A Potentially Dangerous Situation in a High School

Below is an exchange that a friend of mine shared about a potentially dangerous situation that was resolved without incident.

Greetings Bob

I wanted to share correspondence (between an administrator and me) in reference to an incident that happened years ago in Minnesota.

A student came to me saying that a student, known to me, had a handgun on campus.  Jim, the administrator, and I acted immediately to find the student, search his locker and personal belongings and locate the (loaded) handgun.  The student who contacted me felt secure and confident enough in our relationship to know that it was safe to do so and that I would act without involving her.

It is critical that students feel comfortable talking to their administration, faculty and staff if they sense something is happening or about to happen in a school.  It is equally critical that administration, faculty and staff act decisively.

Relationship, relationship, relationship!   William Glasser, M.D. – Glasser Quality Schools

Al

From: Al
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2018
To: Jim
Subject: Weapons in School

Following each and every school shooting, I am reminded that the very best intervention starts with students feeling comfortable talking with staff/faculty about potential problems.  You and I know something about that; acting quietly and efficiently to solve a potentially serious problem before it started.  Who knows where the situation with the loaded weapon at HP Senior High might have gone had it not been for the team work displayed – and most important, the student’s feeling comfortable talking to a trusted staff member.  No doubt you pass along to your staff and faculty that relationships with their students should be developed so trust and confidentially are engendered.

Al

From: Jim
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018
To:  Al
Subject: Re: weapons in school

I think about that day also… We were able to deescalate only because we worked together… So good to hear from you!

Jim

Learners Instead of Students

How, if in any way, would your classroom, school and/or district be different if the word “students” were replaced with the word “learners“?

In The School for Quality Learning: Managing the School and Classroom the Deming Way (1993), Crawford, Bodine and Hoglund consistently referred to the learners in the school.  From a Choice Theory® perceptions point of view, it seems that the word would help more adults and children focus more on the purpose of school being learning and less on grades and credits.  I started using learners a little more in the fall, but plan to commit to regular use in 2016!

Your thoughts and comments are welcomed!

Cooperation and Learning: A Cooperative Class Meeting™

Last Friday we had the pleasure of leading a Cooperative Class Meeting™ on Cooperation and Learning with 3rd graders at Rayma C. Page Elementary. The students worked in groups of 3 or 4 to answer the 4 questions. It was exciting to watch the students thinking, discussing and sharing their answers.

The Challenge was: Make a list of ways that cooperation can help you and your class meet your learning goals?

The groups identified 5 or 6 things that would help them learn and reach their goals and we wrote them down and projected with the document camera. The list will be hung by the data wall to remind the students of the positive things they can do to help themselves and others learn

Cooperation and Learning

The teacher, Ms. Ray wrote:

I want to thank you so much for taking the time to prepare a Class Meeting for my class.  The students and I both learned a lot.  We added a few things to our “How does cooperating help us learn?” chart and I made it into a poster to discuss when the students return tomorrow.

Using the Questioning Process at Home – Part 4 – Goals/Action Steps

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family, but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.  Please read s previous Using the Questions with Family Members for a more detailed explanation…

Life in general…(SMART Goals and Plans)

  • Do you have any goals?
  • If not, does not having goals help you move towards happiness?
  • Do you have action steps that will really help you accomplish your goal(s)?
  • How do you know if you are making progress?
  • S = Specific
    M = Measurable
    A = Aligned with Quality World Picture (What you want)
    R = Results Oriented (Success)
    T = Time-Bound and Transferable (Would it work at home and at school?)
  • Example:   By the end of the week I will spend at least three, 15 minute sessions of quality (fun) time with each of my children.  I will record each fun event in a notebook and review it on Sunday.
  • Alternate Way:  Involve the children and let them graph or record the times….

Obviously, if you are asking a family member these questions, you will want to make the questions sound like you – so work them into your own language.  Remember that you are just the questioner; it is not as effective if you just tell the person what you think.

Using the Questioning Process At Home – Part 3 – Parenting

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family (by phone), but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.

The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting.   We, as family members, are their relatives, not their counselor.   Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently.  Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer.  If they want to share, that’s fine.  If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.

Parenting

  • What kind of a parent do you want to be?
  • What parts of that picture are you matching or close to matching?
  • What parts are you not matching?
  • What are some of your happiest moments as a parent?
  • What is happening when you don’t like parenting?
  • What can you do to re-frame your thinking or change an action when that happens?

Let me know your thoughts…

Tomorrow’s Topic – Goals and Plans

Suggested Reading:  Nancy Buck’s Peaceful Parenting.

Using the Questioning Process at Home – Part 2 – Relationships

The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting.   We, as family members, are their relative, not their counselor.   Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently.  Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer.  If they want to share, that’s fine.  If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family (by phone), but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.

Relationships/Marriage/Partners

  • How do you want to spend your time with your partner?
  • What type of a relationship do you want to have or create?
  • What is keeping you from accomplishing the relationship you want?
  • Does (Or, how does) your complaining about _______________ help you?
  • What are some of your happiest moments with your partner?

Obviously, you will want to make the questions sound like you – so work them into your own language.  Remember that you are just the questioner, it is not as effective if you just tell the person what you think.

Let me know what you think!

Tomorrow = Questions about parenting