Making the Most of Recess

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Good Reads

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What you promote by creating a positive recess experience:

Outdoor Play Allows a School-Aged Child to:
-Increase the flow of blood to the brain. The blood delivers oxygen and glucose, which the brain needs for heightened alertness and mental focus.

-Build up the body’s level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, BDNF causes the brain’s nerve cells to branch out, join together and communicate with each other in new ways, which leads to your child’s openness to learning an more capacity for knowledge

-Build new brain cells in a brain region called dentate gyrus, which is linked
with memory and memory loss.

-Improves their ability to learn.

-Increase the size of basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in
maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate
actions and thoughts crisply.

-Strengthen the vestibular systems that create spatial awareness and mental
alertness. This provides your child with the framework for reading and other
academic skills 

-Help creativity

Raise Smart Kid (2015). The Benefits of Exercise On Your Kid’s Brain.

Addressing Conflict on the Yard

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Conflict is normal

Conflict is a normal part of children’s lives. Having different needs or wants, or wanting the same thing when only one is available, can easily lead children into conflict with one another. “She won’t let me play,” “He took my …”, “Tom’s being mean!” are complaints that parents, carers and school staff often hear when children get into conflict and are unable to resolve it. Common ways that children respond to confl ict include arguing and physical aggression, as well as more passive responses such as backing off and avoiding one another.

When conflict is poorly managed it can have a negative impact on children’s relationships, on their self-esteem and on their learning. However, teaching children the skills for resolving conflict can help signifi cantly. By learning to manage conflict effectively, children’s skills for getting along with others can be improved. Children are much happier, have better friendships and are better learners at school when they know how to manage conflict well.

Different ways of responding to conflict

Since children have different needs and preferences, experiencing conflict with others is unavoidable. Many children (and adults) think of conflict as a competition that can only be decided by having a winner and a loser. The problem with thinking about conflict in this way is that it promotes win-lose behaviour: children who want to win try to dominate the other person; children who think they can’t win try to avoid the conflict. This does not result in effective conflict resolution.

Win-lose approaches to conflict

Children may try to get their way in a conflict by using force. Some children give in to try to stop the conflict, while others try to avoid the situation altogether. These different styles are shown below. When introducing younger children to the different ways that conflicts can be handled, talking about the ways the animals included as examples below might deal with conflict can help their understanding. It introduces an element of fun and enjoyment.

Conflict style Animal example Child’s behaviour
Force Shark, bull, lion Argues, yells, debates, threatens, uses logic to impose own view.
Give in Jelly fish, teddy bear Prevents fights, tries to make others happy.
Avoid Ostrich, turtle Thinks or says: “I don’t want conflict.” Distracts, talks about something else, leaves the room or the relationship.

Sometimes these approaches appear to work in the short-term, but they create other sets of problems. When children use force to win in a conflict it creates resentment and fear in others. Children who ‘win’ using this approach may develop a pattern of dominating and bullying others to get what they want. Children who tend to give in or avoid conflict may lack both confidence and skills for appropriate assertive behaviour. They are more likely to be dominated or bullied by others and may feel anxious and negative about themselves.

It is possible instead to respond to conflict in positive ways that seek a fair outcome. Instead of being seen as a win-lose competition, conflict can be seen as an opportunity to build healthier and more respectful relationships through understanding the perspectives of others.

Win-some lose-some: Using compromise to resolve conflict

Adults have a significant impact on how children deal with conflict. Often adults encourage children to deal with conflict by compromising. Compromising means that no-one wins or loses outright. Each person gets some of what they want and also gives up some of what they want. Many children learn how to compromise as they grow and find ways to negotiate friendships. It is common around the middle of primary school for children to become very concerned with fairness and with rules as a way of ensuring fairness. This may correspond with an approach to resolving conflict that is based on compromise.

Conflict style Animal example Child’s behaviour
Compromise Fox I give a bit and expect you to give a bit too.

Win-win: Using cooperation to resolve conflict

Using a win-win approach means finding out more about the problem and looking together for creative solutions so that everyone can get what they want.

Conflict style Animal example Child’s behaviour
Sort out the problem

(Win-win)

Owl Discover ways of helping everyone in the conflict to get what they want.

Skills required for effective conflict resolution

Effective conflict resolution requires children to apply a combination of well-developed social and emotional skills. These include skills for managing feelings, understanding others, communicating effectively and making decisions. Children need guidance and ‘coaching’ to learn these skills. Learning to use all the skills effectively in combination takes practice and maturity. However, with guidance children can begin to use a win-win model and gradually develop their abilities to resolve conflicts independently.

Skill What to encourage children to learn
  • Manage strong emotions
  • Use strategies to control strong feelings
  • Verbally express own thoughts and feelings
  • Identify and communicate thoughts and feelings
  • Identify the problem and express own needs
  • Talk about their own wants/needs/fears/concerns without demanding an immediate solution
  • Understand the other person’s perspective
  • Listen to what the other person wants/needs
  • Understand the other person’s fears/concerns
  • Understand without having to agree
  • Respond sensitively and appropriately
  • Generate a number of solutions to the problem
  • Think of a variety of options
  • Try to include the needs and concerns of everyone involved
  • Negotiate a win-win solution
  • Be flexible
  • Be open-minded
  • Look after own needs as well as the other person’s needs (be assertive)

Guiding children through the steps of conflict resolution

1. Set the stage for WIN-WIN outcomes

Conflict arises when people have different needs or views of a situation. Make it clear that you are going to help the children listen to each other’s point of view and look for ways to solve the problem that everyone can agree to.

  • Ask, “What’s the problem here?” Be sure to get both sides of the story (eg “He won’t let me have a turn” from one child, and “I only just started and it’s my game,” from another).
  • Say, I’m sure if we talk this through we’ll be able to sort it out so that everyone is happy.”

2. Have children state their own needs and concerns

The aim is to find out how each child sees the problem. Help children identify and communicate their needs and concerns without judging or blaming.

  • Ask, “What do you want or need? What are you most concerned about?”

3. Help children listen to the other person and understand their needs and concerns

In the heat of conflict it can be difficult to understand that the other person has feelings and needs too. Listening to the other person helps to reduce the conflict and allows children to think of the problem as something they can solve together.

  • Ask, “So you want to have a turn at this game now because it’s nearly time to go home? And you want to keep playing to see if you can get to the next level?”
  • Show children that you understand both points of view: “I can understand why you want to get your turn. I can see why you don’t want to stop now.”

4. Help children think of different ways to solve the problem

Often children who get into conflict can only think of one solution. Getting them to think of creative ways for solving the conflict encourages them to come up with new solutions that no-one thought of before. Ask them to let the ideas flow and think of as many options as they can, without judging any of them.

  • Encourage them: “Let’s think of at least three things we could do to solve this problem.”

5. Build win-win solutions

Help children sort through the list of options you have come up with together and choose those that appear to meet everybody’s needs. Sometimes a combination of the options they have thought of will work best. Together, you can help them build a solution that everyone agrees to.

  • Ask: Which solution do you think can work? Which option can we make work together?

6. Put the solution into action and see how it works

Make sure that children understand what they have agreed to and what this means in practice.

  • Say, “Okay, so this is what we’ve agreed. Tom, you’re going to show Wendy how to play the game, then Wendy, you’re going to have a try, and I’m going to let you know when 15 minutes is up.”

Key points for helping children resolve conflict

The ways that adults respond to children’s conflicts have powerful effects on their behaviour and skill development. Until they have developed their own skills for managing conflict effectively most children will need very specific adult guidance to help them reach a good resolution. Parents, carers and teaching staff can help children in sorting out conflict together, by seeing conflict as a shared problem that can be solved by understanding both points of view and finding a solution that everyone is happy with.

Guide and coach

When adults impose a solution on children it may solve the conflict in the short term, but it can leave children feeling that their wishes have not been taken into account. Coaching children through the conflict resolution steps helps them feel involved. It shows them how effective conflict resolution can work so that they can start to build their own skills.

Listen to all sides without judging

To learn the skills for effective conflict resolution children need to be able to acknowledge their own point of view and listen to others’ views without fearing that they will be blamed or judged. Being heard encourages children to hear and understand what others have to say and how they feel, and helps them to learn to value others.

Support children to work through strong feelings

Conflict often generates strong feelings such as anger or anxiety. These feelings can get in the way of being able to think through conflicts fairly and reasonably. Acknowledge children’s feelings and help them to manage them. It may be necessary to help children calm down before trying to resolve the conflict.

Remember

  • Praise children for finding a solution and carrying it out.
  • If an agreed solution doesn’t work out the first time, go through the steps again to understand the needs and concerns and find a different solution.

The information in this resource is based on Wertheim, E., Love, A., Peck, C. & Littlefield, L. (2006). Skills for resolving conflict (2nd Edition). Melbourne: Eruditions Publishing.

Web: Source

Promoting Disability Awareness on Campus

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People with disabilities are not
their diagnoses or disabilities;
they are people, first.

 
Kathie Snow
Disability is Natural

Articles

Creating Positive School Experiences for Students with Disabilities By Amy Milsom

How to Talk to Kids About Disabilities

Prioritizing Agency for Students With Disabilities When students with disabilities develop self-advocacy and self-determination, they can engage more effectively in their education. By Ace Parsi

Promoting Positive Social Interactions in an Inclusion Setting for Students with Learning Disabilities from the National Association of Special Education Teachers

Tips for Talking to Your Child About Learning Disabilities

Understanding and Responding to Children’s Needs in Inclusive Classrooms A Guide for Teachers by UNESCO

Helping Students Understand and Accept Their Learning Disabilities: The Demystification Conference By Mia Wernig Elfrink

BULLYING AND DISABILITY: An Overview of the Research Literature by Fred Pampel, PhD

13 Tips on How to Talk to Children About Diversity and Difference

Changing How We Talk About Disabilities- GREAT Quick reference

Attitudes and Language – From Disability is Natural

Tools

Disability Awareness Activity Packet

Disability Lesson Plans from Learning to Give

Promoting Disability Awareness and Acceptance In Childhood By Anne Borys

How to Explain Disability to a Child

Content Provided by: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Indiana

“Whether you’re explaining a disability to a child who has one or to a non-disabled child, the following key concepts should be kept in mind” advises Ava L. Siegler, Ph.D. in Child Magazine.

Compassion: Show a child you fully understand what a hurtful thing a disability can be.

Communication: Explain as much as you possibly can about the disability so a child does not become frightened by the unknown.

Comprehension: Make sure a child understands that the disability is never the child’s fault.

Competence: Convey the sense that even though a disability is very hard to deal with, a child with a disability will make progress and learn to do new things.

Suggested phrases to use when explaining a disability to a child:

Age of the Child When speaking to a child with a disability When speaking to a child without a disability
2 to 4 We don’t know why, but sometimes children are born without everything their bodies need, and that’s what happened to you. That means you’re going to have to work harder and we’re going to work hard to help you. Most children like you are born with everything they need, but sometimes children are born without everything they need. Sometimes they need crutches or wheelchairs or braces to help them do what you do naturally.”
5 to 8 “It’s really tough when your body can’t do everything you want it to do. It’s not fair that you have to work so hard to make your body do what you want. But everyone has some activities that are easy for them, and some that require more effort. You have this problem, but you’re lucky to have lots of talents, too.” “Kids are all different, and they have different strengths as well as things that are harder for them. Some things that are easy for you to do are very difficult for other children to do. It takes a lot of courage for kids with physical disabilities to keep trying and working at it.”
9 to 12 It’s a bad break for you to be born with a disability that makes things harder. But remember your abilities, too and work to strengthen them. It’s natural sometimes to feel angry but try not to give up. Whenever you see someone with a disability, remember that even though they are having a hard time, they’re still kids who need friends and understanding.

Source

Building a Relationship with Students to Increase Learning in the Classroom

Articles

5 Tips for Better Relationships With Your Students – NEA

Featured article: Unconditional Positive Regard and Effective School Discipline By Dr. Eric Rossen

The Teacher as Warm Demander by Elizabeth Bondy and Dorene D. Ross

Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems by Mark Boynton and Christine Boynton

The Power of Positive Regard by Jeffrey Benson

Building Positive Teacher-Child Relationships– CSEFEL

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Unconditional Positive Regard 

Carl Rogers described unconditional positive regard (UPR) as love and acceptance that are not dependent upon any particular behaviors. He often used the term “prizing” as shorthand for this feature of a relationship. According to Rogers, prizing is particularly important in the parent-child relationship.

Unconditional Positive Regard 

Carl Rogers described unconditional positive regard (UPR) as love and acceptance that are not dependent upon any particular behaviors. He often used the term “prizing” as shorthand for this feature of a relationship. According to Rogers, prizing is particularly important in the parent-child relationship. Rogers argued that children who are prized by their parents experience a greater sense of congruence, have a better chance to self-actualize, and have are more likely to become fully functioning people than those whose parents raise them under “conditions of worth.”

Unconditional positive regard is also a crucial component of Rogers’ approach to psychotherapy. In fact, along with empathy and genuineness, Rogers asserted that UPR was one of the necessary and sufficient elements for positive psychotherapeutic change. When Rogers described UPR as “necessary,” he communicated that an unconditionally accepting and warm relationship between therapist and client is a prerequisite for therapy to be effective. This assertion is not particularly shocking; most individuals seeing a therapist would probably expect the therapist to have this type of nonjudgmental attitude, and would also probably expect therapy to progress poorly if the therapist was in fact judgmental or conditionally disapproving. When Rogers described UPR as “sufficient,” however, he made a bolder statement. The term “sufficient” suggests that if a therapist provides UPR, along with empathy and genuineness, to a client, the client will improve. No additional techniques or strategies are needed. The therapist need not analyze any dreams, change any thought patterns, punish or reward any behaviors, or offer any interpretations. Instead, in the context of this humanistic therapy relationship, the client will heal himself or herself by growing in a self-actualizing direction, thereby achieving greater congruence. This “necessary and sufficient” claim holds true, according to Rogers, regardless of the diagnosis or severity of the client’s problem.

In addition to the parent-child and therapist-client relationship, Rogers also considered the value of UPR in other relationships and situations. For example, he spent significant time and energy discussing the role that UPR might play in education, and in the teacher-student relationship in particular. Rogers criticized the mainstream American educational system as overly conditional. He believed that educators too often used the threat of poor grades to motivate students, and that students felt prized only when they performed up to educators’ standards (as measured by grades on exams, papers, etc.). He further believed that students may emerge from school having learned some essential academic skills, but also having learned that they are not trustworthy, that they lack internal motivation toward learning, and that only the aspects of themselves that meet particular academic criteria are worthy.

Rogers strongly recommended that teachers and administrators take a more humanistic and less conditional approach to education. He argued that UPR in schools would communicate to children that they are worthy no matter what; as a result, their sense of congruence and their tendency toward self-actualization would remain intact. Students, according to Rogers, should be trusted to a greater extent to follow their own interests and set to their own academic goals. Rather than threatening students to study for exams and write papers in which they have little interest, prize them wholly and allow them greater freedom to choose that which they want to pursue. Advocates of Rogers’ humanistic approach to education argue that it would enhance students’ self-worth, which in turn may preclude many of the psychological and social problems that children encounter. Critics of Rogers’ humanistic approach to education argue that without conditions of worth based on academic achievement, students would have no provocation to learn, and would demonstrate lethargy rather than self-motivation.

Andrew M. Pomerantz, Ph. D.

 

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Giving Students The Words to Build a Positive Mindset

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I feel that now more then ever a balance needs to be set for students in building their own sense of well being in times of adversity. Many students are aware of their deficits and often times lose sight of the greater goals of retaining a balanced view of themselves over the perceived expectations and judgments teachers and parents may project on to their young learners. As a parent and educator, I am guilty of this as well. In an effort to bring more positivity to those I encounter, I wrote this post to help myself and others better cultivate positive mindset ideas and practices. In some circles, they say to start with a “beginners mind”. I take this as staying curious and not judging ones own learning curve taking knowledge as it comes and being gentle with yourself throughout the learning process.

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9 P’s for Affirmation Creation

When creating positive affirmations,
keep in mind that they should be:

 PRESENT  Set in the present tense
 POSITIVE  No negative words
 PERSONAL  Tailored to you
 PRECISE  Detailed and specific
 POWERFUL  Empowering words
 PUNCHY  Short and concise
 PLAUSIBLE  Realistic statements
 PRIVATE  Can keep to yourself daily
 PERSISTENT  Use even if not true yet

Adapted from Works by Che Garman

Source

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Positive Affirmations for Students

  1. Today and Everyday My Thirst For Learning is Alive And Well in Me
  2. I Am a Great Student And Getting Better Each And Every Day
  3. I Am Prepared For My Tests, I Love Taking Tests, Tests Are a Breeze For Me
  4. Today I Study Hard So Tomorrow I Can Make My Difference.
  5. Education is The Path to Freedom, And Today I Will Walk That Path With Confidence.
  6. I Value My Education Because It Prepares Me For a Bright And Successful Future
  7. I Am Always Open To Learning in a Better Way
  8. A Chance To Learn is a Chance To Grow. I Am Growing
  9. Some Days our Progress Is Small But our Learning Is Much
  10. I Choose To Move Forward Every Day , Growing And Learning As I Go
  11. I Set High Standards For My Educational Experience And I Achieve Them
  12. I Am Smart And Today I Prove It
  13. Learning is Life, I love Learning And I Am Good at It
  14. The More I Learn The More I Achieve
  15. I Am And Being a Student is All About The Possible

Source

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Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

OLD SCHOOL VS. 21st Century Learning

Learning is different and we have to look at building flexibility because of the new way we present information and teach concepts in school. Look at the chart below that helps to illustrate old school versus 21st-century learning.
graphic

Building Empathy in the Classroom

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Empathy: The Art of Listening
We generally want to respond when people speak to us. For example, someone says, “I’m so tired, I couldn’t get any work done.” Some typical responses listed below are often said with the best of intentions, but can unknowingly create distance and disconnection.
We call these empathy blockers.
• One-upping
“I’m so tired myself. I couldn’t get any work done either.”
• Advising / Fixing
“Maybe you should get more sleep.”
“Maybe you should get some vitamins.”
“Maybe you should…”
• Educating
“There’s a good book you should get on sleep and productivity.”
• Analyzing
“You know, this seems to be a pattern of yours.”
• Consoling
“That’s too bad. I’m sure things will go better tomorrow.”
• Discounting
“Okay, but shouldn’t you just be glad you have a job?”
Some things we can say to express empathy
• “I hear you.” Said with sincerity, meets a person’s need to be heard.
• “Tell me more.” Said with sincerity, shows you are really interested.
• “I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m just grateful you told me.”
When someone is in a difficult place, this may be all you have to say.
– Empathy is Being Interested Rather Than Being Interesting –

Source

Upset feelings typically are attributed to a need not being met. Here is a handy cheat sheet for Feelings Associated with Met and Unmet Needs.

happify-empathy

Activities and Worksheets

40 Kindness Activities & Empathy Worksheets for Students and Adults

Empathy in Your Classroom TRY THESE ACTIVITIES TO BUILD EMPATHY AND COMMUNITY (High School)

Emotional Intelligence Activities For Teens

A Quick-Guide To Teaching Empathy In The Classroom

A Toolkit for Promoting Empathy in Schools

Articles

Empathy in the Classroom: Why Should I Care?

Principal Connection / Building Empathy in Schools -Thomas R. Hoerr

Building Empathy in Classrooms and Schools

how to build project making caring empathy and strengthen your school community

Books

13 kids books to spark conversations about empathy Via Tinybop

10 Children’s Books That Teach Empathy  Via Self-Sufficient Kids

Gender Spectrum and School

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In our schools, gender awareness and the fluidity of gender attitudes are evolving. The understanding and acceptance of this gender continuum can be a barrier to student learning. This post is to help illuminate concepts, tools, and strategies to help ensure students are supported on campus.

Big Reads

A Resource Guide to Families of Transgender Youth

Glossary of Terms – Transgender

Sex
The classification of a person as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex, usually based on the appearance of their external anatomy. (This is what is written on the birth certificate.) A person’s sex, however, is actually a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal and external reproductive organs, and secondary sex characteristics.
Gender Identity
A person’s internal, deeply held sense of their gender. For transgender people, their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Most people have a gender identity of man or woman (or boy or girl). For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of those two choices (see non-binary and/or genderqueer below.) Unlike gender expression (see below) gender identity is not visible to others.
Gender Expression
External manifestations of gender, expressed through a person’s name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, and/or body characteristics. Society identifies these cues as masculine and feminine, although what is considered masculine or feminine changes over time and varies by culture. Typically, transgender people seek to align their gender expression with their gender identity, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth.
Sexual Orientation
Describes a person’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a straight woman. 
Transgender (adj.)
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms – including transgender. Some of those terms are defined below. Use the descriptive term preferred by the person. Many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to bring their bodies into alignment with their gender identity. Some undergo surgery as well. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and a transgender identity is not dependent upon physical appearance or medical procedures.
Transsexual (adj.)
An older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities. Still preferred by some people who have permanently changed – or seek to change – their bodies through medical interventions, including but not limited to hormones and/or surgeries. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term. Many transgender people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. It is best to ask which term a person prefers. If preferred, use as an adjective: transsexual woman or transsexual man.
Trans
Used as shorthand to mean transgender or transsexual – or sometimes to be inclusive of a wide variety of identities under the transgender umbrella. Because its meaning is not precise or widely understood, be careful when using it with audiences who may not understand what it means. Avoid unless used in a direct quote or in cases where you can clearly explain the term’s meaning in the context of your story.
Cross-dresser
While anyone may wear clothes associated with a different sex, the term cross-dresser is typically used to refer to men who occasionally wear clothes, makeup, and accessories culturally associated with women. Those men typically identify as heterosexual. This activity is a form of gender expression and not done for entertainment purposes. Cross-dressers do not wish to permanently change their sex or live full-time as women. Replaces the term “transvestite”.
Transition
Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step procedure; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition can include some or all of the following personal, medical, and legal steps: telling one’s family, friends, and co-workers; using a different name and new pronouns; dressing differently; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) one or more types of surgery. The exact steps involved in transition vary from person to person. Avoid the phrase “sex change”.
Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)
Also called Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS). Refers to doctor-supervised surgical interventions, and is only one small part of transition (see transition above). Avoid the phrase “sex change operation.” Do not refer to someone as being “pre-op” or “post-op.” Not all transgender people choose to, or can afford to, undergo medical surgeries. Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the role of surgeries in the transition process.
Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
outdated, see Gender Dysphoria
Gender Dysphoria
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association released the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) which replaced the outdated entry “Gender Identity Disorder” with Gender Dysphoria, and changed the criteria for diagnosis. The necessity of a psychiatric diagnosis remains controversial, as both psychiatric and medical authorities recommend individualized medical treatment through hormones and/or surgeries to treat gender dysphoria. Some transgender advocates believe the inclusion of Gender Dysphoria in the DSM is necessary in order to advocate for health insurance that covers the medically necessary treatment recommended for transgender people.

 

Transgender women are not cross-dressers or drag queens. Drag queens are men, typically gay men, who dress like women for the purpose of entertainment. Be aware of the differences between transgender women, cross-dressers, and drag queens. Use the term preferred by the person. Do not use the word “transvestite” at all, unless someone specifically self-identifies that way.

OTHER TERMS YOU MAY HEAR

You may hear the following terms when doing research on transgender issues or speaking to an interview subject. As they are not commonly known outside the LGBTQ community, they will require context and definition if used in mainstream media.

Cisgender
A term used by some to describe people who are not transgender. “Cis-” is a Latin prefix meaning “on the same side as,” and is therefore an antonym of “trans-.” A more widely understood way to describe people who are not transgender is simply to say non-transgender people.
Gender Non-Conforming
A term used to describe some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity. Please note that not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender; nor are all transgender people gender non-conforming. Many people have gender expressions that are not entirely conventional – that fact alone does not make them transgender. Many transgender men and women have gender expressions that are conventionally masculine or feminine. Simply being transgender does not make someone gender non-conforming. The term is not a synonym for transgender or transsexual and should only be used if someone self-identifies as gender non-conforming.
Non-binary and/or genderqueer
Terms used by some people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman. They may define their gender as falling somewhere in between man and woman, or they may define it as wholly different from these terms. The term is not a synonym for transgender or transsexual and should only be used if someone self-identifies as non-binary and/or genderqueer.

TRANSGENDER NAMES, PRONOUN USAGE & DESCRIPTIONS

In 2015, The Washington Post updated its style guide to include the singular they to describe people who “identify as neither male nor female.” It is increasingly common for people who have a nonbinary gender identity to use they/them as their pronoun.

Always use a transgender person’s chosen name.
Many transgender people are able to obtain a legal name change from a court. However, some transgender people cannot afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to legally change their name. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who uses a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities).
Use the pronoun that matches the person’s authentic gender.
A person who identifies as a certain gender, whether or not that person has taken hormones or undergone surgery, should be referred to using the pronouns appropriate for that gender. If you are not certain which pronoun to use, ask the person, “What pronouns do you use?”
If it is not possible to ask a transgender person which pronoun they use, use the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s appearance and gender expression or use the singular they.
For example, if a person wears a dress and uses the name Susan, feminine pronouns are usually appropriate. Or it is also acceptable to use the singular they to describe someone when you don’t wish to assign a gender. For example: “Every individual should be able to express their gender in a way that is comfortable for them.”
Some people use the singular they to reflect their non-binary gender identity.
In 2015, The Washington Post updated its style guide to include the singular they to describe people who “identify as neither male nor female.” It is increasingly common for people who have a non-binary gender identity to use they/them as their pronoun. For example: “Jacob writes eloquently about their non-binary identity. They have also appeared frequently in the media to talk about their family’s reaction to their gender expression.”
 

It is never appropriate to put quotation marks around either a transgender person’s chosen name or the pronoun that reflects that person’s gender identity.”

Terms to Avoid

PROBLEMATIC

PREFERRED

“transgenders,” “a transgender”
Transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Do not say, “Tony is a transgender,” or “The parade included many transgenders.”
 
“transgender people”,”a transgender person”
For example, “Tony is a transgender man,” or “The parade included many transgender people.”
 
“transgendered”
The adjective transgender should never have an extraneous “-ed” tacked onto the end. An “-ed” suffix adds unnecessary length to the word and can cause tense confusion and grammatical errors. It also brings transgender into alignment with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer. You would not say that Elton John is “gayed” or Ellen DeGeneres is “lesbianed,” therefore you would not say Chaz Bono is “transgendered.”
 
“transgender”
 
 
“transgenderism”
This is not a term commonly used by transgender people. This is a term used by anti-transgender activists to dehumanize transgender people and reduce who they are to “a condition.”
“being transgender”
Refer to being transgender instead, or refer to the transgender community. You can also refer to the movement for transgender equality and acceptance.
“sex change,” “pre-operative,” “post-operative
Referring to a “sex-change operation,” or using terms such as “pre-operative” or “post-operative,” inaccurately suggests that a person must have surgery in order to transition. Avoid overemphasizing surgery when discussing transgender people or the process of transition.
“transition”
“biologically male,” “biologically female,” “genetically male,” “genetically female,” “born a man,” “born a woman”
Problematic phrases like those above are reductive and overly-simplify a very complex subject. As mentioned above, a person’s sex is determined by a number of factors – not simply genetics – and a person’s biology does not “trump” a person’s gender identity. Finally, people are born babies: they are not “born a man” or “born a woman.”
“assigned male at birth,” “assigned female at birth” or “designated male at birth,” “designated female at birth”
“passing” and “stealth”
While some transgender people may use these terms among themselves, it is not appropriate to repeat them in mainstream media unless it’s in a direct quote. The terms refer to a transgender person’s ability to go through daily life without others making an assumption that they are transgender. However, the terms themselves are problematic because “passing” implies “passing as something you’re not,” while “stealth” connotes deceit. When transgender people are living as their authentic selves, and are not perceived as transgender by others, that does not make them deceptive or misleading.
“visibly transgender,” “not visibly transgender”
 

 

Defamatory Language

Defamatory: “deceptive,” “fooling,” “pretending,” “posing,” “trap,” or “masquerading”
Gender identity is an integral part of a person’s identity. Do not characterize transgender people as “deceptive,” as “fooling” or “trapping” others, or as “pretending” to be, “posing” or “masquerading” as a man or a woman. Such descriptions are inaccurate, defamatory and insulting. (See “passing” and “stealth” as problematic terms above.)
Defamatory: “tranny,” “she-male,” “he/she,” “it,” “shim”
These words dehumanize transgender people and should not be used in mainstream media. The criteria for using these derogatory terms should be the same as those applied to vulgar epithets used to target other groups: they should not be used except in a direct quote that reveals the bias of the person quoted. So that such words are not given credibility in the media, it is preferred that reporters say, “The person used a derogatory word for a transgender person.” Please note that while some transgender people may use “tranny” to describe themselves, others find it extremely offensive.
Defamatory: “bathroom bill”
A term created and used by far-right extremists to oppose nondiscrimination laws that protect transgender people. The term is geared to incite fear and panic at the thought of encountering transgender people in public restrooms. Simply refer to the nondiscrimination law/ ordinance instead. For additional resources on how to fairly and accurately report on nondiscrimination laws and bathrooms, please see “Debunking the ‘Bathroom Bill’ Myth – Accurate reporting on LGBT nondiscrimination: A guide for journalists.”
Source

At School

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Transgender rights at school

What Are My Rights at School?

General Resources

Gender Spectrum Resources for a variety of topics.

 

Positive words and intentions are crucial in building a thriving learning community.

“Language actually shapes thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  It produces fundamentally new forms of behavior.”                -Lev Vygotsky

Before you continue reading this post take a minute to read this article: The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton.

Example from the book:

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Laughter

Using Humor in the Classroom Laughter has the power to fuel engagement and help students learn By Robert McNeely

Choice

Classroom of Choice by Jonathan C. Erwin Chapter 4. Power in the Classroom: Creating the Environment

Empathy

Building Empathy in Classrooms and Schools

Body Language

Good Body Language Improves Classroom Management Successful Teachers Blend both Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Teacher Relationships

Improving Students’ Relationships with Teachers to Provide Essential Supports for Learning Positive relationships can also help a student develop socially Sara Rimm-Kaufman, PhD, and Lia Sandilos, PhD, University of Virginia

Growth Mindset – Reframing Negative Self Talk

A growth mindset is a belief that your most basic abilities can be nurtured and developed though dedication and hard work. Talent is just the starting point. People with a positive growth mindset create a love of learning that is vital for doing great things. A positive growth mindset will also lend itself to being resilient in the face of setbacks. Failures are seen as learning opportunities to people with a positive growth mindset.

Verses

A fixed mindset is a belief that your basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. People with a fixed mindset believe that talent makes people successful. Effort is secondary to brains and talent.

4 Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in the Classroom

10-growth-mindset-statements

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Programs that support developing positive learning environments

A promising program out of Yale University that helps supports Developing Classroom Culture is called RULER.

RULER is an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools. RULER applies “hard science” to the teaching of what have historically been called “soft skills.” RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence — those associated with recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotion. Decades of research show that these skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.

The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) helps build the following skills:

Recognizing: Recognize the emotion of either yourself or of someone else in order to react in the most socially appropriate manner to help resolve the issue. This includes picking up on cues such as facial expression, words, tone, behavior, and one’s own thoughts.

Understanding:  Emotions are often triggered by events that bring upon specific emotions and thoughts. When a child understands more about what is triggering specific emotions, they are more likely to be less reactive. Understanding of emotions helps young children see how emotions affect decisions, behavior and goals. Problem-solving skills are needed to learn how to cope, as well as develop empathy towards others.

Labeling: Labeling emotions is nothing more than connecting different scenarios with a specific emotions, and descriptive words. For example, a child with emotional literacy may use the words inspired, enthusiastic, and thrilled.

Expressing: practicing control, timing, and expression of emotions in appropriate ways helps with communication development for healthy relationships. Students who have difficulties in both labeling and expression tend to not have successful relationships.

Regulating Emotions: Regulation during emotional experiences means organizing and managing the thoughts, emotions and behavior that often develop. Successfully regulated emotions are often prevented, reduced, initiated, maintained, or enhanced (PRIME). Source

PBIS

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture and needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all youth by making targeted misbehavior less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

Practical Strategies for Common Classroom Issues

Positive Behavior Support in the Classroom: Facilitating Behaviorally Inclusive Learning Environments Terrance M. Scott, Kristy Lee Park, Jessica Swain-Bradway & Eric Landers