It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

I’ll Cover Your Back!

“I’LL COVER YOUR BACK:” Marilyn Scott of the Rose City Middle School in North Little Rock, Arkansas, shares a great idea that deepens a relationship with a potentially difficult student while it diminishes problem behavior. She calls the intervention, “Trust Me; I’ll Cover Your Back.”

Marilyn initiates this intervention with the whole class, sharing that, if she circles a problem on a student’s paper, it is a guarantee it is CORRECT. (Now, isn’t that exactly the opposite of how it worked when you and I were in school? If a teacher ever circled something on my paper, it generally meant, “You might want to look at that one again.”)

As students are working on an assignment in class, Marilyn moves about the room checking and circling problems on students’ work. If she asks for volunteers to put the problem on the board, students with circled work know they won’t be embarrassed. It builds confidence and it builds trust with the teacher. Confidence and trust can reduce difficult behavior a bunch. Marilyn adds:

I roll my chair up and down the aisles as I check papers. It puts me on the same level with the students, and it helps foster a team atmosphere.

James D. Sutton, EdD, CSP
Consulting Psychologist/Certified Speaking Professional
PO Box 672, Pleasanton, TX 78064

November 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanks FROM a Veteran

It seemed to me that the recognition of and for active duty military and veterans this year was extra strong and extra special. As a vet myself, it was wonderful to experience. In fact, I just got back from Chili’s, where they were feeding lunch to a whole bunch of vets today. Wonderful.

I’m a Vietnam vet, and it’s becoming increasingly more clear to me that we are the OLD guys (and gals), now that so many of our WWII and Korea vets are no longer with us. When I do training now, and especially when I train school folks, most of the audience wasn’t even born when I was in the service.

When President Johnson stepped up the war in Vietnam in the late 60s, the draft was on, big-time. I joined so as to have at least a little choice, knowing my “number” was coming. I went into the Navy and, on balance, it was four years I think back on with pride. Because I tested out well in boot camp, I was able to get into the Naval Security Group, a branch of the Navy that handled extremely sensitive communication. It’s a very small part of the Navy.

This put me on two separate trips to Vietnam in 1969-70 in support of our marine counterparts With the Third Marine Amphibious Force (Camp Horn), near DaNang. I knew these guys; we had trained together in Pensacola, Florida. Because part of our duty was to call in firepower on the enemy, it was their job to try to knock us out of business. They wanted to kill us, and they certainly tried. I can remember clearly still wondering if the next incoming rocket was going to have my name on it. Fortunately, I made it through alright, with just a few close calls. Since then, I haven’t been able to come even close to the feeling of fellowship I experienced with those marines, and I’ve never felt, before or since, the sensation of absolutely KNOWING that what I was doing was signifcant because it saved many, many American lives.

As some of you might know, Vietnam vets were spat upon and ridiculed when they returned, as if they were somehow involved in the politics of it all. I remember all that. But today, I’m deeply humbled and appreciative.

Thanks again, from a veteran. May God bless you all.


Petty Officer 2nd Class James D. Sutton, USN (1966-1970)

November 11, 2011 Posted by | Inspirational, patriotism, Special Occasions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment