This month serves as a reminder that bullying prevention must be addressed, and one way to accomplish this is through educating ourselves, our communities and the youth in our lives.

In a letter to educational colleagues from the Department of Education, dated August 20, 2013, the DOE writes that bullying can undermine a student’s ability to achieve his or her full academic potential.

“Bullying of any student by another student, for any reason, cannot be tolerated in our schools.”

Students with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying.  (See our new course available October 15, “Every Educator an Advocate: Understanding the Special Needs Process”)

To help all educators create environments that are safe and conducive to learning, we are offering a deep discount on three of our courses designed to meet these needs.

What Educators Say About These Courses:

Bullying and Beyond:  Tools for Understanding and Engaging 21st Century Students as Dual Citizens
Gain insight into the many ways students can bully and be bullied.  Use proven lesson plans and exercises to expand your students’ understanding of bullying, cyberbullying and the effects bullying has on even bystanders.  Help them understand the role social media plays and the long term and lasting effects it may play in their daily lives and their futures, and how to use responsibly.

“What I found most interesting was the information relating to the effects of trauma on the brains of children. The fact that stress related to trauma creates toxins in the brain is especially troubling and sad. What I found most valuable was the chapter on mean vs nice and the fact that it can be turned into lessons that make students reevaluate their interactions with each other. Having students look back at their actions and think about the impact it had on their classmates makes for a better classroom climate. It makes students evaluate their actions, which can then have the effect of them changing their behavior. Having the knowledge that some portion of my students will have gone through trauma, I can better prepare lessons and interactions that will accommodate their needs.”

“I learned so much from taking this class. The information I found most interesting and the most valuable was about Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs) because I was in shock. Negative events and stressors has a great impact on a child and we often think “Oh, they won’t remember” or “they’re too young to understand”. Honestly, I remember things that happened in my life since I was three years old and when I tell my mom the stories, she’s in shock. Those life events definitely molded me into the person I am today but I had some rough patches growing up because of those events. As an educator, I am more aware of how my classroom should be (culture and climate) and it’s so important. Also I learned more about bullying as well as the internet and from the eight essential questions, I think the most important is the one where it says we can’t control what others say but we can control what we say.”

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Creating a Culture for Learning: Classroom and Behavior Management Plans that Work
Having an organized classroom management plan and effective ways to implement your plans and goals is essential to creating a classroom where students feel safe, understand what is expected of them and are provided with the necessary guidance and structures to work and grow.

What Educators Say About This Course:

“I am very excited about the verbal skill presented in this course for stopping disruptive behavior. The idea that I should ask questions that will force the student to think about what he or she is doing and the consequences of that action is very valuable. The fact that I am seeking to get the child to think the right answer and not necessarily tell you the right answer really makes it easier to react in a calm, confident manner. Having the steps written down also helps me to remain calm and not to react emotionally. Also, asking the students what their plan is, is a novel idea. We are not trying to stop the disruptive behavior happening at present; we are teaching the student that he or she is in control and needs to have a plan about what his or her behavior will be and how that behavior will affect him or her. The Safety, Order and Rights value set will be quite helpful in my classroom. Not only will starting off with the explanation of this value set help my students to understand the atmosphere that is expected in my classroom, this will also be a great way to explain this to the parents. The students will be reassured that their rights are protected and the parents will share that feeling.”

“I think the fundamental theme of Safety, Order and Rights was the most helpful for me as well as the 4 point strategy. Going forward, I would lead by communicating the SOR value set not only to the students but to parents as well. For example, during Meet the Teacher or parent conferences, leading the conversation using the value set and clearly stating the values of the class/school community. Parents need to know our value set and understand that all decisions, rewards and consequences are driven from these core values. Perhaps for me the most useful tool was the four-step verbal technique. It’s really effective because if delivered exactly can make students think about their current behavior and make a choice to turn it around. It mitigates the student/teacher power struggles and frustrations that may result. I even used it on my own daughter this week. Worked like a charm!”

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Creating Compassionate Schools (Understanding ACEs and how traumatic events negatively impact a student’s ability to learn and develop and how you can help)
What Educators Say About This Course:

“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – This statement for me summarizes my learning in this course. I have several highlights in studying this course. First are the different acronyms (as stated in Chapter 2) that will be my guide as I deal with the students, but what struck me is the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) in Chapter 6 , reflecting on the meaning of ACE made me realize my interaction with students. That utmost understanding be given to them because we really don’t know their real experiences in life that make an impact in their academic life. The accompanying videos in the different chapters provide clarity of the topics as well as the readings. The surveys help me to do check and balance my work as a teacher. The journal exercises and forums enabled me to further think and evaluate my teaching performance as well as my dealings with the students. This course gives me a clear path of recognizing that Compassion is the “Heart of Learning and Teaching.”

“Part of being a special education teacher already involves creating a compassionate environment for my students. By design and necessity, special education teachers typically have the opportunity for greater insight into their students’ lives outside the educational setting. Time spent formally and informally assessing, observations in multiple settings, multiple years working with same students and collaboration with parents and other specialists involved in the students’ lives often help to provide that insight. The process of finding ways to support student learning has to take into consideration all of the information gleaned from those multiple sources and leads to an environment that differs from that that of a traditional, general education classroom. Even with this experience and my initial understanding of the impact trauma has on student success and mental health, I was unaware of the far reaching effect of adverse experiences on an individual’s long-term physical health as well. Adverse childhood experiences placed into the context of Dr. Anda’s preface to the ACE study clearly illustrated the catastrophic path we are heading without implementing reform within the educational setting. Dr. Anda, and the study also made it clear that the problems these students face do not remain a home, school, or even community issue, but are proven to impact society as a whole if not recognized and addressed early. I want to apply this knowledge to my teaching practice in the capacity to educate colleagues and further advocate for my students.”

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