George Lucas Educational Foundation

Time for a Mind Shift?

Time for a Mind Shift?

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In every school around the country, we have them. Yes, students who may or may not be diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. These students are violent, aggressive, and disruptive to our classrooms and student learning.

What do we do? Suspend? Expel? Have these approaches worked in supporting your most challenging students? My guess, the answer is no.

So what?

It is time for a mind shift. We need to look at these students differently. We can no longer afford to view these students as troublesome or a lost cause.

How do we go about creating this mind shift? What resources would you need? Can this be accomplished in our educational settings? I am curious to hear your input, thoughts, and ideas for supporting our students who don't fit the typical student persona!

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Maryam's picture

Do you think that only a mind shift can solve the problem? I am a teacher in Iran. I teach Philosophy. Here in a class there are 30 to 35 students with different levels( intelligence, physical, emotional...) and besides some of them have behavioral disorders. Our Educational System are based on a special book and specific curriculum and now only a shift in my mind can't help me with this students. Can I ask you help me to overcome with my problem? (Sorry my English is not good.)

Becky Fisher's picture
Becky Fisher
Education Consultant

Hi Maryam -

It sounds like your students are at many different levels. Do you have any additional help in the classroom? If not, I find working in small groups helps. Try placing all students who are capable of working independently in pairs with students who need more attention with their school work. This way, they can help each other during class. Also, while they are working in pairs, you can work more directly with students who are having behavioral or emotional problems. This allows you to have a smaller teacher-student ratio with students who need more structure.

It always helps to have an extra person in the classroom. Is this an option?

Maryam's picture

Hi, Becky
It is a good way and I tried it several times before and it worked but this year I have a class with 3 unwanted students that they don't like to take parts in another groups and other students don't like them and they don't like to be one group with them. I think that other students have the right of choosing their partner and I don't like to force them for doing what I want. But I try to do your advise and I hope it works. Thank you for your attention

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