This task requires that educators begin with a change the student's experience. Whatever the negative attitude, the student will have to experience something different, and possibly, many times. So if your students do not immediately trust that you are there to help them solve their problems, only numerous experiences with you will bring a new belief and attitude. If your students believe it is the principal and the teachers against the students, only experience with your working cooperatively with them will bring about a new belief and attitude. Obviously, patience is the order of the day.
The importance of this task lies in changing the way your students view school, learning, principals, teachers, others, and most importantly, themselves. Previously, we wrote about many students who were frequent visitors to the office having a noticeable increase in self-esteem following learning to problem-solve. These students also reported new attitudes about teachers and administrators and other students.
Keep in mind that most disruptive students feel there is something wrong with them if they make mistakes, receive punishments, or cannot get along with others (including teachers). Working with students in a caring manner to solve their problems is a very effective way for them to experience something new and positive. These new experiences are the only way for them to adopt a new belief and positive attitude.
Your students deserve to see school and their world through a positive attitude. You deserve to have a school full of positive attitudes. Only with your understanding, patience, and using all the tasks in this book, will you see a noticeable change of attitude. When that happens, be sure to pat yourself on the back, for you have also changed their world.
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