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[…]

Schools that Matter

Schools that Matter™ Steve Van Bockern, EdD Let us put our minds together to see what kind of life we can build for our children. ~Lakota leader, Sitting Bull Many of us in the United States wonder what kind of life the new administration will build for our children. During the contentious 2016 Presidential campaign, education[…]

Chicken Alfredo and Other Ingredients for an Effective Service Plan

Thirteen-year-old Jimmy is a small, intelligent, and emotionally immature student in an alternative school program. He was the reason that I was asked to provide consultation to the staff and administrators in the school. With his constant verbal disruptions, threats to other students, and physical acting out, there were concerns that he may not be[…]

Living with Purpose

by Dr. Martin Brokenleg Lifelong learning in our hearts occurs through positive and negative experiences. Experiential learning teaches our inner world while intellectual learning, which we call knowledge, teaches our mind. We do not have a good term in English for inner learning. Some societies call this kind of learning capacities, while other societies call[…]