Teaching from the Inside-Out: excerpt
Why consider teaching from the Inside-Out? Why would shifting your understanding of human behavior create a new and different tone in your classroom? Here are some thoughts taken from the beginning of Chapter 1 in the book. “Connected Colleague” is a real teacher, the author, who used the classroom management practices that are featured in this book. “Seasoned Student” is a real student who was identified by most of his teachers, K-12, as a “behavior problem.” They are answering “Perplexed Practitioner” who just can’t MAKE her students settle down and learn.
Connected: Do you really think that you can control your students’ actions? Think about who controls you. Do others “make you” do things or do you pick your own targets, aim for your personally selected goals? As you think about your answer, try to think of a time when someone tried, unsuccessfully, to coerce you to do something other than what you wanted to do. Did the coercion work? If it did, was it because of the coercion or because you switched your “want focus?”.
Something else that I want you to think about is whether you believe that your students see the world the same way that you do. For that matter, do your students all see the world in the same way period? Do you believe that we share perceptions or that our perceptions are individual? Have you ever thought about how your perceptions change? How do actions and perceptions connect? I really think you could understand behavior, your students and your own, much better if you would learn the basics of Perceptual Control Theory. You could wind up with a whole new set of ideas about “how to make kids behave.”
Seasoned: I’ve been in lots of groups in school where kids explore what works for them and what doesn’t. I can tell you one thing, yelling and slamming doors just doesn’t work. Kids think it’s kind of funny that teachers think those actions will work! Teachers know a lot, and they are smart, but lots of times they don’t know how to reach kids. They do what was done to them to control us, they yell and bang things and slam doors, and they just don’t get that we control ourselves. They can get mad and trash us and it still won’t work. We’ll do what we want to do! Another thing, we don’t see the world the same way that teachers do. Heck, we don’t see the world the same way as each other! The computer whizzes, the arties, the gifted, the brains, the jocks all have different ways of seeing school. I’ll bet that no two kids in one group see things the same way.
Sally Berman is an experienced, creative facilitator of interactive, brain-friendly workshops. In Sally’s workshops educators learn how to create people-centered classrooms where students can develop teamwork, cognition, metacognition and self-evaluation skills. Educators will take away from these workshops lessons and activities that they have customized for use in their own settings.
Sally lives on the south shore of Lake Superior, “500 miles north of everywhere and 50 miles from everywhere.” She is a seasoned classroom veteran who taught in a large Chicago area public high school for 30 years before retiring to move into a career in staff development.
All workshops facilitated by Sally are interactive and experiential, and all activities include time for processing, reflection and transfer.
All workshops will be tailored to fit your wants.
These options are available:
• Two hour sessions to develop awareness
• Full day workshops to develop basic understandings and skills
• Multiple day workshops to explore and develop understandings and skills in depth