A Positive Approach While Being Alert for Negative Influences in School
Emphasis on positive personal interaction or pro-active teaching, is what is said to often be the best when teaching children and teens. Quality teachers make a difference in the education and lives of children.
A firm but kind approach can help children to thrive. Giving children appropriate commendation for their efforts helps them have a positive self-view and contributes to their dignity and self-confidence. Teachers can focus on the positive aspects of their students' accomplishments and abilities rather than using constant criticism as a means of controlling or motivating students.
Criticizing or berating can dishearten them, as can name-calling. (Not criticizing or berating isn't always easy as some children can make one frustrated.) If you believe in a child, he will be more likely to believe in himself and be willing to try harder. No matter how bad or difficult a child is, let him or her know that you believe that they will succeed. Taking note of and highlighting the student's positives even if it doesn't compare to that of other students, helps him or her to look at themselves positively; especially when the student may have legitimately worked hard at something, (even if might not compare to more excelling students). Any positive effort on the part of a student deserves recognition. Children (and teens) thrive on appropriate and realistic commendation and approval.
Educating parents and children on the harm that violent movies and violent video games
can have on a child's emotional and mental health through assemblies or meetings can be a useful service to both parents and children.
Simple, school-to-parent fliers and handouts
also can help, and in doing so, it will be an aid in raising the academic level of the school itself. Grades will be higher, as studies show that children who watch PG-13 and R rated movies during the week have lower test scores. The same is said for children who play video games during the school week as well. Test scores are affected by the distraction of video games after (and in) school. The mind of a child is affected.
Principals and teachers should also consider not allowing the YuGiHo playing cards in the school. In some schools it becomes a distraction in and during class. A little note to the parents at the beginning of the school year and to teachers, can easily address this issue. For some children, this can be of help to them in being able to better focus in the classroom.
One school system in New Jersey (South River) sends a handout to parents in the beginning of the school year about the dangers of violent television
and the need for supervision and monitoring of the Internet
. Parents must sign and return it.
The War Against iPODS (and texting) in the Public School System
Additionally, one vice-principal in an inner-city school said that we are in a "war" against ipods and texting, in her school. She said, just like the "war on drugs" waged by Ronald Reagen, her school had a campaign against ipods in school, and other electronic paraphernalia. Why? The ipods and texting in class, in the halls, going to school, in between classes, when substitute teachers were present, when teachers were too tired to deal with it, were a source of constant distraction for young people and children.
It is notable that if a class has 25 students, the students who listen to ipods during their "down-time" are often the most distracted and least focused students in the classroom. Sometimes, the students behavior is apparently affected by the constant sound of music in their ears from the ipod. Other students are totally distracted throughout the day in class and otherwise texting and sneaking text messages.
In one high school, a principal who regained control of a school that had previously been out of control gave young people two chances with the ipod. The first time they were caught with the ipod in school, they lost it until the end of the week. The second time, they lost it until the end of the school year. In another grade and middle school, when ipods were confiscated by teachers, parents needed to come in to sign for and retrieve the ipods.
Children on the school bus listen to pumped up music, sometimes music which is profane and sexual, which they rap in their seats in the classroom or shout out during the day. The songs are super-charged, and some of these same youth can be very difficult to control. Some schools in the inner-city have a difficult time with youths in school, keeping them under control and focused. The ipods in the hallways contributes to a disorderly school and robs the young people of a quality education.
Parents, teachers, superintendents and principals should consider a ban on ipods on school property. Once the ipods are let into the playground, they make their way into the hallways, and then into the classroom. A stricter policy is a better solution to this growing problem, preferably on a district level. See article: Music Psychology
Additional Articles Related to School Psychology:
Ideas for the Classroom
ADHD and Preschoolers
Marijuana and School, Grades
Children and Breakfast