Jeffrey's new book:

Hanging In

Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most

from the Introduction to "Hanging In"

I was chairing an hour-long meeting with school administrators, teachers, therapists, and support staff. The group had convened to deal with a single issue: how Dean, a volatile 4th grader, could more successfully transition from class to class. Dean insisted on being first in line, argued over every expectation, and swore at staff as he quickly lost his temper. He was exhausting his teachers, classmates, and everyone who was called in to de-escalate him and then assess his readiness for rejoining his class. We hypothesized what triggered Dean’s reactions. We reviewed his complex family history, his ability to cognitively understand directions, and his ability to physically manage the passage from one room to another. We reviewed what staff had been saying to him, what rewards and punishments had been tried (all so far without lasting success), what the quality of his relationships was with peers and school staff, and what our over lapping goals were for Dean and the school. By the end of the hour, we had synthesized our perspectives and developed a plan. At that point, the principal turned to me and said, “That should do the trick.” I sighed and responded, “There are no tricks.”

Jeffre​y Benson

Educator, Consultant, Teacher, Author, Learner