Dr. Richard Curwin profile

Richard Curwin

Director, Graduate Program in Behavior Disorder, David Yellin College

I am the author or coauthor of about 20 books related to behavior and motivation, including Discipline With Dignity and Meeting Students Where They Live: Motivation in Urban Schools. I have done training in educational environments worldwide and now have settled in Israel to live near my children and grandchildren. I write occasional editorials for The Jerusalem Post and continue to love teaching. My students include Jewish, Muslim, and Christian teachers from all sectors of Israel who work well together and all pray for peace in the Holy Land.


  • Student Engagement

    5 Ways to Make Class Discussions More Exciting

    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. Others have been so stimulating that I was sad to see them end. The difference between the two is obviously how interesting the topic is, but equally important is the level of student participation.
  • Bullying Prevention

    How to Respond When Students Use Hate Speech

    Some activities for creating a healthy classroom culture.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    How High Is the Wall?

    Children's concerns about comfort, safety, or self-esteem might seem trivial, but your compassionate listening can help resolve small issues or shed light on larger ones.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Helping Your Students Cope With a Violent World

    Strategies for helping children make sense of a violent world include historical perspective, risk assessment of their daily lives, writing to leaders, and reaching out to victims.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    5 Ways to Avoid Manipulation

    Avoid manipulating students into compliance by giving them a voice in classroom management procedures, using musical cues, or making allies of natural group leaders.
  • School Climate

    The Real Meaning of Zero Tolerance

    Although many zero tolerance policies mandate a limited range of consequences, we should consider interpreting rules and enforcement through the lens of school values.
  • Classroom Management

    Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

    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.
  • Student Engagement

    Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson?

    Students engage more passionately when trying to answer a question that interests them. Here are ten opening questions that have inspired this kind of learning.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    13 Common Sayings to Avoid

    Teachers should avoid the reflexive language of anger or frustration. Here's a list of these sayings, framed as opportunities to constructively address difficult student behavior.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    The Value of a Real Apology

    "Sorry" can be the easiest (and least meaningful) word when delivered without understanding or caring. Effective apologies must come from a place of integrity