Most teachers enter the profession of education with aspirations of helping all students succeed academically, socially and emotionally. For many of us, we discover early in our careers that we will have a number of students who struggle and present challenges which can wear us down. Helping these students become confident and goal-directed can be quite daunting when they come to school with poor organizational skills, weak vocabulary and problems with attention span and impulse control.
Reading the words of this book’s title brought back memories of students past—those individuals who, despite my most diligent efforts, seemed beyond my grasp. I remember thinking, “Why couldn’t I reach her? Why can’t he get started with the assignment?” In the book, Causes & Cures in the Classroom, author Margaret Searle provides detailed examples which address the root of these questions when it comes to students’ academic and behavioral problems.
In the first chapter, Searle introduces the concept of executive function and its effect on school performance. The author posits that teachers’ understanding of executive function is critical because educators quite often misdiagnose underdeveloped executive function as laziness or lack of motivation. She then reveals her belief that the maturation of one’s executive function must be addressed in order to successfully develop an action plan for a student’s success in the classroom.
The subsequent chapters provide authentic scenarios and strategies to manage underdeveloped areas of executive function:
- Planning and Problem Solving
- Memory Skills
- Focusing Attention
- Impulse Control and Self-Monitoring
This book reveals new research about the root causes of academic and behavior obstacles and provides a comprehensive protocol designed to help all educators identify and address them. It also provides case studies which walk you through the protocol and strategies and tools to help you diagnose root causes and develop interventions. No matter which subject or grade level you teach, this resource will show how you can help students overcome difficulties and experience real success in the classroom.
Review by Rick Pierce, GE Instructional Coach