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The Tools for Teaching Blog

January 10, 2017

The Opposite of What You Expect

In our previous four segments we have examined “Meaning Business” – calmness,  keeping your mouth shut when dealing with backtalk, and the power of your response. These skills will serve you well not only in the classroom but throughout your life whenever you are in a position of leadership.

However, no set of skills comes with a guarantee. Certain individuals in...

December 16, 2016

Upping the Ante

In our previous segment we became familiar with the various types of “whiny backtalk.” Familiarity reduces the element of surprise in backtalk and helps us remain calm.

But staying calm in the face of whiny backtalk is a piece of cake compared to staying calm in the face of nasty backtalk. If we can think of discipline management as a poker game in which the student raises the dealer...

November 10, 2016

Eliminating the Element of Surprise

In our previous segment we learned the Cardinal Error of dealing with backtalk. The Cardinal Error of dealing with backtalk is backtalk – your backtalk. Becoming involved with backtalk only makes the problem worse – which produces our first rule of backtalk:

It takes one fool to backtalk.

It takes two fools to make a conversation out of it.

In this segment we will l...

October 10, 2016

Upset Is Weakness

In our previous segment we learned that calm is strength and upset is weakness. To put this statement into perspective, ask yourself the following two questions:

  • If you are calm, who is in control of your mind and body?

  • If you are upset, who is in control of your mind and body?

Management of discipline problems in the classroom is first and foremost emotional. You will n...

June 30, 2016

Being Consistent

In last month's blog we examined consistency. We pointed out that there is no such thing as “very consistent.” Consistency is all or nothing. You are either consistent, or you are inconsistent.

Being consistent lays the foundation for “meaning business.” If your mindset is “wishy-washy,” you haven’t a chance.

We also learned in the previous segment that consistency is tied to our cla...

January 15, 2015

I found this article today at Yahoo! Parenting by Erin Zammett Ruddy. Her 7-year-old shoplifted and she made him return to the store and pay for it. Many of you may have had a similar experience growing up and I'm sure it made a lasting impression. What stood out to me was the section where Ruddy consulted a child psychologist and what she said about setting limits and staying calm. It reads:


As i...

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Substitute Teachers and Tools for Teaching

July 1, 2019

There are two different perspectives to consider when applying Tools for Teaching to the job of substitute teaching. The first is when you are about t...

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