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Teaching Broken Hearts Casey Bertram, M.Ed. Principal, Hawthorne Elementary Cell: 406-600-2281.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Broken Hearts Casey Bertram, M.Ed. Principal, Hawthorne Elementary Cell: 406-600-2281."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Broken Hearts Casey Bertram, M.Ed. Principal, Hawthorne Elementary Cell:

2

3 Agenda: 1.What you see isn’t always what it seems- Changing Perspective 1.Does No Child Left Behind leave these kids behind? -Entry Plans, Communication, School Culture, and Classroom Activities 2.Digging deeper into behavioral challenges Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)

4 Format: 1.Examples / Case Studies *Disclaimer 2. Handouts/Slides – ( )

5 Generalizations and Focus Non-Traditional Students: Foreign and Domestic Adoption, Foster Care, Immigrant, Migrant My Generalizations: Montana Schools are more familiar with and have more skills, tools, and experience to work with immigrant and migrant children (ELL, ESL, LEP) There are some assumptions in place and prevalent misinformation related to educating students from foreign/domestic adoption or foster care backgrounds – “Why does that kid act that way….the rest of the kids in that great family don’t act that way” – “Those kids are just like our LEP kids….once they learn the language and culture they are good to go” – “Wow….what a lucky kid” Focus: Foreign/Domestic Adoption and Foster Care (Tremendous Challenge)

6 Repeated Theme!

7 What You See Isn’t Always What It Seems

8 Traditional Approach to Misbehavior Attention Attention Control Choice Skill Deficits Skill Building YES…….BUT

9 School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) (RTI)(MTSS) YES…….BUT

10 These Kids Have Different Needs! Food Water Safety Clothing Shelter Property Sleep Family Stability Health Trauma

11 Seven Core Issues In Adoption These seven core issues, as explained by The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) in the publication, “7 Core Issues in Adoption,” include: 1.Loss 2.Rejection 3.Guilt/Shame 4.Grief 5.Identity 6.Intimacy 7.Mastery/Control

12 Seven Core Issues In Adoption Cont. The core issues related to adoption may become more intense when one or more member of the adoption triad (adoptee, adoptive parent, and birthparent) reaches a milestone, such as: Discovering physical differences. Understanding relinquishment. Learning about reproduction. Entering school (people asking questions). Celebrating birthdays. Visiting a doctor. Completing school assignments. Reaching adolescence. Dating. Leaving home. Getting married. Giving birth. Times of loss or change.

13 There’s More To The Story! M.(Property – Fairness) Materialistic/Spoiled A.(Food - Stealing) Punitive/SRO S. (Trust - Sabotage Relationships) Mean Spirited S. (Control – Unstructured =Behavior) ADHD/Naughty T. (Trust – Sabotage Relationships)Bad Father *Why might this be happening? *What in their past might be impacting current behavior? *Digging Deeper *First Impression – Probably Wrong

14 Solution

15 Does No Child Left Behind leave these kids behind? -Entry Plans, Communication, School Culture, and Classroom Activities

16 Does No Child Left Behind Leave These Kids Behind? Answer: Sometimes Why: Communication between family and school in terms of goals and priorities isn’t clear Differing Priorities and Perspectives Parent: First year home primary goal is to establish a loving bond within family to set up later success in social, behavioral, and academic areas (Family) School: First year home is to surround the family with early intervention services to help student “catch up” ASAP (Academic) **IMPORTANCE OF ENTRY PLANS** ** Family Trumps Academics!** (M’s Story)

17 Does No Child Left Behind Leave These Kids Behind? -Robust Resources -MTSS -Special Education – Blurred Lines – Early Intervention -Academic Performance Engines -Access to Specialists – SLP, OT, PT -Evaluations -Issues are complex -Potential for unintentional consequences - Looks like a duck, talks like a duck gone wrong (ADHD, LD, ED) (J’s Story)

18 Through The Lens Adoption, Foster Care, Immigrant, Migrant IEFA Cultural Sensitivity, Bias, Stereotypes, Background Knowledge, Cultural Celebrations, Curriculum Integration, Professional Development

19 B.E.L.T. Model For Talking About Family Formation in Schools Parents and Schools as Partners! B = Bias We all have them; positive, negative, conscious, unconscious (Recognition/Awareness) E = Environment Help teachers build classrooms that support all kinds of families, family formations, races, cultures, and choices (Books) L = Language Share Positive Adoption Language T = Teach the Teachers Teachers truly want what is best for kids. Give teachers the resources and information necessary for them to embrace your child’s situation….They need the whole story! Adoption Parenting Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae, PhD

20 B.E.L.T. Model Cont. For Talking About Family Formation in Schools Parents and Schools as Partners! Parent Do’s For Working With Schools Do focus on inclusion (include your child’s needs in the broader scope of family formation) Do the work for them Do believe teachers want success for every student Do recognize teachers are not experts in family formation Do provide suggestions for alternative and inclusive spins on projects Do check you own biases at the door Do consider your child’s needs in the mix (Talks/Presentations) Do call in experts when necessary Do Have Fun and Enjoy the Process!

21 PDF

22 Problematic Projects ‘Bring a Baby Picture’ Assignments Family Tree Assignments Family History Assignments Genetic History Assignments Cultural or Ethnic Heritage Assignments Create a Timeline of the Student’s Life Superstar, VIP, Student-of-the-Week Projects

23 Inclusive Spins On Projects The solution generally involves broadening the scope of the assignment by offering students wider choices It is helpful to keep in mind the goals of the assignment and different ways to reach those goals, rather than emphasizing that all students’ end products be the same Teachers are Differentiation Experts!! Communicate

24 Problematic Projects Example Create a Timeline of the Student’s Life Problem: A child and his parents may have little or no information about his early milestones. Another child may wonder if she needs to include private information like the dates of relinquishment, foster care stays, and adoption finalization. Solution: Do not require that the timeline begin from the child’s birth, just that it cover a period of time. Alternatively, allow children to create a timeline for a historical or fictional character

25 Positive Adoption Language “Top Five” 1.Instead of ‘natural or ‘real’ mother/father/parents/family, use ‘birth’ or ‘biological’. Adoptive children and parents consider their relationship and their family to be real. 2.Instead of ‘adoptive’ mom/dad/parents/family, just use mom/dad/parents/family, unless it is relevant to add ‘adoptive’. 3.Instead of ‘your own’, say ‘birth’ or ‘biological’ child. Adopted children are ‘our own’ 4.The phrase ‘was adopted’ is preferable to ‘is adopted’. 5.Avoid ‘Adopt-a-Animal/Highway/Family’. These terms imply that adoption means paying money for something/someone, and belittles the lifelong bond between parent and child. When possible, try to use ‘Sponsor-a-Highway’, etc.

26 W.I.S.E Up Program 1. Helps students realize they are “WISER” than their peers about adoption. Experts! 2. Helps student evaluate who is asking and what their motivation/s may be 3. Helps students evaluate how they feel about the question/s Gives Them Power To Control The Situation W = Walk Away I = It’s Private S = Share something about my adoption story E = Educate others about adoption Center For Adoption Support And Education

27 Digging Deeper Into Behavioral Challenges – Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)

28 Developed by Dr. Ross Greene

29 Common Points of View “He just want the attention” “She is making bad choices” “They have a bad attitude” “He just wants his own way”

30 Philosophy Behind CPS Model “If kids could do well they would do well”- If the student had the skills to exhibit adaptive behavior, he wouldn’t be exhibiting challenging behavior “Behind every challenge behavior is an unsolved problem and a lagging skill”

31 Three Options for Unmet Expectations There are three ways in which adults try to solve problems (unmet expectations) with kids: o Plan A (impose teacher/principal will) o Plan C (temporarily dropping problems) o Plan B (that's the one you want to get really good at).

32 Identify Unsolved Problems & Lagging Skills Identify the unsolved problem(s) Shifting from one specific task to another Getting started on/completing class assignments Hypothesize what lagging skill(s) is contributing to the unsolved problem Difficulty handling transitions, shifting from one mindset or task to another Difficulty persisting on challenging or tedious tasks A tool to assist this process is the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) Can’t fix everything at once- will need to prioritize problems

33 ALSUP

34 Collaborative Problem Solving (Plan B) Once lagging skills and unsolved problem are identified, it is time to begin CPS with the student 3 ingredients to the process: 1. Empathy Step- This is where you gather information so as to clarify the student’s concern or perspective on the unsolved problem 2. Define the Problem Step- Here, the teacher communicates their concerns or perspective on the unsolved problem. 3. The Invitation Step- Student and teacher brainstorm solutions to address the concerns

35 Plan B Flowchart

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37 Final Notes - CPS Plan B works best when it is proactive- don’t wait until the problem behavior is occurring to have the discussion There is often no quick fix to helping students with challenging behaviors- often the first solution you agree to won’t fix the problem

38 BILL OF RIGHTS FOR BEHAVIORALLY CHALLENGING KIDS Behaviorally challenging kids have the right: - To have their behavioral challenges understood as a form of developmental delay in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem-solving. - To have people -- parents, teachers, mental health clinicians, doctors, coaches...everyone -- understand that challenging behavior is no less a form of developmental delay than delays in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and is deserving of the same compassion and approach as are applied to these other cognitive delays. - Not to be misunderstood as bratty, spoiled, manipulative, attention- seeking, coercive, limit-testing, controlling, or unmotivated. - To have adults understand that challenging behavior occurs in response to specific unsolved problems -- homework, screen time, teeth brushing, clothing choices, sibling interactions, and so forth -- and that these unsolved problems are usually highly predictable and can therefore be solved proactively. - To have adults understand that the primary goal of intervention is to collaboratively solve these problems in a way that is realistic and mutually satisfactory so that they don't precipitate challenging behavior any more.

39 BILL OF RIGHTS FOR BEHAVIORALLY CHALLENGING KIDS - To have adults (and classmates) understand that time-outs, detentions, suspensions, expulsion, and isolation do not solve problems or "build character" but rather often make things worse. - To have adults take a genuine interest in their concerns or perspectives, and to have those concerns and perspectives viewed as legitimate, important, and worth listening to and clarifying. - To have adults in their lives who do not resort to physical intervention and are knowledgeable about and proficient in other means of solving problems. - To have adults who understand that solving problems collaboratively -- rather than insisting on blind adherence to authority -- is what prepares kids for the demands they will face in the real world. - To have adults understand that blind obedience to authority is dangerous, and that life in the real world requires expressing one's concerns, listening to the concerns of others, and working toward mutually satisfactory solutions.

40 Agenda: 1.What you see isn’t always what it seems- Changing Perspective 1.Does No Child Left Behind leave these kids behind? -Entry Plans, Communication, School Culture, and Classroom Activities 2.Digging deeper into behavioral challenges Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)

41 Conclusion “I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.” - Dr. Haim Ginott Slow Reader Stubborn Impulsive Self-Centered Tangents Constant Blurter Struggles with peers Principals Kid Helicopter Mom

42 Go Mend Some Hearts!

43 Teaching Broken Hearts Casey Bertram, M.Ed. Principal, Hawthorne Elementary Cell:


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