Perhaps because Renay has been working in that space that occurs between the two major Fall term holidays (Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks), that this has been on our mind. Students are unsettled from trying to make that transition back to things in front of them that are a required activity and all the excitement many students associate with Winter Break—even if break is nothing more than fourteen days without school.
Some students handle this space very differently than others. Some are excited and cannot be convinced that there are any other things in the world that should be focused on. Others are worried about many other things. How one approaches both of these types of students also depends as much on why they have the emotions that they do as how the students respond to types of redirection.
Responding to behaviors is a challenge that is a continual need for professionalism. There is a meme that rolls around talking about student behavior shifting the focus from “attention seeking” to “connection seeking”. And in most cases, we have seen this to be true. In a few cases, we have seen attention seeking because the individual never satiates on the attention either positive connection or negative ones.
Some students you will have to ignore. Some students will need to go to the office. And still others will need more support.
When You Say Nothing At All
We have had brief conversations about the wonderful world of alternative communications. But have you listened to a student who needs Alternative, Augmented Communication before? No matter if the student continues to tap the same five words, sign the same three words, or uses a combination of ways to communicate, giving all students the benefit of the doubt when they are speaking to you helps build the connections students need to become better communicators.
One more thing
It is December, so ParaEducate will be posting later in January to avoid the bulk of the Holiday season. If you celebrate one of the many holidays during the month of December, please enjoy the time with your family and friends. We thank you for your continued support and cannot wait to return in 2024 with more monthly help for everyone.
Do you have any comments about this month’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published once a month during the academic school year. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.