Humor is usually an area of the blog that I leave to my wife's column High Stakes Jesting, but the following just came across my desk and it struck me as quite funny and wanted to share it. Under the heading of "Anger Management" a local school district just emailed the following lesson overview, which is excerpted below:
" Here is an example of how you might practice these steps with your child at home: You hear a shriek from the family room. You find your child near tears because Henry, the family dog, just ran through your child's board game. You say, "Remember to stop and think. Ask yourself how your body feels. I can tell that you're angry. Calm down. Remember what you said to yourself when you needed to calm down the other day? Try saying those things again. Now that you're calm, let's go through the problem-solving steps you learned to see if we can keep Henry from messing up your game the next time." ... At-home activity idea: Write each of the calming-down methods on a small piece of paper. Fold each piece and place all in a container. Present your child with a pretend situation that may cause him to become angry (such as a sibling taking the last cookie). "
Most adults would find this lesson challenging and more than a little off-putting. I am thinking of using this paragraph above, however, as a script at the next IEP when my advocacy gets the special education director's nostrils flaring. "Now remember, that raising your voice at me did not help the last time we met and you got mad at me. You made really damaging admissions that we used against you at hearing and your attorney got mad at you too. When you went home that night how did that make your body feel." If this part of the script worked, I would go on to say "OK now that you are calm, you can readily see that no matter how much you scream and holler and bluster, this student is not literate at all and he/she is in high school. You see confession is not just good for the soul, your body feels better too." Next time, we will use a hypothetical like controlling your anger when "the teacher tells the truth when he/she has been expressely been told to lie." My body feels better just thinking about it.