Raise Inspired Kids
- ALAS Perspectives
- Action Tips!
- Inspire Students!
By Katherine Larson, Ph.D. and Magda Neil, M.S. October 2010
Educators as Dream Builders – The ALAS Way
As with all of us, positive action requires intentions and intentions require imagining possibilities.
Hopefulness is an Essential Prerequisite to School Success
Here are some specific things you can do immediately to teach yourself and your students to think the way optimists do.
1. Refrain from making statements about yourself that are putdowns of your personality (e.g., "I'm such a …"). You don't want your student to copy this discouraging habit!
2. Listen to how your student describes himself. If your student makes a putdown statement about himself or herself that denotes a permanent trait, encourage and help your student REFUTE this putdown with counter examples. (e.g., refute "I am such a lousy writer" with "I didn't do well on this book report." Or "this was a flop but I have improved or I did well on my last report." Refute "I am so stupid." with "I didn't do this right.").
By Katherine Larson, Ph.D.
Almost all school dropouts face adversity. Although students drop out for a wide variety of reasons tied to personal stories, most students who drop out experience a great deal of adversity and hardship because of risk factors related to poverty, being from a single parent household, being a minority, being male, having limited English ability, having learning or emotional disabilities, moving frequently or being overage. The question is - how can we help students cope more successfully with the adversity they experience? I see three compelling reasons why we must, and why we can build student resiliency and help our students cope more effectively with adversity.
Sometimes little changes can make a huge difference in improving our lives.
But what little changes?
Teach your students to answer these 4 simple questions to identify the powerful little changes they need to make now, and jump start themselves into success.
Because adolescents can feel overwhelmed by expectations and big picture thinking, they can easily become "paralyzed in under performance" or resist making necessary changes in their behavior or attitude. When they are stuck, teaching your students to focus on four simple questions will help them move forward immediately and build momentum for making bigger changes. You can also use this strategy to jump start your own forward momentum!
Katherine Larson, Ph.D. and Magda Neil, M.S. November 2010
Some of these are strategies recommended to use in every interaction you have with a student (*); some are to be used once in a while.
1. Listen without judgment. Just be present to simply express compassion for the student's suffering, even when self inflicted. Refrain from pointing out the life lesson. With good intentions, we automatically play out our teaching role, and forget that students, like adults, sometimes just need to have an adult with only a listening ear. Most kids making many mistakes get lectures not listeners in their adult interactions. When you are simply going to listen, don't focus on encouraging the student or building them up, use the time to simply listen and express compassion (head nodding, eye contact and facial expressions of compassion are all that's probably needed in the interaction).