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Dealing With Students' Feelings or Problems

EducationWorld is pleased to present this professional development resource shared by Dr. Jane Bluestein, an expert in relationship-building, positive school climate and effective instruction.

When a child is in a difficult situation or comes to you distressed, upset or angry, what's the right thing to say?

While non-supportive responses can block communication and create mistrust,
supportive responses help students determine what they want, which options are available (and won’t create additional problems) and what they’re going to do to make a situation better.

In this handout, Dr. Bluestein provides extensive examples of both kinds of responses and offers advice on how to approach challenging situations. For example:

Do: Communicate trust in the student’s ability to solve problems and build confidence in his/her ability to handle difficulties.

Don't: Minimize the problem, shame or blame the child.

Print out this resource and use it at your next professional development session to increase staff capacity to respond appropriately to students' feelings and problems. The supportive responses detailed in the handout can strengthen your school's efforts to faciliate children's social and emotional learning (SEL).

The handout was excerpted and adapted from The Win-Win Classroom (2008) by Jane Bluestein, Ph.D. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Publishing.

Related resources

Also from Dr. Bluestein:
Is Your School Emotionally Safe?
Accommodating Student Sensory Differences
Tips for Positive Teacher-Parent Interaction
The Art of Setting Boundaries
The Beauty of Losing Control, Part 1
The Beauty of Losing Control, Part 2
Stressful Student Experiences: What Not to Do
 

About Dr. Bluestein

Dr. Jane Bluestein is a speaker, trainer and specialist in programs and resources related to relationship building, effective instruction and personal development.

She is an award-winning author whose books include Creating Emotionally Safe Schools, High School’s Not Forever, 21st Century Discipline, The Win-Win Classroom and many others. In addition, she has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Dr. Bluestein, formerly a classroom teacher, crisis-intervention counselor and teacher training program coordinator, currently heads Instructional Support Services, Inc., a consulting and resource firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Visit her Web site to access free resources, order books, read her blog and more.


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