Posts Tagged ‘Psychology’

Tips for Dealing With Negative Feedback

March 20, 2014



Nobody likes being criticised and some negative comments hits very hard. We have all struggled to rebound from scathing criticism in the post, so it’s good to have sites like to refer to when trying to manage such a situation:

  • One major way to deal with judgements is to remember that it is not necessarily a definition of who you are as a person; such opinions do not define you as a person, but are there as a snapshot of the work you do, and if managed carefully, a way for you to improve the way you teach.
  • Remember how such judgements make you feel, and consider this when making judgements yourself (to pupils and/or colleagues) – don’t be the hater. Don’t be the person who tears down someone else’s hard work. The world needs more people who contribute their gifts and share their work and ideas. Working up the courage to do that can be tough. Support the people who display that courage.
  • If you’re dealing with criticism, then don’t let the wall keep you from seeing the road. Focus on the path ahead. For example, when planning a trip, you may explore the online reviews from other travellers. Rationally, you will ignore the top and bottom 10% of the reviews and focus on those in the middle – they are the ones you pay attention to – consider this with the you receive.
  • If you choose to respond to the haters, then surprise them with kindness. You might just win a new fan while you’re at it.
  • Finally, and most importantly, make the choices that are right for you. People will criticise you either way – It’s human nature.
  • Be aware of Passive Aggressive behaviours. They can be destructive.


Click on the link to read Guess What Percentage of Teachers Considered Quitting this Year

Click on the link to read The Classroom Shouldn’t be a War Zone for Our Teachers

Click on the link to read Remember When Teachers Were Shown Respect? (Video)

Click on the link to read If You Think Teaching is so Easy You Should Try it for Yourself

Click on the link to read Teachers are Extremely Vulnerable to False Accusations


The Myth Concerning Children and Divorce

December 31, 2013



There is a myth currently circulating about the effect of divorce on children. Some are of the belief that since divorce has become so common, children are better able to deal with it. This is complete rubbish and is rejected by the evidence.

Just because something is more common doesn’t make it any easier to adjust to:

Divorced parents are often in denial about how badly the break-up has damaged their children, a survey has found.

More than three quarters believed their children had ‘coped well’ – even though just 18 per cent of youngsters said they were happy with the situation.

Many parents fail to notice that their children are turning to drink and drugs, or even considering suicide, the poll found. Some were insensitive enough to break the news of the divorce to their children by text.

One in five of the children polled felt there was no point confiding in either their mother or father because they were ‘too wrapped up in themselves’.

The survey, by parenting website Netmums, polled about 1,000 divorced parents and 100 children aged eight to 18 from broken homes.

Although it featured only a relatively small pool of youngsters, a stark picture emerged of the struggles that many of them face when coping with their parents’ break-up.

One in 20 had turned to alcohol and one in nine had deliberately wounded themselves. A further 6 per cent had considered suicide, while two of those polled had tried to kill themselves.

Almost a third described themselves as devastated by divorce, while one in 12 thought that it meant their mothers and fathers ‘didn’t love them’ and had ‘let  them down’.

But despite the damage wrought by their parents splitting, few children felt able to speak openly and honestly about their emotions.

Nearly 40 per cent said they hid their feelings from their parents because they did not want to  upset them.

Many children felt forced to look after their mothers and fathers as the relationship broke down, and 35 per cent claimed that one parent had tried to turn them against  the other.

To make things worse, parents often vastly underestimated the impact of their behaviour on their sons and daughters, the survey found. Only 8 per cent admitted trying to turn their children against their partner.

And just 10 per cent said their children had seen them fighting – even though 31 per cent of youngsters told of witnessing rows.

One in ten knew their children were hiding their true feelings about the divorce but fewer than one per cent were aware of them drinking, self harming or taking drugs to cope.


Click on the link to read The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children

Tips For Teachers for Managing Stress

July 8, 2013




Stress has become an unavoidable part of a teacher’s life. The demands on a teacher are growing every year and the conditions are far harder than ever before. Psychologist Marc Smith gives some useful tips to teachers for managing stress:

Despite much discussion concerning the nature of workplace stress, our jobs are getting more and not less stressful. While stress certainly isn’t unique to the teaching profession, working in schools does throw up a number of situations that are unique to education while the current climate of uncertainty and criticism further undermines the professionalism and confidence of many hard working teachers. Ofsted inspections, changes to pay and conditions and new appraisal systems all add to the feeling that we are far from in control. Identifying those things that we can control and those that we cannot could help to prevent daily hassles from becoming major problems; but we can’t do it on our own.

Stress is a natural biological response and back in the day when wild animals roamed freely and early humans spent much of their time hunting and gathering the body’s response to stress was vital for our survival. Stress allows our biological system to prepare itself to do something – either attack (fight) or run away (flight). Acute stress represents that immediate panic which drives the fight or flight response but if this stress continues we begin to suffer from a more chronic condition, this can not only impact on us psychologically but can also lower our immune system, making us more vulnerable to physical illness.

Psychologically, the stress we feel is often based on our individual perception of a situation and this is why some people appear to suffer more than others. American psychologist Julian Rotter describes this as our ‘locus of control’ or the extent to which an individual feels that they have control over a situation. Locus of control can be internal, in that we believe we have control over our lives, or external, where we believe that the environment controls events. Realistically most of us fall between these two dimensions but we may favour a particular one. Unfortunately, our locus of control is very difficult to change because it probably developed through a combination of genetics and early socialisation.


Nobody Should Love Their Phone THAT Much!

May 14, 2013


galaxyEverything seems to be pitched at impressionable kids nowadays. Films have become less sophisticated, television near juvenile and marketers are seeing the exploitation of children as their gold mine.

Today I saw the above advertisement whilst going shopping, and it struck me how deceitful and pathetic its message is. Obviously pitched at impressionable people without a large quantity of “real companions”, Samsung is telling prospective consumers that their product will be your friend for life. There are plenty of children out there who are extremely lonely that will identify with the notion that technology is their only friend.

Unfortunately, to make matters worse, the advertisement wants us to link the universal aspiration of living a happy and fulfilling life to selecting the right Smartphone. It is saying:

‘To all you lonely, disaffected and unhappy people out there, buy this and you will have friends and a rich and rewarding life.’

The challenge of making friends and enjoying life is extremely crucial to young people and for it to be used against them in the name of selling a product is rather sad.

I know that’s the way the world works, but I don’t have to like it!


Click on the link to read Parents Shouldn’t Be in Denial Over This Very Real Addiction

Click on the link to read Video Game Addiction is Real and Very Serious!

Click on the link to read Internet Addiction and our Children

Click on the link to read Issues Relating to Kids and Video Games

Click on the link to read Are you Addicted to the Internet?


10 Important Steps to Stop Yelling at Kids

May 7, 2013


As much as it is largely ineffective and unprofessional we have all yelled at our students at one time or another. It can be extremely hard to remain calm when students become unruly and uncooperative.

Although intended for parents, this list by Laura Markham, Ph.D. provides sound strategies for maintaining composure around children:


Teacher Sues For Making Her Teach Young Children

January 15, 2013

I’ve never heard of the condition pedophobia, but I would have thought that teaching doesn’t lend it itself well to somebody who suffers from such a condition:

Retired Ohio teacher Maria Waltherr-Willard is suing her school district, claiming it discriminated against her because of her disability — a debilitating phobia of young children.

Waltherr-Willard, 61, claims in her lawsuit against the Mariemont school district that for 35 years, she taught Spanish and French to high school students in the system. But when she helped fight the district’s decision to cut French class in favor of an online course, officials retaliated by reassigning her to younger students at a middle school in 2009, ignoring her hypertension, specific phobia and general anxiety disorder, Waltherr-Willard says, according to

She claims that district officials were previously sympathetic and aware of her medically diagnosed pedophobia.

While the public and a number of commentators have taken to ridicule the teacher and her lawsuit, Dr. Caleb Adler, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, says it’s a serious phobia, as the illness causes Walterr-Willard to experience stress, anxiety, chest pains, vomiting, nightmares and high blood pressure when she’s near young children.

“It’s a tough phobia. You can’t really get away from [children] when you’re outside,” Adler told “When you’re a teacher, it may not be an issue with older students.”

Working with younger children at the middle school “adversely affected [Waltherr-Willard’s] health, due to her disability,” the lawsuit claims, according to ABC News. Although she reportedly helped the younger students succeed in their foreign language endeavors, the move still increased her blood pressure to levels that placed her at risk for a stroke.

When the district denied her request to transfer back to the high school for the 2010-2011 academic year, Waltherr-Willard was forced into early retirement at the age of 59, the suit claims.

A federal judge has dismissed three of Walterr-Willard’s claims in the suit, arguing that the district violated an implied contract to keep her away from young students. The three remaining discrimination claims are awaiting district response, and a tentative trial date is set for February 2014.

Walterr-Willard seeks past and future pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

If I was a high school student I would not want to be taught by someone who has a fear of kids. Not only does this lawsuit sound insane but it exposes a system which isn’t able to determine for themselves what type of teacher isn’t appropriate to preside over a classroom


Click on the link to read Alleged Gang Rape in a Classroom and the Teacher ‘Does Nothing’!

Click on the link to read The Most Sickening Abuse I Have Ever Seen a Teacher Commit

Click on the link to read Brawl Between Student and Teacher Goes Viral (Video)

Click on the link to read Teachers Continue to Fail the Common Sense Test

Click on the link to read Useful Resources to Assist in Behavioural Management

Click on the link to read When Something Doesn’t Work – Try Again Until it Does


Do Kids Need A Classroom Pet (The Four-Legged Variety)?

September 19, 2012


Courtesy of

It is a tragic reality that many (most?) children sitting in the classrooms today have not had an opportunity to enjoy and look after a household pet. This is sad because owning a pet brings many benefits to a child – from enjoying the companionship of another living creature (many kids these days don’t have siblings either) to fostering organisation and responsibility.

Some schools have stepped into the breach by replacing the home pet with a classroom pet – most schools opt for a low maintenance species, such as guinea pigs or fish. However this raises a number of questions: Who feeds the pet, cleans the cage, takes it to the Vet? Today’s teachers are busy enough as it is to take on another ‘dependent’ in the classroom.

One solution may be to have dedicated budget and staff time for looking after the pet but most schools are already strapped for money and time. I feel strongly that given the wealth of benefits pets impart to people and especially children, the need for a pet in the classroom should be viewed the same way as a need for textbooks. And pets are more fun, too.

Click on the link to read Strategies for Improving Classroom Interactions

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

Click on the link to read Tips for Engaging the Struggling Learner

Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.

Tips for Teaching Children With Depression

August 28, 2012

Courtesy of Shannon Steen-Larsen from

  • 1

    Understand the symptoms of depression. The symptoms include being sad, anxious or feeling empty; hopelessness; guilt; worthlessness; decreased energy level; insomnia; eating problems (eating too much or not enough); thoughts of suicide or pains and aches that are not helped with treatment.

  • 2

    Talk to the student. If you notice that a student is exhibiting depression-like symptoms, don’t just stand by. Pull the student aside in private and share your concern. Talk to the student to try to understand what he is feeling and how you can help. Express your concern for the well being and future of the student.

  • 3

    Find success in the student. Often students suffering from depression will feel inadequate, pessimistic and lack self esteem. Help build the student’s self esteem and self confidence by praising her when she does a job well. Find out where to student excels in her studies and build on it. Helping the child to build her self esteem may help her to recover from depression.

  • 4

    Get the school counselor involved. If you have a depressed student, don’t address the issue by yourself, involve the school counselor. A school counselor can talk to the child and help him recognize his feelings and how to deal with them. The school counselor is also an excellent resource for you when it comes to working with the depressed child.

  • 5

    Get the parents involved. During the day, the child is at school much of the day and the parent may not be aware that their child is depressed. Share your concerns with the child’s parents and work as a team to help the child. Give the parents frequent updates on the progression of the student in the classroom.

The Worst School Rule I Have Ever Come Across

August 18, 2012

At least 3 British schools have banned students from making best friends. That’s right – you haven’t read that incorrectly.

I have heard about some bizarre school rules, but this one definitely takes the cake.

TEACHERS are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don’t get upset by fall-outs.

Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.

Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.

She added: “I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together.

“They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they’re learning to deal with it.”

Oh, I’m sorry, I thought schools were supposed to prepare children for the real world. What a terrible rule this is!

Click on the link to read Kids Don’t Need Gold Stars

Click on the link to read Only Closed-Minded Schools Block YouTube

Click on the link to read Experts Push for Kids to Start Driving at 12

Click on the link to read Kids as Young as 3 are Getting Tutors

Psychologist Claims Cyberbullying Concerns are Exaggerated

August 5, 2012

I can’t believe a psychologist would go on record claiming that the recent attention on cyberbullying is overstated:

Old-style face-to-face bullying is still the way most young people are victimized, even though it’s cyberbullying that seems to get all the headlines, an international bullying expert told psychology professionals Saturday.

Reports of a cyberbullying explosion over the past few years because of increasing use of mobile devices have been greatly exaggerated, says psychologist Dan Olweus of the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway. He says his latest research, published this spring in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, finds not many students report being bullied online at all.

“Contradicting these claims, it turns out that cyberbullying, when studied in proper context, is a low-prevalence phenomenon, which has not increased over time and has not created many ‘new’ victims and bullies,” the study finds.

The reason that such attention has been devoted to cyberbullying awareness is three fold:

1. Cyberbullying numbers are growing. Why should we dismiss something until it becomes a problem we are not prepared for?

2. Cyberbullying is, more than likely, the most destructive for of bullying. Unlike face-to-face bullying that happens in schoolyards and parks amongst a finite group of people, cyberbullying penetrates the safest room (the victim’s bedroom) and can be easily disseminated to an audience of thousands.

3. Teachers can deal with school bullying. It is much harder for significant adults to monitor cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying should never be diminished in any way.

Click on the link to read Social Media: A Playground for Bullies

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Bullying is Acceptable when it’s Directed to a Teacher

Click on the link to read Punish Bullies and Then Change Your Culture


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