Mind Patterns for Happy, Fulfilled, Good Kids (because good behavior can be a habit too!)
Miss Andrea is what “my kids” call me. As an admitted science nerd and public school teacher for almost 14 years specializing in children with behavior and learning problems, I share scientific research and insider teaching tips that have worked wonders for me in the classroom.
When I made the career switch from writing to teaching , I was clueless on the best way to reach my students with respect to learning and behavior. Three approaches helped me to become an effective teacher, which all fall under the category of “brain-based studies:”
MIND PATTERNS means our thoughts regularly travel in pathways, which, like a phone number, have a tendency to become more entrenched with usage. Behaviorists call this Learned Skill theory, which means once a behavior is learned it is usually more difficult to unlearn. Practice, therefore, is essential to engraving new, improved thinking patterns. As with most bad habits, understanding mind patterns includes understanding the function of an undesired behavior and finding replacement skills for it.
EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY holds that behaviors or traits that occur universally in all cultures and various species (such as language, parenting, personality and social relationships) are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations. To understand these adaptations is to make behaviors work better for the individual.
SCIENTIFIC HUMANISM encompasses an approach to teaching that has the most evidence to back it up. It is also is the most popular approach used by teaching professionals. The premise in humanism is that the best way to socialize our children is to adopt a rational stance to molding hearts, rather than wielding a higher power to coerce behavior.
The result was that it became relatively easy to shape my kids into well-behaved, academically-capable children –- an achievement considering I run a self-contained classroom for kids with behavior and/or learning issues so severe they are prevented from inclusion into the general education population.
My academic and work experience gave me the idea for this blog . I’m a voracious learner and have a BS degree in biology, a BA in journalism, an MS in Education (PreK to 12 curricula) and am in the process of enrolling for a PhD in the sciences. I still freelance and am a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Authors Guild. My articles have appeared in local newspapers and national magazines on educational, medical and scientific topics. My book, Quit Smoking for Good: A Supportive Program for Permanent Smoking Cessation (The Crossing Press 1998), was endorsed by the President of the Hawaiian Islands Nonsmoking Organization (HINO) in 1999.