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  • Writer's pictureRobin Bruebach

Why are you here?

It was the question I asked my students when they arrived in my office. Typically they would point to the slip of paper their teacher sent them with or said Mr/Mrs X called you. I told them I didn’t want to know why the teacher sent them, I wanted to know why they were there.

I asked the question again. Why are you here? With that students would begin to unpack what happened. I asked additional questions that helped them uncover their values, beliefs about themselves and their learning and what their teachers might believe and value. The final questions...what do you want to happen? What will you do to make that happen? It was amazing to watch them uncover the possibility of a better tomorrow.

In essence I coached them to change their behavior and understand another person’s perspectives. I didn’t have to lecture or yell. Consequences were given, but coupled with coaching. Sometimes it took a couple visits to get the actions to change into habit and in some cases years of visits! Guiding them to map out their own personal and educational journey empowered them to make better choices for tomorrow and into the future.

What questions can we ask to help students reframe their thinking and change their behavior?

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