IS HEAD ON ALWAYS THE ANSWER?

 

 

OK, like many of you I am sure, I had the crud this last month.  No voice, lack of energy and a malais that sort of took hold for two weeks.  I hope it does not return. I am slowly getting back into the swing of things - but there just is no “slow” in a busy school, so the slow has been in my personal life.  I gave up lots of things for a bit including my “beloved” spin classes. I have returned and I hate it more than ever. I am constantly having to make concessions when directions are given.  I must adjust, go with plan B,C,D and E. Sometimes the instructor gives other options to choose from, but other times the instructor seems angry as I am doing “my own thing”. Really they don’t know I have been sick and am still recouping my strength?  Yesh makes me not want to attend until I can “perform” at my old or at least their level of expectation but ….. If I don’t I never will get there. Once again it made me wonder about my students..

 

As a school counselor we are often charged with attendance issues, testing anxiety, behaviors, underachievement - the list is large and long and sometimes we do not make a ton of headway.  We flop - especially when we take the head on approach as my spin instructor above who is not giving choices - because my perception is that she has hard and strong expectations. She meets resistance and so do we.  So enters my controlled chaos theory. What if yes we state the expectations and then choice? What if we given choice to scaffold the expectations? That is in essence what a BIP is supposed to do but a) I don’t have ALL of my students on a BIP that would be way too unrealistic and too much paperwork for words.  However, what if we discussed options with students? What if for poor attendance as an example, rather than having a BIP or a attendance contract we gave those as options, but we also discussed others as well. Share information about the impact of poor attendance? Help them chart their attendance successes? Check in each week to see if there is an outside stressor?  Discuss with their families what might help have them attend? Offer an attendance group? (This is one I got from another counselor and just offering this option to parents really seems to motivate all). Send home reminders to parents for students - or to students if they are old enough or if you are incorporating google classroom.

 

I was recently reminded that our students do not complete their self regulatory circuit until around age 26 - way after most of us think, however we expect them to do all of the above without exception.  I have a pretty good regulatory circuit at this point in my life so I can handle the instructor that does not give options but I don’t think I could have when I was a student in a public education setting.  I also know that if I were a student today I would need lots more assistance just given the changed world than I got way back then when dirt was new….. So consider, what are you putting out when you are in a classroom?  Do you give options? Do you have a set agenda or program that is more important than your students and their ability to regulate? Hmmmmm…Remember to set up the relevance, set up the “container”, and set up the by-in and invite choices, yet realize that sometimes the individual is just not into it that day., and that is OK...

 

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