Slamming Doors: The Power of Safety

  by Mark Freado Fourteen-year-old Angelique sat in the dining room of her group home explaining to her favorite staff member, Ms. G, the fight that happened at school that day. This incident resulted in Angelique’s one-day suspension from school to be imposed the following day, and she was not allowed to attend the group[…]

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

by Richard Curwin When I was a new teacher in middle school several centuries ago, I occasionally said things to students that I later regretted. In the last few years, I have witnessed or heard teachers say additional regretful things to students. Recently, I asked students in my graduate courses (all practicing teachers) if they[…]

What Our Children Need

David R. Cross, Ph.D. One of the campers who attended our summer camp, The Hope Connection, in the early 2000s was a lovely thirteen-year-old who had been adopted from an institution in Eastern Europe. She had been a sexual pet for the workers there and bore the deep emotional scars of chronic maltreatment. During the[…]

Passive-Aggressive Behavior in the Classroom

by Signe Whitson Gary is a fourth-grade student. Whenever his teacher, Mrs. Blackburn, asks him to do something in class, he readily agrees to do it but then finds ways to avoid making good on his word. One day, Mrs. Blackburn asked Gary to go to the bookshelf at the back of the classroom and[…]

It All Started with a Piece of Gum…

Susan Jones Karen was a student from the alternative middle school who stood out to me. There was just something about her that indicated she was an adolescent in pain. She displayed a tough exterior as she walked, and sometimes ran, in the hallways. She often engaged in verbal and physical conflicts with others. I[…]

Driving Mom McMillan

Larry K. Brendtro & Mark Freado Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her. ~Urie Bronfenbrenner She was well past retirement age when she took a job as a house mother in a residential school for troubled boys. Mom McMillan, as she was called, had spent her first career[…]