November 18, 2010

Love & Logic In Action

A few of my students like to wear their jackets all day long.  This kind of annoys me, but since the primary culprits are a few of my tougher students, it is a battle I typically don't choose.  Today I decided to throw some Love & Logic at it...

(Remember, this is relaxed and smiling through the whole conversation, in true Love & Logic form)

Me: "I noticed you're wearing your jacket.  Why is that?"
Student: "I like my jacket!  And it's cold in here."
Me: "I'm glad you like your jacket!  I like my jacket too.  But it's not really appropriate to wear in school.  Do you think you could hang it up?"
Student: "But it's cold in here!"
Me: "It is a little chilly, but I just turned the temperature up."
Student: "But..."
Me: "Would you mind hanging it up?  Just for me?" (Bigger smile)
Student: "Well..."
Me: "Thanks." (Smile, walk away)
Student: [goes to hang up jacket immediately without another word]

BAM.  Thank YOU Fay & Funk!

There was a little Love & Logic later on in my day too...
I got pretty rotten sub reports for the 6 student reading intervention group I run at the end of the day when we break up the students across the grade...There are a few unruly kiddos in that group!  One STORMED into my room at 2:00, sat down, and literally sat grumbling and grimacing to himself.

I walked over with a GIGANTIC smile and exclaimed, "[Student]!  I'm so glad to see you!  I've missed you the past few days."
Student: "Thank goodness you're here." (aka thank goodness another sub isn't here because I might EXPLODE!!!)
Me: "I'm glad I'm here too!  You seem a little upset.  Could you help me get the materials set up?"
Student and I walk over to the shelf to grab the bin of intervention materials.
Me: "You seem pretty upset.  What's going on?"
Student: (getting worked up and beginning to sputter) "Yeah, I am, well, Mrs. Teacher lied to us FOUR TIMES today, she, she..."
Me: "Wow, that's pretty awful.  Take a deep breath.  Listen, I haven't been here all week, right?"
Student: "Right."
Me: "So, remember, I haven't done anything to be mad about, right?"
Student: "Yeah."
Me: "Okay, so you're not mad at me.  That's great.  Listen, why don't we sit and talk for a minute?"

I sit down with him and tell him about being home sick.  Pretty dull, but kids love to hear about their teachers' lives.  Especially really needy kids.  Like putty in my hand...

Me: "So, I can tell you're still a little frustrated.  But remember, you're not in trouble in here.  So let's just have a fresh start for Intervention.  Can we do that?"
Student: "Okay."
Me: "Great.  I'm going to bring the books over to our group and get started.  Feel free to sit here as long as you like.  When you're ready to join the group, come on over."

Before I became a Love & Logic convert, I might have thought he'd sit there for the entire 45minute block, taking advantage of me.  Or that it was inappropriate to not immediately side with his teacher.  Or that I should get on him right away about starting his work or entering the classroom appropriately.

All so untrue.  In fact, he came over to the group about 2 minutes later, sat down, and started working immediately.  He started to get upset again, remembering the conflict he'd had with his teacher, but all I needed to do was look at him and calmly say, "Hey, remember, you're not in trouble in this room.  Fresh start, okay?"  and he immediately relaxed.  Kids like this one need MANY things, but most of all, they need to be shown that you care about them.  They need to be heard, and know that you like them.  This student needed to know that I wasn't mad at him.  It doesn't ALWAYS work, but it works just often enough that it is SO worth it.

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