her power temporarily, it will only fuel the bully’s anger and increase his/her desire to re-establish that power. Be Consistent – Apply Consequences You DO want to confront the bully, and it is acceptable to do so in front of the other children, so long as you do so calmly and logically. Typically you will only be reinforcing the existing rules and agreements of behavior. Treat the violation as you would any violation of the rules; being firm and consistent in your application of consequences. Make sure that you don’t single a bully out and make an example of him. If other children behave in this way, apply the same approach and consequences so that all the children realize that you are serious about following the agreements or expectations of the program. It is important that ALL the children see that you WILL NOT TOLERATE bullying. This will make them feel more secure and confident and will reduce the pressure on them to support or tolerate a bully within their midst. Documentation and Support It is always useful to document bullying behavior. Keeping a record of incidents and involved parties can help to establish a pattern of victimization and bullying if you must confront the parents of the suspected bully. Additionally, certain forms of bullying should be handled more carefully and specifically. Harassment – Because harassment has LEGAL implications, schools have special procedures for handling it. Get support and guidance from a supervisory individual in handling harassment. Try to record incidents and terms used. Sexual bullying - get support and guidance from a supervisor in handling sexual bullies as they may have developed these behaviors as a result of being sexually abused themselves (not uncommon). Additionally some forms of “sexual bullying” may fall under the definition of harassment. Try to record incidents and terms used.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 50 Lesson Six – Legal Considerations This lesson covers the following: Crossing Legal Lines Don’ts – Never Become Violent with Students Don’ts – Never Touch a Student in a Sexual Manner Sub-Hub Policy – Just Don’t Touch! Positive Ways to Work Without Touch Harassment Recognizing and Handling Harassment Crossing Lines of Appropriateness Don’ts – Avoid Discussing Students Don’ts – Avoid Parent Gossip Don’ts – Avoid Talking to Students Like Friends Keep Your Speech Professional Minimum Necessary Rule
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 51 Crossing Legal Lines All organizations and places of work have constraints and guidelines which they must follow in order to remain compliant with the law. An earlier example in this course which was mentioned was the obligation to report suspected child abuse. Another example is the legal obligation to refrain from discriminatory hiring practices. Workplaces which provide for the needs of children must make certain that they properly train employees to understand these lines of safety and legality. This ensures that the children are safe and is intended to protect them from accidental and/or purposeful abuse or harm. To this end, this lesson covers the lines of LEGALITY which you MUST be aware of when working with children. Not only will this section make clear what you CAN and CANNOT do when working with children and teens, it will provide excellent guidelines to follow to PROTECT YOURSELF from becoming the victim of a misunderstanding or accusation. In this section you will learn how to keep your conversations, relationships and physical interactions appropriate and legal, as well as the potential consequences if you fail to do so. DON’TS – Never Become Violent with Students You probably think that this is a “no-brainer” and that you would never lay your hands on a child in anger but THINK AGAIN! This happens all too frequently when adults simply lose their cool. There have been instances of children in schools being shaken, struck, and confined by teachers or other adults who have clearly lost control in a moment of anger. As you learned earlier in this course, you absolutely MUST manage your stress when working with children or teens. If you have a particular student who challenges you and pushes your patience to the limit, be aware and keep tabs on your anger! When a student has you so worked up that you want to hit him/her, you need to put yourself on TIME OUT before you make a big mistake! Take some deep breaths using the belly breathing technique you learned and if necessary, get someone to cover for you for a minute while you collect yourself. In these instances, you should keep an ongoing conversation with your contact at the school regarding the challenges in dealing with this particular child. Get as much support as you can from co-workers to help you remain professional in your dealings with him or her.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 52 Consequences As you probably realize, if you do lose your cool and strike or harm a child, you will not only lose your job, you could face serious legal consequences or even jail. That is why this is an absolute DON’T! You must never lay your hands on a student in anger! DON’TS – Never Touch a Student in a Sexual Manner You may think that this also goes without saying, but to be perfectly honest, it is ALWAYS essential to face realities head-on. There have been numerous examples of professionally trained teachers forgetting this important constraint and engaging in a sexual or romantic relationship with a student, especially with older students (Middle to High School group). It happens too frequently because it should NEVER HAPPEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!! Any student in your care is considered legally to be a child and it is a clear abuse of your authority to cross the line with them. The parents of the students TRUST you to recognize your role and realize that you CANNOT treat students like your friends and you CANNOT enter into a romantic or sexual relationship with them. On occasion you may be put into an awkward position if you find yourself being PURSUED by the student. If this is the case it is ESSENTIAL that you inform your contact at the school and seek assistance in handling the problem. Be very clear with the student that there is no possibility of such a relationship and avoid touching or being alone with the student. Consequences Keep in mind that if you happen to be 18 years old or older and you engage in a romantic relationship with an underage student, you will not only lose your job, you might face jail time. That is why this is an absolute DON’T! You must never touch a student in a romantic or sexual manner.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 53 Sub-Hub Policy – Just Don’t Touch! IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This page does NOT serve as any form of legal advice; always consult a legal professional if you have a question regarding the law. Some School Districts may have a looser policy when it comes to touch than is suggested below; and you are welcome to follow the policy of your district. We have opted to suggest what we believe to be the safest approach for you. Currently there are no specific industry standards dictating which forms of touch are ACCEPTABLE and which are NOT when working with children. Therefore touching is a “judgment call” which can be open to interpretation by the: • Touch-er (one doing the touching)r • Touch-ee (one being touched) • Observers (ones seeing touch happen) Unfortunately, in today’s world it is difficult to touch children in any way, even a positive one such as a friendly hug. Parents are always worried (unfortunately with reason) about the possibility of their children being harmed by their adult caretakers either through physical or sexual abuse. In order to meet the increasing pressures on school districts with regards to this issue, we have revised this section to support a NO TOUCHING POLICY. School districts have found it harder and harder to guide their employees regarding what form of touch is acceptable and for this reason, many districts have made it a policy to AVOID TOUCHING STUDENTS AT ALL. Protecting Yourself – This policy also helps you because as a school district employee, the only way YOU can be 100% sure that you cannot be accused of inappropriate touch is to NOT TOUCH STUDENTS AT ALL! We know this is very strict and not in keeping with the way most people feel who choose to work with kids, but the reality of today’s world makes it the safest suggestion for both you and the students. Below we’ve provided some rules and guidelines for appropriate touch. On the following page we also offer suggestions for ways to express yourself without touching students. Rules and Guidelines Rule One - Don’t Touch Though a few exceptions are detailed below, it is always safest to avoid touching students. Rule Two - Avoid Being Alone with Students It is always best to stay within view of others when interacting with the children. If a student needs to have a personal conversation, keep the door cracked open or make sure that you can easily be seen through a window. Also try to pull other adults such as co-workers into the conversation or situation to protect yourself and the child from being alone together.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 54 GUIDELINE - Emergency Situations, Injury Examinations In the event of an emergency in which a child is injured or needs medical care: • FIRST alert the school/school nurse and if needed immediately, call 911. Let the school nurse handle any injury examination. If help is coming quickly, there may be no need to touch the child to assist him/her. • If the school nurse is not available to assist you, it will be a judgment call for you whether to touch the child to assist him/her (especially if other help is on the way). If you do not have any FIRST AID TRAINING, it may be best to wait for trained help to come. Be sure to try to keep all touch of a helpful nature and do not engage in examinations of private places (groin, breasts, and buttocks) under any circumstances! Leave this to health professionals. GUIDELINE – Necessary Touch: Imminent Danger Of course if a child is in danger of immediate harm, reach out and help them! You MUST help a child in need if they are in danger, NOT doing so could cause you to be liable for their safety. This is not a judgment call, this is a “no-brainer.” GUIDELINE – Necessary Touch: Very Young/Special Needs At times students with special needs may require help with things like changing (diapers, clothes), feeding or movement. In this case you should be specially trained in proper procedures and are likely to have trained paraprofessionals there to help you. In helping young students who may need diapers or clothing changed, always ensure that another adult of the same sex as the child is present in the room when you are taking care of the child.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 55 Positive Ways to Work Without Touch As you know, younger children will tend to want to touch you or others to gain comfort or express celebration. For example, they may want a hug when they hurt themselves or are sad. At the Sub-Hub, we couldn’t possibly do what we do if we didn’t have a deep love and concern for children, and we know you share the same! It is unfortunate that touch has become such a tricky area as we know the positive benefits that touch can bring to a person. However, because we support a NO TOUCHING policy, we’ve offered the alternatives to touch suggested below. These suggestions should help you to provide a positive, supportive environment without relying on touch. Touch-er (one doing the touching)r Ways To Comfort If you are planning to teach young children, you may be thinking, “There is no way I can go without touching them! What if they are crying and want a hug? What if they crawl all over me?” We have the following suggestions for comforting and connecting with little ones without compromising your “no touch” policy: • Offer a stuffed animal for hugs: “Hug Mr. Teddy. He’s sorry that your knee hurts and wants you to feel better.” • Get on eye-level. If you kneel or crouch down and look a child in the eye and express concern, he or she will feel the connection and comfort. • Speak compassionately…find out what is troubling the child and show real listening and concern…that goes a long way. • Sing a favorite/comforting song together. Ways to Celebrate (enjoyment/praise) It can be difficult, especially with very young children, to find ways to celebrate or congratulate without touching them (hugs, hi-fives, etc.) We offer the following suggestions for celebrating without touch: • “Air” gestures like hi-fives, guitar solos, secret handshakes or hand signals…all occur without hands actually touching. • Cheers/Chants – you can use cheers, chants, drumming on table-tops, stomping on floors and other noise-making activities as ways to celebrate or express enjoyment or praise When Children Touch You Touch is an important connection factor for all human beings. Young children are likely to want to touch you. They may often seek to hug, touch, or even cling onto you. (Sometimes kids who aren’t fortunate enough to get loving, positive touch at home also seek it from other adults.) Don’t Pull Away Unkindly It is important when children touch you that you not behave like you’ve been touched by a hot coal! They don’t mean any harm and you can hurt their feelings or confuse them by expressing anxiety when they touch. Be Kind, Redirect Instead, when children touch you; be kind and then naturally break that touching connection and redirect the behavior to other forms of celebration.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 56 • Boogie-down – with younger children you can use a free moment of dance to celebrate as in, “Good job Vanessa, you got it, let’s all boogie down”…and everyone “boogies” (wiggles/twists) for about 10 seconds and then you refocus. (Kids love this; you just have to control the refocusing back on- task.) • Jumping – young children may also like to simply jump up and down (Jump for Joy) and this can be used as a celebration/expression of praise Harassment As mentioned previously, harassment is a behavior or pattern of behavior which is defined by law. The legal statute defines "harassment" as an incident or incidents of verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by a student's, staff member's or a family member's actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or disability that has the purpose or effect of objectively and substantially undermining and detracting from or interfering with a person's educational performance or access to school resources or creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. One incident can trigger an investigation. It does not matter what the person meant by a remark or other conduct, if the victim feels offended, it is considered harassment. Obviously, the first step is to inform the person making the remark that it is offensive to the person to whom it is said. An interaction defined as harassment can occur between: Students Staff members Staff member to student Student to staff member Each school has a designated staff member, usually a principal or guidance counselor, who is designated to receive complaints of harassment. The school must investigate and take reasonable steps to stop the harassment. A substitute should be able to identify remarks or behavior that constitute harassment and know to whom the behavior should be reported. Recognizing and Handling Harassment Because harassment is a behavior or pattern of behavior with a LEGAL definition, teachers and schools are legally obligated to learn to recognize it and to report it according to the procedures in place at the school. As mentioned in the previous section, each school has a staff member who is designated to handle harassment complaints. Be sure you know who that person is at the school where you will be assigned.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 57 Harassment Among Adults Though you will be primarily watching for harassment activities between students or between students and staff, keep in mind that harassment can occur between staff members as well. You and other members of the school staff have as much right to be protected from harassing behaviors as the students. If you feel that you have been the victim of harassment, follow the school procedures for filing a complaint. Don’t be intimidated because you are a substitute teacher, you are protected under the statute as well. Additionally, be sure to report incidents that occur among or between students. This also means that you must ensure that you do not engage in harassing behaviors towards others, including other staff, yourself. Make certain that your language and behavior are free from prejudice and intimidation at all times. As mentioned in the previous section, it does not matter if a comment you make about or to an individual was intended to offend, if it is seen as offensive, it can lead to a complaint or investigation. To review, under the harassment statute individuals are protected from comments or behavior motivated by: an individual’s (or their family member’s) actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation or disability. A copy of this definition can be found in the Digital Library for this course in the document named Definition of Harassment. Refraining from behavior or commentary based upon these aspects of other individuals is essential to remaining professional. Reflection Have you ever been a victim or known someone who was a victim of harassment while working? What type of harassment? How did the individual who was the harasser create intimidation or discomfort? How did the victim handle it?
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 58 Crossing Lines of Appropriateness “Loose Lips Sink Ships” is an old saying with a lot of truth to it. It is a very rare instance that NOT TALKING about something gets you into trouble, but talking too much or about the wrong things can easily get you into really big trouble! Unfortunately, people make this mistake all too often. Though the following portion of the lesson is devoted more to APPROPRIATENESS of behavior than LEGAL compliance, it is nonetheless important to maintaining your professionalism and your job! In order to keep your conversations professional when working with kids, you must understand the following things: Confidentiality is of extreme importance. For this reason you must avoid being a gossip not just at work, but at home as well! You must keep conversations about students appropriate in tone and in the persons with whom you share information. Professionalism is of extreme importance. You must avoid talking with the students about your personal life or about adult topics which are inappropriate for them. This is another example of remembering that you are an authority figure and avoiding treating the students as if they were your friends. DON’TS – Avoid Discussing Students Many new teachers are often told to, “Stay out of the teacher’s lounge if you want to stay out of trouble.” While this might be an over-dramatic statement, there is a kernel of truth there that the saying is trying to impart. There will be many times when you are going to want to discuss your work with others around you. Others may include co-workers, family and friends. While discussing your work would normally be a safe thing to do, when working with children, it can be dangerous territory. It is pretty rare for us to spend time discussing the fun times we had at work, usually if we are discussing work, we are complaining about the challenges or difficulties we face. In this case those challenges are human beings with very protective parents! If you are talking publicly about what a hard time you are having with little Tony or Alicia and what a difficult child he or she is, you may be overheard and it may come back to haunt you! You could be complaining to a friend in the line at the movie theater and the student’s aunt is in line behind you. You could be complaining to a co-worker on the job and the student himself hears you and tattles to mom. Either way, you are going to end up facing an angry parent or student and you stand a chance of losing your job.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 59 Remember that maintaining confidentiality regarding student information is a requirement of the job. This also includes personally identifiable information such as student name, address, parents' name or phone number. You want to be sure that you are not providing this information to anyone inappropriately. This can include discussing students with parents. When a situation occurs between or among students, the names of the other children should not be mentioned. You would want to say, "John was involved in a fight with another student," rather than, "John was involved in a fight with Jim." The next page talks more about what you should and shouldn't discuss with parents. Be sure to ask the school where you work about proper "incident reporting" procedures. DON’TS – Avoid Parent Gossip Another very common opportunity to let your mouth get you into trouble is the temptation to discuss a student who is difficult with other parents. It is common for parents to try to engage teachers in conversation about the students, but you MUST NEVER DISCUSS A STUDENT WITH A PARENT, OTHER THAN THEIR OWN CHILD/CHILDREN! This is a hard-and-fast rule. Unfortunately many parents LOVE to gossip about the kids, but you absolutely must steer clear of these types of conversations. For Example: Two children in your class, Tonya and Stacey, are constantly fighting and bickering. They just don’t seem to get along with each other and the mothers of each child have started to become involved. The situation has become a big headache for everyone. You have Stacey in your class and have spoken with her mother several times. One day Tonya’s mother approaches you when you are on a field trip together. She strikes up a seemingly innocent conversation about the kids and then suddenly says, “Boy, that Stacey is a real handful, isn’t she?” Now you have felt that Stacey is a handful at times. It would be so easy to wander into these dangerous conversational waters with Tonya’s mother, but if you do, it will get back to Stacey’s mom and turn into a problem for you. Handling the Gossipy Parent If you are confronted with a gossipy parent, be sure to let him/her know that you will only engage in conversations about his/her child. This should reassure the parent that you also do not gossip about his/her children with other parents. DON’TS – Avoid Talking to Students Like Friends You must NEVER discuss your personal life with your students. You must always remember that they are NOT your friends and are NOT your peers. This can be hard if they are older and you are young, but no matter the age of your students, you must NOT treat them like friends. No matter what the age difference, you are definitely older than the students and you have NO idea what things their parents would find unacceptable for their child to view, listen to or discuss. Most short-term subs will never have to speak with a parent, however, long-term subs may have to act as the classroom teacher and interact with parents so remember the RULE NEVER DISCUSS A STUDENT WITH A PARENT, OTHER THAN THEIR OWN CHILD/CHILDREN!
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 60 Far too often young teachers become friendly with students and share aspects of their lives such as, “I am so hung over today.” They share details of parties or sexual relationships. They share stories of alcohol/drug use or expose kids to inappropriate music or movies. They discuss relationships with other teachers at the school. When you share this type of information with the students, you take a big risk of it being repeated to other teachers, administrators or parents, which could cost you your job. Remember, all of this is NONE of the students’ business and should NEVER be shared with them. In an attempt to have the students like you, it is easy to share too much of the adult and personal nature of your life in conversation. You must remember to keep the conversation professional and remember that the kids are not your friends, they are your responsibility. In the next section we will move on to discuss appropriate conversation with your students. Sexual Conversation Topics As in the topic of inappropriate touch, you must also avoid conversation with students that involves sex, suggestive language or innuendo. This includes sexual jokes, gestures or statements of any kind. If you are expected to teach aspects of sexuality (Health or Biology class), stick with the facts and the lessons and avoid being facetious, suggestive or sarcastic. If a student wishes to confide in you with regard to sexual questions or asks for advice, be respectful, but avoid being drawn into a dangerous conversation. You can ask a colleague to join you or you can direct the student to the Guidance Counselor or other trained individual. Keeping Your Speech Professional Keeping your conversation professional does not mean that you cannot share anything personal with the students or that you can only talk about the weather. Ask Students About Themselves You can talk about aspects of the school day, their likes, their dislikes, etc. You can definitely talk to them about THEIR lives: What do they do when they aren’t in school? What do they see in their future? Who is their best friend? Who inspires them?
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 61 Talk About “Safe” Things You Like You can also share stories from when you were a kid and impressions you have about harmless things like sports you like or movies (PG) that you thought were funny. Unfortunately, so much of today’s entertainment (TV, movies, music) is inappropriate for kids that it may be touchy for you to discuss these topics. Often the kids are watching and listening to things which their parents don’t even know about, so you don’t want to launch into long conversations with them about how great an R rated movie was or a new album with sexually explicit lyrics. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the students in your class have all been exposed to different levels of “adult” life based upon their experiences and their parents’ varying permissiveness. Some kids’ parents probably rent them R rated movies and while others’ probably don’t let them watch them. Remember that it is up to PARENTS when kids are exposed to various things, not you. Try to always stay AWARE of what you are saying with students when talking and steer clear of things you feel you just shouldn’t discuss. Minimum Necessary Rule Now that we’ve covered some very specific instances in which subs or classroom teachers may make the mistake of conversing inappropriately either WITH or ABOUT students, we wanted to discuss the rule-of-thumb when it comes to student information confidentiality: the Minimum Necessary Rule. Following the Minimum Necessary Rule Though gossiping about students is inappropriate, there will be many times when you must legitimately discuss the students with others including their classroom teacher, your coworkers or supervisor at the school and (depending on school policy) with their own parents. However, when you discuss the students you don’t necessarily have to give ALL information to ALL persons. The best possible rule to follow is the Minimum Necessary Rule. By this we mean; give only the minimum amount of information needed by the person you are speaking with to address whatever is being discussed. Confidentiality with Parents… For example, if two of your students are in a fight and must be held after school in detention. You must inform their parents, follow this rule when giving the information. Review the 2 examples to follow and place a check next to the one which you believe correctly demonstrates use of the Minimum Necessary Rule:
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 62 Example One “Mrs. Johnson, this is Mr. Stanton, Jonathon’s substitute teacher in Mathematics. Today Jon was involved in an altercation with another student. He is unhurt but will be serving detention and will need a ride home from school at 6:30 this evening. If you have any questions you may contact the Principal’s Office.” Example Two “Mrs. Johnson, this is Mr. Stanton, Jonathon’s substitute teacher in Mathematics. Today Jon was involved in a fistfight with Walter Robbins just outside my class. Apparently Walter called Jonathon a name and they started arguing when Jon punched Walter. Neither one is seriously hurt, but we have given them both detention and will need you or someone else to pick up Jon at 6:30 this evening.” (Answer: Example One is the CORRECT EXAMPLE) In the CORRECT EXAMPLE, the sub provides only the minimum amount of information the parent needs. It is not appropriate for the sub to give out information about the OTHER STUDENT to Jon’s mother. All she needs to know is that he has detention, what the reason is and what she needs to do. Leave it up to school administrators to handle any additional conversation. Confidentiality with Co-Workers… Though some schools do not allow subs to contact parents, the same may be true even when talking with co-workers. An example would be the following conversation with a fellow teacher in the school who is NOT the classroom teacher you are covering for: Example One ”Ms. Williams, today Lisa was reprimanded for being tardy to class. She had to stay in at lunch. I’ve noticed that she seems to spend a lot of time hanging out in the halls being a Chatty-Kathy and says she is often in trouble for being tardy. I’m telling you so you can keep an eye on her this afternoon.” Example Two “Ms. Williams, Lisa had to stay in during lunch with me because she was tardy.” (Answer: Example Two is the BETTER EXAMPLE) There actually is no need to share this information with any teacher besides the classroom teacher because it’s not important to others. You CERTAINLY shouldn’t share your “characterization” of the student as you may end up contributing to an unfair portrayal of the student overall. If you MUST share the information, simply state facts. Who CAN I Share Things With? It is always going to be acceptable to share information about the students and your experiences with them with the classroom teacher or your supervisor at the school. If you aren’t sure what information you can share with anyone else, ask your supervisor for guidance.
    • -------------------------------------------------------Substitute Teaching 101 ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 63 The HIPAA Law and How It Impacts You One VERY important situations to which the Minimum Necessary Rule applies is in regard to student MEDICAL INFORMATION. In 1996 the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed, and while it’s not obvious from the name, this law ensures the PRIVACY of any person’s medical information. This means that it is ILLEGAL for you to share a student’s medical information without the express permission of the parents (if they are under 18). As a sub you will be made aware of personal medical information for some of your students; information such as their diagnosis (Ex. - Autism, ADHD, Diabetes, etc.) and their treatment (prescription medications). This means you cannot share this information with: Other students People outside the school such as a spouse or friend Other coworkers (ask your supervisor about this before sharing any information) Confidentiality with MEDICAL Information… With medical information follow the Minimum Necessary Rule as well. You might tell a friend that you work with a student who is diagnosed with ADHD because you want to share a story or seek guidance, but you MUSN’T share the student’s name or any other information that could lead your friend to identify him/her. Select the example below which correctly follows the Minimum Necessary Rule: Example One ”Lisa, I know you’ve worked with several students who have ADHD at your school. This one child in my class, Jason, is always talking or running around during seat work. He’s a great little kid, so cute with his curly brown mop of hair and big brown eyes, but I have to spend all my time trying to keep him on-task.” Example Two ”Lisa, I know you’ve worked with several students who have ADHD at your school. Do you have any tips for helping them to avoid being disruptive during seatwork?” (Answer: Example Two is the CORRECT EXAMPLE) The Incorrect Example (Example One) may allow your friend to identify the student and this would be an example of a violation of that student’s privacy. If you are given permission to share the information with someone by Jason’s parents (or by Jason if he is 18), then it would be legal. Otherwise, keep this information private.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 64 Course Two – Advanced Classroom Management Often substitute teachers list CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT as their NUBMER ONE concern or area in which they'd like more training. This course provides specific classroom management skills, techniques and methods for effectively and positively managing your students and avoiding common mistakes made by new substitute teachers. You will learn professional methods to diffuse argument, to avoid negative techniques and to respect student needs. This lays the groundwork for a mutually respectful relationship and successful instruction. Lesson One – Calming Student Nerves This lesson covers the following: Understanding Student Resistance Comforting Little Guys & Gals Appealing to the Mutual Respect of Older Students
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 65 Understanding Student Resistance In the Substitute Teacher 101 course you learned that ROUTINES help to lower human stress and anxiety. Human beings are NATURALLY comforted by repetition and routine because we know what is coming and feel prepared. Think about it for a minute…how do you feel when you experience a major change in your life or routines? Even when events in our lives happen which are POSITIVE, if they represent a change, they trigger the Stress Response. This is the real reason why students may be naturally resistant to a substitute in their classroom. You represent a change in their daily routine and they will react with feelings like stress, anxiety, anticipation, or excitement. They may be thinking, “Who is this? Will he/she be nice, be fun, be a good teacher? Will I like being in this class with this person?” This is ESPECIALLY true for young children who usually have been specifically taught not to trust strangers. Imagine how they feel having been taught this lesson and then coming into the classroom to find you! Even with older students you may find resistance and nervousness in the students. Often subs worst fear is that students will behave badly to “take advantage” of them, however, often this misbehavior comes from the student’s sense of stress and fear. They don’t know what to expect from you and they test boundaries to get a sense of how you will react. You must remember that this reaction is natural and not take it personally. You must also remember that the trust and respect of the students will not be given automatically. It must be EARNED. Stress and the Body… The Stress Response is often referred to in Biology Class as the “Fight or Flight Response.” It is our natural reaction to fear or anxiety and it readies the body to either fight or run from the source of the danger. It leads to changes in the body including rapid heart rate and breathing, tightening muscles and the release of adrenalin and other chemicals. This reaction can cause students to “act out” more than they might otherwise do if they felt more relaxed. Deep Breathing Ritual After introducing yourself to the students, it may be a good idea to use a Deep Breathing Ritual to start the class. If you feel comfortable enough, lead all the students through several belly breaths (See Substitute Teaching 101) to reduce their stress and focus them for the class. Often subs worst fear is that students will behave badly to “take advantage” of them, however, often this misbehavior comes from the student’s sense of stress and fear.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 66 Comforting Little Guys & Gals Hopefully when you will be serving as a sub in an early learning or elementary school environment, a trusted teacher or administrator will be present in the classroom to introduce you to the students. This is the ideal start to quiet the fears of nervous young children. However, if this is not possible, you will want to take the following steps to help them to feel comfortable: 1. Write Your Name on Board and INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Wear a sticky NAME TAG with your name to help them remember it when speaking with you. 2. Begin by explaining to the students that you are a substitute teacher standing in for Mr. or Ms. _____________ today and let them know how HAPPY you are to have the chance to be their teacher for the day. 3. Ask them if they have ever had a substitute teacher before… If the answer is “Yes,” then you can reply, “Well, then you are already pros at this and we can get started with our day! Anytime you have a question, what do you do? That’s right; raise your hand and I will help you.” If the answer is “No,” then you can take a moment to explain that you are helping out the classroom teacher and that they can and will be doing most of the same things that they normally do in class. Take a couple minutes to answer any questions they may have. 4. Go over the classroom rules and expectations BRIEFLY 5. You MAY take time to have them make name tags for their desks…this depends on whether you feel you have the time and whether or not you already have a seating chart. 6. Get started on the lesson topic for the day. Appealing to the Mutual Respect of Older Students Older students will have more experience with subs but that does not mean that they will be less nervous or stressed about your presence. As with the young students, introducing yourself and expressing your pleasure at being their sub for the day is a good, respectful start. Remember that older students have the capacity to feel a strong respect for you as their leader, but they may not give respect automatically. They will be gauging your behavior to determine if they feel that you are a fair, informed and professional leader. Applying discipline fairly and consistently will be important to establishing student respect. Behaving confidently and compassionately will be important to establishing student respect. It is helpful to go over the classroom rules or expectations briefly to remind students that you are aware of them and that it is your job to make sure those are upheld while the classroom teacher is gone.* However, the most important thing to remember when dealing with any students is that if you expect them to treat you respectfully, you must treat them respectfully.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 67 Lesson Two – Managing the Room This lesson covers the following: Global Scan Developing Global Scan The Walkabout Using the Walkabout to Stop Disruption
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 68 Global Scan “Boy, Mr. Jenkins really has eyes in the back of his head!” Have you ever felt this way about a teacher, coach or parent? No matter which direction they were facing they always seemed to be able to catch you or others misbehaving. These people aren’t performing a magic trick, they’ve mastered a skill we call GLOBAL SCAN. When you first begin learning to drive a car, one of the skills you must learn is how to shift your eyes to watch the road in front of you, all of your mirrors and your speedometer. At first this seems daunting but soon you find your gaze zipping between these 4 points as if it was never new to you. Global Scan works much like this. As a teacher you don’t want to let your gaze get locked for too long onto one student or one thing. For example, if you are watching a video or student presentation, you want to keep your gaze scanning the room and the other students rather than locking onto the video. The idea behind Global Scan is to move your eyes around the room somewhat regularly, scanning the whole area. There are occasions when you are speaking directly with an individual student when you will want to give them devoted eye contact, however, while you are lecturing or teaching you will want to move your gaze all around the room, making eye contact with many different students. This keeps them all engaged and on-task and makes it easier for you to notice and correct inappropriate behavior quickly. Global Scan is especially important during events like assemblies, pep rallies and field trips. Developing Global Scan When you begin working as a substitute you will want to practice developing Global Scan naturally. Use the exercises below to improve your quickness and thoroughness at using Global Scan. Exercise One – While lecturing, move your gaze around the room and STOP your eyes on one student in each row or at each table. Hold their gaze for a moment and then move your gaze again. Exercise Two – In assemblies, move your gaze from left to right across the front row of students, then from right to left across the next row and so on, scanning across each student’s face as you talk/listen. Exercise Three – At recess watch the students at play. Practice looking around the whole area and focusing more closely on a particular section of the playground for about 10 seconds at a time. These exercises may seem strange or forced at first, but they are helpful and they make a point. As with learning to drive, with practice you’ll become natural at this so quickly that students will swear that you have eyes in the back of your head sooner than you think!
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 69 Walkabout In our Substitute Teacher 101 course we bring up a common mistake made by many new substitutes which we call getting stranded on “Desk Island.” Even if you are excited about subbing once you are standing at the front of the room in front of all those expectant faces it can get a little nerve-wracking. Sometimes subs quiet their nerves by staying behind the teacher’s desk or podium, placing a physical barrier between themselves and the students. While this might initially seem like a way to make the sub feel more comfortable, it can signal your tension to the students and can make classroom management MORE difficult instead of easier. While it is fine to spend some of the class period seated at a desk or standing behind a podium, you also want to spend a portion of your time in what we call a WALKABOUT. While lecturing, questioning, overseeing projects or helping with seatwork, you will want to walk slowly around the room and among the rows of desks or tables. Make sure that you walk to the sides and back of the room at times. This will not only help you to stay aware of any misbehavior, it will help to keep the students alert and engaged. Students in the back of the room will feel as much a part of what is occurring as those in the front of the room. You can stop to spend one-on-one time with a student and engage them directly. This makes students feel like you are more interested in and engaged with them than if you are trying to teach or guide them from behind a barrier. Using the WALKABOUT to Stop Disruption Often when activities go on in the classroom which involve only the teacher (as in LECTURE) or a few students (as in PRESENTATIONS), other students can become bored or disengaged. This is often a time when they may feel compelled to act inappropriately or begin to disrupt the learning process for other students. When you use the WALKABOUT technique, you automatically reduce this tendency because you are physically present AMONG the students. However if a student does begin to disrupt others, you can usually STOP this behavior simply by quietly walking near that student and standing nearby. You don’t necessarily need to say anything or in any way STOP the activity which is taking place such as your lecture or the student presentation. Simply use your presence to discourage the behavior. If it continues you may have to stop to correct it, but the WALKABOUT technique works both to help manage the classroom and to make the students feel connected with you and the lesson. Be sure not to HOVER over the student. If they return to acceptable behavior, move on. If you HOVER over them they will feel intimidated and it can signal to other students that you are “waiting” for this student to “be bad.”
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 70 Lesson Three – Get and Keep Their Attention This lesson covers the following: Be Quiet! Attention-Getting Tricks Staying On-Task On-Task Techniques
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 71 Be Quiet! No matter how skilled you are at keeping the learning experience interesting, there are just GOING to be times when it seems like your whole classroom has been bitten by the “chit-chat” or “hyperactive” bug. When you can’t seem to get your students to calm down and pay attention to you, you may be tempted to just put your hands over your ears and shout, “BE QUIET!” or “SHUT UP!” Of course you realize that you simply can’t do that. Not only is it an inappropriate response which signals to the students that you’ve lost control, it simply won’t work! For some reason whenever the students get louder the natural reaction is to try to shout over them…however, this usually just leads the students to get even louder and you end up making quite a racket but not getting their attention. Classroom teachers know that there are some tried and true techniques for getting the attention of students even when the entire room is talking at once. These include: Quiet and Calm Flick the Lights Raised Hand If you hear my voice… Attention-Getting Tricks Quiet and Calm Even though it doesn’t seem to make sense, talking in a quiet and calm voice when students are chattering can be a very effective way to get their attention. Students in the front row will notice you speaking and quiet down to try to hear what you are saying. This will have a “wave” effect leading all the students to progressively quiet down and begin listening to you. By keeping the volume of your voice low and calm, they will have to remain quiet to hear you. Flick the Lights In cases where you need the attention of all students and “flicking” the lights on and off ONCE will not disrupt anyone’s work; you can simply flip the light switch up and down to get their attention. This visual cue will be noticed by all students and they will quiet down. Raised Hand Many children are familiar with the visual cue of a raised hand to signal your desire that they quiet down. Many youth organizations such as the Scouts use this signal. To do this simply raise your hand and say nothing. Students who see your raised hand should raise theirs and quiet down. Eventually all will notice and become quiet. This only works if they already know this so you may start the day by introducing this signal.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 72 If you hear my voice… One trick which does use sound to override the noise in the room but which is popular with elementary and middle school students is the “If you hear my voice…technique.” This is how it works. You say loudly over the sound of the students: “If you hear my voice clap ONCE” and CLAP YOUR HANDS. “If you hear my voice clap TWICE” and CLAP YOUR HANDS twice. “If you hear my voice clap THREE TIMES” and CLAP YOUR HANDS three times. Each time some of the students will join you and typically you won’t even make it to the “clap three times” stage before they’ve quieted down. This is one you can teach students at the beginning of the day as well. Staying On-Task Some statistics say that every student in the United States will spend approximately one year of their schooling in the care of a substitute teacher. With new pressures on schools to achieve certain performance standards any day of instruction which is lost is critical. That is why the school district and classroom teacher are counting on you to effectively TEACH the lesson which the classroom teacher had planned for the day. However, once you have the students’ attention and are in the process of proceeding through the lesson together, it can be easy to get “off-task,” which means straying so far from the lesson that you lose their attention or understanding. Though some of the time lessons will naturally move onto side topics which are helpful or which improve the experience of the students, you DO have things to accomplish and topics to cover for the classroom teacher. Part of your job is to recognize the difference and to steer the lesson back on track if it starts straying too far from what was intended by the classroom teacher. You will need specific techniques to help to keep the students and yourself on-task during the lesson. Some of these techniques include: Question Parking Lot Day’s Tasks Posted Offer Completion Incentives
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 73 On-Task Techniques Using the following techniques will help you and your students to stay on-task during the lesson. Question Parking Lot Using a section of blackboard, the overhead projector or a large posted sheet of paper, establish a “parking lot” for students’ questions which you: Can’t answer Can’t answer at the time because it distracts from the progress of the lesson for the rest of the class Wish to address later Write the question down on the question parking lot. This will make sure that you record the question so that it CAN be addressed at some point and you remain respectful of the student’s natural curiosity. You may address the question at the end of the class period or in a following class if you have an assignment which lasts longer than one day. You may leave the questions for the classroom teacher if you don’t get to them and are only with the students for one day. Day’s Tasks Posted It is helpful before students arrive to outline the lesson plan on the board. This tells them what’s coming and serves as a reminder to you of what you are supposed to be accomplishing. You can refer to it when you get “off-task” with students as an excuse to get back on-task. As in, “OK guys this discussion has been fun but now we have to get back to the vocabulary exercise.” Offer Completion Incentives When students seem distracted about finishing an assignment or aspect of the lesson in a timely manner, you can offer them an incentive for completion. For example, “Ok folks, if you get those problems finished up in the next five minutes we can take an extra 5 minutes at the end of class to talk about __________ (a topic they are interested in now).”
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 74 Lesson Four – Positive Discipline This lesson covers the following: Bribery & Coercion Alternatives to Bribery Alternatives to Coercion Pick Your Battles Diffusing Argumentative Behavior Situational Pitfalls Pitfall Preparation
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 75 Bribery and Coercion: the Carrot and the Stick It is very common for new teachers to have moments with students which are extremely frustrating. You may want a QUICK resolution to a disciplinary situation or inappropriate behavior on the part of the student(s). When frustrated two of the most commonly used “behavior management” strategies include BRIBERY and COERCION or what we refer to as “the Carrot” and “the Stick.” Fundamentally the ideas of a “Carrot” or reward, for good behavior and a “Stick,” or consequence, for bad behavior are sound bases for behavior modification. In order for any child to determine what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behavior, the child must test the boundaries by acting out and see how adults react. If the adult reacts positively, the child understands that the behavior is acceptable or desirable. If the adult reacts negatively, the child understands that the behavior is unacceptable or undesirable. Unfortunately, when teachers use bribery and coercion, they fail to teach students what behaviors they expect and instead end up having students manipulate their behaviors. Bribery or Pleading is what teachers resort to in order to make a student change from an unacceptable behavior to an acceptable one by promising a reward. For example, “if you will be quiet for the next 10 minutes, I’ll let you skip today’s seatwork assignment.” The problem with this is that the student HAS NOT YET begun acting positively and is instead being REWARDED for bad behavior. You can see how a student would be encouraged to keep acting badly if you’re going to keep offering bribes. Coercion or Threatening is what a teacher does when he wants a student to FEAR a consequence or outcome. For example, “If you don’t stop talking with your neighbor you are going to have to stay in with me at recess!” This technique teaches students to behave properly only out of fear and not because they actually understand the impact of their behavior or what the positive behavior is that you expect. Often students will become MORE RESISTANT to this approach, rather than less. Alternatives to Bribery: Rewarding Positive Behavior It can be quite tricky to grasp the difference between using bribery and using effective reinforcement/reward for good behavior. Let’s use an example to explain the difference: Student A is behaving as desired. He is working cooperatively with his group on the assigned project. Student B is behaving undesirably. He is arguing with his group and is growing loud and more explosive. This is an IMPORTANT and COMPLEX topic. Take your time reading and reflecting on this information!
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 76 Because Student B has given you headaches all day, you’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to get him to behave appropriately. You are at the end of your rope with frustration, and you just want him to behave. So you take him aside and offer him a reward if he will behave in the desired manner. He cooperates. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED…RIGHT? Wrong. You MAY think this accomplished your goal because Student B is now behaving, but you’ve actually done the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you wanted. You taught Student B (and all the other students who’ve watched you) that to GET A REWARD all they have to do is MISBEHAVE. Student A didn’t get anything for being good, while Student B got a reward. Do you see how this REINFORCES misbehavior? We understand how frustrating it can be to handle student misbehavior and if you are only subbing for one day you may be tempted to take this “quick fix” approach, but remember, you are not just teaching your students a TOPIC AREA; you are teaching them about life. Your job is to guide them to develop healthy habits of behavior, not just intellectual ability. So now let’s examine methods for properly REWARDING or MOTIVATING positive behavior. Method One – Notice/Reward Positive Behavior in All Students This is “modeling” by some students for other students. Say, “I appreciate how Lisa and Steven are working quietly now during our quiet time. They understand the expectations I have.” Use SPECIFIC PRAISE and rewards/motivators from your sub goodie bag to encourage the behaviors you wish from all students. Method Two – “Catch” the “Bad” Student Being “Good” Often students who have frequent behavioral problems or confrontations are being yelled at or corrected by adults around them FAR MORE OFTEN than they hear anything good. Take the time to notice when they ARE doing something good, even if it is unrelated. Say, “Angel, I thank you for being so nice to Susan when she asked for the pencil. That was kind of you. Now let’s get back to finishing your work.” Sometimes these kids just need a little positive reinforcement to help build their self-esteem. Fighting the “Good” Fight… Have you ever been in the grocery store and watched a frustrated parent try to deny a screaming child a cookie? How many times does the parent get too tired to fight and give the child a cookie? What did this teach the child? We know that teaching children positive behaviors takes energy, fortitude and PATIENCE, but it is necessary to help them grow into successful, self- sufficient adults.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 77 My Tolerance Scale Every sub and teacher will have a different level of tolerance for issues like noise, disorganization, mess, humor, idleness, movement, play, attention, etc. We suggest filling out the My Tolerance Scale document in the Appendix. This can help you be aware of your personal “frustration triggers” so you can avoid overreaction. Alternatives to Coercion: Applying Consequences Calmly In a previous example when the teacher threatened the student with “staying in at recess” if he/she wouldn’t be quiet, you might have thought, “What’s wrong with that?” If the consequence for being noisy is staying in at recess, that seems logical, right? That is why this is a tricky concept. Whenever a child is given a consequence for breaking an expectation of behavior, it is important that the child UNDERSTAND: What he/she did wrong Why it is wrong or why the expectation is in place That with expectations also come consequences The purpose is to TEACH children to understand rules of behavior so that they can grow into socially responsible adults. (See our example at right.) Additionally teachers typically only threaten students when they feel frustrated or out-of-control and students can sense this. It is important that you always stay calm and unemotional about discipline. You should always review the classroom rules or behavioral expectations after introducing yourself to the class. This prevents students from “pretending” that they are unaware of the rules and also REMINDS them…sometimes they can forget; especially young students. Step One – Remind the Student of the Classroom Expectations When a student is violating a “rule” or “expectation” of the classroom, remind them with a question, “George, what is the classroom expectation about hitting? That’s right; keep your hands to yourself. I’m glad you remember that all students must keep their hands to themselves. I will not remind you again.” Again, this topic is important and complex. Take your time to read and reflect on the difference between COERCION and proper consequences for misbehavior.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 78 Step Two – Consistently Apply Consequences When a student violates a “rule” and you’ve already reminded him/her once, you must apply the consequence for the rule calmly and consistently for all students. Say, “George, I’m sorry but I’ve already reminded you of the expectation that you keep your hands to yourself. You will have to apologize to Elsie and stay in with me at recess today.” You should NEVER let a behavior go on unaddressed if it is affecting other students’ ability to learn. You also should NEVER let a situation escalate into an emotional confrontation. Once you’ve told the student the consequences and applied them, if the student will not comply or becomes increasingly disruptive, send him/her to the principal (Call ahead to let them know he/she is coming. You may have to send him/her with another student). Reflection No matter how hard we all try, all adults resort to bribery or coercion at some point, so this section is not intended to make you feel like you have to be PERFECT. However, it is mean to raise your awareness and help you to think of alternative ways to guide children to behave in positive ways. Think of a time when you have used bribery or coercion to get a child to do what you want…was it effective in the short-term? Was it effective in the long-term? What, if anything, could you have done instead to achieve the goal you wanted?
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 79 Pick Your Battles – Is this really a problem or is it an EGO thing? The most common mistake made by ANY adult who is trying to discipline or guide a child’s behavior is to engage in an unnecessary power struggle. Ultimately you must remember that because you are the adult, the power in the situation is YOURS but it is up to you to use it wisely, calmly and productively. A very wise children’s book author once said, “Never get sucked into an argument with a 3 year old; you can’t win.” This is absolutely true. Whenever you find yourself in an actual argument with a student, no matter what their age, you’ve already lost. You’ve come down to the students’ level and are behaving emotionally by pleading, explaining yourself or chastising them. The first thing you should ask yourself when a student is engaging in a behavior which you feel is inappropriate is, “Is this behavior actually disrupting the learning process for other students?” If the answer is NO, the best route may be to IGNORE the behavior. Some children seek attention in any way that they can get it, including through negative behaviors. Ignoring the behavior eliminates the reward of your attention. If the answer to the question is YES, then you must address the behavior calmly and appropriately. Remind the student of the classroom expectations and let him/her know that they cannot violate this expectation a second time without you giving consequences. If they do, apply the consequences calmly. Don’t take the behavior personally or allow yourself to become upset or emotional. And avoid allowing yourself to get into a verbal argument with the student. But always first ask yourself if the behavior is TRULY disrupting the learning process of other students before you react and make sure your reaction is appropriate. Diffusing Argumentative Behavior Whenever a student makes a statement that is argumentative or resistant, they typically expect you as the adult to react negatively. They are pushing the boundaries and trying to instigate a verbal battle. The simplest way to diffuse an argument before it even begins is to use one of the following 3 phrases: I agree… Whenever a student says something that you can partially agree with, do so. This will make the student feel that you are on “their side” and reduce their desire to argue with you. For example, you’ve given the homework assignment and it involves quite a long section of reading. Susan Reiner says, “Man that’s a TON of reading! That sucks!” A very wise children’s book author once said, “Never get sucked into an argument with a 3 year old you can’t win.”
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 80 You reply, “Susan I agree that the assignment includes a lot of reading, but with mid-terms coming up next this will really make sure you are very prepared and will have to do less studying later.” I understand… When a student says something you don’t feel you can agree with you can use the statement I understand to make the student feel that you empathize with him/her. For example, you’ve announced that you are going to be starting a unit on fractions. Timmy Lee says, “Aaaaarrrrgggh! No way. I HATE fractions!” You reply, “Timmy I understand how you feel. There are things we cover in school that just aren’t our favorites, but fractions actually play an important role in everyday life and I will do my best to keep it fun and interesting.” I hear you… This is much like I understand, but doesn’t necessarily imply understanding. It is more to let the student know that you are listening to him/her and care what he/she has to share. For example, the classroom teacher has assigned the students a lot of grammar exercises as seatwork. Sheree Johnson says, “Why do we always have to do this stupid busywork when we have a sub? There’s no point, it’s just to keep us quiet.” You reply, “Sheree, I hear you, but this is the expectation your classroom teacher has set for me and it’s my job to make sure I do what he/she expects. You can go ahead and chat quietly with your friends or use the extra time for study hall once you’ve completed the assignment.” Using these techniques will prevent you from getting wrapped up in a pointless argument with your students and will make them feel that you are a compassionate leader. It is a careful balance you must try to keep: remembering that you are in charge and must accomplish what is expected and having compassion and appreciation for student concerns at the same time. Situational Pitfalls Anyone who’s taught can tell you that there are certain times in the day or situations which lend themselves to student misbehavior. When you know these situations are coming up, anticipating possible student misbehavior prepares you to expect it and handle it appropriately. Common Situations which Lead to Increased Misbehavior Physical Issues o Pre-Lunch Hunger/Exhaustion o Post-Lunch Fatigue or Hyperactivity o Pre-End-of-Day Exhaustion
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 81 Changes in Routine o Birthdays/Classroom Events o Assemblies/Pep-Rallies o Field Trips As a teacher, it’s important that you recognize that the physical needs of students will play an important role in how they behave. Hunger, fatigue, thirst, exercise, lack of exercise, or the need to visit the restroom can lead to misbehavior. There are specific times in the day when you can anticipate these issues affecting the students. It is also important to recognize is the impact of changes in routine on student emotions and behavior. “Fun” events like birthdays, classroom events, assemblies, pep rallies and field trips can cause students to get very excited and “wound-up” leading to increased misbehavior. Pitfall Preparation Though you may not remember it, attending school was sometimes a pretty exhausting job. Students are constantly absorbing a great deal of new information and face the additional daily pressures of physical growth and social interaction. Pre-Lunch Exhaustion/Hunger - Just before lunchtime students are often mentally exhausted and very hungry. If you consider how irritable and short- tempered anyone can become when hungry, you can understand why your last class before lunch may not be as relaxed as your first class of the day. Remedy: Be ready for this possibility and be compassionate. Keep your own cool if kids seem to have “shorter tempers” than usual. Post-Lunch Fatigue or Hyperactivity – After lunch you may face students who seem very sleepy or who are hyperactive. Digestion of food draws blood to the stomach area and away from the brain and other areas of the body. This can lead to fatigue or sleepiness. Use as many techniques as possible to keep them alert and engaged. Avoid “boring” lesson aspects like LECTURE or showing of VIDEOTAPES right after lunch if at all possible. On the other hand, if you have students who were actively playing during a lunch recess period, they may be hyperactive or wound-up and need assistance calming down. Avoid “exciting” lesson aspects at this time such as those using a lot of movement or noise. Remedy: You can actually address BOTH fatigue and hyperactivity by using Deep Breathing which awakens and relaxes the mind. Pre-End-of-Day Exhaustion – Much like just before lunch, students may be very fatigued mentally just before the school day ends. See remedy above. Fun Events – All fun events tend to lead to hyperactivity from the students. Their excitement causes them to act up, becoming more noisy or disruptive than usual. Remedy: Remind students that the same expectations of behavior apply as always. When students misbehave, handle it with the same calm attitude and consistency that you would in the classroom setting.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 82 Lesson Five – Positive Learning Environment This lesson covers the following: The Emotionally Safe Learning Environment Routine vs. Spontaneity Never Humiliate, Use Sarcasm or Belittle Students Respecting Physical Needs It’s OK to Be Imperfect
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 83 The Emotionally Safe Learning Environment As you learned in the Substitute Teacher 101 course, STRESS adversely affects human beings’ ability to function and make good decisions. When a person feels stressed or anxious, the physical Stress Response in the body shuts down the FRONTAL LOBE of the brain. This area of the brain is where we do the majority of our analytical and critical thinking. It is what drives our decision-making and is essential to the learning process. When students feel anxious or stressed in the classroom environment, their ability to learn new information is diminished or completely eliminated. That is why it is absolutely essential that the classroom teacher create a learning environment which is positive and conducive to learning. Your first task as a substitute is to make certain that the classroom environment is SAFE for all students not only physically but EMOTIONALLY. You must make certain that students do not feel threatened either by other students or by YOU! That is why the Bullying Prevention techniques taught in the basic course are important and that is why you as the teacher must avoid bullying behaviors as well. Often new teachers make the mistake of losing their temper or becoming frustrated with students’ behavior and responding by humiliating, threatening, arguing, shouting or using sarcasm. All of these behaviors have NO place in the learning environment and will serve only to reduce the students’ ability to learn as well as their respect for you as a leader. If a student who is raising his/her hand must fear that you will humiliate him/her, that student will stop raising that hand. The rest of this lesson is devoted to teaching you how to avoid creating an unsafe learning environment for your students. Routine vs. Spontaneity As you have learned previously, routine is the most important foundation to creating a low-stress environment for your students. The best rule of thumb to keep students relaxed is 90% ROUTINE and 10% SPONTANAEITY. Though spontaneous events are FUN, they create anxiety and excitement which can cause students to become “wound up” and to misbehave. In order to make students feel comfortable and relaxed, you will want to establish routines in the day. Some of these routines are described later in the 10 Steps to Be Prepared information found in the Organizational Processes section of the Instructional Strategies course.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 84 However, additional routines may include: Open class with introduction, behavioral expectations. Give students directions before beginning any activity and tell them, “Ok, Begin.” Repeating this pattern teaches them to expect it and they will grow comfortable. Use signals to move from one activity to another like a cheer, chant, clap or stomp (especially good with young children). Always assign student helpers to distribute materials. Always finish class with a conclusive activity or statement. Never Humiliate, Use Sarcasm or Belittle Students! One of the single biggest mistakes a teacher can make is to come down to the level of children themselves and engage in HUMILIATION, SARCASM or BELITTLING of students. Nothing will cause you to lose the respect and trust of the students faster than making fun of them, especially publicly. The students trust you as the adult to engage in adult behavior and react appropriately to them. Common examples of this mistake include: Calling on a student to answer a question who is chatting with others, daydreaming or asleep at their desk. “Steven if you had been paying attention, you would have known the answer to the question.” (HUMILIATION) Discouraging a student who is off-task or who seems “cheeky” through belittling. For example, the students are asked to draw a picture of their hero and Tyree is not completing the task. When asked why he replies, “I am going to be my own hero because I am going to be the biggest Baseball Star in history.” Instead of encouraging him to draw himself as his hero, you reply, “Well, well, well. Tyree clearly doesn’t want to do his work because he’s too busy dreaming about things that will never happen.” (BELITTLING) Reacting to student questions with sarcasm. For example, when a student asks if human beings have ever landed on the sun, “I don’t know Lisa. Since the surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, what do you think?” (SARCASM) This usually happens when a teacher has LOST HIS/HER COOL so whenever you start to feel very frustrated remember to use your stress management techniques including DEEP BREATHING to regain control of yourself. Respecting Physical Needs Sometimes in their desire to keep control of the classroom new substitutes may take too harsh a disciplinary approach and forget that students have physical needs such
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 85 as hunger, thirst and the need to visit the restroom. Every human being has a right to drink when they are thirsty or go the restroom when they need to. Young children will experience these needs on a much more frequent schedule than older children, but all of us have experienced how awful it feels to be denied the right to go to the restroom when we REALLY, REALLY have to do so. Typically there will be school procedures regarding the handling of the physical needs of students and you should be familiar with these by reading your handbook or district policies. Often food is not allowed in the classroom as it can present a sanitation issue (unless there is a special event like a birthday). However, many schools do allow students to have a water bottle and all schools allow students to visit the water fountain or restroom during class. You may have to issue the student a hallway pass to allow them to leave the classroom for this purpose. Our philosophy is that you should NEVER deny a student the right to a drink of water or a visit to the restroom, even if they seem to be asking for it too often in a class period and here is why: a student may have a medical or other condition of which you are unaware that makes frequent drinking or restroom visits necessary. It’s true that some students may push the boundaries, but you can’t be sure if they really have the need and to deny this right is (in our opinion) to risk violating that student’s HUMAN RIGHTS. Using physical needs as a battleground for control of student behavior is INAPPROPRIATE and can even be ABUSIVE in the wrong situation. For example a diabetic student may need to drink or urinate more frequently than peers. A student may have an incontinence problem or be on medication which causes excessive thirst. A young woman may need to visit the restroom unexpectedly due to menstrual concerns. When in doubt, it is better to give the student permission and then discuss the issue after school with a supervisor or the classroom teacher (if you feel that a student was pushing the boundaries). They can tell you what to do in future situations like this. (We do recognize that it is always essential that you follow the policies and procedures of your employers and if our instructions differ from your district policies, you’ll want to follow the expectations of your district. On occasion districts have set policies with regard to bathroom visits in an effort to reduce bullying events which take place there.) It’s Ok to Be Imperfect One of the best lessons you can teach your students is that nobody is perfect, including you. Many teachers and adults feel that admitting imperfection or apologizing when you make a mistake is a sign of WEAKNESS and will cause students to take advantage of you. Our philosophy is that appearing rigid and unkind and acting as if you are always perfect or right has just the opposite effect. Students will lose respect for you and feel less trust in your guidance.
    • ---------------------------------------Advanced Classroom Management ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 86 When you HAVE made a mistake or behaved in a manner that is inappropriate yourself, especially when working with older students, it is often appropriate to offer a simple apology to show your respect for their rights and feelings. For example, if you lose your cool and say something mean or sarcastic to a student and immediately realize your mistake, you can simply apologize as in: “Lisa I am sorry. I should never have been sarcastic like that with you. It was unkind and I didn’t mean it. I was feeling irritable and I was inappropriate. It won’t happen again. What I should have said was ______________________.” Keep in mind, if your mistake happened in private, you may give the apology in private, but if the mistake happened in public, you will want to give your apology in public. Keep it simple, straightforward, heartfelt and respectful. The students will appreciate that you set an example for them: it’s ok to be imperfect, but when you owe someone an apology, it’s best to give it.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 87 Course Three – Instructional Strategies The most important part of your title as SUBSTITUTE TEACHER is TEACHER, of course! This course provides an introduction to the instructional strategies used by classroom teachers to engage every unique learner in the class. You will become familiar with learning styles, multiple intelligences, organizational processes and other techniques used by teachers to create a high-quality learning experience for the students. Lesson One – Being Prepared This lesson covers the following: Organizational Processes Organizational Materials Establishing Expectations of Behavior Personal Expectations
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 88 Organizational Processes Being prepared is always essential to do a good job in any profession. This lesson is devoted to helping you to prepare for your substitute teaching assignments. Organizational processes will be very important to keep you ready and on-task. Take the following 10 steps in your day. Though most occur before students arrive, but all are important to keep you on-track and relaxed. Step One – Arrive to work EARLY. You will need time before students arrive to properly prepare to step in and cover for the classroom teacher. Step Two – Make certain you know where the office is relative to your classroom (usually you must check in here anyway). Step Three – Make certain you know where the restroom is relative to your classroom and USE it! It can be hard once the school-day starts to get time to visit the restroom because you cannot leave your students unattended. You don’t want to be teaching classes with your knees locked together because you have to go to the restroom. Step Four – Once in your classroom find the telephone and list of numbers. Locate the Emergency Pack if they have one. This is typically a pack found near the door with emergency items and the list of students’ names so roll can be taken after an evacuation due to fire or other emergencies. Locate the First Aid kit if one is in the room. Step Five – Review the materials left by the classroom teacher. Look for a SEATING CHART or attendance sheet. Review the lesson plan and locate any items listed in the plan that you will need. Take out these materials and place them in an easy location for later use. If you can’t find the materials in the room, you may rely on your sub Goodie Bag for replacements like scissors and tape. Step Six – Review the lesson plan and make certain you feel comfortable with it. If there IS NO LESSON PLAN use/prepare a Filler Activity from your sub Goodie Bag. Step Seven – Write your name on the board or overhead projector. Also write the plans for the day’s lesson on the board to help keep you and the students “on-task”. You might do this as an outline or bulleted list of general topics/activities. Step Eight – Locate the classroom rules or expectations of behavior (if available) and familiarize yourself with them. If they are NOT available, have your own personal expectations available and write them on board or other prominent place. Be prepared to go over these with students.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 89 Step Nine – When students arrive introduce yourself to the students and take a quick attendance. Don’t spend a long time with this as you want to get right into the lesson for the day. Let students know that you will be covering for the classroom teacher and that you will uphold the same classroom rules and that you look forward to working with them. If you will be using your own expectations because you couldn’t find the teacher’s, go over them with the students (more on this to follow). Step Ten – Once the day has ended be sure to write up a complete report for the classroom teacher. Try to provide details about the students and your experiences. Include any information about aspects of the lesson which weren’t covered or which were confusing. Include questions the students may have had that the classroom teacher may want to address. The more detailed you can be, the more you were paying attention and the more the district will perceive you as a professional and valuable employee. Organizational Materials You will no doubt want a copy of the 10 Steps outlined previously. Click the 10 Steps to Be Prepared bookmark to jump to this document found in the Appendix of this manual.) It is also probably of use to you to have a document which provides a GUIDELINE for how to write the end-of-day report for the classroom teacher. Click the Substitute Teacher Report to jump to this document found in the Appendix of this manual.) Assembling Your Sub Goodie Bag A substitute Goodie Bag will contain everything that you wish to bring to a sub assignment. It is an EXTREMELY USEFUL tool to have because you essentially bring a “mini-classroom” everywhere, making it easier to function in changing classroom environments. We recommend that your Goodie Bag contain: A copy of your personal Classroom Behavioral Expectations A copy of the 10 Steps to Be Prepared (above) – once you’ve subbed a few times you won’t need this any longer. Several printed copies of the Substitute Teacher Report (above) Filler Activities (General and Topic Area) Rewards/Motivators Classroom Supplies Later in this manual we cover assembling your Goodie Bag in greater detail.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 90 Establishing Expectations of Behavior Typically the classroom rules or expectations of behavior have already been established by the classroom teacher and you will simply be following those. You will want to go over these briefly with students at the start of the day. However, in situations where you do not have the normal expectations available to you, it is helpful to have your OWN PERSONAL list of expectations and associated consequences which you can use instead. You will definitely have to go over these with students as they may differ slightly from their normal expectations. One important thing to remember when establishing your own expectations with students is the importance of student input. Though you will have the final say in establishing the rules and associated consequences, it can be much easier to get student buy-in if you ask them for their input in establishing the rules. Ask them questions such as: Do these expectations make sense to you? Do you think that they are fair? Is there anything about them that you feel is wrong or which you cannot follow? When you give them the chance to have some input, they will come to understand why the rules are in place and why they must be followed. When students don’t see rules as something which have been IMPOSED upon them by adults, but rather understand that they are guidelines which all GROUPS of people need to ensure their safety and enjoyment, they will be less resistant to them. Even very young children can understand why “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” must be an expectation of behavior by simply asking, “Would you like it if someone hit you?” Personal Expectations of Behavior If you don’t have the normal classroom teacher’s expectations available to you or can’t locate them, it is best if you have your own personal expectations ready to go over with the students. Some guidelines for creating these include: Keep it Short! – Keep your list of “rules” shorter than 7 things to make it easy to follow and remember. Include Consequences – Assign a consequence for violation of an expectation and post these with the expectations.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 91 Use Positive Phrasing – As you learned in Substitute Teaching 101, you should phrase your rules based on behaviors you DO want as in “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” rather than “No Hitting.” Use this format as much as possible. Post the List – Post these rules somewhere prominent so students can always see it and refer to it. Get Student Input – Ask students for input and be flexible in potentially changing them to meet their needs if it seems to make sense. In the Appendix of this manual there is a Sample Expectations of Behavior document which you may use as a guideline for creating your own.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 92 Lesson Two – The Unique Learner This lesson covers the following: The Unique Learner Learning Styles The Auditory Learner The Visual Learner The Kinesthetic/Tactual Learner Your Learning Style Multiple Intelligences Characteristics of the Multiple Intelligences “Intelligent” Lesson Plans Your Intelligences
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 93 The Unique Learner Though we naturally accept the fact that all human beings are completely unique, we often fail to incorporate that knowledge into our teaching techniques. When you are standing at the front of your classroom and scanning the 20 faces staring back, you are looking at 20 completely unique learners. All human beings learn from the world around them. The way that each one’s brain takes in and processes sensory information will be somewhat different. In order to be an effective teacher you must accept the unique nature of your learners and strive to reach out to each of them in the manner that best suits them. This may sound like a daunting task. You may be thinking, “How can I possibly teach the same concepts 20 different ways?” The truth is that there are established best practices for using brain-based learning or learning techniques which reach a wide variety of styles of learning and processing information. Decades of research have taught us that individual learners have preferential learning styles and what are called multiple “intelligences.” This lesson will teach you to recognize and engage all of your learners. Learning Styles Research has identified 3 primary LEARNING STYLES which are used in some part by all learners. These Learning Styles are tied to the human senses and an individual learner’s “preferred” learning styles will typically be tied biologically to the sense which the individual prefers to use to take in new information. Most learners are unaware that they have preferred learning styles, but as the teacher it will be your job to make certain that your lessons present information in ways that reach all 3 types of learners. The 3 learning styles include: A – Auditory An auditory learner prefers to learn by listening or speaking aloud. When learning new information or a new task, this learner will want the teacher to VERBALLY TELL him/her about it or describe the information. This learner tends to process the information through VERBAL conversation. They also tend to enjoy learning experiences which incorporate music or sound. V – Visual A visual learner prefers to learn by seeing or through pictures and imagery. When learning new information or a new task, this learner will want the teacher to SHOW him/her images or demonstrations about the information. This learner tends to process the information through pictures in his/her mind and visualizes naturally. They will enjoy teacher demonstrations, drawing and video or computer work.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 94 K/T – Kinesthetic/Tactual A kinesthetic or tactual learner prefers to learn by doing something themselves. When learning new information or a new task, this learner will want the teacher to let them actually DO or TOUCH something with their own body physically. This learner processes information through physical experiences and is often naturally coordinated or athletic in comparison to peers. They will enjoy any demonstration or activity in which they can actively participate. All people use each of the learning styles to some degree, but all people also have 1 or 2 styles which they use most frequently in order to learn. The rest of this lesson will help you to understand clearly and easily how to construct lessons and learning experiences which reach out to all 3 types of learners. A – The Auditory Learner The average American classroom environment already FAVORS the AUDITORY learner. As students sit still at their desks, the teacher LECTURES VERBALLY and questions the students VERBALLY. Students answer questions VERBALLY and this is the primary way that most teachers both present information AND check for understanding. Unfortunately only a small percentage of learners are primarily AUDITORY learners. Using this learning style alone when teaching a class will leave out the majority of students and make their learning experience less enjoyable and more difficult. You don’t need much instruction on how to stimulate this learner as the normal teaching interaction uses quite a lot of AUDITORY learning. Additional ideas for stimulating AUDITORY learners besides simple lecture and questioning include: Listen to music like MOZART while engaged in seatwork or quiet projects…even testing! Ask students to compose answers to questions in the form of a song or rap. Allow students to use sounds or rhythms to respond to questions, for example, have them knock on their desk ONCE for “yes” and TWICE for “no.” Stimulating their learning style will keep AUDITORY learners interested and on-task. The average American classroom environment already FAVORS the AUDITORY learner.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 95 V – The Visual Learner Almost 90% of learners are primarily visual learners. This makes common sense when you consider how heavily we rely on our sight as our major sense of input about the world around us. Visual learners are not being reached when you simply LECTURE VERBALLY to them. Imagine the difference for this learner between having you TELL them about the civil war and actually showing them photographs of the battles as you discuss it! Reaching out to the VISUAL learner is both easy and fun. Be sure to utilize PICTURES, IMAGES, VIDEOS, etc as much as possible in your lessons. Make them “come alive” as much as possible. If the classroom teacher did not supply images or photos to “go with” the lesson (ex – Civil War), you can download pictures from the INTERNET, draw on the board or overhead, or have students join you in creating mini-re-enactments to PAINT THE PICTURE for them of what you are discussing. Additional ideas for stimulating VISUAL learners include: Ask students to DRAW as part of answers to questions or class projects. Ask students to VISUALIZE images in their heads while you describe them. Guide them to PICTURE the details (See Digital Library for example of how this works.). Use VIDEOS on Internet or classroom A/V equipment. Reflection Take some time to think of some additional activities or methods which you can use to stimulate VISUAL learners and record them below.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 96 K/T – The Kinesthetic/Tactual Learner Kinesthetic (Kin-s-thet-ic) /Tactual (Tac-chu-uhl) or “K/T” learners are the most underserved by the modern American classroom environment. It is no longer accepted in education that students are only learning when they SIT STILL and STAY QUIET. K/T learners learn best by using their bodies to experience the world. They LOVE to try new things themselves and are often adventurous about participating in demonstrations or reaching out to touch something. Why Movement is GOOD for Learning… What is even more amazing is that research shows that these learners may actually be able to better take in AUDITORY or VISUAL information if they are allowed to MOVE their bodies! That means that even while you are lecturing verbally, a K/T learner may be better able to hear and process that lecture if you allow them to sway, fidget or even walk around! It is important that student movement not be allowed to disrupt other learners or derail the learning experience; however, it IS important that you incorporate MOVEMENT into your lessons. There are PLENTY of creative ways to do this that enhance the learning experience. Additional ideas for stimulating K/T learners include: Provide opportunities for student DEMONSTRATION participation Use DRAMA/RE-ENACTMENT Allow students to answer questions using MOVEMENT. For example, STAND-UP next to desk for “yes” and SIT-DOWN on floor for “no.” Reflection Take some time to think of some additional activities or methods which you can use to stimulate K/T learners and record them below. DON’T be afraid to let your students MOVE! It will keep them interested and on-task instead of bored and sleepy! Students who are bored are more likely to act out and behave inappropriately so embrace MOVEMENT in specific controlled ways within the classroom environment.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 97 Your Learning Style The most common mistake made by teachers is staying within their OWN COMFORT ZONE. Because you are an individual, you have a preferred learning style too and may not have even realized it. Typically teachers will teach most often in THEIR OWN learning style because stretching outside of it makes them uncomfortable. Of course, as you realize, you MUST incorporate all 3 learning styles into your lessons to be effective and reach out to all your students. Learning Styles Assessment In the Appendix of this manual you will find a Learning Styles Assessment which you can take to determine your own preferences and tendencies. The assessment comes with even more great ideas for “stretching” your lesson activities to reach all 3 learning styles. Once you know your own preferred learning style, you can “WATCH OUT” to make sure that you aren’t over-emphasizing your own style at the expense of others. This will not only teach you new things about yourself, it will make you a more aware and effective teacher. Multiple Intelligences In 1983 Professor Howard Gardner wrote a critical book called Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences which altered our understanding of the different ways in which humans process information. Gardner's theory argues that the traditional definition of intelligence does not include the wide variety of abilities humans display. For example, he does not believe a child who masters the multiplication table easily is necessarily more intelligent overall than a child who struggles to do so. The second child may be stronger in another kind of intelligence, and therefore may best learn the information better in a different way, or may excel in a field outside of mathematics. He proposes that there are 8 distinct “intelligences” or ways in which people PROCESS the information that they take in. Just as with learning styles, different learners will preferentially use some of these “intelligences” more than others. As a teacher, you will want to include activities in your lessons that stimulate the multiple intelligences.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 98 The intelligences include: Verbal – Linguistic – learners who are good with words, speaking and language Logical – Mathematical – learners who are good with numbers and logic Visual – Spatial – learners who understand visual imagery and 3-D spaces Bodily – Kinesthetic – learners who are good at physical tasks like sports or building Musical – learners who are good with music and rhythm Interpersonal – learners who are good at interacting with other people Intrapersonal – learners who are good at reflecting alone Naturalistic – learners who understand nature and classification Let’s move on now to learn more about each of these intelligences and ways you can present lessons to stimulate all of them. Characteristics of Each Intelligence The 8 intelligences are described briefly below. You will be able to recognize these intelligences as “preferences” in your students. Verbal - Linguistic - To do with words, spoken or written. Gifted with words and languages. Typically good at reading, writing, telling stories, and memorizing words and dates. Learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall and an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure. Logical - Mathematical - To do with logic, abstractions, inductive and deductive reasoning, and numbers. While it is often assumed that those with this intelligence naturally excel in mathematics, chess, computer programming, and other logical or numerical activities, a more accurate definition places emphasis less on traditional mathematical ability and more reasoning capabilities, abstract pattern recognition, scientific thinking and investigation, and the ability to perform complex calculations. Visual - Spatial - To do with vision and spatial judgment. People with strong visual-spatial intelligence are typically very good at visualizing and mentally manipulating objects. Typically they have a strong visual memory, are artistically inclined, have a very good sense of direction and may also have very good hand-eye coordination, although this is normally seen as a characteristic of the bodily- kinesthetic intelligence.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 99 Bodily-kinesthetic - To do with movement and doing. In this category, people are generally adept at physical activities such as sports or dance and often prefer activities which utilize movement. They may enjoy acting or performing, and in general they are good at building and making things. Musical - To do with rhythm, music, and hearing. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence display greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. They normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. Naturalistic - To do with nature, nurturing, and classification. This is the newest of the intelligences and is not as widely accepted as the original seven. Those with it are said to have greater sensitivity to nature and their place within it, the ability to nurture and grow things, and greater ease in caring for, taming, and interacting with animals. They are also good at recognizing and classifying different species. Interpersonal - To do with interaction with others. People in this category are usually extroverts (social butterflies) and are characterized by their sensitivity to others' moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. They communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. Intrapersonal - To do with oneself. Those who are strongest in this intelligence are typically introverts (loners/solo) and prefer to work alone. They are usually highly self-aware and capable of understanding their own emotions, goals, and motivations. They often have an affinity for thought-based pursuits such as philosophy.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 100 “Intelligent” Lesson Plans You will not be expected to create a single lesson plan to incorporate aspects for all 8 intelligences at the same time…that would be extremely challenging. However, use the ideas below to create lessons that reach SEVERAL of the intelligences. A positive side-effect of this is that your lessons will be more engaging and fun for your students! Verbal – Linguistic Reading Taking notes Listening to lectures Discussion Debate/Persuasive speaking Explaining Teaching Logical – Mathematical Math/Physics/Astronomy Numbers Symbolic or strict Counting/quantifying Taking/analyzing data Solving numerical puzzles or brainteasers Visual – Spatial Drawing/Art Visual puzzles/brainteasers Visual memory games Engineering/planning of spaces or structures Architecture Bodily-Kinesthetic Demonstration/participation Drama Sports Dance Building/assembling Sculpture Musical Listening to music Creating music/songs/raps Using rhythm (tapping/rapping/knocking/drumming ) Studying/learning about music (notes, rhythms, theory) Naturalistic Time outdoors Nature/Biology/Chemistry/Geology lessons Animals in classroom Classification Gardening/farming Ecology/conservation Interpersonal Cooperative learning Discussion Interview Speaking/persuasion/debate Intrapersonal Quiet time Journaling Reflection
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 101 Lesson Three – “Brainy” Techniques This lesson covers the following: “Brainy” Techniques Mind-Mapping Encouraging Mind-Mapping Musical Inspiration Suggested Music Cooperative Learning Using Cooperative Learning
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 102 “Brainy” Techniques Now that you understand the unique nature of the mind of each of your students we are going to cover some creative and stimulating techniques for engaging your students. The human brain is a complex landscape of creativity and energy. The techniques you learned previously to engage different learners can be further improved upon by using brain-based learning practices that work with the natural capabilities of the mind. The three main topics we are going to cover include: Mind-Mapping Using Music in the Classroom Cooperative Learning These techniques have been discovered and refined through research and though they each make great tools for awakening the minds of your learners, the students will see them as adding to the fun and enjoyment of the class. Mind-Mapping One fun way to “change up” the traditional method of taking notes and learning concepts is Mind-Mapping or Concept Mapping. Traditionally, students take written notes as a teacher lectures. They typically use an outline or bulleted format to organize their thoughts and information is presented in a linear “a-to-z” way. However, the human brain learns in many non-linear ways. When you say a simple word like “food,” the human brain calls forth thousands of associations to that word. It may call forth the definition, the spelling, smells, tastes, memories, experiences, recipes, people, restaurants, etc. Mind-mapping is done by taking a central concept and using pictures, colors, and images to create a free- form flowchart showing the associations between that concept and the other ideas being explored. Examine the mind-map shown. You can see how a central idea can lead to an explosion of other thoughts. This person clearly has a heavily VERBAL or word-based preference. You can see from the next mind map how different learners will use the tool differently. This learner clearly has a stronger desire to draw.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 103 This learner obviously enjoys drawing a great deal as well as using words. Encouraging Mind-Mapping Even if the lesson plan provided by the classroom teacher encourages you to use LECTURE as part of the class, you can use an overhead projector or white/blackboard to create your own Mind-Map as you give the lecture. Be sure to let students know that they can interpret/draw the mind map in their own way. Encourage them to use colors, lines and symbols to represent different groups of ideas. Step One – Place the CORE CONCEPT or starting point at the center of the page. Step Two – Create lines of some kind radiating out from the center with secondary ideas. Step Three – Create ways to represent sub-ideas from those lines. For More Information about Mind-Mapping, visit the link below. http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/mindmap/index.html
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 104 Musical Inspiration Research has taught us that music plays a VERY important role in the learning process for all learners. Even if learners are not primarily AUDITORY learners or musically inclined, music has been shown to have a beneficial effect. Music helps students to learn because it will— Enhance Lessons – Music can be used to help make lessons come alive. If you are doing a unit on South Africa, including a recording of South African music can help students to get a feel for the topic. Even if the classroom teacher has not left any, you may have time to find some on the internet. Change Brain-Wave States – Research has found that the ideal state for learning is when the brain is in a relaxed, but aware state. At this point the brainwaves run at about 8 to 12 cycles per seconds or hertz. This is called the alpha state. Certain types of music have been shown to stimulate the alpha state that is ideal for learning. When listening to this music quietly in the background, students may find learning and TESTING easier as alpha states can improve memory and recall as well as learning. Simplify Memorization – Taking simple, well-known songs and using them to help students to memorize groups of information will make that information MUCH easier to recall. For example: in a lesson on verbs you can teach students the following, sung to the tune of Happy Birthday… Am, Are, Is, Was, Were, Be… Being, Been, Seem, Ap-pear… Sound, Ta-ste, Smell Fe-el… Grow, Become, Remain, Stay. Have the students make up their own songs about the lesson using common songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or TV Show Themes like I’ll Be There for You from “Friends.” Suggested Music for the Classroom Researchers have found that certain music types ease the brainwaves into the relaxed 'alpha state' that is ideal for learning. One form of this learning music is the largo movements of certain Baroque composers including Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. The largo movements are around 40 to 60 beats per minute. Also specific movements within pieces by Mozart have been shown to stimulate alpha wave states. Additionally some natural sounds like birds or ocean waves can be used to achieve the same effect. It is possible to find CD collections of this music for use in the classroom (often these are available through online retailers like Amazon.com). Having just one of these in your sub Goodie Bag can be extremely useful in keeping students relaxed, alert and learning!
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 105 They can be especially nice to have if you have to oversee testing as this is a particularly anxious time for students. Examples include: Tune Your Brain with Mozart Songbird Sunrise Baroque Garden Cooperative Learning In the 1970s, educational research led to a movement to include more Group Learning opportunities in the classroom. Researchers realized that due to the social nature of human beings, interaction with others could play a very helpful role in increasing the effectiveness and enjoyment of the learning experience. Because each learner is unique, bringing groups together can support and enrich ALL learners’ experiences. Since the initial use of Group Learning, this idea has evolved and been greatly improved upon. Originally group learning typically assigned projects or tasks to a group of students without much structure or assignment of individual responsibilities. As anyone who has completed this type of group project will immediately realize, this can lead to power struggles within the group and unfair distribution of work and responsibility. This phenomenon is sometimes unkindly referred to as the “Hogs and Logs” phenomenon. Hogs are students who take over the project, controlling it and often completing most of the work. Logs are students who sit back and do very little to assist. This characterization oversimplifies the complexity of human interaction as the quote “hogs” may simply be the only ones willing to do the work or take a leadership role or the quote “logs” may want to contribute but feel bullied into silence. Because Group Learning does have inherent value, it has been refined by researchers and educators over the years to become something new: Cooperative Learning. Cooperative Learning uses specific directions, structures and assigned responsibilities to make sure all students contribute fairly and benefit from the experience. Reflection Think back to group projects you participated in when you were a student, or perhaps in the workplace. Have you ever observed the “Hogs” and “Logs” phenomenon? Do you feel you were a “hog” or a “log?” “Hogs” are students who seize control and do all the work and make all the decisions for a project. “Logs” are students who allow others to do all the work and don’t take equal responsibility for the project.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 106 What caused the group to interact the way it did? How could it have been made more effective? Use the space below to record your thoughts. Using Cooperative Learning Effectively The core concept behind cooperative learning is to plan out group projects carefully and make certain that each student in the group will play a specific role. An example would be a group research project: Constellations. You group students into 4s and assign the following roles: 1. Internet Researcher – Gathering information and facts from websites. 2. Internet Researcher – Gathering images for use on a poster. 3. A/V Production – Creates poster for a presentation to the class 4. Presenter – Responsible for giving the actual presentation to the class. Paired Structures Another example would be a 2-person pair in which students are grouped by “1s” and “2s” and either “1s” or “2s” are assigned to give a response to a question once the pairs have discussed it. Entire Class Structures There are even ways to have the entire CLASS serve as a learning group, participating in an event together. For example, you can have activity centers at 4 corners of the classroom and have students move in a circle from one to the next, adding information, participating in demonstrations or asking questions. Cooperative Learning Resources Though there are plenty of resources about cooperative learning and you can simply go to any internet search engine and type in “cooperative learning” and “lesson plans” to get ideas for ways to use it, the single greatest resource on this topic is offered by the Kagan organization. http://www.kaganonline.com You can purchase books from this company which will include HUNDREDS of cooperative learning strategies and structures for use in the classroom.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 107 Lesson Four – Checking for Understanding This lesson covers the following: Assessing Student Understanding Creative Assessment “Fearless” Assessment Positive Critique Effective Grading
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 108 Assessing Student Understanding There are 2 major aspects to teaching students effectively. The first is presenting information, activities and experiences in such a way that students acquire the desired knowledge. The second is effectively checking for understanding or assessment. How do you KNOW that they have learned the concept, information or idea? Most teachers rely primarily upon VERBAL or WRITTEN forms of demonstrating understanding. They ask students direct questions or use tests or written questions and have students respond. However, everything you’ve learned previously in this lesson about the Unique Learner should immediately tell you that VERBAL and WRITTEN response will only be effective for some of your learners, primarily your AUDITORY learners or those who have a strong Verbal- Linguistic intelligence. This puts students who are not strong in these learning styles or intelligences at a disadvantage. They might have the understanding, but feel unable to demonstrate it in the manner you are asking of them. In order to check for understanding in ways that will be inclusive to all your learners you will want to mix-up your assessment methods just as you do your instructional methods. Creative Assessment Methods for checking for student understanding include: Verbal Question and Answer Written Question and Answer Drawings/Diagrams Sculpture/Diorama Music/Song Drama/Presentation Group Discussion/Debate Demonstration/Building Signals such as thumbs-up/thumbs-down Paraphrasing – repeating back in your own words Using a mixture of these assessment methods makes it possible for all students to shine and demonstrate their understanding. Typical forms of assessment favor Auditory learners or those with strong Verbal- Linguistic intelligence. Learners who are stronger in other styles or intelligences may be at a disadvantage.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 109 Fearless Assessment As you learned previously in the SAFE Learning Environment section of the Advanced Classroom Management course, it’s essential that learners not feel fearful when in class. Often assessment or checking for understanding is the “scariest” part of school. If a student fears being embarrassed they will resist answering questions or engaging in assessment. Below are some methods for taking all the possible FEAR out of assessment for your students. Using these techniques will make your learners feel that their input if valued and that they won’t be embarrassed. “No Dumb Questions or Answers” Policy Before even beginning your lessons or questioning sessions it is useful to let students know you have a policy that there are no dumb questions or answers. Anything students are wondering or thinking about contributes to everyone’s learning experience. Assure them that you will never make fun of them or let other students do so either. Random Questioning This technique not only reduces student fear, it keeps them paying attention to you. This technique simply involves putting all student names in a jar using popsicle sticks and pulling out names randomly to answer questions. You may think this would INCREASE fear because they can be questioned at any time, however, it makes it FAIR and eliminates the teacher tendency to EITHER call only on students they know have the answer OR call only on students they know don’t have the answer. Using the techniques which follow in combination with Random Questioning can make verbal question and answer sessions informational instead of disciplinary. Non-Confrontational Questioning REFRAIN from calling on students whom you KNOW don’t know the answer, are chatting with others, are daydreaming or sleeping. If you do this you only HUMILIATE them and end up making assessment a discipline session instead of an educational moment. (More information on this is available in the Advanced Classroom Management course.) Using Random Questioning will make more students pay attention, but if you don’t use Random Questioning, be sure to use non-confrontational questioning by calling on interested, attentive students. Partial Agreement If a student gets a question even PARTIALLY right, agree with that part and credit them for it, then ask if any other student can provide the rest of the correct answer. For example you ask Lisa to name the world’s longest river. She replies, “the Amazon!” You say, “Very good Lisa you are very close. The Amazon is the world’s second longest river. Who can help us to remember the “#1” longest river in the world?” In this way Lisa does not feel stupid or discouraged as she might if you simply replied, “No Lisa that is wrong.”
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 110 Group Answers You can also ask for answers from groups of students. Pose a question and give them time to discuss it. Then assign one person in each group to share the group’s answer. This takes the pressure off of one student and allows for peer learning through group discussion. Positive Critique – Grading with a Purpose As a substitute, you may only have to grade student work occasionally. When taking a long-term subbing assignment, you will definitely have to do so. For this reason we feel it necessary to cover best practices in grading student work. On occasion many teachers seem to forget the reason that they give grades to students…to help guide their learning process and estimate arenas which require further study and those which are already mastered. If a teacher comes to think of grades as a way to punish students for misbehavior or perceived laziness, then they have forgotten their title: TEACHER. It is also very easy to become lazy when grading students. Grading can be tedious, as you sift through stacks of papers and try to give them your attention and effort one by one. However, if a teacher hands an assignment or test back to a student with a grade and nothing else written on it, they haven’t helped that student to learn much at all. Even when the student answers questions correctly it may be appropriate to provide input or positive criticism. A teacher may feel that adding a statement like “Good Job” or “Excellent” is providing feedback but such blanket statements, while positive, do nothing to help the student to understand exactly what was good or excellent about the job that they did. As a teacher, there are 3 major tools you will want to use when grading your student’s work: Description Correction Encouragement Use of these 3 techniques when grading student work will help students to better understand their own learning process and will help you to identify specific strengths and weaknesses in that student’s understanding of a topic area.
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 111 Effective Grading: Description, Correction & Encouragement As you go through a student’s assignment you need to provide the following: Description Don’t just mark an answer wrong, provide an explanation as to why it is wrong. Also let them know if it is partially or completely wrong and give credit for an answer that is partially correct, just as you would do with a verbal answer. Correction Provide the correct answer or the answer that you were seeking. Be specific about why this is the desired answer. Encouragement Give credit for partially correct answers AND give credit when they answer DIFFERENTLY from what you were expecting but are not actually wrong or came up with something creative. Often teachers get so caught up in “right” and “wrong” answers that they forget to teach students to learn, question and think outside the box. Consider accepting an answer you might initially think of as “wrong” if there is intellectual merit in the answer. We understand that this approach will take effort on your part, but if you wish to teach, it is essential to doing a good job. There will be some types of assignments for which you will do this at a more or less intense level, but try to always keep in mind the PURPOSE behind grading student work. Reflection Think of a time when you felt that someone graded or evaluated your work unfairly. What did you feel was “unfair” about the way in which they critiqued your work? Did their criticism help you to understand the concept better? Is there any other way you could have learned what was needed?
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 112 Lesson Five – Effective Lesson Plans This lesson covers the following: Writing Lesson Plans Create Your Own Lesson Plan
    • --------------------------------------------------------Instructional Strategies ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 113 Writing Effective Lesson Plans As was the case in the lesson on grading students effectively, you may not feel as a substitute that you will need to write lesson plans. This may be true; however, understanding how effective lesson plans are written will help you to interpret the plans left for you by the classroom teacher. There is a process to writing an effective lesson plan. Some school districts use a standardized lesson plan format. The reason for standardizing the FORMAT of lesson plans is to be able to map curriculum across grade levels and ensure that as students progress through the school system, there are no gaps or overlaps in their learning and skills acquisition. You should not confuse a standardized FORMAT with a standardized lesson. Teachers using this standardized format can and should still be creative, but they must follow a process. A common lesson plan process includes: Step One – Identify the State Standards (skills) to be covered in the lesson. There are set educational standards which correspond to particular skills or pieces of information such as, “Student understands that the Sun is a Star.” When beginning your lesson plan, you’ll want to identify which standards it will teach. Step Two – Plan specific activities and summarize them briefly. For example – Students learn definition of star, teacher lectures about sun and characteristics of stars, students begin Cooperative Research Project about the sun. Homework –visit internet sites about sun and complete worksheet. Step Three – Determine and list Materials needed for class activities and identify whether those are available in classroom or will need to be obtained from supply or other location (such as Art Room). Step Four – Describe lesson activities in step-by-step detail. Write it up in such a way that any one (including a substitute) could follow it. Step Five - Identify any areas where the lesson stimulates specific LEARNING STYLES and INTELLIGENCES as well as your use of any Cooperative Learning structures. Review this and determine if the lesson can be tweaked or enhanced to incorporate more if you feel that would improve the lesson. Create Your Own Lesson Plan! Practicing writing a lesson plan can be one of the most effective ways to help yourself learn to read and deliver other people’s lesson plans. Even if someone uses a different format than you, you’ll recognize the different aspects and sections of their lesson plan (e.g. – “Ok, I see. Here is the materials list…”) more easily if you’ve tried constructing one yourself. Use the Lesson Plan Template found in the Appendix of this manual and follow the instructions on this document to write your first lesson plan. You may even use this lesson as a Filler Activity later!
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 114 Course Four – Exceptional Student Education The modern classroom features a much more diverse student population than was true even 5 years ago. This diversity will include students with a wide variety of special needs. Schools don't expect you to become a Special Education expert, but they DO expect you to work comfortably and professionally with ALL your students. This course will give you the tools you need to work kindly, effectively and enjoyably with students with special needs whether you have them for one day or for a long- term assignment. There is special emphasis in this course on some of the more common disorders seen in children today including emotional/behavioral and developmental disorders. Lesson One – Defining Special Needs This lesson covers the following: Exceptional Student Education Defining Special Needs People-First Language Positive Language
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 115 Exceptional Student Education In 1997 federal legislation known as the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) drew specific statues requiring schools to provide specific services and support to students with a wide variety of abilities. Though we typically think of students with disabilities first, this law also includes special provisions for gifted students. The purpose behind IDEA is to make certain that students with Special Needs have their needs met as best as possible by the public school system. You Can Do It! As a new substitute the idea of doing your job under the easiest possible circumstances may already be a little intimidating, but when you add the idea of teaching students with special needs, it may be even more so. This course is devoted to providing you the information you need to feel comfortable subbing in situations where there are students with special needs. Often called ESE or Exceptional Student Education, working with students with special needs is not only stimulating, but rewarding. You’ll learn so much about yourself as well as the children! School districts have many specific policies and services in place to make it possible for students with special needs to integrate with their classmates and enjoy and benefit from the public education system. You don’t have to be a special education expert in order to be a good substitute for children with special needs. We know that once you’ve finished this course, you’ll feel 100% ready to take subbing assignments with Exceptional Students. Defining Special Needs Working with people today means encountering a great deal of diversity. Part of that diversity will include individuals with Special Needs. If you’ve never heard the term Special Needs, you should still be able to discern its definition: Special Needs refer to the needs of individuals which fall in some way outside the average. This term is often used to refer to individuals who have a variety of disabilities or disorders including physical, emotional, behavioral or developmental. The very MOST important thing that you must understand about working with individuals with Special Needs is that they are all DIFFERENT! Even children with the exact same diagnosis will not necessarily behave or react to you in the same way…they are individuals and will have to be treated as such. Don’t expect 2 different children with Autism to both display the same behaviors as each other and don’t expect an individual child to display the same behaviors every day.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 116 Don’t expect 2 different children with Autism to both display the same behaviors as each other and don’t expect an individual child to display the same behaviors every day. Just like all other children, each day, each child will be different. In this way you MUST avoid thinking of the child as simply his/her diagnosis. They are each growing, changing individuals. This lesson is devoted to teaching you best approaches for working with students with special needs in general. This includes use of people-first language and taking a “learning opportunity” approach. People-First Language One of the simplest, yet most important first steps in working with individuals with special needs will be paying more attention to the language you use and always using People-First Language. Often we make references to individuals with Special Needs that are stereotypical, ignorant or even offensive. Using People-First Language means identifying others compassionately, and describing them for who they are not their condition or diagnosis. For example, how frequently have you heard someone with a disability described in terms of their disability? As in… “You know, that wheelchair guy.” “Or Ryan, that ADD kid.” While you may be thinking, well isn’t that the easiest and fastest way to describe the person? And they DO have the described condition/disability… Use the Golden Rule and think about if your situations were reversed. Would you really want someone else to describe you by referring to your disability or would you want them to describe you as a person as in… Lisa, you know the girl with the long brown hair who volunteers at the Senior Center on Game Night. She’s always here in the evenings. A final important aspect of PEOPLE FIRST language is realizing that some terms are simply OFFENSIVE like “retard” or “retarded.” Many people use such terms without thinking about them but when casually describing a person they dislike or disrespect. Also children sometimes bully each other using these terms. It’s essential that you avoid using these terms and that you make sure the students in your classes also avoid these terms. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 117 Positive Language The key to People-First language is to think about and describe a person first, and a disability second, if ever. In the previous example, Lisa was being described without the primary reference being to her wheelchair; instead aspects of who Lisa is as a person were described first. Even if you eventually include Lisa’s wheelchair in a description of her, using People-First language means it is not the first or only descriptive factor you use. Disabilities are NOT Adjectives It’s important to avoid using the disability as an adjective as in “ADD kid” or “wheelchair guy.” Instead, if you are referring to the disability put the person first; “Ryan, he’s the child in my group with ADHD.” In this way you are always putting the PERSON FIRST. Positive Terminology Try to become aware of and use positive terminology with regards to individuals with various special needs. Rather than referring to a person as HANDICAPPED, which many find offensive, refer to them as having special needs or as being disabled or having a disability. Rather than referring to ramps or parking spaces or buildings as HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE, just use the term accessible. Accessible is an example of terminology that is positive is inclusive and descriptive. Reflection Think of anyone you’ve known who had special needs of some kind. Imagine that someone has asked you to describe him/her. How could you use what you’ve learned about People-First Language to describe the person compassionately? Record your description below.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 118 Lesson Two – School Procedures This lesson covers the following: School Procedures and Special Needs ESE Plans Working with Paraprofessionals
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 119 School Procedures and Special-Needs There is a wide variety of special needs which you may encounter in your student populations, not all of which are disabilities. Some of these include: Behavioral/Emotional Disorders Developmental Disorders Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Visually impaired Dual-sensory impaired Gifted Homebound or hospitalized Mentally disabled Physically disabled or impaired Specific learning disabilities Speech and language impairment Each school district has policies and procedures in place for properly providing the services needed by students with special needs. There are procedures for: identifying exactly what the child’s needs are creating a set of educational goals and plan for reaching them providing the services the child needs assessing and enhancing the plan There are several different types of plans in place for students with special needs. Which type applies to them will depend on their specific medical diagnoses and needs. These plans may include an IEP or individualized education plan, a 504 plan and a BIP or behavior intervention plan. There may be additional plans or terminology in your state or district, but these are fairly standard. Exceptional Student Educational Plans Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Children who have a disability/differing ability which entitles them to special education services will have an IEP developed for them. Developing quality Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) is a team effort that involves the parents, teachers and support staff. This committee will meet and form a plan for the student’s progression through school identifying: Goals Benchmarks Instructional strategies Assessment strategies Steps for assessing the usefulness of the IEP itself When working with students with special needs which are unfamiliar to you remember to be PATIENT, COMPASSIONATE, FLEXIBLE and CLEAR. Speak slowly and clearly while facing your students. Check for understanding periodically. Actively tell and show students exactly what you want them to accomplish.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 120 This IEP will be a WRITTEN document detailing the steps to be taken by all parties to guide the student’s progress. Click the link provided to see an example of an IEP form. Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a set of strategies aimed at helping the child act in ways that work in the classroom, and that helps him or her be ready to learn. Sometimes students with behavioral disorders will also have a BIP written into their IEP. 504 Plan Children who have an impairment or situation which might need special support but which does not entitle them to special education services (so not IEP-eligible) may qualify for a 504 plan. How Does This Affect Me? Your job as the teacher is to follow the aspects of your students’ IEP, BIP or 504 plans which affect you. You may at times have a paraprofessional assigned to assist you with a particular student or class (more on this to follow), but it is your job as the teacher to provide instruction to the student. For example, you may have a student who is dyslexic and whose IEP or 504 plan instructs that all tests must be given to the student orally. Your job would be to read the test aloud to that student, allowing the student to respond verbally and recording his/her answers. Sample IEP To get a sense of what thought and information goes into an IEP, visit the link below offered by a New York state government website to a BLANK IEP Form. http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/iep/schoolagei ep.htm Working with Paraprofessionals In the past people assigned to assist teachers in the classroom were known as “teacher’s aides.” Today the role has taken on a more professional definition and these people are referred to as PARAPROFESSIONALS. On occasion your classroom or a particular student will be assigned a paraprofessional to assist the teacher. YOU are the Teacher It’s important that you realize that the paraprofessional’s job is to ASSIST YOU; they are not a “mini-teacher” to the students. In 2004 the original IDEA legislation was updated to clearly describe the role of a paraprofessional. They are legally required not to be the source of primary instruction for the students. That is YOUR job. They are expected to assist you. So for example, they are not supposed to be working one-on-one with a student if it is possible for you to be doing so.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 121 You Can Learn From Experienced Paraprofessionals HOWEVER, you should keep in mind in your role as a substitute that the paraprofessionals you work with may have a great deal of experience or background in Special Education. Though they are technically supposed to be assisting you, remember to take advantage of their expertise. Ask your paraprofessional about his/her background, years working, etc. and if they ARE very experienced, DO ask them to share their experience and knowledge with you.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 122 Lesson Three – Common Disorders This lesson covers the following: Common Disorders ADHD ODD CD Autism Spectrum Disorders Autism Asperger’s Disorder
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 123 Common Disorders Most of this training is focused on teaching the basic best approaches and strategies for working with youth with any form of Special Needs, however, in this section, we are going to focus on some specific disorders which are commonly encountered in today’s classroom and about which it may helpful to have some basic knowledge. These include both emotional/behavioral and pervasive developmental disorders. An Emotional or Behavioral Disorder (EBD) refers to a condition in which the behavioral or emotional responses of an individual (in school/program) are so different from the generally accepted behaviors of his/her peers, that they cause problems in such areas as self care, social relationships, personal adjustment, academic progress, and behavior. A Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) refers to a condition in which the development of an individual’s communication and social skills is do different from that of peers that it causes a range of problems in basic functioning from mild to severe. This developmental impairment leads to varying degrees of difficulty in communication skills, social interactions, and is often characterized by restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. These include: Emotional/Behavioral o Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) o Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) o And Conduct Disorder (CD) Pervasive Developmental Disorders o Autism o Asperger’s Disorder Let’s move on to learn more about the specific disorders listed above. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is an emotional/behavioral disorder that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD, or approximately 2 million children in the United States. This means that in a group of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD. ADHD is much more commonly seen in boys than in girls, though there are girls who have the disorder. Children diagnosed with ADHD are often prescribed daily medications as part of their treatment for the disorder.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 124 The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. According to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders there are three patterns of behavior that indicate ADHD: 1. People with ADHD may show several signs of being consistently inattentive. 2. They may have a pattern of being hyperactive and impulsive far more than others of their age. 3. Or they may show all three types of behavior. This means that there are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals: Hyperactive-impulsive type (that does not show significant inattention) Inattentive type (that does not show significant hyperactive-impulsive behavior) sometimes called ADD—an outdated term for this entire disorder Combined type (that displays both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms). Resources on ADHD Below are some recommended books and links for learning more about ADHD and working with children and teens diagnosed with the disorder. Taking Charge of ADHD, by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adults. By Paul H. Wender, MD. Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids, by Timothy E. Wilens, MD. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit- hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index.shtml There are three recognized subtypes of ADHD: Hyperactive Inattentive Combination
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 125 Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) As many as one-third to one-half of all children with ADHD—mostly boys—have another condition, known as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). ODD is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by two different sets of problems: Aggressiveness Tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others. These children are often defiant, stubborn, “non-compliant”, have outbursts of temper, or become belligerent. They argue with adults and refuse to obey. ODD is characterized by a pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least six months during which four or more of the following are present: 1. Often loses temper 2. Often argues with adults 3. Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules 4. Often deliberately annoys people 5. Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior 6. Often touchy or easily annoyed by others 7. Often angry and resentful 8. Often spiteful and vindictive The key word here in understanding ODD is “often,” as all children will engage in these behaviors at times, however, children with ODD do so much more frequently than is average or typical for their age group. In order to be diagnosed with ODD, the behavior of the child must cause clinically (medically) significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning. In other words, if the child’s behavior severely affects his/her ability to interact with the people and world around him/her, it can be considered a medical disorder. Co-Morbidity It’s important to understand that many of these disorders rarely occur alone. Typically ODD is diagnosed in conjunction with ADHD or mood, anxiety or other disorders. This is known as co-morbidity and is part of the reason for the diversity of symptoms you may observe in different individuals. Just because 2 children both have ADHD does not mean they both have the same diagnosis across all disorders or conditions.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 126 Conduct Disorder (CD) About 20 to 40 percent of ADHD children may eventually develop conduct disorder (CD), a more serious pattern of antisocial behavior. In some ways, conduct disorder is like an extreme version of ODD. However recent research suggests that there are some differences: Children with ODD seem to have worse social skills than those with CD. Children with ODD seem to do better in school. Conduct disorder is the most serious childhood psychiatric disorder. CD is defined as a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major society rules are violated. The hallmarks of CD are very serious and read like a list of “juvenile delinquent” behaviors. It is not surprising that many individuals with a strong expression of CD actually end up in juvenile and later, adult corrections. These children frequently: lie or steal fight with or bully others violate the basic rights of other people are aggressive toward people and/or animals They often progress to: destroy property break into people's homes commit thefts carry or use weapons engage in vandalism substance use experimentation/abuse According to psychiatric professionals, children diagnosed with Conduct Disorder NEED IMMEDIATE HELP. How This Affects You It is very unlikely or rare that you will encounter a child diagnosed with CD in your classes as they may require special programs or trained professionals to work with them to modify their behavior. However, it is always good to be informed and there will also be times that you will encounter children in your classes who are not yet diagnosed with a disorder or condition. Sharing your observations of children’s behavior with your supervisors and/or parents may help bring attention and effective treatment to a child who needs it. Children diagnosed with Conduct Disorder NEED IMMEDIATE HELP. For more information on ADHD, ODD and CD, visit the websites of any of the organizations listed below. AACAP NICHCY SAMHSA
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 127 Autism Spectrum Disorders Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. One should keep in mind however, that autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees. Some individuals mildly affected may exhibit only slight delays in language and greater challenges with social interactions. They may have difficulty initiating and/or maintaining a conversation. Their communication is often described as talking at others instead of to them. (For example, monologue on a favorite subject that continues despite attempts by others to interject comments). Persons with autism may also exhibit some of the following traits: Insistence on sameness; resistance to change Difficulty in expressing needs, using gestures or pointing instead of words Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language Laughing (and/or crying) for no apparent reason showing distress for reasons not apparent to others Preference to being alone; aloof manner Tantrums Difficulty in mixing with others Not wanting to cuddle or be cuddled Little or no eye contact Unresponsive to normal teaching methods Sustained odd play Spinning objects Obsessive attachment to objects Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain No real fears of danger Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity Uneven gross/fine motor skills Non responsive to verbal cues; acts as if deaf, although hearing tests in normal range. Autism results from a neurological disorder and impacts development of social interaction and communication skills. I’m not ignoring you I’m Autistic!
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 128 Autism – Common Aspects As we have continued to repeat, not ALL children with a diagnosis will exhibit the same behaviors. However, there are some characteristic aspects of Autism that it can be helpful to understand. Sensory Input For most of us, the integration of our senses helps us to understand what we are experiencing. For example, our sense of touch, smell and taste work together in the experience of eating a ripe peach: the feel of the peach's skin, its sweet smell, and the juices running down your face. For children with autism, sensory integration problems are common. The fuzz on the peach may actually be experienced as painful and the smell may make the child gag. Some children with autism are particularly sensitive to sound, finding even the most ordinary daily noises painful. Many professionals feel that some of the typical autism behaviors, like the ones listed above, are actually a result of sensory integration difficulties. Eye Contact It is often said that autistic children do not make eye- contact but this is not entirely true; it just may be less often or different from a non-autistic child. Many children with autism can develop good functional language and others can develop some type of communication skills, such as sign language or use of pictures. Children do not "outgrow" autism but symptoms may lessen as the child develops and receives treatment. Asperger’s Disorder Often initially diagnosed as “high-functioning Autism,” Asperger’s Disorder is a related developmental disorder. Don’t Seem “Different” One of the most significant aspects of dealing with individuals with Asperger’s Disorder from your perspective is that they won’t “appear or seem different” at first. In contrast to Autistic Disorder: There are no significant delays in language (verbal speech) Cognitive development (reasoning thought) Development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior, or curiosity about the environment Asperger's Disorder is distinguished from Autism by the lower severity of the symptoms and the absence of language delays. Children with Asperger's Disorder may be only mildly affected and frequently have good language and cognitive skills. To the untrained observer, a child with Asperger's Disorder may just seem like a normal child behaving differently. For more information about Autism Spectrum Disorders visit the following organization’s website. Autism Society of America
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 129 Children with autism are frequently seen as aloof and uninterested in others. This is not the case with Asperger's Disorder. Individuals with Asperger's Disorder usually want to fit in and have interaction with others; they simply don't know how to do it. Characteristics of Asperger’s Though it may not be obvious at first, children with Asperger’s Disorder ARE different from other children. They may: Be socially awkward, not understanding of conventional social rules Show a lack of empathy Have limited eye contact Seem to be unengaged in a conversation Not understand the use of gestures Fascination Interests in a particular subject may border on the obsessive. They frequently like to collect categories of things, such as rocks or bottle caps, and are great at memorization but have difficulty with abstract concepts. Language Use Though children with Asperger’s do not show delays in their language like children with Autism, they do use language in different ways. Speech patterns may be unusual, lack inflection or have a rhythmic nature Speech may be formal, but too loud or high pitched They may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor They may not understand the give-and-take nature of a conversation For more information about Autism Spectrum Disorders visit the following organization’s websites. National Autistic Society Autism-Society: Learning Approaches (You have to register as a user on their site to access this mini- course of information, but there is no cost.)
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 130 Lesson Four – General Strategies This lesson covers the following: Strategies & Techniques Balanced Approach Using Pictures Applying Pictures Importance of Routines Changing Strategy
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 131 Strategies & Techniques In working with youth who have been diagnosed with one or several of the emotional and behavioral or developmental disorders described previously you will need to develop some strategies and techniques. While it is true that individuals who share the same diagnosis, condition or disability are still unique and will require a unique approach, there are some general strategies and techniques that are frequently useful in working with youth with these types of conditions. It is very important that you understand that not all of these strategies and techniques will work with every child or will work all the time. You may find a strategy works with one child and not another; you may find a strategy works with one child for a week and then stops working. The reason we are providing an overview of these strategies is that they have been recognized to be useful often enough that medical professionals and others have come to recommend them. These include: A BALANCED APPROACH – often these children are chastised or criticized all day long. Create a balance by praising good behavior. IMPORTANCE of ROUTINES – Routine is very important. It is also important to adequately prepare children for breaks in routine. USING PICTURES – difficulty in communication can be helped by using pictures to communicate. For example, post schedules in picture form as well as words. CHANGING APPROACH – be prepared to change strategies. Work as a team to change your approach when the child no longer responds to what you have been doing. A Balanced Approach Much like Goldilocks had to try different things to find the one that was “just right,” you’ll have to try different strategies to determine which ones are most effective in guiding students toward behavior that helps them to integrate with others and enjoy themselves. Below you will be given some tips for avoiding common “mistakes” people make in trying to find this balance. Too Harsh As mentioned in the previous section, children with disorders which cause them to behave differently in such a way that it is disruptive or destructive are used to hearing criticism. They are typically scolded all day long and are less frequently given praise for appropriate behavior.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 132 This is not because the people around them are “jerks,” it’s because they get frustrated or are unsure of how to respond to the child. It can also build up over years in which the adults may be unaware that the child even has a medical disorder at all. However, this “too harsh” approach is typically very unsuccessful in helping the child to learn to behave differently. Too Sweet Often when it’s pointed out that adults/parents need to take a more positive approach to a child and praise him/her for good behavior, they have a tendency to “overdo it” and become too sweet and offer no criticism. They praise appropriate behavior to the skies and hardly address bad/unacceptable behavior at all. This also is typically unsuccessful in helping the child to learn new behaviors because some criticism is necessary in helping to shape behavior. If you want a child to learn that certain behavior is unacceptable, you have to find a way to communicate that. If you want a child to learn that other behavior is desirable, you have to find a way to communicate that. The challenge is in finding a balance. Just Right: Avoid Perfectionism The most important aspect of providing positive feedback about behavior is not to saddle a child with an unreasonable goal. Don’t expect the child to behave “perfectly” before you’ll give them praise. For example, imagine you have a child who often calls other children inappropriate names like “butthead.” Right now the child insults other children an average of 5 times a day. Rather than setting the goal at never calling others names all day, set it at only 2 times in a day. This will be easier for the child to remember and accomplish and you can praise him accordingly. If you withhold praise/encouragement until the child behaves perfectly, you are unlikely to get the chance to give the praise very often and reinforce the positive behavior that you want. Make sure to praise the small improvements to provide incentive to the child. Achieving Balance While it is most important when working with students who need behavior modification guidance, BALANCED guidance is important to all children. It’s easy to begin anticipating unwanted behavior out of specific children who seem to “act up” frequently. Unfortunately it often becomes a habit to CRITICIZE this child(ren) more frequently than PRAISING him/her or even other children. Try this exercise one day. Using an index card, write the names of each of your “problem” students on it and then write “other” for all other students. Each time you criticize a student, place an X by their name or ‘other.’ Each time you praise a student, place a circle O by their name or ‘other.’ At the end of the day compare your responses and take note of whether you criticize the “problem” students more often than praising them relative to the other students. Also check your praise-to- criticism ratio overall. This will help you to achieve the appropriate balance. (See example below).
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 133 You may think it’s natural to criticize the students who misbehave more frequently, and their behavior does need correction. However, make sure the correction is not excessive and is balanced by praise when they do behave in desirable ways. Using Pictures Because many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders have trouble communicating verbally (speaking), PICTURES become an important communication tool. PICTURES may be more useful than words in communicating to the child what you want or what it going on, and PICTURES may be the best way for the child to respond or ask for something. You will of course be expected to follow the IEP for any student in your classroom, and you are not expected to become a Special Education expert. However, it is useful to know that this approach can help when you have trouble communicating with a child. This is especially effective with younger children and can work with children who have any form of disability which affects their verbal communication. In some settings where many/all of the children require PICTURES for communication, you may be trained to help them form sentences and requests using pictures. For example, they might select a picture of the RED playground ball and hand it to you as their way of communicating that they’d like to play with the ball. In MOST settings, you will not be trained or expected to use PICTURE communication this extensively, however, it should be in your mind that PICTURES can help get a message across when it doesn’t seem to be working with words/speech. If you want to offer a child a choice between two options (milk or juice), show him/her pictures or show the actual items, rather than simply asking the question. Why Body Language is Important… All human beings rely extremely heavily on their vision as a way to understand the world around them. Before we developed spoken and written language, we used gestures, facial expressions and other forms of “body language” which we still understand today. Remember that in addition to pictures, visual cues like body language can be very helpful when verbal communication is limited. Balanced Criticism Test Student Praise Criticism Steven OOOOOO XXXXXXX Joseph OOOO XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX Stacey OOO XXXXXXXXXX Other OOOOOOO XXXX
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 134 Applying Use of Pictures Pictures can be used in many situations to help all children to better understand what you expect of them. As is covered in our Instructional Strategies course, there are many different types of learners and almost 90% of learners are primarily VISUAL, meaning they learn from seeing, images and pictures. PICTURE SCHEDULES It can help children if you post the daily schedule in a PICTURE format as well as the written format. This helps: Very young children Children with communication disabilities Children for whom English is not the first language When you take our Instructional Strategies course, it recommends posting the day’s LESSON TASKS on the board. It can help if you can use pictures for parts of it. For example if the day’s lesson is about the sun, use PICTURES of the sun, of HEAT, of THERMOMETERS, etc to illustrate the point. Using PICTURE SCHEDULES does not disrupt or disturb the other children in any way, so this can be a VERY SIMPLE way of making your days easier and reducing the stress on your children with Special Needs. Instead of simply writing “Lunch Time” on the schedule, also include a picture of a lunch bag or food. Behavioral Management Pictures You can also use pictures to teach simple behavioral concepts; for example, use cards with GREEN, YELLOW and RED circles or different shapes on them: Card (Shapes) Meaning STOP your current behavior! It is undesirable. CHANGE your current behavior. It is bordering on undesirable. KEEP UP your current behavior! It is desirable.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 135 Be sure to review the students’ IEP and ask the parents and/or the school if use of PICTURES is of assistance to their child and if there are particular PICTURE sets they use already with the child. This can help set you up to communicate more successfully right from the outset of working with a child. Importance of Routine Though we have stressed in other courses the importance of maintaining ROUTINES in lowering children’s stress levels, we must EMPHASIZE how important that is for most of the children who are diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, CD, Autism and Asperger’s Disorder. The reason that ROUTINES are so important is that human beings (and all living creatures) are naturally comforted by repetition and patterns. Think about it…if you do the same thing today that you did yesterday, you can pretty much guarantee that nothing bad is going to happen to you. Whereas if you try something new you don’t know the outcome and bad things could happen. This is why we are naturally stressed by changes in routine, even positive ones like going on vacation or being promoted to a new job. For children with disorders that affect their ability to communicate with others, or their sensory experiences or their social interactions, it can be TERRIBLY DISORIENTING to experience a big change in routine. Where you think, “Hey, we’re going to the zoo and it’s going to be fun,” for the child it may be devastating and scary. She/he thinks, “Why aren’t we having morning snack time? Why am I wearing a name tag? Where are we going? Why do we have to get on a bus?” It’s not so simple to the child. This means 2 things: 1. It will help smooth your days and your children/teens’ days (all of them) to maintain pretty consistent ROUTINES in your lesson schedule. This helps keep everybody calm. 2. When there MUST be a break in schedule you will want to go to effort to really REPEAT to the child that the change is coming and PREPARE him/her for the change. “Ok, it is raining today, so that means that we will not have recess outside today. We will play games inside instead of going to the playground because it’s raining.” Keep repeating something to this effect several times throughout the day leading up to recess to ready the child for the change in ROUTINE. Recognition that any change may be a “big deal” to a particular child or children is an important factor in being prepared to work with them in the most effective way possible. For children with sensory, communication- related or emotional disabilities, it can be TERRIBLY DISORIENTING to experience a big change in routine.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 136 Why Aren’t You Having Fun!?! Have you ever seen a parent yelling at a tired, cranky child on a “happy family vacation?” Ever wonder why this seems to happen when everyone “should be having fun?” Take a moment to think about your children, or if you don’t have children, your pet(s). What happens when you change their daily routines? How many times have you seen children or pets get sick or frustrated when they get special treats or trips? Why do they get upset or worried if they are experiencing something fun or positive? That is the nature of the stress response. . Animals naturally are stressed by changes of any kind. Even if they are excited in a positive way, they are still stressed and more likely to exhibit unusual behaviors. If they don’t understand WHY the change is happening it can be downright frightening. Your Changing Strategy In all likelihood, one of the most frustrating things you will encounter in working with youth with special needs is the constantly changing “landscape” of that child. Just when you think you have a strategy that works for helping a child to behave and integrate the way you’d like, the child changes and you have to come up with a new strategy. For example: through use of an incentive system, you have managed to help Thomas to significantly reduce the number of times per day that he inappropriately insults or laughs at other children. Thomas is not doing this to be mean, he simply doesn’t understand what is and isn’t inappropriate, but his behavior upsets the other children and you are trying to help him learn to improve it. He has really taken to the “STARS” system in which he gets stars for each activity he gets through in the day without any incidents. If he earns 2 stars in a row, he gets to choose his afternoon activity. If he gets 4 stars in a row, he can choose the movie the class is scheduled the next day from two options. For the first few hours, he is striving to earn stars and you think to yourself, “Ha! I found the ‘answer’!” But after a while, he seems to be “over” it. The incentive system no longer motivates him and his behavior is worsening again. You wonder what you are doing wrong and you get frustrated with Thomas. One of the most frustrating things you will encounter in working with youth with special needs is the constantly changing “landscape” of the child.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 137 Now – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! Just because children/teens have a disorder does not make them stupid. Like all children, they seek challenges and like to learn/try new things, as long as it’s on their terms. This means you may come up with something like an incentive system and once they’ve mastered it or simply become bored with it, they will want a change. They will demand creativity from you, but will respond to new strategies and techniques. You simply have to be patient and willing to CHANGE YOURSELF! Keep in mind that this is supposed to be a TEAM effort. Let your supervisor, co- workers and the parents know that you may need a new strategy and plan one out together.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 138 Lesson Five – Non-Instructional Aspects Below are the items covered in this lesson. Non-Instructional Aspects Medications Heightened Bullying Working with Parents Abilities Activity
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 139 Non-Instructional Aspects Previously in this course you’ve learned about students with different types of special needs. You’ve learned the school policies and procedures for meeting these students’ needs. You’ve learned some techniques and strategies for effectively providing guidance and instruction to these students. However, there is more to meeting the special needs of these students than simply providing effective instruction. They have needs that extend beyond the academic and as the adult in charge of their care; you will have to be prepared to handle these needs as well. In some cases this will be truer for long-term subbing assignments, but in some cases it will be true even if you are only with a student for one day. Some additional aspects to working with students with special needs include: Dealing with prescription MEDICATIONS. Being aware of and handling heightened BULLYING appropriately. Working effectively with wary PARENTS. Each of these issues can be handled professionally and with relative ease if you are mentally prepared and aware that they will arise. Medications As a substitute there will be times that you will have students in your class who are taking prescription medications. It will never be your job to ACTUALLY dispense medications; that is the job of the school nurse. However, it may be your job to make certain that the student receives the medication on the correct schedule. All schools have specific policies and procedures regarding the dispensation of medications. You will want to be aware of your school’s policies in this matter: Will the school nurse be calling you to let you know when to send the student to him/her? Do YOU have to remember this? Make sure you know who is in charge of this. Keep in mind that handling student medications is a combined responsibility shared by you, the school nurse, your supervisors (letting you know) and the children’s’ parents. We understand that it can be intimidating to be responsible for the prescription medications of another person’s child, but if you follow proper procedures, you will be just fine!
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 140 Working with Parents – Long-Term Subbing If you are working in a long-term subbing assignment, you may get to know specific children with special needs quite well. In this case you can play an important role as an observer with regards to student medications. Children’s medications and dosages are not always “set in stone.” Sometimes, especially with younger children, families may be “trying out” different dosages and medications to see what works best for their child. This can be a challenge for the adults working with the child as it can lead to behavior changes. You and your school will want to stay in good communication with the parents with regards to medications. If you feel that the medication schedule is very problematic for the student or your classes, you might be able to work with the parents to adjust the medication schedule. You also want to keep them informed of any adverse behavior or reaction you believe may be linked to medication. They always appreciate information that helps them to address their child’s needs and to allow him/her to integrate happily in school. Heightened Bullying Bullies typically choose to bully individuals they see as either weak or different in some way. This means that children with special needs are often common targets for bullying. Avoiding Overreaction The most important thing to do in this situation is to treat the situation the same way you would for any child in your class who is bullied. When children with disabilities are victims of bullying, there is a tendency to OVERREACT because you feel that the bullying is exceptionally cruel or unacceptable. It would be easy to scold the bully with a reaction similar to, “You are cruel. How can you pick on Nate when you know he’s got ADHD and he doesn’t react to things the way you do?” “What’s wrong with that?” you may ask. There are 3 reasons why this approach is inappropriate: 1. You overreact to the bully and scold him/her publicly, raising resentment against the victim. 2. You identify Nate only with his disorder and do so emotionally in front of the other children. This could be embarrassing for Nate and upset him further. This is especially true if Nate is older, such as a pre-teen or teenager. 3. You reveal Nate’s medical condition, which may be unknown to students. This violates the HIPAA laws covered in Substitute Teaching 101. Remember the Minimum Necessary Rule, this information isn’t necessary. Children with special needs are often common targets for bullying.
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 141 Reacting Appropriately What is appropriate is to handle the bullying the same for all students. You address the bully: Make him/her stop behavior. Calmly ask bully what he/she was doing wrong. Make him/her say it and take ownership of the behavior. Calmly ask the bully what the consequences for the behavior are and make him/her say it, again taking ownership. Apply the consequence. All this must be done calmly and consistently with all children. See example below. You: Janet, stop talking to Nate and come here. (Stopping the behavior) You: Janet, what were you just doing that was wrong? (Ask bully to identify inappropriate behavior.) Janet: Saying mean stuff to Nate about him being stupid and stuff. You: Which is unkind and hurtful. What is the consequence for that around here? (Ask bully to identify known consequence.) Janet: Say you’re sorry and sit with you and the other teachers today at lunch and snack. You: That’s right. Thank you. Now go apologize to Nate and I’ll see you at lunch. (Apply consequence.) There is more information in on this specific topic in the Bullying Prevention part of the Substitute Teaching 101 course in your course catalog. Of course we know it won’t always go this smoothly. Sometimes little Janet will point out that Nate hit her or laughed at her, or called her a name. The main point is, don’t overreact simply because you see Nate as being unfairly targeted. Confront inappropriate behavior from all your children as calmly and consistently as possible. Working with Parents You must be aware that a child’s parents are your BEST ASSET! They will be especially useful when working in a long-term assignment in which you grow to know their children personally and work with them over time. They have the most specific and intimate knowledge of their child and they typically are extremely well- educated on the topic of their child’s special needs. Be Warm, Open and Welcoming Many parents of children with special needs are very wary of sharing information and may be tense at first in their relationship with you. Often they’ve had past experiences in which: Their child was kicked out of, or suspended during, a school program Their child was mistreated/misunderstood by adult staff Their child was unduly bullied by other children in their class/school
    • ---------------------------------------------Exceptional Student Education ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 142 They may be worried that you won’t properly understand how to work with their child or that their child might have a bad experience. It’s important that you be: Open – be curious and ask questions, ask the parents for their assistance and be open to learning new information and techniques Warm and Welcoming – let them know that you look forward to working with their child(ren) and having him/her in your class Assistance from Parents: For You Despite the fact that you may not have specific Special Education training, you may have times when you are expected to provide INSTRUCTION to a child with special needs. You’ve already learned that your first responsibility is to follow the guidelines of the student’s educational plan (IEP, BIP, 504, etc). However, if you feel that you need more information or assistance in order to do a good job of instructing the child it may be appropriate to ask the parents for help. They will be very happy to hear that you wish to do the best job you possibly can for their child and are likely to provide some very useful information. Assistance from Parents: Speak to the Children Sometimes parents are willing to come in and speak with the students in their child’s class about their child’s condition or diagnosis. This allows children to ask questions and eliminate any anxieties they might have had regarding their peers’ behaviors. When this is a possibility, it can go a long way toward helping the child to integrate socially with the other children and create understanding. With older children/young teens, be guided by the parents’ sense of whether this is appropriate. Sometimes when the children are older, they feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by this option.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 143 Course Five – Working with At-Risk Youth This course provides subs with the information they need to feel comfortable working with students who represent "at-risk youth." Subs may feel intimidated or uncomfortable if they do not understand the causes and characteristics of at-risk youth and their behaviors. This course offers best practices as well as guidelines for how to GIVE “of yourself” without GIVING yourself away. Many helping professionals eventually experience Compassion Fatigue. This course provides Compassion Fatigue identification and prevention strategies, which are important to subs choosing to work with at-risk youth. Lesson One – Who is At-Risk? Below are the items covered in this lesson. Who is At-Risk? Recognizing At-Risk Youth Identifying Signs of Youth Who are At-Risk Examples of At-Risk Youth My Reflections
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 144 Who is At-Risk? Many new teachers are intimidated by the idea of working with “at-risk” students. They may fear cultural differences, violence or aggression, or may simply fear what is unfamiliar. However, working with at-risk students can be extremely rewarding. You have the chance to play a critical role in their life as a positive adult role model. At some time all teachers will work with at-risk youth, and to do the best possible job you are going to need some special skills sets to take the most helpful approach to your students. If you do not yet have a great deal of experience in working with “at-risk” youth, you may not be totally sure what “at-risk” means. Typically the term “at-risk” refers to youth that are at risk because of their: socio-economic status environment friends family situation behavioral problems physical or mental health But “at-risk” for what you may wonder… These young people are at increased risk compared with peers for making choices or engaging in behaviors which are self-destructive such as: crime suicide domestic abuse drug and alcohol abuse early pregnancy school absenteeism Often we assume that “at-risk” only refers to youth who are impoverished and living in urban areas, however, we need to realize that the term applies to many more than just these children. It also applies to impoverished youth in rural or suburban areas, it applies to youth who are orphaned or whose parents are incarcerated, it applies to youth who live with drug addicts or alcoholics. It applies to youth who are abused. It applies to youth who are bullied and isolated. However, though they may come from different backgrounds, at-risk youth share a common need to be led by individuals who are committed to meeting their specific needs. At risk youth are at increased risk compared with peers for making choices or engaging in behaviors which are self- destructive.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 145 Recognizing At-Risk Youth You may opt to work in a school environment which is known to serve many at- risk youth. In this case you are likely to have an educated support system of experienced co-workers. This in no way reduces the challenge of the job you have taken, but it does increase your access to supportive tools, strategies and modeling behavior. “We don’t have any at-risk kids.” This is an actual statement made by a teacher at a high-school with 1800 students. We’re certain that this person was mostly thinking of the economic and social elements of the student body (wealthy, suburban) in determining this, however, with 1800 students, PLENTY of at-risk kids are in those classrooms. If the school you work at is NOT specifically known to serve many at-risk youth; that does not mean you won’t encounter them. An important first step is in being able to identify at-risk youth. Identifying Signs of Youth Who are At-Risk You may not be told every child’s personal story in advance, but taking the time to really get to know each child in your class as best you can, will help. This is especially true when taking a long-term subbing assignment. In cases when you do not have the time or access to information to learn a great deal about each child, pay attention to behavioral and physical cues such as a child who: • Has emotional management issues • Has social difficulties • Has an unstable home environment* • Is bullied by other children • Has academic difficulties* • Undergoes sudden behavioral changes* *The cues which are starred are those which only long-term subs would be able to observe over time. These signs are not always a sign of an at-risk youth, as children and teens go through many developmental changes in the process of growing into adulthood. However, these cues may serve as a warning flag that encourages you to pay attention to the particular child and try to learn as much as you can about him/her and his/her situation.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 146 Examples of At-Risk Youth Below we’ve described several at-risk kids to give you a sense of how broad a term this is. There is no town so quaint, no population so wealthy, and no school so safe that you won’t encounter kids who are in trouble. The key is taking the best approach to these students. Again, to make most of these kinds of observations would only be possible in a multi-day subbing assignment. If you are going to work with at-risk youth frequently, however, you may come to recognize these signs more easily, even in a student whom you only teach for a day or two. Kevin is 13 and lives in a “tough neighborhood” with his grandmother as his guardian. He’s basically a good kid, tries in school, but his 2 brothers are both wild and he often gets in trouble hanging out with them. He’s been to juvenile hall 2 times, the second time for assisting in a robbery. Though so far he’s done ok in school, he doesn’t seem to have any goals or dreams beyond tomorrow. How can you help Kevin? Use the lines below to list some thoughts/ideas. Lisa is 15 and lives in the wealthiest neighborhood in the town. She’s always had whatever she wanted. Both of her parents worked very hard and didn’t get to spend too much time with her and now they have decided to get a divorce. The financial situation is a mess and there is a restraining order at the school against Lisa’s dad. Lisa no longer participates in any extracurricular activities because her parent’s schedules are a mess. Most days she just goes home with her boyfriend. Now she has lots of money, lots of free time, guilty, absent parents and a full-time boyfriend. Food for Thought There are no “right” answers to these questions. What you decide to do will depend greatly on issues such as the length of your subbing assignment, your knowledge of the student and your own comfort level with taking various steps. Some suggested responses are below. In Kevin’s case you might just try to talk with him to find out what types of things he likes learning about and what professions he might dream of having one day. In Lisa’s case you might just keep an eye on her or let the classroom teacher know if you see any changes. In Alisha’s case, we would STRONGLY recommend alerting the classroom teacher or school as to the changes you feel you’ve observed in Alisha. Document anything strange you see or alarming that she may tell you. Alisha is an example of a student who might concern you even if you only had her as a student for a day or two. Some of her behaviors are fairly extreme.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 147 How can you help Lisa? Use the lines below to list some thoughts/ideas. Alisha is 6 and she is a great little girl: bright, articulate and enthusiastic at school. Unfortunately when it comes time for her parents to pick her up she gets sad and asks to stay with you. Her parents are often late to pick her up and seem exasperated. You notice that Alisha is absolutely silent whenever her parents are around. You haven’t seen any signs that Alisha has been abused, but lately she seems to have frequent crying fits and occasional accidents. How can you help Alisha? Use the lines below to list some thoughts/ideas.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 148 Reflection: At-Risk Kids I’ve Known It is sometimes a good exercise to look back at your own life and apply the new things you’ve learned to some of your life’s experiences. You can learn a lot this way. Take a moment now to think back over your school days. Try to identify children who stood out to you as possibly being “at-risk.” Some probably stand out right away…how did you know that they were at-risk? Was it something you observed first-hand or were you told about it by others? Were there any kids who you thought definitely weren’t at risk and then you heard that they got into trouble? For example: a girl who became pregnant very young, a student who was arrested, a student who was killed or who committed suicide? Think about ways that we both ARE and AREN’T aware that other people are in trouble. It will definitely raise your awareness level.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 149 Lesson Two – Fundamental Building Blocks This lesson covers the following: Fundamental Human Needs Providing Building Blocks Thinking Building Blocks
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 150 Fundamental Human Needs An important aspect of working with at-risk youth is having an understanding of basic fundamental human needs. First and foremost, all living creatures need, fundamentally, to survive. This includes having shelter, food and water. Secondly, human beings need to feel and be SAFE. One of the characteristics of at-risk youth is that they may not have either of these basic fundamental needs adequately met. When these needs are not met, the entire focus of the youth’s life is on finding a way to meet these needs for him/herself. The youth will be under a great deal of stress, and under those conditions, the youth cannot possibly grow, learn, develop and connect in ways that are healthy. It is of the utmost importance when working with at-risk kids, that you strive to provide an environment which meets their needs, most especially the need for SAFETY. The environment must feel SAFE and the students must be able to trust you and all the other teachers and adults at the school. Keep in mind that your class or school may be the only place where an at-risk youth has this need met. Of course there is more to supporting healthy, happy, developing youth than meeting the bare minimums of survival and safety. There are many fundamental building blocks which go into creating a self-sufficient adult. Some of these building blocks come from the home, some from the community, and some from positive adult role models who interact with youth. For any adult who works with youth, whether it’s for one day at a time, or all the time, it is important to be aware of the Building Blocks you can help provide to them. Let’s move on now to learn about the specific Building Blocks which you can bring to a child’s life. Providing Building Blocks No ONE PERSON is expected to provide ALL the Fundamental Building Blocks to a child. However, each adult in their life, including their substitute teacher, can provide SOME of these assets. Building Blocks fall into several basic categories: • Development of the individual (Character, Self-Concept, Health) • Development of social skills (Positive interactions, Conflict Resolution, Friends) • Development of goals (Focused on education/future) • Development of a citizen (Community Service, Focused on others) Some of the Building Blocks which we feel a new or substitute teacher can provide their students are listed below.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 151 • Building Blocks substitute teachers can bring to a one-day assignment are shown in RED CAPS. • Additional Building Blocks substitute or new teachers can bring to long-term assignments are shown in Green Italics. POSITIVE ADULT ROLE MODEL. You provide a model of a professional, positive adult. Some at-risk youth may have few or no adult role models that are successful or positive. ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION. You encourage the students to achieve in school and life by expressing support and positive statements about motivation. CARING. You demonstrate caring and encourage them to care about themselves and others. Beyond simple SAFETY, children need caring. You can bring this even to a one-day assignment. INTEGRITY. HONESTY. RESPONSIBLITY. Character development is very important for all youth. Be sure to model these behaviors (see below) and expect them out of the students. High Expectations. You set high expectations; saying to the student, “I believe in you.” Positive Adult Relationships. You provide your students with a positive relationship with an adult besides a parent/guardian. This is different from simply providing a model; because you are with students for more than one day, you may form a positive relationship with the students, which is valuable in their lives. Social Skills. Help your students to understand communication and working with others. Peaceful Conflict Resolution. Help students to find positive ways to resolve conflicts. Self-esteem. Help them to build self-esteem with expectations, praise and opportunities to succeed. Importance of Modeling As an adult in a student’s life, you have many ways in which you can help children to develop Building Blocks from each category. The first and most important method all adults who work with youth have for providing Building Blocks is through MODELING positive behaviors. If you want children to develop character, patience, responsibility, empathy, and other positive character traits, you must model these behaviors yourself! This is the best way to help children adopt such behaviors.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 152 Thinking Building Blocks You’ve learned that Building Blocks fall into several basic categories: • Development of the individual (Character, Self-Concept, Health) • Development of social skills (Positive interactions, Conflict Resolution, Friends) • Development of goals (Focused on education/future) • Development of a citizen (Community Service, Focused on others) Exercise One We suggest that you take a moment to record in the NOTES for this program any BUILDING BLOCKS which you think you can bring to your students to help them to develop in one of the areas above. Ex – I am good at listening to others. I can demonstrate this with my students and teach them how to listen effectively to others. Category: Social Skills Exercise Two: The 40 Development Assets An excellent guideline for adults who work with youth is one which we at the Sub- Hub highly recommend: The 40 Developmental Assets* from the Search Institute. Click the link below to visit their website and download a copy of their identified “40 Developmental Assets.” This guideline will help you to further clarify the ways in which you can support the youth in your classes. The 40 Developmental Assets *The 40 Developmental Assets are copyrighted by the Search Institute and the Sub- Hub does not claim responsibility for the use of this information. It is provided merely to give you the source of an excellent outside resource. The Sub-Hub does not provide training of any kind on the use of the 40 Developmental Assets.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 153 Lesson Three – Best Practices Below are the items covered in this lesson. Importance of Structure Being Consistent Compassionate Approach Catch Them Doing Things Right Set Challenging, Achievable Expectations Compassion vs. Pity
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 154 The Importance of Structure One of the most important aspects of working with at-risk youth is providing an environment which is structured. If you completed the Substitute Teaching 101 course, you learned that RITUALS or routines are calming factors in people’s lives. They make us feel prepared and lower our stress. Whenever we do something new, there is always an element of stress, because it involves confronting the unknown, which is scary. Typically at-risk youth are exposed to higher levels of stress than most people, let alone most other children or teens. They often come from highly unstructured environments. They may be homeless or shuffled from guardian to guardian. They may live in a dangerous neighborhood or exposed to dangerous adults. They may be in and out of school and other activities. All of these elements deny them the daily structure that would help bring order and calm to their days. It is very important when working with at-risk youth that you provide a structured environment, within which they may make choices. Structure in this case means the following: An environment with a routine or daily schedule, with expected activities and roles. An environment with rules or expectations of behavior, with consequences applied consistently for violation of those expectations. An environment with goals and personal challenges which participants are guided to work toward. Being Consistent The most important trait that you can bring to your at-risk youth is consistency. Because many at-risk youth have not been exposed to a normal structured environment, they may feel frustrated, especially when they are not sure of you as a substitute. Remember that you can bring CONSISTENCY to the classroom through the use of ROUTINES including: Introducing yourself Writing your name and the day’s lesson plan on the board Giving directions in the same manner before beginning the next activity Reviewing the classroom expectations of behavior Upholding the classroom expectations of behavior. Typically at-risk youth are exposed to higher levels of stress than most people, let alone most other children or teens.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 155 Structure In Their Future Not only is structure important to fostering a sense of SAFETY in your youth, it is essential in the adult world. All adult organizations such as work, government, and communities utilize structure to create safety, organization and productivity. Without an understanding of how to live and work within a structured environment, your students will have a hard time supporting themselves as adults. Pity Can Jeopardize Consistency Later you will learn why you should take a compassionate approach to your students, rather than a pitying approach. Be very careful to avoid feeling PITY for your students. Often we vary in our CONSISTENCY because we PITY at-risk youth and the additional challenges they face in life. However, if you vary in your consistency, you do not teach them to understand normal human interactions and organization, and that is not helping them any! All you do in these instances is to lessen your own sense of guilt. Always make your decisions with the following thought in mind, “What action can I take that will help this youth to grow into a happy, confident, responsible and self-sufficient adult?” Compassionate Approach According to a study by the School Improvement Research Series, “The primary characteristic of successful programs for at-risk youth seems to be a STRONG, EVEN INTENSE, LEVEL OF COMMITMENT on the part of the staff.” When you choose to work in schools with a high concentration of at-risk students, you have consciously made a decision to take on more than the average substitute or classroom teacher. There are several characteristics you must possess and approaches you must take in order to be successful in working with this special group of children and teens. The characteristics you must possess include: Compassion – you must feel for others and have a motivating drive to help them. Commitment – you must have a drive to take on challenges and to learn from exceptional experiences The approaches you must take include: Consistent – you must be consistent in your approach, as this relays confidence and puts your students at ease. This also provides them with structure, as you learned before. Individualized – you must take an individualized approach to each student, as this shows you care and helps guide your choices. This does not affect the CONSISTENCY of your expectations, it merely means that you recognize that each child is facing different challenges.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 156 As is often true in life, the bigger the challenge you take on, the greater the reward. Though working with at-risk youth is a great challenge, the reward you feel when you help even one child or teen to develop in a positive way is immeasurable. Let’s discuss some additional approaches you can take with at-risk kids to help them to grow, learn and connect. Catch Them Doing Right Often at-risk youth spend the majority of their lives hearing their name cried out in anger and rebuke: “Mercedes! What are you doing!?” “John, stop it! I don’t want to have to tell you again.” “Cody! Put that down!” “Rachel, am I going to have to call your grandmother again?” “Shuan, why can’t you just dress normal?” As they age, they hear fewer and fewer positive comments. Many adults in their world tend to label them, leading to an expectation of negative behavior. So what can you as an adult in their life do to counter this for them…even if only for one day?! Believe In Them! One important role you can play in the lives of at-risk youth is that of an encouraging adult. Actively pay attention to what these kids are doing and apply verbal praise and encouragement when they engage in a positive behavior. This does not mean you simply “cheer on” nonsense or be dishonest in your praise. This simply means to recognize that there are 2 ways to teach someone to behave in certain ways: • ONE way is to admonish negative behavior. • The SECOND (and usually more effective way) is to define and reward positive behavior. Often at-risk kids live in environments with too few clear boundaries or expectations and so do not really KNOW what behaviors are self-destructive and what behaviors are self-constructive.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 157 Set Challenging, Achievable Expectations Often at-risk kids have been left without goals, rules or expectations. There are many possible reasons for this but the most common is a lack/absence of clear adult guidance. Not only does this confuse children and leave them with no idea of HOW to behave, it also subconsciously tells them that the adults in their lives: Don’t believe in their ability to achieve, or Don’t CARE whether they achieve Many people who first begin working with children think that they HATE RULES, but the truth is the exact opposite! Rules (expectations) don’t just tell kids what behavior you DON’T want from them; they tell kids what behavior you DO want from them. In addition, rules imply that you CARE what they do. One-Day Subs In one day you cannot change a child’s whole world, but you can still have expectations of them. This is why it is important to set and uphold classroom expectations of behavior. While you are in charge, you have expectations and you let students know that you BELIEVE that they can meet those. Long-Term Subs If you are in a long-term assignment, you really CAN make a difference in student’s lives by setting not only behavioral but academic expectations and encouraging the students to meet them. Keep Expectations Achievable Keep in mind that you want to set a goal that is challenging, but achievable for a particular student. This means “don’t set the bar too low…and don’t set the bar too high.” You may be guided by your supervisors and more experienced co-workers in this regard. Why Boundaries are Important… When adults set boundaries and expectations for youth they make it very clear what behaviors are desired. This is RELAXING for kids because they know what to expect from you as well. A structured environment with choices will always be more relaxing for children than one without structure or with constantly changing expectations.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 158 Compassion vs. Pity It is very important that you distinguish between compassion and pity. Compassion When you are compassionate, you care about another person, you have a desire to help them, but you do not actually feel SORRY for them as if their story were already written. Compassion implies helping a person who can be helped. Pity When you pity someone, you feel SORRY for them, which focuses on the past and implies that you don’t believe in the positive possibilities in their future. THAT is why people dislike being pitied. You are sending a message that it is “all over” for this person and can contribute to feelings of helplessness or depression. Demonstrating Compassion The way that you may demonstrate compassion to your students is through your words and actions. Whenever you interact with your at-risk students ask yourself, “Am I speaking/taking action in a way that shows the student that I believe he/she has a better future? Do I let that student know that I believe in him/her?” Whenever you can answer YES, you know you are behaving compassionately instead of with pity. Review the examples below for guidance. SCENARIO: Rosa is 13 and has just lost an older brother to gang violence. Though she has a supportive family, she seems to turn more to her boyfriend for comfort. The boyfriend may also be involved in a gang. In the past year other teachers have told you that her grades have slipped and she skips school at times. They expect that she may be at risk for getting pregnant and may be smoking marijuana. Compassionate Statement “Rosa, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I understand that you will be out of school on Friday for the funeral. Please give my condolences to your family. When you get back on Monday we’ll plan how you can make up for anything important you missed.” Compassionate Action Teacher requires Rosa to come after school for one day to make up work the week after her brother’s funeral. This gives the teacher a chance to talk with her about her goals and aspirations. The teacher find out that Rosa wants to work with animals and has interest in becoming a veterinarian. The teacher alerts the BIOLOGY teacher at the high school Rosa will attend next year and asks her to send Rosa a personal letter of encouragement.” Pitying Statement “Rosa, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It’s such a shame how gang violence is taking young lives. Don’t worry about your work this week or the test. We’ll just figure out a way to get you through, with all the struggles you have you don’t need to be worrying about grades and school.” Pity fails to provide people in need with any help. Compassion recognizes pain and suffering, without bowing to it.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 159 Pitying Action Teacher passes Rosa for doing minimal amounts of work and sends her parents information on a GED program figuring Rosa probably won’t make it through high school without dropping out. Reflection Think of a time when you have been pitied by someone. What did that feel like? What would have been a more comforting approach by the other person. Write your thoughts below.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 160 Lesson Four – Academics At-Risk Below are the items covered in this lesson. Academics and At-Risk Students Putting Learning in Context Not Relying on Support from Home Use Peer Support and Mentoring Be Aware of Undiagnosed Medical Conditions
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 161 Academics and At-Risk Students You should know that first and foremost, your job as a teacher is to use the best possible instructional strategies to reach all of your learners as individuals. Our course on instructional strategies will help you to understand the purpose and application of these practices. In this way, at-risk students are no different from their peers. Also, there should be no difference in your use of high expectations, as you learned earlier, having expectations for these students is the only way to help them to achieve their dreams. That said, there are some general issues and techniques you should be aware of that can have an impact in the way that you help at-risk students with their academic progress. We want to stress that we are NOT implying that these will apply to ALL at-risk students. These include: Putting Learning into Context Not Relying on Support from Home Using Peer Support and Mentoring Being Aware of Undiagnosed Medical Conditions Putting Learning in Context Students living under stressful conditions may feel less motivated to think about Greek history or Biology because they face real-life dramas all the time. Their mind tends to be more in a “survival” mode; in this mode we focus our energy on learning things that are “important” or that keep us “safe.” Everything else doesn’t really seem that important. Also, these students may receive a lot of negative messages from their home or community environment; messages which urge them not to try, messages which tell them that they are going to fail. It can be extremely difficult under these circumstances to convince students to put effort into learning new things. The best way to do this is to put new concepts into a familiar context for them to make them more engaging. Try to help them to draw the association between: 1. Learning the concept and achieving or accomplishing something that they want 2. The concept and something “real” from their own lives
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 162 1. Learning the concept and achieving something they want: Greek history “Tannya, didn’t you say you wanted to maybe work as a paralegal like your sister? Believe it or not, Greeks really laid a lot of the foundation for the government, debate and law as we know it today. Why don’t we see if we can find you a research project about Greeks and the legal system? It would be very impressive to potential employers if you knew some of this history and might help you to see if the law is something you like.” 2. Associating the concept with their lives: Fractions “Spenser, I know that fractions don’t seem to relate to our everyday lives, but they do. Fractions and percentages are all related to one another. Have you ever wondered about how interest works on credit cards or car loans? Do you know how to calculate the tip for a waiter? These are everyday things that affect people’s lives and they all depend on fractions. Now You Try It Consider each of the following concepts below and think of a way it can be placed into a useful everyday context for the student in question. Think of “interdisciplinary” applications…for example, if the student is interested in religion and the topic is government, the student can research the way different country’s governments handle religious freedoms. Student: Malik is 14 years old and he is a budding artist. He paints and draws people primarily. Concept: The Renaissance. Student: Ally is 16 and she works 2 jobs in her off hours to save for college. Concept: Economics
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 163 Not Relying on Support from Home This topic applies more to subs in long-term assignments than those in a one-day assignment. At-risk kids can live in some pretty unstable home environments and as the teacher you can’t always expect that there will be a caring, involved guardian to assist with science projects or speak with you about the child on the phone. You cannot always assume that a child has a responsible adult helping to guide them through their lives. There are many reasons for this including: No parents; foster care or ward of state*, parent ill/disabled Shuffled between relatives Absentee parents; working all the time, neglectful, addicts, alcoholics Abused child If you work with a particular child and realize that there is little to no support from a guardian you should do 2 things: 1. Alert the school. They may not be aware of it. 2. Work directly with the child without expectation of guardian participation. If there is a need to alert the guardian about issues affecting the child, DO contact them and let them know, but don’t be surprised if there are some guardians who do not respond to you. With older students especially (10+), work directly with the child as if they are in charge of their own lives and futures. Ask them what their goals are and try to help them find meaningful educational experiences to lead them to those goals. Try to get extra support for the child from volunteers like parents and boosters. *We’ve mentioned foster care and state ward and would like to clarify that we do not imply that these situations are devoid of caring adults. On the contrary some wonderful foster parents and social workers make a big positive difference in the lives of at-risk kids every day. However, this is one situation which CAN lead to inadequate guardianship. Use Peer Support and Mentoring If students sense that you don’t “understand” their lives, they may feel less motivated to follow your lead. This may happen if you did not grow up in the same neighborhood or under similar circumstances. In these instances it can be very useful to rely on peer support and mentoring. Successful examples of other “kids like me” are more effective at helping motivate students to achieve.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 164 When working with at-risk students it can be especially helpful to use Cooperative Learning techniques (covered in the Instructional Strategies course) and mentoring. Cooperative Learning – One-Day Subs Build Cooperative activities into the planned lesson from the classroom teacher. Encourage students to learn from one another and work together. This can help facilitate supportive friendships and companionship in a tough environment. This can also help them to counteract negative messages that they receive from their environment. If peers work with each other respectfully and positively, they can help build each other’s self-esteem. Mentoring – Long-Term Subs It is always helpful if you can have successful older students at the school or recent graduates come to work with the students. These peers serve as relatable role models, mentoring the students, talking with or tutoring them; it can go a LONG way toward helping to bolster their own dreams. Be Aware of Undiagnosed Medical Conditions At-risk students are far more likely than their peers to have an undiagnosed or untreated medical condition such as a behavioral or developmental disorder. Let us be clear, we are NOT saying that they HAVE more medical conditions than peers; we are stating that they are less likely to be diagnosed or treated for those conditions. There are many situations in which at-risk youth might not have access to the healthcare they need. These situations may include: No parents; foster care or state ward Shuffled among relatives Homeless, no ID Poverty; family or single-parent Neglected or abused Impact of Undiagnosed Medical Conditions Not only do undiagnosed medical conditions threaten a student’s health; they can threaten their self-esteem and achievement as well. Think of how differently teachers, parents and adults would treat an argumentative child if they knew that he had ADHD than if they didn’t know this about him? When a medical condition which affects a child’s ability to learn and integrate into the average classroom is undiagnosed it can lead to a negative spiral of: Angry, frustrated teachers and parents/guardians Angry, frustrated child Loss of self-esteem in child Lowering of expectations of the child
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 165 Learning Disabilities The same thing is true for students with learning disabilities. Typically at-risk kids are less likely to be diagnosed with specific learning disabilities, especially in early childhood. This can have the same impact as an undiagnosed medical condition. How This Affects You It is not your responsibility to diagnose children because you are not a doctor; however, it is your responsibility to be a caring adult observer in their lives. If you feel that a student may have a medical or learning issue, tell someone at your school. You can raise awareness of the particular child and the school can work to assess the issue. Your observations may help to get a child necessary treatment and improve his/her chances of succeeding in school. Try to avoid making assumptions about the students in your class; just because a student has not yet been diagnosed with a medical condition or learning disability does not mean that they don’t have one.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 166 Lesson Five – Compassion Fatigue This lesson covers the following: Compassion Fatigue Handling Compassion Fatigue Family and Compassion Fatigue Preventing Compassion Fatigue
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 167 Compassion Fatigue If you have not worked in a “helping” profession before, you may want to prepare yourself for the possibility of developing a condition known as Compassion Fatigue. This is especially true if you will be working with at-risk youth. Most individuals who choose to work in helping professions such as: nurses, counselors, or firefighters do so because they care. However, caring for other people, while admirable, takes a lot of energy and creates a heavy burden of stress. Eventually, Compassion Fatigue can be the cost of all that caring. The actual term, Compassion Fatigue first appeared in the nursing profession manuals in 1992. It was observed that many nurses were experiencing problems relating to their patients. They were shutting down, becoming flat in their ability to care. Compassion Fatigue takes time to build up over months or even years. When you experience Compassion Fatigue, it becomes difficult to remember that you ever wanted to help others in the first place. It gets harder to focus at work as you sense a cold, self protective distance growing between you and your students and colleagues. Unlike burnout, which often leads people to complain about their jobs, sufferers of Compassion Fatigue find that they just don't CARE about the job anymore. The people they used to help become statistics and the human touch becomes cold or uncaring. Everyone loses when Compassion Fatigue enters the picture. Handling Compassion Fatigue The first step in handling Compassion Fatigue is recognizing it. Compassion Fatigue also known as, 'Secondary Traumatization,' is the cumulative outcome of "taking in" other people's trauma. This affects the helping professional in numerous ways: Some "relive" the other person's trauma Some become hyper-stressed, worrying that these traumas might happen to them as well. Some will lose focus or confidence. Some will become less motivated at work Some will feel spiritually unsettled and question the meaning of life. Physical symptoms can mirror classic anxiety disorders such as rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating and a numbing sensation. Caring for other people, while admirable, takes a lot of energy and creates a heavy burden of stress. Compassion Fatigue is also known as Secondary Traumatization.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 168 Survivor's guilt is a classic example of secondary traumatization in which the professional begins to question 'Why not me?' and feels guilty for escaping the trauma he or she sees all around them. An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness can set in, which affects both personal and professional functioning. This can lead to a marked increase in interpersonal conflicts, with loved ones noticing a constant negative attitude in the sufferer. Professionals with Compassion Fatigue have a higher rate of alcohol abuse, drug use and absenteeism on the job. Reflection Have you ever experienced guilt when a friend or family member tells you about a trauma they’ve experienced? How do you handle it when others share personal tragedies? Do you ever feel “worn out” by the dramas taking place in someone else’s life? Record your feelings and experiences below.
    • --------------------------------------------------Working with At-Risk Youth ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 169 Family and Compassion Fatigue When you experience Compassion Fatigue it can even “follow you home” and cause you to become more irritable with your family and friends. You may feel frustrated or tense frequently or you may simply feel “numb,” like you are “going through the motions.” You may be thinking, “Wait, but I am just a substitute, it’s not the same as being a nurse and watching people struggle with illness and pain every day.” This is true, but that does not mean that you might not experience Compassion Fatigue at some point. Many helping professionals get great joy from helping others, but fail to focus on their own needs. When working with at-risk youth, you may hear some stories or share some experiences with them which really expose you to the pain in their lives. It can be especially heart-wrenching because your students are children, and often have few choices. It is important that you be able to give support and care to these kids without TAKING IN their pain. Feeling every child’s emotions every time you work with them would be too exhausting and could lead to Compassion Fatigue. When a person is experiencing Compassion Fatigue, they don’t just experience it at work; they experience it throughout their lives. You DON’T want to carry around all that stress and tension and take it out on your family. It can damage your relationships with loved ones. On the next page, you’ll learn how you can PREVENT Compassion Fatigue by taking active steps to avoid or treat it. Preventing Compassion Fatigue Maslach in 1976 called Secondary Traumatization a syndrome, “…of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment.” Taking the time to deliberately focus on taking care of oneself is a requirement for ANY helping professional, yet this is often not taught in trainings or through education. Click the bookmark to jump to the Avoiding Compassion Fatigue checklist from the Appendix of this manual and then follow the directions below Follow the directions on the checklist document to gauge your level of self- prioritization and any warning signs of compassion fatigue.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------Substitute Necessities ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 170 Substitute Necessities Assembling an effective substitute Goodie Bag and preparing a small number of useful Filler Activities can make you prepared no matter WHAT the subbing situation you face. Fortunately there are PLENTY of great resources already available on the internet, many of which are free for educators! We have provided links the web pages we offer on these topics below. Filler Activities “How-to” create appropriate filler activities as well as resources for finding websites with hundreds of fillers and lesson plans you can download. http://www.thesub-hub.com/SubHub_FillerActivities.htm Goodie Bags Essentials on how to assemble a useful Goodie Bag to take on assignments. http://www.thesub- hub.com/SubHub_GoodieBags.htm Additional Resources There are all kinds of resources for educators, some of which are specifically for substitute teachers, on the internet. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite books, blogs, chats, and other resources just for you. http://www.thesub-hub.com/SubHub_Resources.htm
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 171 Appendix This section contains support and extension documents which you can print and use to prepare, assess, observe and report. Below are the items covered in this section. My Skill Set What I Need to Know Questionnaire 10 Steps to Be Prepared Sample Expectations of Behavior Learning Styles Assessment Substitute Teacher Report Lesson Plan Template Fundamental Human Needs Avoiding Compassion Fatigue Teaching Inclusively for ESOL Students Tolerance Scale
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 172 My Skill Set Take some time to think about what you learned regarding Subject Area and Age Group expertise and preparedness. Print this page and fill in your skill sets below. This will help you to select subbing assignments at first which you can approach with confidence. List the subjects/age groups which you feel you are qualified to teach using the guidelines from the Assessing Your Skills part of the Substitute Teaching 101 course. If there are subjects/age groups you would like to TRY teaching, but for which you don’t have a lot of experience, include these, but place a *STAR* next to them indicating areas where you’d like to work to grow your skills. Subjects Qualifications (experience/years) Age Groups Qualifications (experience/years)
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 173 What I Need to Know - Questionnaire This document contains the type of questions that it is useful for subs to know. Print this page and take it with you to interviews to be sure you know the answers for the school(s) where you will be working. Basic Policies and Procedures 1. Who within the school is the sub’s liaison(s) when he/she has questions? 2. What are school rules and associated consequences? Especially re: tardiness, attendance, dress, food/beverage/gum. 3. What are school reporting/documentation requirements regarding disciplinary incidents? 4. What is school policy regarding cell phones, iPods, GameBoys, Computers/Internet use? 5. Who other than me (the sub) interacts with students during the day? 6. What is the daily schedule for regular classes, special classes, lunch, and transportation? When Things Go Wrong 1. Who is available to assist with discipline? 2. What if I feel that I or my students are endangered by a student? 3. What are emergency procedures? 4. What if a student becomes ill? 5. What if a student is caught with a weapon? Drugs and/or alcohol? 6. What if there is an accident involving injury or blood? 7. What are your policies regarding reporting of child abuse? (Documentation and Reporting)
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 174 10 Steps to Be Prepared Arrive to work EARLY. You will need time before students arrive to properly prepare to step in and adequately cover for the classroom teacher. Make certain you know where the office is relative to your classroom. Typically you must check in at the office to make your presence known and get instructions. Find the nearest restroom to your classroom and USE it! It can be hard once the school-day starts to get time to visit the restroom because you cannot leave your students unattended. Locate EMERGENCY ITEMS in room including: telephone, list of numbers, Emergency Pack and First Aid kit (if they have these items). An Emergency Pack is typically a pack found near the door with emergency items and the list of students so roll can be taken following evacuations. Locate CLASSROOM INFORMATION including: seating chart or roll, lesson plan and lesson materials. Take out lesson materials and place them in an easy location for later use. (If you can’t find them, you may rely on your sub Goodie Bag for replacements like scissors and tape.) Review the LESSON PLAN. Make certain you feel comfortable with it. If there IS NO LESSON PLAN use/prepare a Filler Activity related to the topic from your sub Goodie Bag. Write your name on the board or overhead projector. Also write the plans for the day’s lesson on the board to keep you and the students “on-task.” You might do this as an outline or bulleted list of general topics/activities. Locate the classroom expectations of behavior (if available) and familiarize yourself with them. If they are NOT available, have your own personal expectations available and write them on board or other prominent place. When students arrive, introduce yourself and take a quick attendance. . Let students know that you will be covering for the classroom teacher and that you will uphold the same classroom behavioral expectations and that you look forward to working with them. Go over the classroom expectations of behavior. Once the day has ended be sure to write up a COMPLETE SUBSTITUTE REPORT for the classroom teacher. Keep a couple blank copies of the Sub-Hub Substitute Report to Teacher on hand in your Goodie Bag.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 175 Sample Expectations of Behavior Below we’ve provided an excellent guideline for classroom behavioral expectations. You may use this directly or as a framework for your own behavioral expectations should you be unable to locate those created by the classroom teacher. Use the additional lines below to add any expectations of behavior you feel are missing. Follow the directions of the teacher the first time they are given. When you have a question, please raise your hand and wait to be called upon by the teacher. Always raise your hand to request permission to speak, ask or answer a question unless directed otherwise by the teacher. (Ex – you might have a brainstorming session in which students are encouraged to “blurt out” ideas) Always give your best effort to your work and participation in activities. Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself. Speak kindly to others and always use appropriate language. Work cooperatively with others when asked. Clean up after yourself.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 176 Learning Styles Assessment The brain-body combines information that it gets from the senses to build a complete picture of the world around it. Different people will use information from some senses more than others, leading to different “learning styles.” The three major learning styles of the brain-body are: K/T - kinesthetic or tactual A - auditory V - visual The brain-body uses all three of these styles, but most of us have an emphasis on one or two of them. In order to determine your own learning styles, take the following assessment. Circle the letter next to the answers that most apply to you. It is okay to choose more than one. 1. When you read, do you… A. use your finger to follow the text? B. read silently without using your finger to follow the text? C. read aloud or mouth the words silently? 2. Your coach is trying to teach you something new. Do you prefer that he/she… A. insist that you do it yourself? B. show you how to do it? C. tell you how to do it? 3. If you get a new game or gadget, do you… A. pick it up and start playing? B. read the directions first? C. ask someone how to use it? 4. In school do / did you… A. frequently fidget, get up, or change position? B. draw or doodle while listening? C. listen attentively? 5. When trying to focus, this irritates you… A. physical discomfort when sitting or standing. B. poor or flickering lighting, unattractive or jarring colors. C. distracting noise, static, or music.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 177 6. You are in a group faced with a challenge. You have to build a stable tower of blocks higher than another group’s. What do you do first? A. start building? B. picture the possible towers in your mind? C. talk with the group about possible towers? 7. Would you rather… A. play a video or computer game? B. watch a movie? C. listen to the radio or CDs? 8. When you were a child, did you… A. play games or sports; build with toys; climb, hike, or explore? B. draw, color, paint, or write? C. play, listen or dance to music; sing songs; listen to the radio? 9. Do you own or spend money on… A. sporting and hobby (fishing, model-making, sewing) equipment? B. artwork, art materials, scrapbooks, journals, diaries, movies, photos or film? C. recorded music, instruments, concert tickets, speakers or headphones? 10. Your school is putting on a musical production and everyone has to help. Would you rather… A. take a dancing part? B. paint, design sets, or costumes? C. take a singing part? 11. You are playing a competitive game and you are feeling low on energy. You need something to help you “pick it up.” Do you… A. clap your hands hard, smack your thigh, stretch or bend? B. picture yourself feeling light and speedy and making a great play? C. say, “Come on!” Let’s go!”? Tallying Your Scores Go back and count the total number of times you marked A, B, and C, respectively. Write the totals below. Total A: ________ Total B: ________ Total C: ________
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 178 Note the category in which you scored the highest. Read the following paragraphs to find out which learning style applies to you. Your Learning Styles This section describes your learning styles based on your overall score. Kinesthetic or Tactual Learners If you have a high total number of “A” responses, you are a strong kinesthetic or tactual learner. You are a person who learns best by doing. You will not want to waste a lot of time talking about something before doing it. You will be most irritated or distracted by being forced to sit still for long periods of time. When working with kinesthetic or tactual learners, do the following: Encourage them to try the task, working through it by doing. Allow them frequent opportunities to get up and move (some teachers allow students to stand or walk around when they need to so long as they don’t disturb the class) Show the form of the task using the person’s body, for example: − Use your hand to help the student form letters when writing. − Set people up to “demo” the task (like a laboratory) Encourage the person to close his/her eyes and “feel” the task in their body. Encourage them with high fives. Visual Learners If you have a high total number of “B” responses, you are a strong visual learner. You are a person who learns best by seeing a picture or image of something. You will want someone to show you how to do something first before trying it yourself. You will be most irritated or distracted by images or visual settings that you find unattractive or jarring. When working with visual learners, do the following: Show them how to perform the task. Use images to teach for example: − Movies/Computers − Drawings Encourage the person to close his/her eyes and “picture” the concept. Encourage them with smiles and positive body language.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 179 Auditory Learners If you have a high total number of “C” responses, you are a strong auditory learner. You learn best by having someone tell you how to do something or describe a concept verbally. You will want someone to explain how to do something first before doing it. You will be most irritated or distracted by being expected to tackle something new without discussing it first. When working with auditory learners, do the following: Describe the concept, using descriptive detail. Use discussion to create deeper understanding, ask them to describe the concept. Allow them to listen to music while learning the task. Encourage them to use affirmations. Encourage them verbally with specific praise. Combination of Learning Styles If you have a balanced emphasis on two or even all three of the possible responses, you have a mix of learning styles. It is fairly common to have two which are emphasized more strongly than the other. If you have a mix of learning styles, you have a mix of ways in which you approach learning a new task. Applying Learning Styles When trying to teach others something new, we have a tendency to teach using our own learning styles. For example, if you are a visual person, you show someone how to do things, rather than tell them or ask them to try it themselves. However, if you are working with an auditory learner and you are showing them how to do something, you are not utilizing their learning style, and that will hamper their learning process. This means that in order to be a good teacher, coach, or mentor, you must be aware of both your own learning style and the learning style of your student. You must move out of your own comfort range to meet the needs of your student. The easiest way to make sure that you are meeting the needs of others is to use a mix of all three learning styles when instructing. That means that you: show a person how to do something/a new concept tell a person how to do something/a new concept ask the person to do or try something/a new concept It also means that you use all three learning styles (or the specific ones of your student) in order to give feedback.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 180 Substitute Teacher Report Substitute Name: ___________________ Date: ________________________ Substituted for: _____________________ Class(es): ____________________ School: ___________________________ Part 1: Instructional Progress General Comments: Instruction – Related Class Period/Lesson Aspects of Lesson(s) Not Covered/Why: Outstanding/Unanswered Student Questions Related to Lesson(s): Part 2: Student Concerns General Comments: Student – Related
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 181 Student Issue/Question Related to Student Additional Comments:
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 182 Lesson Plan Template Grade(s) ______________ Topic Area _____________ Create a lesson plan by providing the information below. Creating a handful of pre- set lessons will make great Filler Activities for you to bring with you to assignments. Keep in mind that you aren’t expected to use all 3 Learning Styles, 8 intelligences and Cooperative Learning at the same time in your lessons. Just cover an assortment frequently. National/State Educational Standards Lesson Summary Materials
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 183 Detailed Lesson Description
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 184 Learning Styles Addressed Multiple Intelligences Addressed Cooperative Learning Used Other Comments
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 185 Fundamental Human Needs Fundamentally, human beings need to survive; this includes having shelter, water and food. Secondarily, after basic survival, human beings need PROTECTION or SAFETY. Both of these basic needs are often missing or incomplete for at-risk kids. Fundamental Needs Being (qualities) Having (things) Doing (actions) Interacting (settings) subsistence physical and mental health food, shelter water feed, clothe, rest, work living environment, social setting protection care, adaptability autonomy social security, health systems, work co-operate, plan, take care of, help social environment, dwelling affection respect, sense of humour, generosity, sensuality friendships, family, relationships with nature share, take care of, make love, express emotions privacy, intimate spaces of togetherness understanding critical capacity, curiosity, intuition literature, teachers, policies educational analyse, study,meditate investigate, schools, families universities, communities, participation receptiveness, dedication, sense of humour responsibilities, duties, work, rights cooperate, dissent, express opinions associations, parties, churches, neighbourhoods leisure imagination, tranquillity spontaneity games, parties, peace of mind day-dream, remember, relax, have fun landscapes, intimate spaces, places to be alone creation imagination, boldness, inventiveness, curiosity abilities, skills, work, techniques invent, build, design, work, compose, interpret spaces for expression, workshops, audiences identity sense of belonging, self- esteem, consistency language, religions, work, customs, values, norms get to know oneself, grow, commit oneself places one belongs to, everyday settings freedom autonomy, passion, self- esteem, open- mindedness equal rights dissent, choose, run risks, develop awareness anywhere Max-Neef's publication Human Scale Development: an Option for the Future (1987)
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 186 Avoiding Compassion Fatigue A Personal Guideline for Individuals in the Helping Professions Individuals who work in a “helping profession” are vulnerable to developing Compassion Fatigue. Use the list below to help yourself to determine if you are engaging in the self-care necessary to avoid this condition. Try to be as honest with yourself as possible and answer with your current habits, not what you wish or plan to do. 1. How often in a week's time do you schedule and perform some form of exercise? 2. How many nights a week do you average 8 hours of sleep? 3. How sensible are you about your diet? Do you tend to reach for comfort food after a long day of work? 4. When was the last time you felt excited about going to work? 5. Have you had a medical check-up in the last 12 months? 6. Are you able to leave work at day’s end and enjoy a hobby or relaxation time? 7. Do you feel like you maintain a healthy balance between work demands and personal commitments? 8. Do you startle easily and experience difficulty relaxing? 9. Do you enjoy taking good care of yourself and feel relatively healthy most of the time? 10. Are you able to focus on your loved ones and enjoy relating to them?
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 187 Teaching Inclusively for ESOL Students Some states require ESOL training for classroom teachers. This may not apply to you as a sub, but you may consider finding out about these trainings if you have a high number of ESOL students in your district as this or other training may be useful to you. When teaching a classroom which has both ESOL and non-ESOL students, you will want to use techniques that facilitate ALL students learning. Most of the techniques listed below will also reach out to students with different learning styles, making the learning experience more effective for ALL students. Make use of contextual clues such as gestures, expressions, body language to facilitate understanding. Use multiple media to provide different stimuli. Provide individualized instruction and assistance. Encourage peer tutoring, role-playing, and interaction. Use written and pictorial forms: maps, graphs, charts, pictures, audiovisual aids, lists, semantic maps and webs, flow charts, outlines, etc. to teach. Adjust or shorten assignments appropriately. Provide hands-on experiences whenever possible. Use small group instruction and cooperative learning groups. Define content area language or terminology for students. Use alternative assessments, such as observation, demonstration, product, or portfolio assessment. Reduce oral and written directions and information to easy-to-understand steps or parts. Adapt written text and materials to facilitate comprehension. Modify your speech • Speak clearly and enunciate carefully, using authentic natural speech. • Use shorter, less complex sentences for students in the earlier stages. • Use a slightly slower rate of speech, but be careful to maintain the natural rhythm and flow of the language. • Use longer, but natural, pauses. • Use fewer pronouns. Repeat, rephrase, and/or paraphrase key concepts and directions. Model and demonstrate procedures and thought processes. Build on what students already know and relate ideas in relevant, real-life ways, i.e. "...just like you did yesterday with..." Avoid using idioms or slang. Explain to them when they are used. It’s key that you emphasize a CLEAR, but NATURAL approach to speech. Speaking LOUDER will not help a student to understand you, so don’t keep raising your voice. Instead speak clearly without being insulting.
    • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Appendix ©2010 SIM. All Rights Reserved. The Sub-Hub is a program of SIM. 188 My Tolerance Scale Frustration Triggers Every teacher has certain aspects of the classroom experience which they find particularly frustrating, and all teachers’ “frustration triggers” are different. Where a noisy classroom doesn’t bother one teacher at all, it drives another crazy. Unfortunately “frustration triggers” are the situations most likely to lead you to OVERREACT to student behavior. It can be helpful to know what your triggers are in advance so you can be thoughtful in your use of discipline. Ex – I have a fairly low tolerance for NOISE Remedy – Because I am aware that this is a trigger for me, I work to stay aware of OVERREACTING to noise. Whenever I feel frustrated with student noise, I TAKE A DEEP BREATH before reacting. Use the scale below to score your reaction to various aspects of the classroom environment. Any item which you assign a tolerance of 3 or below, you should consider a “frustration trigger.” TOLERANCE SCALE Place a number from 1 to 10 signifying your general tolerance for each aspect. A “1” represents ZERO TOLERANCE; a single offense drives you crazy. A “10” represents COMPLETE TOLERANCE; this never seems to bother you at all. Noise ___________ Ex - Includes student voices, humming, drumming, tapping, mouth noises (clicking, whistling, popping), laughter, music, cheering Disorganization ___________ Ex – Includes messy environment, chaotic student movement, lack of organizational processes, processes not being followed, difficulty in locating materials Humor ___________ Ex – student jokes, student sarcasm, teacher/administrator humor, practical jokes, fooling-around or clowning Attention ___________ Ex – students ignoring you/not paying attention, students daydreaming, student sleeping, students ignoring directions, drawing/doodling instead of taking notes Idleness _____________ Ex – students fail to do work assigned, students dawdle (waste time) between activities or during processes (like attendance), students do bare minimum of work, students won’t help other students Movement ___________ Ex – students fidget while seated, students want to walk around or wander between desks, rocking, swaying, dancing, skipping, climbing or otherwise engaging in active movement Play _____________ Ex – students playing, roughhousing, acting dramatically, teasing, playing games, playing sports, jumping, lifting, throwing (similar elements to movement and humor, but specific to play behavior This exercise is not JUDGING you as a teacher, it’s about raising your awareness to your personal “frustration triggers.” By raising your awareness you can alter your approach to specific situations and be better prepared to keep your cool and manage the students effectively.
    • Grow Your Resume with the Sub-Hub! The Sub-Hub Online Training A growing number of school districts across the country are requiring their substitute teachers and other employees to complete Sub-Hub training. This means that your Certificates of Completion with us may be more valuable than you think! You may be able to take your Certificates into a new or neighboring school district and skip the training because you’ve already completed it. For a very small investment learners can add to their skills and demonstrate their commitment to employers by opting to take additional trainings. Keep an eye on our growing catalog of offerings. Even if you first came to us because training was required, keep us in mind as a resume-building option in your field. www.thesub-hub.com