The Bully Proof Classroom

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEACHERS

Insanity

Written By: James H Burns - Feb• 17•17

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Post-Election Parenting: What to Do When Adults Act Up

Written By: James H Burns - Feb• 16•17

US News January 12, 2017

How much of your parenting time have you spent teaching, talking and modeling for your children that name-calling, shouting and bullying is no way to behave?

Then along came the 2016 national election cycle. Everything you’ve admonished and taught your children not to do was on display – and your kids were watching.

So what’s a parent to do now? Here are four steps you can take to keep your kids on their best behavior – even when some adults act up.

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To The Parents of The School Bully: You Created This Monster

Written By: James H Burns - Feb• 16•17

Huffington Post

9/30/2016 05:13 pm ET | Updated Oct 03, 2016

Amanda Redhead Mother, Nurse, Writer, Warrior

Every school has at least one bully. The child that, no matter how vigilant the school is, finds a way to make other children miserable. Sometimes this child appears to have lovely, engaged parents and no one can make out how this bully was created. More often, however, it is wildly apparent to all of us that the parents are the direct cause of the child that feels free to be cruel to the other children.

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How To Listen So That Kids Will Talk About Bullying

Written By: James H Burns - Feb• 16•17

Huffington Post

10/31/2016 11:16 am ET | Updated Nov 02, 2016

Signe Whitson Author; School Counselor

In the last several years of working as a School Counselor and speaking with professionals, parents and students across the United States on the topic of Bullying Prevention, one of the observations that stands out to me the most is that parents, in general, are very eager to talk about bullying while their kids, on the other hand, seem to want to do anything but talk to their parents about this topic. The more parents pry, the more kids withdraw. The more parents push, the harder kids push-back — with excuses, minimizations, abrupt subject changes, stonewalling, silence, and sometimes even complete denial that a peer problem exists.

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Mental Health Issues In School

Written By: James H Burns - Feb• 11•17

Here is a great article I found on NPR. It truly gives a great summary of an issue that schools rarely consider or address. I credit the authors for a job well done. I am posting it here to be informative about this problem that I believe is reaching epidemic proportions.

The Mental Health Crisis In Our Schools

Mental Health In Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions Of Students

Mental health as a giant ocean wave

  LA Johnson/NPR

Part One in an NPR Ed series on mental health in schools.

You might call it a silent epidemic.

Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.

So in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse.

And yet most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services won’t get them.

Whether treated or not, the children do go to school. And the problems they face can tie into major problems found in schools: chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior and dropping out.

Experts say schools could play a role in identifying students with problems and helping them succeed. Yet it’s a role many schools are not prepared for.

Educators face the simple fact that, often because of a lack of resources, there just aren’t enough people to tackle the job. And the ones who are working on it are often drowning in huge caseloads. Kids in need can fall through the cracks.

“No one ever asked me”

Katie is one of those kids.

She’s 18 now. Back when she was 8, she had to transfer to a different school in Prince George’s County, Md., in the middle of the year.

“At recess, I didn’t have friends to play with,” she recalls. “I would make an excuse to stay inside with the teachers and finish extra work or do extra credit.”

We’re not using Katie’s last name to protect her privacy. She’s been diagnosed with bulimia and depression.

She says that in the span of a few months, she went from honor roll to failing. She put on weight; other kids called her “fat.” She began cutting herself with a razor every day. And she missed a ton of school.

“I felt like every single day was a bad day,” she says. “I felt like nobody wanted to help me.”

Katie says teachers acted like she didn’t care about her schoolwork. “I was so invisible to them.”

Every year of high school, she says, was “horrible.” She told her therapist she wanted to die and was admitted into the hospital.

During all this time, she says, not a single principal or teacher or counselor ever asked her one simple question: “What’s wrong?”

If someone had asked, she says, she would have told them.

Who should have asked?

We talked to educators, advocates, teachers and parents across the country. Here’s what they say a comprehensive approach to mental health and education would look like.

The family

The role: The first place to spot trouble is in the home, whether that trouble is substance abuse, slipping grades or a child who sleeps too much. Adults at home — parents, siblings, other relatives — are often the first to notice something going on.

The reality: Many families do not know what to look for. Sometimes a serious problem can be overlooked as “just a phase.” But it’s those sudden changes — angry outbursts, declining grades, changes in sleeping or eating — that can signal problems. When something unusual crops up, families can keep in close touch with the school.

The teacher

The role: During the week, many students see their teachers even more than their own families. Teachers are in a prime spot to notice changes in behavior. They read essays, see how students relate with other kids and notice when they aren’t paying attention.

The reality: Teachers already have a ton on their plates. They’re pressured to get test scores up, on top of preparing lessons and grading assignments. Plus, many teachers receive minimal training in mental health issues. But when they do see something concerning, they can raise a flag.

The social worker

The role: Social workers act like a bridge. If teachers come to them with a concern — maybe a child is acting withdrawn — one of the first things they’ll do is call home. They see each child through the lens of their family, school and community. They might learn that a family is going through a divorce or homelessness.

The reality: There aren’t enough of them. According to one model, every school should have one social worker for every 250 students. The reality is that in some schools, social workers are responsible for many more.

The counselor

The role: In some schools, counselors focus solely on academics: helping students pick classes and apply to college. But in others, they also act a lot like social workers, serving as a link to families and working with students who need support.

The reality: Like school social workers, there just aren’t enough counselors. On average nationwide, each counselor is responsible for nearly 500 students. The American School Counselor Association recommends a caseload nearly half that size.

The special education teacher

The Role: Special education teachers may start working with students when a mental health problem affects the ability to do school work. They are primarily responsible for working on academic skills.

The reality: Again, there aren’t enough of them. Nearly every state has reported a shortage of special education teachers. Half of all school districts say they have trouble recruiting highly qualified candidates.

The school psychologist

The Role: Here’s one job that, on paper, is truly dedicated to student mental health. School psychologists are key players when it comes to crisis intervention and can refer students to outside help, such as a psychiatrist.

The reality: If you sense a pattern here, you’re right. In the U.S., there is just one school psychologist for every 1,400 students, according to the most recent data available from the National Association of School Psychologists.

The school nurse

The role: Most any school nurse will tell you, physical and mental health are tough to separate. That puts nurses in a prime spot to catch problems early. For example: A kid who comes into the nurse’s office a lot, complaining of headaches or stomach problems? That could be a sign of anxiety, a strategy to avoid a bully, or a sign of troubles at home.

The reality: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least one nurse for every 750 students, but the actual ratio across the country can be much higher.

The principal

The role: As the top dogs in schools, principals make the big decisions about priorities. They can bring in social-emotional, anti-bullying and suicide-prevention programs.

The reality: Principals also have a lot on their plates: the day-to-day management of student behavior, school culture and teacher support.

Getting help, and “excited for life”

Katie says things started to turn around for her when she met a nurse at the Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., who finally showed interest in what was wrong.

Now, she’s begun college and wants to be a pediatric nurse.

“I’m doing a lot better now” she says. ” Obviously, I mean, I’m a lot happier. I’m excited for school. I’m excited to graduate. I’m excited for life.”

When you are finished with this article read this one:

Schools and Mental Health: When The Parent Has To Take Charge

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Some Great Products From BPC

Written By: James H Burns - Jan• 18•17

Click on the image below and view a slide show on some great products. Click on the images in the slide show and view the products.

 

8 Core Principles

Written By: James H Burns - Jan• 12•17

This reflective journal lays out 8 core principles that will help you discover how you can put them to use in your life. You will have the opportunity to journal about your progress and document success stories that have resulted because of the use of these core principles. So take your time and feel good about yourself as you journal about your trip down the road to becoming your personal best. Your job is to review the principles and reflect on the questions that are posed below and reflect about your progress as you implement them in your life. Good luck and have fun.

Who should Use This Journal?

If you are interested in permanent help, not temporary relief you should read and use this journal. Parents, teachers, teenagers, employers, coaches, and those in the self help industry can all benefit from using this journal for personal self growth. It is designed to provide the framework for lasting change and an opportunity for lifelong success. The beauty of the journal is you decide how you are going to make the changes and you can evaluate your life one step at a time.

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School Climate Conference

Written By: James H Burns - Jan• 05•17

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Captive Thoughts

Written By: James H Burns - Jan• 05•17

Introduction

Captive Thoughts

2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 KJV

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ;  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

I was first introduced to this verse as a relatively new Christian in 1992. In reading it and memorizing it I discovered a few very important points about life, and by that I mean not just the Christian life:

  1. We are at war and the war is not physical but spiritual (The weapons of are warfare are not carnal)
  2. The world and our imprint (events and words that have affected us that are untrue) have created strongholds in our thinking.
  3. Our goal is to use God’s word to cast down imaginations (false conclusions about ourselves and/or our circumstances) and as we read and meditate on scripture to change our thoughts (bringing every thought into captivity making it obedient to what Christ has to say about our life, and who we are).

Our thoughts are only the beginning. As we think we can slowly begin to say things to others about ourselves or about them communicating information that is untrue and use a jaded mind in doing so. So our thoughts lead to words.

As we speak we can begin to mull over in our minds courses of action that could be taken that in most instances are based upon false conclusions and could have devastating results. Our words lead to actions.

Most times these actions are taken with the wrong attitudes and have nothing more than selfish motives. The actions could be taken in anger with the motive to hurt someone or for revenge.

Please click the links below and listen to the following podcasts. They discuss our areas of responsibility, our thoughts, words, actions, attitudes, and motives. If you are using the hard copy version use the link that is shown.

 Podcasts on Responsibility

Responsible Thoughts https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYaElySnpFNDZoUGM/view?usp=sharing

Responsible Words https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYX21wQzFPaEtyclk/view?usp=sharing

Responsible Actions  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYUncyek9BZzVvRU0/view?usp=sharing

Responsible Attitudes  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYSlFNakRtYkV6Z1U/view?usp=sharing

Responsible Motives https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYTWx5dlZNczN0TDQ/view?usp=sharing

All of these podcasts were done during 2013 and were part of a blog talk radio broadcasts. They were done as tips for everyone to show the progression of thoughts to actions and why a person’s attitude and their motives are so important.

This reflective journal is designed to give Christians and non-Christians an opportunity to see the power of God’s word and to use it to help change the way they think. I have offered ten topics for consideration with a scripture verse as a starting point. The reader then works to discover more scripture that relates to the topic of their choice and journals about their progress and experience in trying to change the way that they think. Always remember it is our job to do our best, but we should trust God to make up the difference.

All scriptures verses were taken from The New English Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

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Classroom Kryptonite

Written By: James H Burns - Jan• 05•17

Before You Read This Book Please Read This

  1. In writing this book I interchange kid, student, child, and he and she. They all mean the same thing.
  1. I interchange parent, teacher and society. They all merely mean someone who is supposed to be in charge.
  1. You will find one intervention used for multiple behaviors. That’s because they work with different kids in many situations.
  1. I see many behaviors as being learned but don’t doubt that there may be organic problems that cause the behavior.
  1. I will not joust with anyone regarding conditions such as ADHD or ODD. My goal is to help create an understanding between what is a condition and what is a learned behavior.
  1. I don’t doubt that circumstances can give us reasons for certain behaviors; but there are no excuses.
  1. In my final thoughts I include an article “Everybody Knows” please read it. By the way you can find it on youtube and it is now a self study course that you can purchase here http://payhip.com/b/E1cs
  1. I am sure that there are many more behaviors that teachers and parents deal with other than the ones mentioned here.
  1. I am an Anti Bullying Consultant, retired principal, speaker, and writer. I have observed that most behaviors that we deal with are relationship based and disrespect, irresponsibility, and unkindness, apathy, and willful non-compliance pervades our society.
  1. Some things work some of the time but, nothings works all of the time.
  1. This is only volume one. If you have behaviors that you would like me to include in future volumes please email me at jameshburns55@gmail.com.
  1. Please read the articles associated with the behaviors and other supporting information in the appendix.

Introduction

There are people that we absolutely can’t stand. There are those that lie, cheat, and steal. There are whiners, complainers, gossip hounds, and sneaks. There are some who are so arrogant and are such a know it all that a conversation with them is almost painful. There are those that are so angry that we avoid telling them things that they don’t want to hear because we fear their reaction. Then there are those who are absolute criminals who don’t have a conscience who do things that are designed to inflict pain and suffering on other’s. Professionals who work with these people are trained to look beyond certain behaviors and convince themselves that they like the person but don’t like their behavior. Good luck if you are a teacher because kids who exhibit certain behaviors are just plain unlikeable, and in reality they know that they are unlikable and it may even be his/her way of getting the negative attention that he is starving for. The adults who exhibit some of the behaviors mentioned above were once kids who learned how to get away with things like disrespect, irresponsibility, and non-compliance as students and now have taken their deviance to a level that their life and the lives of others are being negatively impacted.

It doesn’t matter if it is organic or learned certain things just can’t be tolerated. Some of the behaviors are so inter-generational and so ingrained that that we can believe that the person is determined and that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and up bringing or genetics is the issue. In reality though we are only influenced by our genetics or upbringing and there has to be a switch in thinking as we change our response to negative influences. By the time a child starts kindergarten certain conclusions have already been drawn and he/she already believes that a temper tantrum gets the job done and I will get what I want when I want it. Until of course they discover something different and have to revert to deviance to get what they believe they are entitled to.

Behaviors like the ones just mentioned can’t be and should not be tolerated by schools or by society in general. Why; because they weaken families, systems, and classrooms. They become like Kryptonite and can begin to eat away at the moral fiber of society. For teachers life can become a nightmare when they have to deal with continual deviance and can’t do what they are paid to do and that’s to teach. Here are ten behaviors that I believe are like Classroom Kryptonite and if not dealt with early will do nothing more than prepare kids for a lifetime of misery who will try and shoehorn themselves into systems that will not accept their perception of life and their negative behavior.

We will assume that there are two reasons for negative behaviors; they are either learned or that they are organic meaning that there is some form of mental illness associated with the behavior that has affected a person’s judgment or has resulted in poor impulse control.

Kids often have what I call a “Choosing Disability.” In other words they have not developed the ability to make the correct choices and have trouble determining right and wrong behavior. There are reasons for poor choices but there are no excuses. Excuses when used can imply that we believe that the behavior should be excused with no consequences being imposed. Reasons explain the circumstance but regardless still hold the person accountable with a consequence. There is a short article that I wrote many years ago that offers a clear explanation. You can find it in the appendix as article one.

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