Dr. Richard Curwin

Blog Posts

Tags Social and Emotional Learning
April 10, 2014

In the responses to several of my previous posts, many comments focused on the debate of whether children need rules, or whether children are better off with free choice and have the ability to make correct decisions when free to do so. ...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
March 7, 2014

Which of the following are real choices?

  1. You can stop fighting or go home for three days. It's up to you.
  2. You can do your work now or sit in the office for the rest of the class. The choice is yours.
  3. You can either stop interrupting or be quiet for the remaining...
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Tags Social and Emotional Learning
February 4, 2014

All of us have had major classroom disruptions that try our patience and push our limits. These incidents can threaten our sense of control and generate fear of looking weak to other students. We fear that other students might do the same thing if we don't take a strong stance. Couple these...

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Tags Student Engagement
January 13, 2014

A sense of wonder and the need to predict -- these are two of the qualities that enrich all of us. We wonder about big things (is there life on other planets?), smaller things (if I write to a friend that I've had a falling out with, will I get an answer?), and smaller yet (what will happen if...

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Tags Student Engagement
December 10, 2013

Classroom discussions have been a staple of teaching forever, beginning with Socrates. I have taught using discussions, been a student in discussions, and observed other teachers' discussions thousands of times -- at least. Some have been boring, stifling or tedious enough to put me to sleep....

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Tags Social and Emotional Learning
November 15, 2013

Hidden Selves

Jake's hands were clenched and he had a weak smile on his face when he told me the joke his friends were laughing about. "I laughed, too," he said, "but inside I was filled with fear, fear that they might find out." Jake, a tall, slender high school junior, was...

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Tags Social and Emotional Learning
October 4, 2013

I have visited and trained in schools in every state in America, and at most of these sites, I've had a conversation with teachers and administrators similar to the one below:

Me: How many rules do you have?
Answer: (proudly) I only have one rule...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
September 10, 2013

Welcome back to school. I hope everyone had a fulfilling summer and is ready to greet our new school year and eager students for the beginning of what will be the best year of teaching in our lives so far. I spent part of the summer writing a new short-form book for ASCD (in production, due for...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
May 9, 2013

I love May. The weather is as close to perfect as it will be all year in most parts of the country. The songbirds have returned to sing to us. My favorite sport, baseball, is in full swing. And best of all, May is both my birthday month and my sister's. And for educators, the arrival of May...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
April 17, 2013

In my last post, I promised readers a special post on a topic of great importance to me. Fighting cynicism is that topic. It is one of the most important issues for me and needs to be one of the most important goals for all schools. Cynicism can rot out a school the way termites rot out a...

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Motivation, discipline, behavior disorders, special education, school and classroom issues and caring about the lives of children and teachers.