School Social Work: A Direct Practice Guide

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JoAnn Jarolmen

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  • From the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    (E) Manifestation Determination.3,

    • In General. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the local educational agency, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the local educational agency) shall review all relevant information in the student's file, including the child's IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine–
      • if the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability; or
      • if the conduct in question was the direct result of the local educational agency's failure to implement the IEP.

    59 Look at subsection (b) (c) and (d) of 300.530 for the distinctions between change of placement, a 0 day removal for one incident, a series of additional 0 day removals in one school year, and cumulative removals that exceed 0 days in one year. See Commentary in the Federal Register, pages 474 to 479.

    0 If the school suspends the child with a disability for more than 0 days and determines that the child's behavior was not a manifestation of the disability, they may use the same procedures as with non-disabled children, but they must continue to provide the child with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). (Section 42(a)()(A)) If the child has a Section 504 plan, and the behavior was not a manifestation of the disability, the school may suspend or expel the child. The child is not entitled to receive a free appropriate public education.

    The school is obligated to provide a free, appropriate public education to the child, even if the child has been suspended or expelled.

    • If the school district suspends a child with a disability for more than 10 days, regardless of severity of the child's misconduct (i.e., violation of a code of conduct v. possession of a weapon), the child must continue to receive FAPE (see Section 42 (a) () (A)), so the child can participate in the general education curriculum, make progress on the IEP goals, and receive a functional behavioral assessment, behavioral intervention services and modifications to prevent the behavior from reoccurring.
    • The IEP Team must review all information about the child and determine if the negative behavior was caused by the child's disability, had a direct and substantial relationship to the disability, or was the result of the school's failure to implement the IEP.
    • If you are dealing with a discipline issue, you need to obtain a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation of the child by an evaluator in the private sector who has expertise in the disability (i.e., autism, attention deficit, bipolar disorder, Asperger's syndrome, auditory processing deficits). The evaluator must analyze the relationship between the child's disability and behavior. If there is a causal relationship, the evaluator should write a detailed report that describes the child's disability, the basis for determining that the behavior was a manifestation of the disability, and recommendations for an appropriate program. If you are dealing with a manifestation review, ask the evaluator to attend the hearing to explain the findings and make recommendations about alternative plans. Your goal is to develop a win-win solution to the problem.

      • (ii) Manifestation. If the local educational agency, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team determine that either subclause (I) or (II) of clause (i) is applicable for the child, the conduct shall be determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability.

    (F) Determination That Behavior Was a Manifestation. If the local educational agency, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team make the determination that the conduct was a manifestation of the child's disability, the IEP Team shall–

    • conduct a functional behavioral assessment, and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such child, provided that the local educational agency had not conducted such assessment prior to such determination before the behavior that resulted in a change in placement described in subparagraph (C) or (G);
    • in the situation where a behavioral intervention plan has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan if the child already has such a behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and
    • except as provided in subparagraph (G), return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the local educational agency agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

    (G) Special Circumstances. School personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability, in cases where a child–

    • carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a State or local educational agency;
    • knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance,7 while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a State or local educational agency; or
    • has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of a State or local educational agency

    (H) Notification. Not later than the date on which the decision to take disciplinary action is made, the local educational agency shall notify the parents of that decision, and of all procedural safeguards accorded under this section.

    (2) Determination of Setting. The interim alternative educational setting in subparagraphs (C) and (G) of paragraph () shall be determined by the IEP Team.

    • 5 If the child's behavior did not involve weapons, drugs, or serious bodily injury (see Section 45(k) () (G)), the child should return to the prior placement. Section 45(k) (7) (C) clarifies that the term “weapon” means a “dangerous weapon” capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
    • 7. If a doctor prescribes a controlled substance for the child, and the child has possession of the medication at school, this is not illegal possession or illegal use. The school may not expel or suspend the child for possessing prescribed medication. If the child attempts to sell or solicit the sale of the controlled substance, this “special circumstance” warrants a suspension for 45 school days and possible criminal prosecution.
    • 8. See Section 45(k)(7) for the statutory differences between “controlled drugs” (Schedule I - V) and “illegal drugs,” and definitions of “weapon” and “serious bodily injury.”
    • 9. If the child's behavior involves a dangerous weapon, illegal drugs, or serious bodily injury, the child may be suspended for 45 school days even if the behavior was a manifestation of the disability. The child is still entitled to FAPE pursuant to Section 42(a)()(A) and Section 45(k)()(D).

    70 The decision to place a child into an interim alternative educational setting shall be made by the IEP Team, not by an administrator or school board member. This is mandatory. The educational setting is an interim placement, not a permanent placement. Remember: parents are full members of the IEP Team” (Wright & Wright, 2007, pp.119-120).

    Solution-Focused Therapy in the Schools

    First Session
    • Inquire into the child's life.
    • Clarify problem behaviors (Why do you think you are here?).
    • Ask relationship questions to see how others view the problem.
    • Track exceptions to the problem.
    • Scale the problem… .
    • Ask the miracle question to develop solutions.
    • Take a session break to reflect, develop compliments and formulate tasks.
    • Deliver compliments and tasks.
    Subsequent
    • Warm-up.
    • Begin the work of the session by tracking new exceptions to the problem.
    • Use relationship questions to track how the client perceives that others have not responded to the changes and to amplify the client's belief in the power of the changes.
    • Ask the scaling question to see where the client has moved on the scale.
    • Return to the use of the miracle question or its variation.
    • Break to formulate thoughts and develop compliments and tasks.
    • Deliver the compliments to reinforce positive behaviors and assign new task

    Hassle Log

    Name:_______________________Date:_______________________Time:_______________________

    Notes:_____________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    (Feindler & Engel, 2011).

    A Counselor Checklist for School-Based Suicide

    (Check the appropriate box.)

    The Columbia Suicide Screening

    The CSS is a 43 question written scale that includes 32 general health questions and 11 global items that discuss the risks for adolescent suicide. It is used in conjunction with the availability of a mental health professional and was developed by David Shaffer, M.D. He works at Columbia University: College of Physicians and surgeons with funding coming from the Center for Disease Control. There is no cost involved in using the instrument. Assent from the student and consent from his/her parents must be obtained before using the survey. The names of the participants are kept confidential and if they screen positive a secondary evaluation takes place by a mental health professional. The screening takes about 15 minutes but the secondary evaluation is dependent on the individual screener and the participant. There is a separate survey for males and females. Both are being included in this chapter.

    The female survey is as follows:

    Instruction

    Place a mark in the box next to your answer to the question. Then follow the arrow from that box to find the next question you are to answer.

    Instructions

    Please circle the number on the scale that tells us your answer to the following questions.

    Instruction

    Place a mark in the box next to your answer to the question. Then follow the arrow from that box to find the next question you are to answer.

    Six Steps

    Six Steps
    • OPEN THE SESSION
    • GATHER INFORMATION
    • FOCUS ON COMMON INTERESTS
    • CREATE OPTIONS
    • EVALUATE OPTIONS AND CHOOSE A SOLUTION
    • WRITE AND SIGN A MUTAL AGREEMENT
    Benefits of a Mediation Program
    • Enhance communication skills
    • Prevent or decrease conflicts, violence, and suspension rates
    • Develop problem-solving skills
    • Create a more peaceful school environment

    Program coordinator

    DR. JOANN JAROLMEN Room 109 1999–2000

    Peer Mediation
    What is Peer Mediation?

    Peer mediation is a school-based program that uses conflict resolution as a means to settle disputes in a peaceful manner. The mediation processes focuses on problems, not people.

    A Mediator is …

    a student who has been trained to help people in conflict find ways to resolve their problem. Mediators encourage people to work through the problem and reach agreements that are workable for them.

    A Mediator is not …

    a person who is there to give advice or act as a judge to decide who is right or wrong. Mediators do not take sides. They will not gossip, because they must keep all information confidential.

    Mediator Qualifications

    All mediators must be trained in the skill of …

    • Active Listening
    • Communication
    • Problem solving
    • Brainstorming

    Each of our mediators has participated in over 20 hours of mediation training and practice.

    Types of Disputes Mediated
    • Rumors
    • Name calling
    • Fighting
    • Threats
    • Loss of property
    • General disagreements
    Disputes not Mediated
    • Serious or repeated acts of violence
    • Issues involving drug or alcohol abuse
    • Issues involving physical or sexual abuse
    Requests for Mediation

    A mediation request can come from a student, parent, teacher, or administrator. A mediation request form can be found in the General Office and should be completed by the person making the request. This form should be placed in the Peer Mediation mailbox in the General Office. Students involved in certain types of disciplinary action may be required by the school administration to participate in mediation.

    What Happens at a Mediation?

    If both parties agree to settle their dispute through mediation, then a meeting will be arranged. Two peer mediators will meet with the disputants.

    Mediation is a six-step process. The assigned mediators will take the students in conflict through the steps so that a mutually agreeable resolution may be reached. At that point, a contract is drawn, and both disputants sign it.

    Pascack Valley Regional H. S. District
    Peer Mediation Process Worksheet

    STEP I: Open the session

    • _________1. Make introductions
    • _________2. State the ground rules
      • Mediatiors remain neutral
      • Mediation is confidential
      • Interruptions are not allowed
      • Disputes must cooperate
      • No name-calling or put downs
    • _________3. Get a commitment to follow the ground rules

    STEP II: Gather information

    • _________1. Ask each disputant (one at a time) for her or his side of the story
    • _________2. Listen, summarize, and clarify
    • _________3. Repeat the process by asking for additional information
    • _________4. Listen, summarize, and clarify

    STEP III: Focus on Common Interests

    • _________1. Determine the interests of each disputant
    • _________2. State the common interest

    STEP IV: Create Options

    • _________1. Explain that a brainstorming process will be used to find solutions that satisfy both parties
    • _________2. State the rules for brainstorming
      • Say any ideas that come to mind
      • Do not judge or discuss the ideas
      • Come up with as many ideas as possible
    • _________3. Help the brainstorming process along
    • _________4. Write the disputants' ideas on a Brainstorming Worksheet

    STEP V: Evaluate Options and Choose a Solution

    • _________1. Ask each party to nominate ideas that seem best
    • _________2. Circle these ideas on the Brainstorming Worksheet
    • _________3. Evaluate options circled and invent ways to improve the ideas
    • _________4. When an agreement is reached, check to make sure it is sound

    STEP VI: Write the Agreement and Close

    • _________1. Write the agreement on the Peer Mediation Agreement form
    • _________2. Ask each party to sign and then sign yourself
    • _________3. Shake hands with each person and congratulate their work
    • _________4. Ask both of the disputants to shake hands
    • _________5. Close by saying, “Thank you for participating in mediation.”
    Peer Mediation
    Brainstorming Worksheet

    List all the possible options:

    • What could be done to resolve this dispute?
    • What other possibilities can you think of?
    • In the future, what could you do differently?
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________
    • ____________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________

    Pascack Valley Regional H.S. District
    Peer Mediation Agreement

    Peer mediator___________________________Date__________________

    Briefly describe the conflict:_____________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________

    _______________________________________________________________

    Type of conflict (check one)_________Rumor_________Threat_________Name Calling

    _________Loss of property_________Fighting_________Other (specify)_________

    The students whose signatures appear below met with a peer mediator and with the assistance of the mediator reached the following agreement.

    DISPUTANT___________________________DISPUTANT___________________________
    Agrees to___________________________Agrees to___________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________
    __________________________________________________________________________

    We have made and signed this agreement because we believe it resolves the issue (s) between us.

    ____________________________________
    DISPUTANT SIGNATUREDISPUTANT SIGNATURE
    ____________________________________
    PEER MEDIATOR SIGNATURELENGTH OF MEDIATION (MINUTES)

    Observing a Conflict

    • How do you know that what you saw and heard was a conflict?_________

      _____________________________________________

    • Briefly describe what happened (the facts)_________

      _____________________________________________

      _____________________________________________

    • Who is it between?__________________
    • What is it over?__________________
    • What is the problem for A?__________________

      _____________________________________________

      A Feels__________________A Needs__________________

    • What is the problem for B?__________________

      B Feels__________________B Needs__________________

    • How did the conflict end?__________________

      _____________________________________________

    • How could this conflict have ended differently?__________________

      ______________________________________________________

      ______________________________________________________

    Writing Your Own Conflict Scenarios

    What are …

    • the basic facts surrounding the conflict?

      ____________________________________

      ____________________________________

    • the perspectives of the major participants in the conflicts?

      ____________________________________

      ____________________________________

    • the nature of the relationships between the participants?

      ____________________________________

      ____________________________________

    • the causes of the conflicts?

      ____________________________________

      ____________________________________

    • details about the conflict's development?

      ____________________________________

      ____________________________________

    Conflict Dialogues

    Chose to write about a conflict you have observed or a conflict you have experienced. You will be writing a dialogue between two characters. Before you write your dialogue, address the following:

    Two people are fighting over/about__________________

    ______________________________________________________

    Setting (time and place.)__________________

    Character A (first name, age)__________________

    Character B (first name, age)__________________

    Which character is most upset? Why?__________________

    ______________________________________________________

    What do the characters do and say that makes each of them more angry and ready to fight?

    _____________A___________________________

    _____________B___________________________

    _____________A___________________________

    _____________B___________________________

    _____________A___________________________

    _____________B___________________________

    _____________A___________________________

    _____________B___________________________

    _____________A___________________________

    _____________B___________________________

    What's your Style in a Conflict?

    The sayings listed below suggest different ways of dealing with conflict. Read each of the sayings and indicate how closely each one describes how you feel toward or act during a conflict.

    Key: 5—very typical of the way I think in a conflict

    • 4—frequently typical of the way I think in a conflict
    • 3—sometimes typical of the way I think in a conflict
    • 2—seldom typical of the way I think in a conflict
    • 1—never typical of the way I think in a conflict

    Your Score

    The numbers in the columns (5–1) represent the score for each item. Fill in the following blanks for an analysis of your style.

    Scores for item 2 plus item 7_________Avoidance

    Scores for item 1 plus item 10_________Competition

    Scores for item 5 plus item 6_________Accommodation

    Scores for item 4 plus item 8_________Compromise

    Scores for item 3 plus item 9_________Collaboration

    Ten Ways Students can Handle Conflicts

    In addition to the open-ended type of problem-solving discussion suggested earlier, it's helpful to teach and reinforce the following specific conflict management strategies:

    Share

    Figure out a way that everyone can do it or use it, either simultaneously or …

    Take Turns

    Each person gets a chance to do it or use it. Either discuss who will go first or …

    Use Chance

    Flip a coin, draw straws, or use a rhyme or some other random technique to choosing who goes first. This might be a way to …

    Compromise

    Each person gives up some of what they want to work out the conflict. Instead of giving up, they may try to …

    Expand the Pie

    Perhaps there's a way to find more resources to fill people's needs in the conflict. This is one choice when people …

    Negotiate

    People can work together to come up with a win-win solution. If there is too much emotion to talk things out now, then they might …

    Put it Off

    It might be necessary to wait until tempers cool before the people can collaborate. They may even decide to …

    Skip it

    Not all conflicts are worth spending the time and energy to resolve. If it is worth it and the disputants are really stuck, then they may …

    Ask for Help

    A third parry can help the disputants get unstuck by acting as a mediator or an arbitrator. Sometimes all that's needed to get things moving is to …

    Say “Sorry”

    “Sorry” can mean “I was wrong.” It can also mean “I'm sorry we're having this problem.”

    Uses and Limitations of Different Conflict Management Styles

    1. Directing

    Potential Uses: when immediate action is needed; when safety is a concern; and when you believe you are right.

    Potential Limitations: intimidates people or leads to rebellion; and doesn't allow others to participate in problem solving.

    2. Collaborating

    Potential Uses: leads to decisions that address everyone's needs; improves relations between disputants; and parties learn from each other's point of view.

    Potential Limitations: takes time; and won't work unless all parties agree to the process.

    3. Compromising

    Potential Uses: quick and easy, and most people know how to do it; when parties of equal strength have mutually exclusive goals; and when all else fails.

    Potential Limitations: may avoid real issues in the conflict; and may displease all.

    4. Accommodating

    Potential Uses: when the relationship is more important than the issue.

    Potential Limitations: you may never get your needs met; and “doormat” mentality.

    5. Avoiding

    Potential Uses: when confronting is too dangerous or damaging; when an issue is unimportant; when a situation needs to “cool down”; and when you want to “buy time” and prepare.

    Potential Limitations: important issues may never be addressed; and conflict may escalate, return, or resurface later.

    • Every behavior in the conflict is either a step up or a step down the conflict escalator.
    • Behavior that makes the conflict worse will take it another step up the escalator.
    • Every step up the conflict escalator has feelings that go with it. As the conflict escalates, so do the feelings.

    • No one gets on the escalator empty handed. They always have a suitcase. That's the baggage they bring to the conflict. Baggage can be filled with:
    • past relationship with the person
    • current feelings about the person
    • past experiences with conflict
    • current feelings about conflict
    • feelings about self
    • mood that day
    • and more:_________________________

    The higher you go on the escalator, the harder it is to come down.

    C = Cool Off

    Deep Breaths

    Relax Muscles

    Talk to Yourself

    Count Backward

    Leave

    _________________________

    _________________________

    A = Agree to Work It Out

    Don't Escalate Further

    Show Willingness

    “Let's Talk It Out”

    _____________________________

    _____________________________

    P = P.O.V. on the Problem

    Each Gives Point of View

    Use “I” Statements

    Use Active Listening

    _____________________________

    _____________________________

    S = Solve the Problem

    Brainstorm Solutions

    Choose a Win-Win

    Decide How to Implement It

    _____________________________

    _____________________________

    Basic Conflict Resolving Techniques

    The simplest way to learn to handle conflict more effectively is to practice the basic conflict resolving technique often.

    The Basic Conflict Resolving Technique is:

    • Step 1: Define the problem.
    • Step 2: Brainstorm possible solutions.
    • Step 3: Evaluate the solutions, choose one, and act on it.

    Step 1

    Define the problem in a way that does not assign blame or start to solve the problem. In this step, say what you think the problem is. With practice, defining the problem becomes easier.

    Step 2

    Brainstorming a technique for coming up with ideas. The goal of brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time.

    The rules are:

    • work quickly
    • try to come up with as many ideas as possible
    • defer judgment on the ideas until the brainstorming is finished

    Silly or farfetched ideas are okay. Sometimes they can lead to more realistic solutions.

    Step 3

    Once the brainstorm is complete, evaluate and choose a solution. One approach is to review the list twice. First, decide which ideas are obviously inappropriate solutions and draw a line through those. Any idea that has even a slight possibility of being a solution is left on the list. Then go through the list again looking for the best solution or combination of solutions. Throughout the process, think about why a particular solution is a good idea or not. Is it workable? Are the consequences likely to be positive or negative?

    Find Someone who
    • Is a morning person____________________
    • Moved in the last year____________________
    • Has planted a tree____________________
    • Prefers to rent a video to going to the movies____________________
    • Exercises regularly (at least 3 times a week)____________________
    • Has expressed appreciation to someone this week____________________
    • Speaks more than one language____________________
    • Plays a musical instrument____________________
    • Was born in another country____________________
    • Has screamed at someone in the last week____________________
    • Is an artist____________________
    • Has cried in the last week____________________
    • Wonders often about the meaning of life____________________
    • Was born by cesarian____________________
    • Does something regularly for peace of mind____________________
    • Has had anger directed at them in the last week____________________
    Reading Nonverbal Cues

    How would you interpret the following body language?

    • Drumming fingers on a desk

      ______________________________________

    • Leaning forward in a chair

      ______________________________________

    • Crossing arms tightly

      ______________________________________

    • Pointing a finger at you

      ______________________________________

    • Shrugging shoulders

      ______________________________________

    • Lowering eyes when spoken to

      ______________________________________

    • Pulling at ears or hair

      ______________________________________

    • Slapping one's forehead with the heel of one's hand

      ______________________________________

    Kinesics

    Your sister, head lowered, shoulders slumped, drags herself off the basketball court after her team's last second defeat in the playoffs. What does her body language tell you?

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    Your teacher rolls his eyes, places his hand firmly on his hips, taps his foot, then folds his arms and waits because the class is disruptive. What does his body language say?

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    Your mother quickly glares in your direction, wrinkles her forehead, and frowns when you tell an inappropriate joke at a family gathering. What does her body language indicate?

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    While talking to your friend, he looks around, shifts his position constantly, and taps his fingers. What does his body language tell you?

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    While the teacher is talking, you slouch in your seat, yawn, and look at your watch. What does your body language indicate?

    Statements about me

    MY FRIENDS SAY THAT I… .

    ____________________________________________________________

    I FEEL BEST WHEN… .

    ____________________________________________________________

    TWO WORDS THAT WOULD DESCRIBE ME ARE… .

    ____________________________________________________________

    I THINK A FRIEND IS… .

    ____________________________________________________________

    WHEN I TRUST SOMEONE I… .

    ____________________________________________________________

    I FEEL DISAPPOINTED WHEN… .

    ____________________________________________________________

    WHEN I FEEL ANGRY I… .

    Roadblocks to Communication

    Attacking and Avoiding

    BEHAVIOR    RARELY    SOMETIMES    FREQUENTLY

    NAGGING______________________________________________

    SHOUTING______________________________________________

    INTERRUPTING______________________________________________

    EXPLODING______________________________________________

    WARNING (If you don't do this!)______________________________________________

    CORRECTING (Look at the facts!)______________________________________________

    PERSISTING (I am right!)______________________________________________

    INSULTING (You're pathetic!)______________________________________________

    SARCASM______________________________________________

    REVENGE (I'll get you for this!)______________________________________________

    WITHDRAWAL______________________________________________

    SULKING IN SILENCE______________________________________________

    TAKING IT OUT ON ANOTHER______________________________________________

    DECLARING “ITS UNFAIR TO ME!”______________________________________________

    TALKING BEHIND ANOTHER'S BACK______________________________________________

    TRYING TO FORGET THE PROBLEM______________________________________________

    FEELING ILL______________________________________________

    NOT WANTING TO HURT THE OTHER______________________________________________

    FEELING LOW AND DEPRESSED______________________________________________

    BEING POLITE-FEELING ANGRY______________________________________________

    Listening

    Why Listen?

    There are two major ways that listening can help resolve a conflict.

    • Listening gives us information

      Both people in a conflict can be winners if they approach the conflict as a mutual problem to be solved rather than as a contest. However, to define the mutual problem, it is essential to understand how both people see the situation and how they feel about it. Good listening gives the information needed to reach a solid understanding of the problem.

    • Listening defuses anger and hostility

      There is always feeling when there is a conflict, and usually one of the feelings is anger. It is almost impossible for people to talk things out while feeling very angry and hostile. But once each person's feelings have been heard and acknowledged, the anger subsides, and they can move on to the business of defining and solving a mutual problem.

    Active Listening Guidelines

    • Show understanding and acceptance through nonverbal behaviors:
      tone of voicegestures
      eye contactfacial expressions
      posturenodding
    • Restate the person's most important thoughts and feelings.
    • Empathize—Put yourself in the other person's place to understand what the person is saying and how she or he feels.
    • Do not offer advice, give suggestions, or interrupt. Don't bring up similar feelings and problems from your own experience.
    Handout 8.7
    Information Sheet: “I” Statements

    AN “I” statement is a way of expressing clearly your point of view about a situation. It includes an expression of how it is affecting you, and how you would like to see it change. The best “I” statement is free of expectations and blame. It opens up the area for discussion and leaves the next move for the other person.

    Aim for your “I” statement to be clear (that is, to the point) and clean (that is, free of blame and judgment).

    Beware of “You” statements which place blame on someone else, hold them responsible, demand change from them, or hold a threat. For example: “When you deliberately clump around the house when everyone else is asleep, you are being defiant and disrespectful and you have got to stop doing it before things get really out of hand.”

    “I” statement formula

    The action A statement of fact. Make it as objective and specific as possible: “When you run down the stairs with boots on” rather than “When you're banging around the house.” The objective information carries no blame and allows no possibility of denial from the other person.

    My response This should be worded in such a way as to acknowledge the subjectivity of your emotions (“I feel angry, hurt, put down, ignored”) or the way you want to act (“I feel like giving up”).

    It should be clear that these feelings carry no blame and impose no expectations on the other person. Say “I feel hurt” rather than “I feel that you're being mean.” Add a reason if it helps clarify the situation for both of you: “I feel hurt because I enjoy seeing you.”

    What I'd like is… . A statement of a desired change or preferred outcome but without expectation of change from the other person. It is OK to say what you want, but not to demand it. Say “What I'd like is to make arrangements that it's possible for us both to keep” rather than “I'd like you to stop cancelling meetings with me.”

    Examples of clean “I” statements

    • When fed up about others not washing up their coffee cups at the end of each day: “When I arrive in the morning and see dirty coffee cups on the table I feel frustrated, and what I'd like is to organize a washing-up rota.”
    • When feeling irritable about sharing a double desk with a colleague who isn't tidy: “When your papers spread over to my side of the desk I feel cramped, and what I'd like is for us to decide where the separating line is so I know how much space I've got.”
    • Youth worker annoyed by club members taking drugs on the premises: “When you break the rules I feel anxious about the welfare of the club as a whole, and what I'd like is for everyone to share responsibility for keeping the rules.”
    • Youth worker to young people continually interrupting a girls' football session: “When you walk into the room in the middle of a session I feel disappointed at not being able to finish the work I want to do, and what I'd like is to arrange a time when you could have the room to yourselves.”
    • Youth worker annoyed about colleague arriving late and having to run the club single-handed in the meantime: “When I'm alone in the club at the start of the evening I feel anxious and uneasy, and what I'd like is not to open the club until there are enough youth workers to cover it.”

    Notes

    This is a structured format and may seem strange to start with. It takes time to absorb new skills and begin to use them unconsciously. Adapt the language to suit your situation. Use it to extend your understanding of situations you are unhappy about, even if you don't want to say it.

    __________________________________________________________________

    Name_______________________________Date_______________________________

    “I” Statements (RC-50)

    DIRECTIONS: An “I” statement is a statement of your feelings that does not blame or judge the other person. The statement starts with “I feel …,” “I want …,” or “I'm upset because … ” Change the “You” statements below into “I” statements.

    “You” Statements“I” Statements
    You never call me when I ask you to!I wish we could talk on the phone more often.
    Will you turn down your stereo? I can't hear myself think!
    Will you clean your room? I've asked you to do it five times!
    You are so annoying when you tease me!
    Why don't you grow up and stop acting like a baby?!
    Will you stop interrupting me?
    You're such a loud mouth!
    You can't play basketball, you stink! Go play on another team.
    It's your fault I got in trouble! Why did you have to tell on me?
    You never listen when I give you directions!
    You always ignore me when your other friends are around!
    You never let me do anything!
    Why don't you do your own homework and stop copying mine?!
    You are so moody sometimes!
    You never told us the assignment was due today! That's not fair!
    “I” Statement Worksheet

    Write an “I” statement for each problem.

    1. You loan your library back to your friend and He or she loses it.
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    2. Your best friend shows your boyfriend (or girlfriend) a note you wrote about him (or her)
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    3. The student next to you looks at your work during a test and gets you into trouble
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    4. Your mother makes you wash the dishes, which makes you late for the movies.
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    5. Your teacher always calls you by your “real” name, Francis. You hate this name. Everyone else calls you Frank.
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    6. Even though there is no dress code, your parents won't let you wear sneakers to school. Everyone else does.
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    7. The student who sits behind you in class distracts you by constantly tapping your chair and throwing paper wads at you.
    • I________________________________________________
    • when________________________________________________
    • because________________________________________________
    Active Listening Techniques (Handout)

    Statements that help the other person talk.

    Active Listening Techniques
    • Finding out more information
      • Examples
      • “What are you concerned about?”
      • “When did this begin?”
      • “How long have you known each other?”
      • “Where did you last see your books?”
      • “How much money do you think it was worth?”
    • Repeating back the information
      • Examples
      • “So you would like her to stop giving you dirty looks.”
      • “You're saying that you don't know when you first noticed it happening.”
      • “So you feel like he owes you $9.00.”
      • “So you would still like to be her friend if she wants to be yours.”
    • Repeating back the feelings
      • Examples
      • “You seem angry about all this.”
      • “I get the feeling that you are sad about what has taken place.”
      • “You seem frightened about what is going to happen.”
      • “You seem mad about the situation.”
    • Encourage the party to speak
      • Examples
      • “Please go on.”
      • “Thanks for taking the time to explain this to us. We appreciate your patience.”
      • “Tell me more; I really want to make sure that I understand what you want.”
      • “You are really working hard to resolve this. Thanks.”
    • Summarizing what the party says
      • Examples
      • “So you are saying that you are concerned about these three things: the money, your friendship, and getting your books back.”
      • “So overall you seem to be saying that you like her, but you don't really want to be friends anymore.”
      • “The things that you want from him are … ”
      • “You're saying that the problems you want to talk about here today are … ”
    Passive and Active Listening

    Check one:

    Listener__________

    Narrator__________

    DID YOU/THEY…………(Check all that apply)

    Passive TechniquesActive Techniques
    __________Make eye contact__________Use verbal responses (Really? I see. What happened next?)
    __________Nod your head
    __________Lead forward__________Comment directly on what was said
    __________Reflect your feelings with facial expressions__________Restate the speaker's ideas in your your own words (Do you mean …?)
    __________Use short encouraging verbal responses (uh-huh… .)__________Encourage the person to express feelings (I guess you must have felt… .)
    __________Encourage more information (Tell me about… .)
    __________Don't pass judgment
    Listeners……..
    • Did you find it hard to remain quiet and be an active listener, not a narrator?
    • Did you have to concentrate to be a passive-active listener'?

    Six Steps of Mediation

    Adapted from PEER MEDIATION, Conflict Resolution in Schools, Fred Schrumpf, Donna Crawford, and H. Chu Usadel

    Step 1: Open the Session
    • Make introductions and welcome the disputants:
    • Mediator states the ground rules:
      • Mediators remain neutral
      • Mediation is confidential
      • Interruptions are not allowed
      • Disputants must agree to cooperate
      • No name-calling or put downs allowed
    • Disputants are asked whether they agree to the ground rules.
    • The mediator states that they are present only to help the disputants reach their own solutions.
    Step 2: Gathering Information

    The purpose of this step is to understand each disputant's point of view about the incident.

    • Ask each disputant (one at a time) for his or her side of the story.
    • Listen, summarize, and clarify.
    • Repeat the process by asking for additional information. (Is there anything you wish to add?)
    • Listen, summarize, and clarify.

    Ask open-ended questions such as:

    • How did that make you feel?
    • Is there anything else you would like to add?
    Step 3: Focus on Common Interests

    The peer mediator guides the disputants in identifying their underlying interests. Often the students are locked into rigid positions. When the mediator asks them to look behind their opposing positions, they often share certain interests.

    • Determine the interests of each disputant by asking one or more of the following questions:
      • What do you want?
      • If you were in the other person's shoes, how would you feel?
      • What would you do?
      • Is (example: fighting) getting you what you want?
      • What will happen if you do not reach an agreement?
      • Why has the other disputant not done what you expect?
    • State the common interests by saying something like the following:
      • Both of you seem to agree that… .
      • It sounds like each of you wants… .
    Step 4: Create Options

    Mediator helps disputants create, through brainstorming, a number of options that could solve the problem.

    • Explain to disputants that a brainstorming process will be used to find solutions that satisfy both parties.
    • State the rules for brainstorming,
      • Say any ideas that come to mind.
      • Do not judge or discuss the ideas.
      • Come up with as many ideas as possible.
    • Help the brainstorming process along by using the following questions:
      • What could be done to resolve the dispute?
      • What other possibilities can you think of?
      • In the future, what could you do differently?
    • 4. Write the disputants' ideas on a Brainstorming Worksheet.
    Step 5: Evaluate Options and Choose a Solution

    The main task in this step is to help the disputants evaluate and improve on the ideas they brainstormed in Step 4. It is also important to be sure the solution is sound.

    • Ask disputants to nominate ideas or parts of ideas that seem to have the best possibilities of working.
    • Circle these ideas on the Brainstorming Worksheet
    • Evaluate options circled and invent ways to improve the ideas by using one or more of the following questions.
      • What are the consequences of deciding to do this?
      • Is this option a fair solution?
      • Does it address the interests of everyone involved?
      • Can it be done?
      • What do you like best about the idea?
      • How could you make the idea better?
      • What if one person did ? Could you do ?
      • What are you willing to do?
    • When an agreement is reached, check to be sure it is sound by answering the following questions:
      • Is the agreement effective?

        (Does the agreement resolve the major concerns and issues each disputant has? Will it help if the problem reoccurs?)

      • Is the agreement mutually satisfying?

        (Do both disputants think the agreement is fair?)

      • Is the agreement specific?

        (Can you answer who, what, when, where, and how?)

      • Is the agreement realistic?

        (Is the plan reasonable? Can it be accomplished?)

      • Is the agreement balanced?

        (Does each person agree to be responsible for something?)

    • Summarize the agreement

      (“You are both agreeing to … ”)

    Biographical Information

    I worked as a school social worker for 27 years in elementary, junior high, and high schools. After that period, I was a therapist in a school for emotionally disturbed children for 3 years. This was a high school situation, and most of the students were classified as emotionally disturbed for educational purposes. They ran the gamut from acting out behaviors to severely withdrawn. Suicidal attempts and hospitalization had occurred for many of these students. After that experience, I decided to teach at the college level in the hope of contributing to the social work profession. I taught as a visiting professor, adjunct professor, senior lecturer, and assistant professor (tenure track). As a senior lecturer, I taught at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York. My teaching specialty has been in the area of school social work and direct practice. I taught the school course as an advanced practice course in the fall, 2005, then took a tenure track position at Dominican College (Blauvelt, NY). I was able to teach at NYU (Rockland Campus) as an adjunct during this time. I taught school social work there as well. At Dominican, I was field director and taught macro level courses. I am very aware of the needs of social work interns in the schools and have therefore endeavored to add my text as an essential auxiliary tool. Until recently, I was an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

    In 2006, I had a book published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, England. The name of the book is When a Family Pet Dies: A Guide to Dealing with Children's Loss. Its purpose is to help parents deal with their children's needs when they lose their pet.

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