It was such a treat this week to catch up with Amy Chambers, a special education teacher who has worked with students with all sorts of behavioral and educational needs — from kiddos on the autism spectrum to youth in a detention center — and to hear how she works to improve behavior with each student who crosses her path.
Amy believes that the way young folks behave in the classroom is their way of communicating their needs with us… the trick is that we’ve got to learn how to hear what they’re (subconsciously) asking for.
That’s easier said than done, so Amy took the time to run us through a stack of really cool, creative, and psychologically studied (links below!) techniques for managing behavior in the classroom.
Granted, this shouldn’t be the primary job of a teacher or an SLP — because we all have specific goals in our wheelhouses. But finding the sweet spot of discipline vs. authenticity in the classroom is where we get the best buy-in from our kiddos and make the most headway toward our SLP goals!
The goal is that by making some of these mindfulness, collaboration, and communication techniques feel like clockwork in your relationships with students, you’ll be able to give “behavior management” less headspace, and just choose the tool that’s going to get you and the student on the same page today.
…And, of course, that tool might be different from the one you chose yesterday, because, SLP life! 😂
Either way, there is a ton to learn from this week’s episode. So grab your beverage of choice (I’ll have a chai latte!), put your feet up, and listen in.
Key Takeaways + Topics Covered
– Behavioral issues in class as a symptom of unlearned skills or unsolved problems
– Measuring progress incrementally in behavior management, not just an on/off switch
– Trauma-informed practices
– Growth mindset
– “Professional” behavior as the goal, since “respectful” behavior is more subjective household to household
– Temperature checks
– Calm spots
– Alternative seating
– Behavior contracts
Links Mentioned in the Podcast
– Lighten Up Teaching on Facebook
– Ross Greene – Collaborative and Proactive Solutions
– Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindsets
– The Art of Possibility by Rosamund & Benjamin Zander
– Glitter washi tape for celebrating mistakes!
– Two x ten strategy
– Naomi Burke Harris TED Talk – How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
– MindUP curriculum
– Zones of Regulation
– Yoga ball chairs & bouncy bands
– Five Love Languages for kids
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