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Some Love and Logic Ideas and Strategies for Teachers

This is a brief summary of things I thought might be useful for teachers for more detailed and the official information please read Teaching with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk.
Chris Boreham March 2013

What is Love and Logic?

Love and Logic is an attitude not a set thing to do. Love and Logic is a set of skills teachers can use use the ones that work for you. Building POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS IS AT THE CORE OF LOVE AND LOGIC - you can't scare kids into learning. Basic premise - Empower your students - when you solve their problems, you disempower them.

Be realistic and build character

Give people the opportunity to fail - we must not demand kids are always successful. If they are a resistant child, they will need to show us they are going to do it their own way. They may fail just to spite you. Consequences + Empathy = Learning

When students do the wrong thing

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH STUDENTS You get to choose how you see a problem. MISTAKES ARE A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN. Its great to make lots of mistakes when you are younger rather than as adults. Learn about CAUSE AND EFFECT. NEVER SHOW YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT IN KIDS - use empathy immediately.

If a child is misbehaving quietly go up to them and say: 'WOULD YOU CONSIDER........ THANK YOU and walk away. Even if the student doesn't comply, you can still maintain face for you both. Work on the lack of compliance later. Never raise your voice across room to correct kids do it quietly and personally (maintain your dignity and that of the child dont raise the anxiety levels).

Some Quick and Easy Interventions for Improper Behaviour (see more strategies Teaching with L& L p. 309 onwards)
The Evil Eye just look straight at the child (dont say anything). Hug from Across the Room look, smile and shake your head. Teach Toward the Child - move near them (wander toward the problem but keep teaching and make NO EYE CONTACT) lean on the table where the kid is, but still dont look at them. Move the Seat of Problem Children - keep them close to areas you can move to them easily. Surprise U-Turn Walk past the child and do a U-turn they cant see. Whisper a question and say Thank you. Then move away. Examples; 'Student Name, (pause) Can you save your chat till later? Thank you.' And walk away. I this the right place for that? Thank you. And walk away. Must you do that now? Thank you. And walk away.

Consequences (see Teaching with L& L p.157)

A Big Consequence for kids is that kids when they don't get to be around others. DO WE NEED CONSEQUENCE FOR EVERY BEHAVIOUR? - Who has time for giving a consequence for every behaviour? These should be kept for the big issues. If we

can nip things in the bud and keep on teaching we don't need to have consequences for everything. If you are constantly having consequences for everything this will bring down the relationships you have with your students.

When others do the wrong thing


One Sentence Interventions

These build relationships with your most difficult students. Say: I NOTICE THAT......Notice one new thing each time (unique things about the student new shoes, they like baseball etc) Do this twice a week for three weeks. Move away once the intervention is said and come back only if they want to interact. Build a positive relationship by showing you care about the student. Then once this is complete, if they are off task or not complying you can ask them: WILL YOU DO .... JUST FOR ME? THANK YOU. Smile and walk away. This sets high expectations. Saying thank you increases the chance that the student will do what you ask. This sets expectations that it will happen. Say it quietly so just that only the student hears it (whisper).

Guiding Students to Own and Solve Their Own Problems

Here is what to do when kids come up to you in the yard and tell you about what another student did to them: 1) Provide a strong dose of empathy.

Say something like: What a bummer. Or Gee I bet that upset you. (Let them know that you understand how they feel.) 2) Hand the problem back in a caring way. Ask them: What do you think you are going to do about the problem? If needed, 3) Ask permission to share what some other students have tried before? Say: Are you interested in hearing about what some students decided to do in a similar situation?' Share some ideas but GIVE THE WORST ONE FIRST ( e.g. some kids went an punched the kid. How would that work for you?) Some kids got their friends and went and picked on him? How would that work out? Some kids played some place else. How would that work out? Some kids moved closer and played near the teacher when that kid came around. How would that work for you? Some kids have tried to make friends with that person at other times and then maybe played together. How would that work out? 4) Help the child evaluate the consequences of each. Have them choose an option. 5) Say: 'Good luck, Let me know how that worked out for you. Send them on their way. If you can't think of all the answers then that's o.k. Get the kid to think of ideas. When you solve the problem, you disempower the students.

Aggressive People
Aggressive people misperceive others as threatening. We need to be nonthreatening (but NOT wimpy). Turn your body to being side on. This is less confronting to the aggressor. When people are being confronting go Brain Dead then use a one liners such as: Probably so

I know Nice try I bet it feels that way I love you too much to argue I don't know What do you think? Ohhhhh (while smiling)

By SMILING AND NOT SHOWING THAT YOURE NOT STRESSED keeps you in control. This confuses the aggressor.

Argumentative Students
Have a mantra for when students want to argue such as: I ARGUE ON SATURDAYS AT 6:00am. Or I ARGUE AT 3.30 ON FRIDAYS Dont buy in to the argument just use the mantra.

When people or students say: WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS? Don't feel you need to justify everything. Use bigger pauses.... Say: IF YOU CAN'T WORK IT OUT BY THE END OF THE WEEK, COME SEE ME.

Students who put themselves down

Child says IM DUMB. Teachers says AREN'T YOU GLAD I DON'T BELIEVE THAT and walks away.

Parent Making Demands

Say to a parent making demands - 'That's interesting.'

Empathy first and then the consequence - be the ally rather than the enemy.
NEVER SHOW YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT IN KIDS - use empathy immediately. Say OH NO. Smile, touch(?), then consequence. (Reaffirm that you still like the student.) Remember: ANGER AND FRUSTRATION MAKES THE PROBLEM YOURS. DON'T MAKE OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS YOURS - Empathy allows it to remain the child's problem.

Delayed Consequences
By delaying consequences you can have both the consequence and the worry of what the consequence might be this is called PREDICTIVE SCHEMA You can say: I AM GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. TRY NOT TO WORRY. If youre feeling mad with a student, just delay the consequence. Say: IM SO MAD AT THE MOMENT I WON'T MAKE GOOD DECISION. I WILL TALK TO YOU LATER ABOUT WHAT WE WILL DO.

Mrs Barlow's Classroom Rules Treat me with the respect that I'll treat you. Don't cause a problem for anyone else. I won't be fair, because I will not have enough information. I treat everyone as a unique individual. All situations are different. All students are different. If you have a good case, I'd be happy to change the consequence if you can convince me. If you are not happy with consequence give come and see me.

Kids get so much face to face time when doing the wrong thing. We should be doing the opposite. Love and Logic doesnt support in school suspension and detention! Time Out is not a part of Love and Logic. Instead use - RECOVERY Its a time to recover and become ready to work again. It can be in the classroom or another teachers room or an admin office. Give the message: 'We want you to go off, recover, and be back in class as soon as possible.' No warnings, No threats, No frowns. Always smiling

When talking about Recovery give students the choice- if they choose to stay ok. If not that's ok too. Whilst in Recovery - no outsiders talk to the student. (Take nothing with them). Recovery can be in the classroom, or another teachers room or admin office need to pre-organise the venue. The student comes back and joins they class when they are ready to work. Recovery is not designed to help the difficult child. It is designed to allow the other kids to learn and the teacher to teach. See page of Teaching with Love and Logic for greater detail.

Homework Rules for Parents

Help only when the child actually wants help Help only as long as there is an absence of anger Tell your child 'I am getting to let you work on your own most of the time so that you will know that you can learn even when I am not sitting next to you'.

Help only when your child holds the pencil longer than you do. Never work harder on your child's homework than they do.

Giving Students Choice and Control

Giving students control makes them more successful. In doing so we really are only giving away the control we never had anyway. (You cant really make people do anything anyway). Give children choices often (ALWAYS ONES YOURE HAPPY WITH): Do you want to use blue or red pencil? Do you want to hand this in Thursday or Friday? Did you want an apple or an orange? (rather than What do you want for a snack?) Do as many maths problems as you want (set twice as many as you really want) See page 154 Teaching with Love and Logic for a list for teachers Build up credits by giving children lots of choices. When you really need to make a decision that matters, use your credit: I usually give you guys lots of choice right? This time it is my turn to make the decisionetc Only give choices that fit your value system. Give 99% of the choices when things are going well. MOST IMPORTANT Give choices before the child becomes resistant. Use care not to disguise threats as choices If the child doesn't choose in ten seconds choose for them. In reality, the adult is ultimately in control. Students learn that mistakes are a part of life and there are consequences for actions better to learn when young and consequences are small.

When calling parents about student behaviour, be prepared

If you are going to call parents ALWAYS have your plan worked out. Parents want to hear that you are going to deal with the situation.

Handling Difficult Parents/People

NEVER - DEFEND, EXPLAIN, REASON Follow these steps: STEP ONE - collect information without defending, explaining or debating. Just ask 'Tell me more.' Or: When? How did you find out his? Is this a repeat issue? Who have you discussed this with? What were your initial thoughts? If you could have it fixed this, how would you do it? STEP TWO - Don't paraphrase what the parent said. Repeat to them, exactly what they said. Then ask: And ask is there anything I missed? Prove that you have heard them. STEP THREE - say 'Would you like my thoughts on this?' If not back to step 1 STEP FOUR - problem solving: See if you can reach some resolution. If they get emotional go back to step 1.

Enforceable Statements When you tell a stubborn person what to do, you give them your power. Dont say: Make sure you hand your papers in on time. Be quiet! Put your hand up.

Instead use: I grade papers that are on time. I grade papers that are late in summer. I will be happy to talk to you when your voice sounds like mine. I listen to students who raise their hands. I'm going to do something about that. We'll talk about it later.