Who’s the Adult in the Room? A defense of Two Choices Technique and the Gangsta’

Why Two Choices Technique? Who’s the adult? This post will be written as an open letter to Mr. B. [you can see his full letter in the comments section of Two Choices and the Gangsta’]. This post and many of my writings in general are dedicated to any teacher or parent who has tried the … Read more

Two Choices Technique and the Gangsta’

I got a gangsta’ challenge. Andre and Nicolas were not doing their math.  They were talking nasty stuff about jail.  They were showing off, whispering just loudly enough to make their private conversation public.  This was at a time when we had some pretty tough customers for students and it was obvious that Andre and … Read more

Two Choices Technique and the 2 Year Old

This is a negotiating technique. I first heard of its use in business.  If it has a technical name, I don’t know of it.  I call it: Two Choices Technique.  But trust me, my Kung Fu is strong and, Two Choices Technique works in parenting and in the classroom.  If you’ve ever been in a … Read more

The Old Rugged Cross and the ‘N’ Word

The Old Rugged Cross What is sacred to you? What is offensive? And does it matter who says it or how it is said? These are questions designed to examine values about race and what constitutes insulting behavior. Let’s start with The Old Rugged Cross. I played the piano at my Sunday school. We frequently … Read more

The Heartache of the Impossible Child

The reality and heartache of the impossible child. Most of my kids were really great. They just needed the right opportunity to get their acts together. We adults provided those opportunities and we all got along. But, let’s face reality, I have to admit that I did encounter some kids who seemed impossible to reach. … Read more

The Standing Desk

The Standing Desk: A Variation on Two Choices Technique Molly was in my Special Ed. class. She, like most of the students in that class, was autistic. She also suffered from a neuromuscular disease that left her wheelchair bound. Part of her IEP (Individualized Education Program) was that she was to spend a few minutes … Read more

Santa Claus or Satan?

Santa Claus or Satan? I told the class, “Your behavior controls my behavior.” I said, “You get to choose. Who do you want standing up here, Santa Claus or Satan? Santa Claus is a jolly, white-haired, old man who gives presents and grants favors. Satan is a mean guy who enforces the rules to the … Read more

What’s Been Happening

What’s Been Happening I haven’t posted anything new on my website for over a month and I didn’t want you to think I had stopped writing or had died. Actually I was writing for another website called Kars4Kids. First I was just quoted in a piece called What is Positive Parenting? I wasn’t too pleased … Read more

Spring Valley High: What I would have done to avoid the assault.

You’re not asking the right questions. I have worked in some very violent, dangerous and/or stressful school situations. Most people just don’t know how tough it can be. Therefore I was saddened at the naive, hysterical reactions of the public, the news media and the commander of the officer in the Spring Valley High video. … Read more

Teachers Get Bullied Too

Children aren’t the only ones who get bullied. Bullying travels in every direction following the shifting currents of power.  Yes, even teachers get bullied.  Sometimes we are able to handle it and the bully doesn’t succeed (see: Two Choices Technique and the Gangsta’).  But sometimes even the most experienced and toughest of us can feel … Read more


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