Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

33 notes

According to the news, local teens are pouring alcohol over their bare skin, setting themselves on fire, recording it, and posting it online. That this is a trend.

hisnamewasbeanni:

positivelypersistentteach:

Many questions.  Is this how self-harm is manifesting in some kids?  Is it a cry for attention?  Will the framing of this as a stupid new trend that kids are doing (which may be true for some) prevent others from seeing that for some kids this may be a huge cry for help?

High school teachers, are you seeing this at your schools?   How is it being handled?

I haven’t seen this or heard of it in schools here (touch wood).

But I do know that it’s possible to burn a small amount of rubbing alcohol on your skin (in a thin layer) without burning yourself (thanks to the minuscule amount of alcohol, the relatively low flame temperature of ethanol, and the fact that, positioned correctly and burned briefly, the flame will take the heat up and away from the skin).

I wouldn’t be CONFIDENT in doing so. But I do know you can.

My suspicion is that the students probably have a small amount of this knowledge (probably from youtube videos), and are attempting to replicate the visually spectacular feat. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I suspect some will get hurt (I hope not many - I hope none at all). But I don’t think that the majority of cases would be due to self-harm.

If it helps any, from a mental health standpoint, this sounds significantly more like risk-taking behavior done as a social activity than for self-harm. Self-harm usually focuses on sensation and is generally a very private act, and because the point of this activity is that you DON’T get burned and then to display it to others, it would be unlikely to be for self-harm.

Of course, everything needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. But in terms of a blanket assessment, this is more like the cinnamon and salt-and-ice challenge — really unsafe behaviors done for a lark or the bragging rights.

And it makes them just as dangerous. Because the kids who do these sorts sometimes underestimate the harm that can come from them or are impulsive enough that they don’t think about it at all. And consistent involvement in these sort of social high-risk behaviors CAN be indicators of a kid who needs some assistance in some part of their lives.

Filed under positivelypersistantteach education unsafe stunts

2 notes

beasyou-are asked: Your new potential job (or current job?) sounds very interesting!

Thank you!  I’m hesitant to post the details on here as I’m never sure who all is reading, and one has to be very careful, especially when they’re openly queer and discuss related issues and also work with youth and families, but I CAN say that it involves parent education and direct work with families, is not crisis-based like my current position, but still involves significant linkage to community services.

To be honest, I find crisis work to be my forte, but I also know that it’s the kind of work that for some folks needs to be cycled with less burnout-inducing work in between.

I’m very excited to still be able to do a lot of the work I love and learn new things while also having more space to breathe (and have a personal life — my current job requires significant on-call crisis response).

Filed under beasyou-are

3 notes

Any Head Start folks?

Trying to get myself acquainted with the system as I’ll be working with the program in the fall!  I won’t be a classroom teacher, but I’d like to see who all is around — teachers, assistants, advocates, home visitors, behavior specialists — to network with and hear experiences from about working with what seems like a really wonderfully thought-out team approach to early education.

Filed under head start early head start education family education psychoeducation

127 notes

A difficult thing, with helping professions…

Mental health, for example.  Your job at work is to help others with their challenges, to connect them to services, to support them in identifying and communicating and processing their feelings, but often it’s just to listen.  Teaching — you plan, you guide, you grade, you pay attention not only to how students are learning the material but to how they’re growing as human beings, which means, among other things, infinite attention — and listening.  Doctors and nurses examine and treat, but to do that they need to listen to their patients’ concerns, complaints, contexts.  Youth workers, social workers, geriatric workers, a whole host of nonprofit professions…all requires, sometimes in a very big way, listening.

And the listening can be draining.

So when it’s time to be a friend, outside of work, sometimes you just can’t be available in some ways.  And that’s alright.  You learn to tell people, I can’t have this conversation today, I’m sorry.  I can’t help right now, I’m sorry.  Give me an hour.  Give me a day.  Try later in the week.  Write it out for me and I’ll read it later.  It’s work, whether you want it to feel that way or not.

But what do you do when someone needs to express themselves, just to get it out, and they don’t see the harm in it?  That’s a need that shouldn’t cost you anything for them to fulfill.  They aren’t expecting anything in return.  But the sheer act of hearing some things expressed does just drain you even further - chips away at whatever you have left for yourself.

It’s an uncomfortable balancing act between self-care, this work, and being a friend. Sometimes you can’t do all three.  And sometimes, even when you say it outright, people still don’t understand.

So if you know someone who works in any field that requires them to give of themselves so fully — whether it’s mental health, education, other helping professions medical and otherwise, try to hear them out when they tell you they just can’t.  They aren’t saying they don’t care.  They aren’t saying they don’t want to be there for you.  But these jobs often leave a person with nothing left, and even just talking at them could put them right back at work again.  Sometimes they need that break.  So write it down for them to look at later, or find another source to tell, or hold onto it for when they can attend.  And they’ll be ready and willing to listen once they can recharge.

Filed under mental health social work education helpers helping professions help your helpers let them have boundaries know that they want to be there but sometimes cannot

73 notes

creativesocialworker:

Click here for a free ebook featuring a compilation by Liana Lowenstein of engaging activities for children and adolescents.

Highly, highly recommended!  I use this very frequently with my kids, and it has many wonderful interventions and activities.

creativesocialworker:

Click here for a free ebook featuring a compilation by Liana Lowenstein of engaging activities for children and adolescents.

Highly, highly recommended! I use this very frequently with my kids, and it has many wonderful interventions and activities.

28 notes

Please pass along!

msleahqueenhbic:

One of my mentor teacher’s student went missing this past week.

Her name is Jacqueline Morales. She’s 13 years old ; 5’ tall and 88 lbs.

Jacqueline went missing from Ditmas Park in Brooklyn on Tuesday, July 22nd.

140 notes

positivelypersistentteach:

gjmueller:

Coaching parents on toddler talk to address low-income word gap

By age four, toddlers in low-income families hear 30 million fewer words than those in high-income families, according to researchers. As a result, these children tend to have smaller vocabularies and fall behind in reading. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports on one program in Providence, Rhode Island, that gets low-income parents talking more to their toddlers.

This is so great and important! (I love vocab studies and initiatives).

HEY GUESS WHAT.

Dependent on what I hear at the beginning of next week, THIS SORT OF ACTIVITY MAY BE PART OF MY POTENTIALLY NEW JOB.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

Filed under holding on to this because I'm so sad to potentially be leaving my old one but stability is important

2,683 notes

wake-n-ache:

[Image: Four infographics, each with a brain in the center, surrounded by different colored circles. The brains each name a kind of learning disability: Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia. The circles are describing the different kinds of symptoms for each disorder.]

This is incredibly hard to read for an infographic on learning disabilities :P So here’s the transcription, sorry if I missed something! (btw this seems to be written for ppl working with children, hence the classroom mentions, but it’s spot on if you’re looking for info for yourself) (also I added some things in brackets)

DYSPRAXIA

Classroom Issues:

  • problems note taking/copying from board
  • affected by background noise
  • poor listening skills
  • difficulty getting ideas on paper

Organisation:

  • memory difficulties
    - [such as with] sequences
    - [and] rules
  • needs visual reminders
  • finds planning tricky

Gross Motor:

  • physical issues
    - [with] balance
    - [climbing] stairs
    - getting dressed
  • co-ordination issues
    - hopping
    - sports
    - running

Fine Motor:

  • handwriting issues
    - [having proper] pencil grip
    - [letter/word] spacing
    - formation [of letters/numbers]
  • manipulation difficulties
    - [doing up] buttons
    - [using] classroom equipment
    - [tying] shoelaces

Concentration:

  • limited focus:activities need to be broken down
  • easily distracted and fidgety
  • poor memory skills


DYSLEXIA

Writing:

  • can’t find the right word
  • organisational problems
  • difficulty getting ideas on paper

Spatial/Temporal:

  • difficulties with telling time
  • left/right confusion
  • gets lost easily
Memory Difficulties:
  • dates
  • sequences
    - alphabet
    - times tables
    - phone numbers
Motor Control:
  • co-ordination difficulties
  • handwriting difficulties
  • difficulty copying
Reading:
  • moving or overlapping text [words, letters, sentences shifting as you look at the text or changing places each time you look]
  • needing to re-read [to comprehend the text]
  • losing place in text
Spelling:
  • similar sounds cause confusion
  • difficulty ‘hearing’ sounds
  • can’t remember what words look like
Listening:
  • find background noise distracting
  • problems note taking

DYSGRAPHIA

Classroom Management:
  • activities and instructions need to be broken down
  • may need support with syntax structure and grammar
  • requires extra time when writing
  • benefits from assistive technology/other methods of recording
    - voice recorder
    - speech to text
    - [using images/graphics or charts]
Organisation:
  • benefits from visual support
    - key word vocabulary [I think this means like, flash card style learning]
    - checklists
  • requires time to plan visually
    - story map
    - mind map
  • needs time for proofreading
Fine Motor:
  • handwriting difficulties
    - [letter] formation
    - spacing [between letters, words, or paragraphs]
    - sizing [of writing]
  • manipulation difficulties
    - using equipment [aka handling anything that requires fine motor skills]
    - pencil grip [improperly or pain from using]
Concentration:
  • difficulty thinking of words to write
  • tires quickly when writing [this can be mentally, or physically from hand/arm cramping]
  • trouble keeping track of thoughts

DYSCALCULIA

Measures:
  • problems handling money - working out change, etc
  • struggles to understand [some or many] mathematical concepts - speed, time, etc. 
Spatial/Temporal:
  • map reading difficulties
  • difficulties with telling time
  • left/right confusion
  • [difficulty distances properly]
  • [difficulty measuring things or guessing measurements]
Memory:
  • cannot accurately recall number[s or] facts
  • constantly re-learning and recapping skills
  • organisation issues [forgetting where things belong etc]
Counting:
  • difficulty navigating back and forth along a number, line, or sequence
  • can lose place easily
  • finds counting in [groups of numbers such as] twos or threes problematic
Calculations:
  • lack of confidence in answers [weird phrasing? anyway this means often getting the wrong answer (to mathematical problems) despite having the correct math or the right answer despite having incorrect math or being unsure of how it was achieved]
  • problems transferring information: e.g 3 + 2 = 5 therefore 3 +2 = 5  [difficulties with transposing numbers]
Numbers:
  • struggles to understand chronology
  • issues with place value [with adding things up to 10s or 100s etc, moving decimal points, etc]
  • [moving or overlapping numbers, as in numbers shifting as you look at them or changing places each time you look]

(Source: weareteachers, via englishteacheronline)

1,175 notes

ilovekatkerr:

Toddlers are NOT naughty or disobedient or manipulative. They are normal little people who are learning.



When children, especially very young children, act out, it’s their way of getting their needs met.  Sometimes that need is attention — positive or negative.  Sometimes they’re trying to meet other needs, like being able to express themselves in safe or appropriate ways, and are failing.Just keep this in mind when young children act up.  What are they reacting to?  What do they need in that moment?  Is it a need or a want, and could it, and should it, be satisfied right away?  Because sometimes, children also have to learn how to tolerate waiting.

ilovekatkerr:

Toddlers are NOT naughty or disobedient or manipulative. They are normal little people who are learning.

When children, especially very young children, act out, it’s their way of getting their needs met. Sometimes that need is attention — positive or negative. Sometimes they’re trying to meet other needs, like being able to express themselves in safe or appropriate ways, and are failing.

Just keep this in mind when young children act up. What are they reacting to? What do they need in that moment? Is it a need or a want, and could it, and should it, be satisfied right away? Because sometimes, children also have to learn how to tolerate waiting.

(via socialworkmemes)