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Stop disruptive behavior with three carefully worded questions! Teachers and administrators will enjoy this effective strategy for dealing with problem behavior from K-12 students. Learn to lead the students through a process that promotes a solution they create and will accept. Create effective classroom management plans and discover how the Safety, Order and Rights value set will help clarify and define wanted and unwanted behaviors. Watch demonstrations and practice the strategies you can use in your classroom today!
Now let’s look at the five-step verbal technique. The technique is centered around the use of questions that get the listener, in this case the student, involved – whether he wants to be or not.
A well-phrased question creates a dilemma for the listener, because the brain is designed to answer questions. Questions create an uncomfortable imbalance or dissonance that the brain will try to resolve. Since the key to behavioral change is getting students to evaluate their own behavior, we must encourage them to think.
When we ask the well-phrased question – “what were you doing?” – the student’s mind will want to answer. His mind will create mental pictures that review the truth about what he was doing. Simultaneously he is often developing a story to avoid telling the truth to protect himself. What’s important here is that his mental pictures are accurate even if the story he tells is not. The question has served the purpose and the student has accurately reviewed his behavior. If his behavior was okay, he is able to freely admit it, answer the question with ease, and feel good about his appropriate behavior. If his behavior was not okay, he must go through the efforts of covering it up which makes him uneasy and reminds him of how inappropriate the behavior was.
Unresolved questions create a mental discomfort. It is when a student is in this state that we find our greatest opportunity to teach – the teachable moment (In the course you will have a video modeling the five-step verbal technique).