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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170143 Find in a Library
Title: Maintaining Respect Under Fire
Journal: Reaching Today's Youth  Volume:1  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1997)  Pages:17-20
Author(s): L Goulet
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 4
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A veteran teacher describes strategies for reaching hard- to-reach kids by modeling respect and nurturing responsibility; included is a discussion of student interests, being honest, developing compassion, and preventing burnout.
Abstract: The author, who teaches a special education class in a public Massachusetts high school, interacts with students who have a difficult history in school. Typically, the students' language is laced with profanity, and they manifest a behavioral posture of opposition and negativity. The lesson the author has learned after a number of years of experience is that if you want to get respect, you must first give it. No matter how difficult students may be, they deserve to be acknowledged as worthy human beings, to have their struggles and limitations considered, and their errors forgiven. There are practical ways to establish a respectful environment for students, even those who are the most troublesome. First, set the tone for the day by welcoming students with a handshake, warm smile, and upbeat greeting; this attitude should be continued throughout the day. Second, discover "generational" student interests; that is, learn about the interests of their age group. Other strategies include discovering individual student interests, sharing personal interests, looking for decency, being honest and nonjudgmental, practicing forgiveness, and enjoying teaching students. Suggestions for preventing burnout when it seems that negative behaviors are slow to change include diffusing negative feelings so positive feelings can be nurtured; not taking student behaviors personally; maintaining compassion and not pity; and recognizing the value and significance of teaching.
Main Term(s): Juvenile attitudes toward authority
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Adolescents at risk; Behavior modification; Educators; Teaching/training techniques
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