Student Teacher

for seasoned teachers, it becomes easy to demonstrate mastery over their subject matter, answer any type of question, come up with lessons at a moment’s notice, and more…often times, their passion about the material drives their own continued curiosity about their field of study, and that is what keeps them sharp (and what inspires their students, too)…and over time, the mastery of their craft may even exceed their own wildest imaginations–to really know more than you thought you were capable of (and then) learn something new–again and again and again?! after all, it is absolutely crazy how much you can learn about one small part of the world!

at the same time, veteran teachers may find the opposite is true for their emotional mastery among their students…almost as if the interpersonal and ‘soft’ skills are worn and weary–brought down to the ‘bare bones’, if present at all–and, as the intellectual expertise and curiosity grows and thrives, this other force works inversely and develops along another trajectory.  it moves in this way…in silence and in shadows…until it doesn’t.  then, it arrives, brutal and raw and visible for all to see.  almost as if the time and energy teaching students has robbed the teacher of understanding, compassion and patience–or, to be truthful…it’s almost as if the teacher has intentionally and willingly handed these things over, through the years…

what then, shall a teacher do?

a teacher must become, once more, a student teacher.

[with emphasis on student]

how then, shall a teacher do this?

a teacher must leave the warm comfort of what they know.

and do something unknown to them.

only when a teacher leaves the safety and security that they have built can they become a pupil again. and only then can they see, hear, and feel what it is like to be a tenderfoot, a greenhorn, a first-timer once more.  this is true for me (and maybe it is true for other teachers as well).  this is the path that i am seeking–renewed compassion, patience, and understanding.  and the first steps are the hardest, because the only way to go forward is to submit, to bow, to acquiesce and to admit that you know absolutely nothing.

recently, i have started taking karate classes with my children.  it is awesome, difficult, and very, very frustrating (at times).  the other day, i watched one of my instructors show me a punch–and he gestured, now you.  i did what he did.  i felt good about it.  for a minute.  until he said, that was completely wrong do it again (and again and again).  in that moment, i was frustrated and impatient with myself and my instructor provided correction and encouragement.  he showed patience, compassion and understanding to a complete novice–as i fumbled along, my karate ugly, looking like a stumbling and clumsy oaf.  but, he stayed with me.

the process is humbling.  but, it can bring you back.  i think it’s doing just that for me–i can feel the start of it, you know…

maybe, it can stir something in you, too.

so, what will you do? what new thing awaits you on the horizon?  will you…

learn how to swim? paint a portrait? speak a new language? learn how to dance? write a book? take a trip? build a shelf? cook a meal? repair a watch? volunteer?

whatever it is and whenever it happens, i wish you good speed.

my sister, chris

one of the best teachers i know is my sister, chris (always ‘chrissy’ to me)…

she’s a 7th grade social studies teacher near chicago…

it is an appropriate assignment for her as we grew up moving from ‘here-to-there’ every few years as dictated by the u.s. government (my dad was in the air force)…as youngsters, we lived in oregon, utah, texas, arizona, south carolina, japan, colorado, and washington state…

moving around like vagabonds…we, of course, became close…because everywhere we went, it was “just us”…my mom, my dad, my sister and i…for most of my life she was my absolute, #1 best friend (it helped that we were only a year apart)…we had a lot of laughs and adventures together–back then and later in life as well…and while i know this will come as a big surprise to all of you–she was always the brains of the operation, the intellectual one, even from a very young age…maybe it was because she was always reading, reading, reading…man, she always had a book in hand (and still does!)…now, that doesn’t mean that she always got it right…i mean, there was the time when she ripped the side-view mirror off of the car when backing out of the garage, and the time when she burned an iron-shaped hole in her bedroom carpet while ironing a shirt, and the time when she tried to dry her hat off by setting it next to the campfire ring…guess what–it caught on fire!

[the “burning hat camping trip” was an over-nighter at luther heights bible camp–a place (and people) i’ve referenced before in this blog–anyways, the first year that i worked there, one of the counselors quit within the first two weeks of the summer camping season…so, i called up chris at our home in olympia, wa to see if she wanted to come out and fill the open slot…at the time, she was doing something exciting for the summer, like picking raspberries 🙂 …immediately, she agreed to come out to idaho as a counselor…and she liked it so much that we had the chance to work together there for 3 summers…those were good times]…

but, she’s always had a sharp mind, like a surgeon’s scalpel…an insatiable need to know things, an unstoppable curiosity…which, i think, was/is a catalyst for her continued travels and adventures in the world…as an adult, she’s ventured to israel, africa, south america, other locales in the far east…and minnesota (coming here, especially in the winter, is definitely badge-worthy)…israel was/is a favorite of hers, as a college student she lived on a kibbutz there for a while and then returned some 10 more times–over the years, she was able to master hebrew…who does that?!

all of this adds up one very unique individual…with a very distinct perspective on the world…and, for me…what i’ve come to know, what i’ve come to realize is that…she is one of the most unique individuals i know…i always come away from a conversation with her having learned something new…or, thinking about something in a way that i wouldn’t have thought of–had i not had the chance to visit with her…every single time…

she’s also the kind of person who could’ve done anything she wanted to…doctor, lawyer, corporate executive…you name it…but, she landed in education…in the trade of teaching…in the trade of teaching junior high school students no less…and she’s been at it for 14 years now…and most of the parents don’t know just how lucky they are to have her teach their children…but, i do…

i mean, who wouldn’t want that kind of person teaching their kids–helping them use their noggins?!

last year…for her energy, efforts, and creativity as an educator, she received the “highest marks” and “highest rating” a teacher can get in an evaluation at her school, a status that few achieve…

you wouldn’t hear this from chris, of course…because she’s also one of the least flashy and most humble people i know…which is even more of a reason to tell you what she’s about, to tell you what she’s done in the world…to put it down in words, for the record…right here, right now…

here’s to you, chris! i love you, sister!

cheers!

 

 

 

teaching is doing

“those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” –

the above quote, one that has been attributed to both george  bernard shaw and h.l. mencken, is one of my least favorite sayings in the world…and, not just because i am a teacher, but because i have benefitted from the lessons i’ve learned from the teachers in my life…so, this post goes out to all the critics…

those who can’t do…

get up at the ‘crack of dawn’ every day for 9 months to get ready for each new day

those who can’t do…

go to bed by 9pm (if not earlier) every night for 9 months because they get up at the ‘crack of dawn’ to get ready for each new day

those who can’t do…

work more than a monday through friday, 9-5 work week

those who can’t do…

teach your kids math, science, history, reading, writing, and scores of other subjects each day

those who can’t do…

coach, engage, motivate, push/pull, redirect, entertain, lead, counsel, discipline, praise, encourage and love your kids…while they teach them math, science, reading, writing, and scores of other subjects each day

those who can’t do…

bring their work home with them (at night and on weekends)–grading, planning, and creating lessons; sending emails and making phone calls to interested or concerned parents, administrators, colleagues and other involved adults

those who can’t do…

bring their ‘mental work’ home with them every night…the successes and (most often) the failures of their days efforts–the kind of things that take up a lot of head space–like…how come i can’t get through to alexis? i wish bobby would listen when i talk to him.?! how come john never shows up to class? i hope jen makes it through life! how can i reach them?!

those who can’t do…

teach all other ‘doers’…’how to do things’…

pediatricians, auto mechanics, lawyers, cosmetologists, pilots, nurses, carpenters, bar tenders, police officers, computer programmers, graphic artists, corporate executives, sportscasters, architects, secretaries, crime scene investigators, activists, dentists, musicians, cooks, janitors, counselors, photographers, plumbers, surgeons, journalists, day care providers, truck drivers, artists, senators, bus drivers, firefighters, religious leaders, waiters, soldiers, accountants, filmmakers, mail men/women, engineers, social workers, athletes, teachers and more

those who can’t do…

don’t teach…

because teaching is doing…

[and doing, and doing…]

digital demeanor…

with the regular and on-going controversies of adolescents involved in inappropriate on-line communications continuing to surface (the most recent one involving a “tweet” from a student attending a high school in minnesota)…

the issue of digital demeanor…is worth mentioning…

so to are the harms that can result from “behaving badly in electronic spaces”…spaces that “seem private” or “distant from the real world”…but are, in fact–real in their consequences

since we don’t know enough about “the recent minnesota high school case” to judge it appropriately, let me give you  an example about what i mean by digital demeanor...from an experience in my classroom…to illustrate how things can go horribly wrong…

[note: while digital demeanor can include words and images transmitted by way of desk-top and lap-top computers, phones and other digital devicies…this blog post primarily focuses on “cell-phone issues and demeanor” because the use of cell-phones is prevalent among my students]

classroom case files: nearly eight years ago, in my first year of teaching…one male student sent another male student a text message that included images of brokeback mountain…with harassing statements that included the sender calling the other student “gay” and a “f**” and other inappropriate comments that the sender thought “were funny”…the incident came to light (in-class) because of a verbal altercation that happened as a result of that message…the sender, of course, received consequences for his actions–from me and the school administration…in this case, the consequences were only “school-based”…but, had it gone differently…it could’ve easily reached the level where criminal charges were filed by the victim…

stuff like this is serious and far from funny…and unfortunately…stuff like this still happens regularly…

specifically, these virtual spaces allow people to post words or images that may harm or harass another person…or come back on the person who posted the word or image, if they did so impulsively, without thinking, or without “the proper training”…it should come as no surprise then, that a lot of these cases involve teenagers who text, tweet, or post something in a public/on-line venue of some kind–in other words, they involve cases of people whose brains are not fully developed…

these posts and images, as you know, are sent out into the world by way of mobile digital devices (most often, by way of cell-phones)…devices that have been provided to adolescents by adults (parents) in their lives…because, ultimately, it is socially acceptable to do so…

so, let’s review…

we give teenagers…people whose brains are still developing (specifically, the impulse control and decision-making parts) a tool of unbelievable and unprecedented power when we give them a hand-held digital device…a tool that allows them the unsupervised and unrestricted ability (often times)–to transmit/receive unformed, uninformed, irrational, immature, reckless and impulsive messages between them and the world at large…

so, should we be surprised when a teen makes a mistake here?!  it is like handing them the keys to a 2014 ford mustang sports car…a la ‘fast and furious’…(without driver’s education, a permit, and a license) and saying, ‘have fun!’…

let me be clear…i am not making excuses for teens here…absolutely not–digital demeanor is, clearly, a major social problem–especially for adolescents

at the same time, it is not just a concern for adolescents but for adults as well…i mean, i’ve had to exercise self-discipline in my own use of this kind of power…at times, i’ve made mistakes…and hit “send” on an email or a text that was reactive or aggressive–the kind of messages i wish i could have back, you know…

so, i guess, what i’m asking is…where is the line?  are we setting the boundaries that we need to set for our young people?  are we holding them accountable when they violate those boundaries? are we teaching them to make good choices?  are we teaching them to be responsible with this kind of power?  importantly, while a significant amount of parents need to “tighten-up” their house rules and monitoring of their teen’s digital use…this is not a rant against parents or a “blame the parents” blog post…believe me, i can feel for parents who have done the right thing, who have set limits and boundaries for their kids–and to their horror, their kids “still messed it up”–teens make their own choices, after all…and have to accept responsiblity for those choices…but, what can we do?  how can we do the “digital thing” better?  how can we improve our digital demeanor?

finding answers to these questions may be difficult, but a good starting point is with nationally known, parent/child educator, dr. david walsh…

dr. walsh travels around the country and talks about ‘the teenage brain’, boundaries, and digital responsibility (the lessons he shares are extremely valuable and can be taken from both his books and his “face-to-face” presentations)…from his research, he has identified three pillars of digital health (walsh, 2014):

  1. Digital participation: Young people who participate meaningfully in their digital lives learn that technology isn’t just for entertainment; it is also a tool for learning, networking and engagement.
  2. Digital citizenship: We like to think of digital citizenship as the habit of mind that guides the way we treat one another online.
  3. Digital discipline: Digital discipline is the set of skills, behaviors and practices that enable us to power down and unplug when we need to.

of these, digital demeanor falls most certainly in the category of digital citizenship…or, what i would call the ‘moral category’…the right way and wrong way to behave and treat one another online…the guidelines and boundaries that parents, teachers, and other meaningful adults can set for young people in our society…

a good general rule that applies to this situation is one that we all learned in kindergarten–if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all…

because just like kids who inappropriately over-share and blurt (verbally) in homes, schools and other settings all over the world…they also, inappropriately over-share and blurt online–and i believe we can curtail that type of behavior–i believe we can herd dem cats on the digital frontier, as well…

personally, given the fact that these digital devices are such “life and learning disruptors” for adolescents…especially, phones (i see it regularly as a high school teacher)…i cringe at the thought of my children having and using cell-phones some day…so, here are some things that i promise to do as a father (if phones and phone usage are still a major social issue at the time my children start asking for one)…to establish ‘phone guidelines’ in our house (this is what my top 10 would look like)…

  1. i will make it known in our family that it is privilege to have your own cell-phone (not a right…and point out, that a cell-phone is a luxury item)
  2. i will make it known in our family that we will make decisions about phones together (who gets one, when they get it and what kind they get)
  3. i will delay getting our children cell-phones for as long as possible (i will be stubborn about it, regardless about what “their friends are doing”)
  4. for their first phone…i will get them one in “the ugly, un-cool, flip-phone” category with limited features–an 80’s cell-phone would be ideal (no internet access, no camera, etc…just the ‘bare bones’)
  5. once they demonstrate the ability to use the phone in #4 responsibly (for at least two years)…they may earn a phone with more power/features
  6. with each level of “increased power and features” i will give them “increased guidelines” (about how to use those tools responsibly)
  7. i will let them know that they will pay for their own phone and phone plans…whether by chores or own employment
  8. i will establish house rules for “shut-off” times…where they can’t be on their phones and/or have their phones in their rooms after certain times at night (see dr. walsh’s digital discipline)
  9. i will limit my own usage of technology around my wife and family (especially at the dinner table)
  10. i will pray that this plan works and that they use their phones like they’ve been taught:)

bonus: i will add any additional rules headquarters (my wife) tells me to;)

i’ll let you know (in 12+ years) if this works for us…

recommended readings: dr. dave’s cyberhood: making media choices that create a healthy electronic environment for your kids, dr. david walsh (2001); why do they act that way?: a survival guide to the adolescent brain for you and your teen , dr. david walsh (2004); no-why kids (of all ages) need to hear it and ways parents can say it, dr. david walsh (2007); girls on the edge: the four factors driving the new crisis for girls–sexual identity, the cyberbubble, obsessions, environmental toxins, dr. leonard sax (2010)

teacher mojo

having kids changes you…more than you can possibly comprehend at any point prior to the instant that they show up in your life…

one of the changes that i’ve experienced in regards to this–has happened on the job…working with and teaching high school students…more specifically, in how i work with and teach students…

i now refer to “the change” in this way (originally coined by my wife)…

having kids messes with my teacher mojo…

look, before my kids came along i thought i would be hell at work, less patient, and have a shorter fuse with the students in my classes…but, surprisingly, what’s happened has been the complete and total opposite…honestly, “the change”…caught me off guard, knocked me down, and rocked my world in ways that i never knew were possible…who would’ve thought?!

take the example from the hard lessons post…in the past, i would’ve been harder on those guys that we’re giving me trouble–i would’ve been less patient and understanding…and quick to drop the hammer…my patience might have lasted one or two months, max…not a full semester…

but that’s not me today…

i’m different…i’ve been changed

when i talk to my students in class…all i can see are my own children in them, i see my students at one or two years old…so, it’s changed how i do things in my classroom…how i handle bad behaviors and challenging issues–because it’s harder to drop the hammer on a one-year-old…

now, some critics might say:

hey, d., you’ve lost your edge, man…

while i can see their point, i would disagree and say:

no, my edge is just different…it’s grown…it’s expanded…

i still ‘call kids out’ and hold them accountable, i just do it differently…my well is deeper, my heart is bigger…nowadays…i have a greater capacity to be compassionate and understanding–to be patient and merciful…

i have more grace to give…

quiz song

i wasn’t formally trained as a high school teacher…

many of my friends and family were–and they have the degrees and licenses to back it up…i got my training from the school of life…working as a soccer coach, camp counselor, juvenile justice worker, church youth director, and community college instructor…my educational background is in sociology and criminal justice…

at the school where i’m a criminal justice instructor,  i’m allowed to teach under a ‘community expert’ license…meaning, i can teach in a career and technical setting because i have work experience and education that is directly related to my subject area (and because there isn’t a minnesota state license for those who teach criminal justice at the high school level)

all of my past experiences working with kids come to bear in my current teaching role…my history impacts everything i do in the classroom–from my philosophy to my methods…

i approach every class like a chef might before making a great meal…you have to have just the right ingredients…this is a bit more challenging because we have students who want to misbehave and we have an insane daily schedule–as an example, block 1 may include three separate arrival times for students + two separate departure times…so, you have to be a bit creative, to say the least (see my schedule in the above menu bar for the full breakdown)

one of the things that i use to spice-it-up, or to change-up the classroom vibe is something i call a quiz song…basically, what happens is…i say something to the class like, this quiz is as hard as this song…so, to intimidate you…i will introduce you to this quiz without smiling or laughing, because you know me to be the most serious person you’ve ever met…then, i ‘press play’ and hold up the quizzes to the group (and try not to smile or laugh)…but, i always do…then, they laugh too…

this is the kind of thing that a colleague and i call edu-tainment…ridiculous? absolutely! does it keep kids engaged? absolutely!

sometimes when you’re getting schooled by a group of students and they’ve got you on the ropes, so to speak…you tend to get away from what makes you the teacher you are–you pull back and lose that spark…it’s during those moments…when you’re stuck, when hard times come…that you need to get your mind right, press resetgo to the well…and, find a way back, find a way to laugh… 

so, press play

quiz song catalog (jean jacket included): eye of the tiger (survivor), live wire, kickstart my heart, and dr. feelgood (motley crue), whiskey in the jar and enter sandman (metallica),  you’ve got another thing comin’ (judas priest), crazy train (ozzy osbourne), in my dreams (dokken), thunder struck, money talks, and who made who (ac/dc), we’re not gonna take it (twisted sister), round and round (ratt), and symphony of destruction (megadeth)

boomerang

it’s been great to hear the response regarding the last blog post…thank you!

as a postscript to that:

it’s funny, right in the middle of making the decisions i mentioned in the last blog post–to permanently remove 2 students–i had some former students show up to class and visit…students who really took to the class and are continuing their education at the next level…

it’s always good to see students again and hear (as we often do) that they are enjoying the ‘next steps’ in life…whether in college/university, community college, the military, another job, you name it…the ones who ‘were rowdier’ when they were in class are always a bit sheepish when they cross the threshold…but, they still come back and that’s good to see…

because there’s always that part of you that thinks…i wonder what happened to that kid???

tradecraft…your voice (part V)

make no mistake…talking to people, engaging with people who are coming at you with aggression and anger (and not losing control of yourself) is difficult…i was lucky to have people around me who showed me how to navigate those situations (by their example), friends and coworkers who showed me the way…

in my journey, herding cats…i learned three simple phrases to help me (get) back in control–these phrases were/are really important for me in my work with young people (no matter the setting)…i consider them to be gems…maybe you will too…

these phrases are called “deflectors”– and my favorites include:

regardless, never-the-less, and be that as it may

let me give you a scenario when these deflectors served me well…

the scenario that i am going to share took place at the school where i currently work at (as a high school teacher)…the school is part alternative high school and part career-technical education center–the students we instruct are from a variety of backgrounds and have had a variety of life expriences…some of the kids we teach are tough to work with and are resistant to authority and being in school–they are similar, in some regards, to what you would experience working in juvenile justice…

one day, during my first year of teaching, a female student had her phone out in class (this happens all the time, cell phones are one of the biggest distractions and disruptors in today’s classroom–and because of the disruptive nature of phones, we have classroom rules against having them out)…she was about two rows back, one student in a class of twenty…

so, i addressed her…(names have been changed to protect the innocent;)

me: alexis, can you please shut off your phone and put it away

(alexis did not respond to me, continued to have her phone out…and showed ‘what was on her phone’ to the girl sitting next to her–so, at this point, it wasn’t just her learning that was being affected, but those around her were being distracted as well)…

me: alexis, can you put your phone away

alexis: no, i don’t have to…i can be on it if i want

me: not true, you know the expectations…so, plea–

alexis (interrupts me and takes it to the next level): you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d.

it’s funny, when certain things happen in class–everybody listens…this was one of those times…instantly, the class got “real quiet”…i’m pretty sure it was the most quiet my classroom has ever been (with students in it)…and at that moment, after she said what she had said, all of the students were looking at me…waiting… thinking…what’s he gonna do, now?! (you could read it on their faces)…

i had the same question, for a minute…then, my juvenile justice brain clicked on…and, luckily, i remembered the deflectors…at the same time, i told myself–stay calm…

(i took a deep breath)

me (my voice and tone were ‘even’): regardless, you need to follow my directions–you need to put away your phone…i’ll give you one minute to do so, if you don’t…i’ll take your daily points for today (each day, students earn daily points…it is a way they “get paid” in our career-tech programs)…

a minute came and went, then she responded–her response was original…

alexis (looked up from her phone and spoke–aggressively): you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d.

me (still ‘even’ in voice and tone): never-the-less, we have work to do…put your phone away and let’s get to it…look, if you put your phone away now, you’ve only lost one day’s points and we’ll move on–don’t do it, continue on in this way, and i’ll take tomorrow’s…i’ll give you a minute to choose…

all throughout this exchange the class was transfixed, their eyes flicked between us–some heads swiveled back and forth (from me to her)…like they were watching a tennis match… at this moment, their attention turned back to her…

another minute came and went…and she responded again…

alexis: you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d. (still with her phone out, still not complying)

at this point, what flashed through my mind…what i wanted to say was–no, you’re fuckin’ bullshit–bitch!!! (gives you an idea of just how twisted my mind is, right?!:)

but i didn’t say that…not “out loud” anyways…instead, i countered once again with my last deflector…

me (still calm): be that as it may, you know what you need to do…last chance, put your phone away or i’ll have to send you down to the resource room–for not complying with me and for the ‘disrespect’ (the resource room was a room where the school resource officer would meet with a student–a “time out”, if you will–nowadays we have a version of ISS were kids get sent, it is monitored by a regular staff member–not a school cop)

(she was a fighter, stubborn and unwilling to back down–and so, she came at me again)

alexis: you’re fuckin’ bullshit, mr. d.

(i exhaled)

me: ok, alexis, head on down to the resource room

she got up (with her phone, of course) and headed on down to the resource room…i took another deep breath and continued on with class…20 minutes later she came back to class and actually set her phone on my desk and got back to work…(later, i thanked the officer for “having my back”)…

interestingly, i never had a problem with her in class again and we got along well after that…

a few days after the incident, i was able to talk to her about what went wrong...to process the incident…to talk about expectations and consequences…to listen to her and what was going on with her…she explained to me that, at that moment, on that day…she was having a really hard time with things at school and in other classes (w/friends)–“it was all going to shit” (she told me)…turns out that her outburst had nothing to do with me, phones, or class rules and expectations…she was having a bad day–and, it just came out on me…

this is a really important part of the story…because, what happens often times is about something else…what is going down in a kid’s life (apart from you) is the origin or cause of the bad behavior…a good number of the kids we see have experienced (or are in the midst of) hard knocks…so, it’s really important to live up to and be the adult in those hard situations–and not take things personally

it is not easy to do, situations like this are stressful, tense and hit you hard–and sometimes you fail in how you respond–your natural response is to lash out and strike back at the person who is hurting you…and in that space, you fail (i have failed enough times to know what i’m talking about here)…but, taking the high road–this should be your goal (how you want to handle things)…it’s what professionals do (most of the time)…

i sincerely believe that how i handled things in this situation rippled out, like waves when a stone is cast into a small, still pond…

she came at me hard, she was aggressive and disrespectful…but, because of those three simple phrases–i was able to stay above it, to speak to her with respect–to not take it personally and lose control…she felt that…and that’s why we were able to move on and continue life together in the classroom–that’s why we were able to maintain the relationship…at the same time, the other students felt those ripples…they saw how she treated me and they saw how i treated her…they felt it too…and afterwards, i felt that same wave wash over me in return–and, i held that good feeling, that good regard they had for me…until the end of the year and beyond…

it’s true that i used more than those phrases to maintain control…i combined them with choices (she had control too, or some sense of it)–giving options to kids you work with is key in navigating conflict; also, through these exchanges, i was reminding her of expectations that i had explained to the class at the beginning of the year and at other times in our journey together…she knew the score, she knew what could happen…it was no surprise…

while choices and expectations are important in this kind of work as well…i cannot overstate the power of these three deflectors…they are gems…they are fine tools of this trade…

i hope they serve you well, too…

recommended readings: back in control by gregory bodenhmer, 1984 (it’s where i got the three phrases from (during a training at the idaho youth ranch)–this book has a lot of really good information in regards to working with difficult young people!); verbal judo: the gentle art of persuasion by george j. thompson, ph.d, 2004 (a book i’ve mentioned before and one that is required reading for anyone in any setting who wants to learn how to talk to people, persuade others, and navigate difficult interactions!); a wizard of earthsea by ursula k. le guin, 1969 (the first book in a fiction/sci-fi/fantasy epic series…in the tradition of the lord of the rings–a parable about what happens when you speak something into the world–profound!)

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