As the special education teacher in the classroom, it is our job to make sure that everyone is staying positive with the students and that the learning environment is a positive place where students feel comfortable enough to take risks and learn. Here are 2 hacks to help you create a positive place for students.
Outlaw The Word “No”
My students come to me with a bi repertoire of behaviors to get attention and escape demands. It is easy to fall into a pattern where you say “no” or a variation of it. When I notice that my paras or I am veering to the negative side, I outlaw the word no and it’s variation.
Make sure you review with your paras and therapists exactly what you mean and why you are doing making this change. For example, I tell my staff that I have noticed that we have ALL gotten out of the habit of being positive with our students. It is hard to keep a positive classroom when you have students with a boatload of behaviors BUT our students need us to in order for them to learn more appropriate behaviors and feel safe enough to take risks in learning.
I go over the phrases that I have been hearing that are included in the No band such as “Don’t do that.” and “Stop that.” We talk about what to say instead. Here are a few of the examples I give them: