When I am mad, like raging someone just stole my last roll of velcro coins mad, I don’t want to talk to anyone. The English language becomes difficult to understand and don’t you even try to reason with me. I am seeing red. Our kids are the same way. And for some reason I have observed many a well-meaning adult try to basically full-on Kelly Ripa style interview a child who is in meltdown mode. This now gets me ragey and I want to scream, “shut the heck up and leave him alone a minute.” But that’s usually frowned upon. During behavioral issues – visuals are our best friends because even students who have high receptive language skills may struggle during a breakdown.
Use visuals to set up your incentive systems.
From token economies to I am Working for Boards visuals will help clarify – that yes, I will give you that gummy bear when you finish this pile of work. Our kids need that reassurance and they need the visuals to help illustrate that contingency. Let’s say your new principal our speak Swedish. Wouldn’t you feel a little better seeing your new pay schedule in writing instead of having him explain it to you? (unless you are Swedish…)
Use visuals to show classroom rules.
Now this new Swedish only speaking principal of yours decides to set up a whole new set up school rules for the staff. If you break the rules, you get fired and if you follow the rules you get a raise and free donuts. Now again I ask you, are you comfortable with only hearing those new rules verbally? Or would an English version written version be just a bit helpful? Or even just a picture of dos and don’ts. Yep – if free donuts are on the line, I’m needing that photo version too!!
Visuals for Other Common Behavior Issues.
There are a whole other mess of behavior issues that are likely to pop in (or pop off…) in your classroom. From time out, to sensory issues, to anger issues, use a visual for all of it!