Non-violent Crisis Intervention is a program practiced in many local public schools, as well as districts nationwide. The focus of this model is to handle disciplinary and behavioral classroom disruptions in the most positive and encouraging way possible. The idea of inclusion has become the majority opinion amongst schools. Considering this, consider also how this will affect general education classrooms. A typical classroom at the middle school level will often consist of approximately five students that require special modifications to ensure their academic success. Students with significant behavioral problems generally receive support and assistance from the schools’ special education program, however students may also have general ed classes as well. I will highlight the points of emphasis found within the CPI: Non-violent Crisis Intervention model that can be used strategically by teachers in general ed classrooms when they are dealing with a student in the middle of a crisis.
1) Do no fuel the fire. This is the most common mistake that educators make. While it is important to address behavioral issues, we do not want to cause them, or make the disruption worse. Simply pick your battles, and do not respond to the student who is verbally attacking YOU. Students want one thing-attention. No matter the age, each student wants the attention of the teacher. If you are constantly dealing with a student who disrupts class then you are cutting into valuable instructional time, as well as depriving the other students of your one on one attention.
2) Is the student a danger to his/her self or others? This question must be answered without doubt before considering a restraint. We DO NOT want to restrain students-this option is strictly the last resort. Please also know a teacher must be CPI certified to restrain a student. An 8 hour training session and written test is required for a 1 year certification. If you are interested in this, please refer to the Crisis Prevention Institute website, only once you have checked your school’s policy on this issue.
3) Get the child to his/her safe place. It is good to designate a safe place within your classroom for students who need time to gather themselves. This designated area should not be associated with punishment. Students who need time to sort through their emotions should go to this safe place while you continue lecturing. (It is also a good idea to be certain other students can not see them while they are in this area.)
4) Establish “Therapeutic Rapport” once the student is calm. This stage is critical to the ongoing student-teacher relationship. The student needs to be informed that you are not mad at them, and you care for them. Re-establishing the relationship and building mutual trust is the goal of this step.