Oppositional Students in
instruction. You've heard about it
over and over. The reason teachers
keep hearing about it is that it's such
an important educational concept.
Students are like snowflakes -
no two are the same.
Educators need to be prepared
to handle each personality and
learning style in the classroom.
With today's growing class
sizes, professional development
for differentiated instruction is
needed more than ever.
Presenter Dr. Allen Mendler's
upcoming online seminar
Teaching Impulsive, Inattentive
and Oppositional Students in
the Differentiated Classroom will
explain strategies how to teach
the dozens of student-types
From the bubbly chatty
cheerleader to the artistic quite
boy to the dark gothic student -
Dr. Mendler will review tips for
After viewing Teaching
Impulsive, Inattentive and
Oppositional Students in the
Differentiated Classroom, you'll
* Several strategies to help
angry and impulsive students
learn better self-control
* How to differentiate instruction
without students complaining
* How to use grades and
consequences to fit each
student while maintaining high
* How to redirect impulsive
Click here for more information
Teaching Impulsive, Inattentive
and Oppositional Students in
the Differentiated Classroom
About the Presenter: Allen
Allen MendlerAllen Mendler,
Ph.D. is an educator and school
psychologist who resides in
Rochester, New York. He has
worked extensively with children
of all ages in regular education
and special education settings.
Dr. Mendler has consulted to
many schools, day and
residential centers, including
extensive work with youth in
juvenile detention. Dr.
Mendler's emphasis is on
developing effective frameworks
and strategies for educators,
youth professionals and
parents to help difficult youth
succeed. As one of the
authors of Discipline with
Dignity book, Dr. Mendler has
given many workshops and
seminars to professionals and
parents, and is highly acclaimed
as a motivational speaker and
trainer for numerous
He is the author or co-author of
13 books including Power
Techniques for Educators,
What Do I Do When...?,
Motivating Students Who Don't
Care, Connecting with
Students, Discipline with Dignity
for Challenging Youth and More
What do I do When. His most
recent publication, Handling
Difficult Parents is a practical
handbook that offers proven
strategies that all educators can
use to set the right tone with
difficult parents. His articles
have appeared in many
journals including Educational
Leadership, Kappan, Learning,
Reclaiming Children and Youth,
and Reaching Today's Youth.
Dr. Mendler has been
recognized for his distinguished
teaching by the Bureau of
Education and Research, and
was a recipient of the coveted
Crazy Horse Award for having
made outstanding contributions
to discouraged youth.
January 11, 2011
Behavior in Schools
I was very pleased to read
about the emphasis being
placed on reducing behavior
problems and unwarranted
suspensions in the San Diego
I am currently training and
coaching teachers in the New
York City public schools to
recognize how their own
behavior can effect the
behavior of their students in a
negative or positive way. I have
found that most appropriate or
inappropriate behavior is
directly related to the teacher's
ability to "engage students" or
"sustain engagement" of
students in lessons. The
second most common issue is
the teacher's ability to redirect
inappropriate behavior once it
occurs. The bottom line in my
training is that engagement
results in "prevention" of
After working in a residential
treatment center for emotionally
disturbed boys, I will also add
that the teacher's ability to
establish "trust" is of primary
importance. This is particularly
important if the teacher and
student are of different races.
The educational needs of boys
is a small, yet growing area of
research and one that deserves
more attention in schools
across the country.
Dr. Frances D. Meyer lives in
Old Tappan, New Jersey, and is
the teacher-trainer and coach
for Ramapo for Children.
August 16, 2012
To Train Teachers, a New Lesson Plan
By STEPHANIE BANCHERO
Katie Filippini is part of a program at the Morton School of Excellence in
Chicago that pairs new teachers with mentors who provide on-the-spot
guidance and advice. This spring, Filippini allowed The Wall Street Journal
to follow her through a typical day.
CHICAGO—Standing before a class of 28, Katie Filippini was losing the
battle to teach her third-graders that the "er" in "germ" sounds the same as
the "ir" in "dirt." Ten minutes into the lesson, two boys fought over space on
the blue carpet, a girl giggled at the commotion and a boy named Dandre
stared out the window.
But Ms. Filippini wasn't alone that winter day at the Morton School of
Excellence. Veteran teacher Mauricia Dantes, Ms. Filippini's yearlong
mentor, quietly suggested having students clap out each sound, knowing
that some children learn better with physical activity. Ms. Filippini did so,
and Dandre and the other students began paying attention.
At Work at a Chicago School
Now, as Ms. Filippini embarks on a new school year this week, she is
drawing on those small victories as a trainee, confident that she is ready to
teach on her own. "Last year gave me the confidence and experience to go
into the classroom and control it."
Ms. Filippini is part of an experimental and controversial program to
improve the results of classroom teaching—a major hurdle for U.S. schools.
Morton is run by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a
Chicago-based nonprofit group. Modeled after medical residencies, the
program places prospective teachers like Ms. Filippini with seasoned
educators who shadow them for an entire year.
A decade of intensive testing, triggered by the 2002 No Child Left Behind
law, has shown that student performance varies widely depending on
teacher quality. But the method of preparing teachers has changed little.
The vast majority attend university-based programs where professors—
some who have not been in a K-12 classroom in years—lecture about
teaching strategies and theory. Most spend only 10 weeks as student
teachers, sometimes tossed into schools randomly with low-performing
Unlike charter schools, which operate apart from the school district, AUSL
enters into a contract to manage schools which remain under the district
umbrella. As part of its turnaround, AUSL has authority to fire the entire
staff, from janitor to principal, and then hand pick its own personnel. While
AUSL educators are part of the local teachers union, most charter-school
Some schools in other cities, such as Denver and New York, have copied
the AUSL teacher-training model, and many cities have experimented with
school turnarounds. But AUSL is the first to marry the two approaches. That
gives it greater ability to control the training process and enables it to
measure outcomes across entire schools.
The AUSL approach is supported by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne
Duncan and has enjoyed some bipartisan support.
But the program, which has seen some of the biggest improvements in
student test scores in Chicago, has its dissenters. It has angered teachers
unions who say it is an extreme option that demoralizes teachers.
"Their whole philosophy is suspect because they start by saying the
teachers are to blame for the low scores," said Karen Lewis, the Chicago
Teachers Union head who marched at a Martin Luther King Day rally
opposing AUSL. "Their training program is nothing special, and we know we
can turn around schools without firing the staff."
Some parents fear that AUSL schools drive out low-scoring students to
boost overall test scores. AUSL denies pushing out underperformers.
Many educators assert that the next wave of teachers needs a different set
of preparatory skills. The U.S. Department of Education has doled out
about $223 million over the past few years to universities, school districts
and nonprofit groups to create training programs that give new teachers
more clinical experience, including residency programs—where novice
teachers get on-the-job training from mentors. About 50 such programs
"Too often we've had graduates of [existing teacher programs] who want to
go into challenging school environments, and they just don't have the skill
set necessary to be successful on day one," says James Cibulka, president
of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. He says
many teacher programs, which are generally developed by universities,
have been based too heavily on theory.
AUSL officials say that their rigorous methods ensure the best environment
for training and retaining their teachers. While fired staffers can reapply at
their schools or others in Chicago, the approach angers Ms. Lewis, the
union head, who calls AUSL a "nuclear option" that creates discord in the
community. Only about 20% to 30% of the fired teachers reapply for their
jobs, AUSL says. About 7% of teachers who were fired were rehired at their
As for results, AUSL schools have produced some of the biggest
improvements in student test-scores in Chicago, the nation's third-largest
school district. Mayor Rahm Emanuel this year gave AUSL six more
Chicago schools, bringing the total to 25 with 14,000 students. The group
has trained more than 500 teachers and plans to train 200 more annually.
AUSL, founded in 2001 by Martin Koldyke, a wealthy Chicago investor,
operates from the premise that effective teaching requires not just planning
and knowledge but a constant series of tactical choices and adjustments.
One academic study, published back in 1968, found that teachers make an
average of up to 1,300 instructional decisions per school day.
AUSL teachers learn to start every lesson by telling students the objective,
to stick to efficient routines and to "check for understanding" every few
minutes to make sure kids are on track.
During the 30-minute reading lesson in December, Ms. Dantes offered Ms.
Filippini 19 pointers. She advised having students sing the story to help
with fluency; suggested Ms. Filippini slow her fast-paced instruction; and
reminded her to check back to make sure Dandre, the boy staring out the
window, absorbed the lesson. Over lunch, the two teachers reviewed the
lesson's weaknesses and strengths.
The Chicago schools AUSL took over included 18 of the city's lowest
performers. Many still score below district averages—but they are
improving more quickly than district averages.
AUSL schools have outpaced the district growth on state achievement
exams for six consecutive years. The group's elementary schools last
school year increased the share of their students who passed the
benchmark Illinois state tests by 2.5 percentage points to 69.1%, compared
to the district average increase of 0.9 percentage point to 74.2%.
The pass rate at AUSL turnaround high schools jumped 3.1 percentage
points during 2010-2011, compared to a one point decline for the district
during that year, the latest available.
Despite the success, critics have noted that growth in test scores at the
high schools AUSL took over has been sluggish. The improvement in the
elementary schools has also been slowing over time. AUSL officials say
academic improvement takes time, especially in high schools where
students arrive far behind.
Morton School, a K-8 elementary which abuts graffiti-covered vacant homes
in Chicago's high-crime East Garfield Park neighborhood, was chalking up
failure rates on state exams as high as 80% some years. After AUSL took
over Morton in the 2009 school year, its pass rates rose to 47% in 2010,
and to 78.2% in 2012, becoming the first AUSL school to exceed the district
Nykila White said she pulled two of her children out of Morton in 2007
because it was "like a zoo," with kids roaming the halls and fighting with
teachers, she said. She came back after AUSL took over. "We knew our
kids could learn," she said. "But now we have a real school and real
teachers who are proving that."
Ms. Filippini arrived at Morton last August after graduating from the teacher
preparation program at Northern Illinois University. She said she had
wanted to be a teacher since fourth grade, but finished college unsure of
"You can have the best education ever, but once you step into the
classroom alone, you are like 'Oh my god, I am not ready for this,' " she
Ms. Dantes, her mentor that year, gave up a lucrative career at IBM to
enroll in the AUSL teacher residency program. Five years later, she is one
of the group's top teachers. Data from a 2011 national math exam show
she halved the number of her students scoring below average and cut by
two-thirds the number below average in reading. Her skills are apparent:
Ms. Dantes presides over her class like a symphony conductor—
instinctively knowing which pupils need oral versus written clues to explain
topics, and when a hug or a stern reprimand will be most effective.
Critics argue that AUSL has an advantage since it has more teachers and
more money. In addition to the approximately $6,000 per pupil it gets from
the district, AUSL receives an extra $420 per student. It uses the funds for
tutoring and extracurricular activities, and to hire coaches who work
intensively with first- and second-year teachers. AUSL also receives a one-
time $300,000 payment for each school it takes over.
The AUSL residency program pays its trainees, like Ms. Filippini, between
$30,000 to $40,000. The mentor teacher receives a 20% salary bump, or
about a $12,000 increase on average.
Mayor Emanuel says the extra expense is worth it because AUSL helps
stem the flow of high-quality teachers to suburban districts. In exchange for
their training, AUSL teachers agree to work in city schools for four years.
Ten years after the program launched, 75% are still in Chicago schools. By
comparison, a University of Chicago study in 2009 found that about half the
teaching staff in a typical Chicago school turns over within five years.
"It's a good return on taxpayer investment," Mr. Emanuel said in an
interview. "With AUSL, I get every dollar back."
August Fryer says she was anxious about AUSL taking over her sons'
elementary school in 2010, even though only 46% of its students passed
state exams. Ms. Fryer changed her mind within a few months: AUSL
restored order at Deneen Elementary School, removed metal detectors and
began challenging her two boys. Her oldest graduated as valedictorian and
tested into one of Chicago's most elite public high schools. "They altered
his life," she says.
At Morton, Ms. Filippini and Ms. Dantes met an hour before the bell every
morning to plan out the day's lessons. After working side-by-side in the
classroom, they reviewed events in depth. This type of collaboration, rare in
schools, mimics the types of discussions medical residents engage in
Three times during the mentoring year, for two-week stints, Mr. Filippini
tried her skills teaching alone.
In one solo session on a blustery January morning, Ms. Filippini's lack of
experience was still evident. The children were antsy after a two-week
break. During the daily academic warm-up, Ms. Filippini spent six minutes
trying to help a girl named Jada understand that a penny and three
quarters equals 76 cents. She tried repeatedly to get a girl called Antonia
to verbalize 759,264, before giving up.
Later that day, she sat down with Ms. Dantes to break down the lesson,
part of which Ms. Dantes had videotaped on an iPad. Ms. Dantes offered
advice like a Gatling gun: Ask more questions that guide students to the
answer; project work sheets on the wall so students can understand what is
being asked; and sometimes stretch the lesson into a second day when it is
clear students are overloaded.
During her final two-week solo teaching stint in late March, Ms. Filippini's
progress was clearer. She stood at the chalkboard, shoulders relaxed, as
she guided the class through the morning grammar warm-up. Every child
sat at attention.
There were stumbles. A grammar lesson was disrupted when a student
passed gas. It took Ms. Filippini four minutes to get them refocused.
But a lesson on a complicated new subtraction technique was a success.
Ms. Filippini selected a poem about the moon and the third-graders
shouted over each other to explain its meaning. Only once did she have to
discipline a student.
All of the preparation seems to have paid off. Earlier this week, Ms. Filippini
began her solo teaching career at low-performing Herzl Elementary in the
city's depressed North Lawndale neighborhood. She was surprised, she
said, how quickly and confidently she got her 25 second-graders on track.
"It felt great," she said of her first few days in the classroom. "I used
everything I learned last year and it was like magic."
|San Diego Education Report