Course curriculum

  • 2

    Knowing and Understanding Our Students

    • The Power of Relationships

    • How Well Do You Know Your Students?

    • Every Kid Needs a Champion

    • Find Students' Positive Qualities

    • Consider Students’ Primary Emotions

    • Build Relationships Slowly: Small Moments Are Key

    • Building Relationships Through Remote Learning

    • Bonus: Jeffrey Benson Encourages Us to Find Delight in Students' Ideas

    • Bonus: Margaret Berry Wilson Encourages Us to Know Ourselves

  • 3

    Don't Incentivize. Teach Skills

    • Incentives Do More Harm Than Good

    • Kids Do Well If They Can

    • The Dangers of Incentive Systems

    • Lagging Skills

    • Elicit Ideas from Students

    • Effective Modeling

    • Respectful Consequences

    • Discipline is About Trust

  • 4

    Adjusting Expectations

    • Why We Should Adjust Expectations

    • Why Adjusting Expectations Isn't Being "Soft"

    • Examples of Adjusting Expectations

    • Problem-Solving Conferences: What Are They?

    • How to Get Better at Running Problem-Solving Conferences

  • 5

    What We Say and How We Say It Matter

    • What We Say and How We Say It Matter

    • Rethinking Praise

    • Rethinking Praise: Application

    • Focus on Behaviors, Not Character

    • Focus on Behavior, Not Character: Application

    • Reduce Power Struggles: Use Language of the Rules

    • Reduce Power Struggles: Use Language of the Rules: Application

    • No One is Perfect: Be Ready to Apologize

    • The Power of Names

    • To Learn More About Effective Teacher Talk…

  • 6

    Wrap Up and Conclusions

    • What Have You Learned? What Will You Try?

    • Be the Teacher Who Requests Challenging Kids

    • Before You Go, Help Me Improve this Course

Meet Your Instructor

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson has been an educator for more than 25 years. A public school teacher for 15 years, he has also taught preschool, coached swim teams, and taught university graduate level classes. He now works as a consultant providing professional learning for teachers throughout the US and beyond. In 2004, Mike was awarded a national Milken Educator Award, and in 2005 he was a finalist for NH Teacher of the Year. In 2020, he was awarded the Outstanding Educational Leader Award by NHASCD for his work as a consultant. A best-selling author, Mike has written eight books about great teaching and learning. When not working, Mike can be found hanging with his family, tending his perennial gardens, and searching for new running routes around his home in Durham, NH.


  • There was so much to take away from this course, it was great really! I think the most important takeaway was how we talk to each other. The power of language is so incredible and sometimes just taking that step back and really processing that is so important. Strategies to use as well with behaviors and challenges were a huge takeaway from this course. Thank you for this course and all of your insight!

    Lacey Avery, Paraeducator, Keene, NH

  • I really enjoyed your course. There are so many helpful scenarios that I could relate to and do much better at. I extremely enjoyed the live interviews. All was very helpful. Definitely a lot to put in my tool box..

    Kelley Santamaria, Paraeducator, Kittery, ME

  • Thank you for the insight, perspective, and suggestions for best practices with our prickly students. I have done a lot of reflection of how I have handled behaviors in the past and conversely, how I may want to change how I handle challenging behaviors moving forward. Most importantly, I’ve reflected on the language I’m using with students in various contexts and changes I could make there.

    Eliza Mandel, Paraeducator, Keene, NH

  • This course has been both validating and eye opening. Learning new and innovative, (sometimes common sense) ways of approaching or trying to understand a “prickly” child is really at the heart of building positive, lasting relationships. I will carry these with me throughout my teaching career building a much more solid foundation of trust and acceptance for my students.

    Bryna Nason-Gaillardetz, Educator, SAU 29, NH