Ross Greene Collaborative Problem Solving

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Or that 267,000 students are restrained or secluded each year, 100,000 students are expelled from school annually, and 3,000,000 are suspended.

These numbers are horrifying, and yet, almost every educator in the room including myself has had direct experience with the difficult and sometimes dangerous student behaviors and the subsequent ineffective and often harmful responses that so many schools resort to. Greene took us along on his transformation from a traditional behavior management way of handling difficult behavior in children to his (and thousands of his followers’) approach now, which is based on the understanding that " Simply put, children with challenging behaviors lack the skills needed to not be challenging.

His wry and even humorous delivery of this critically important, and often very serious content, made his presentation incredibly informative and memorable.

His message resonates – not just with those in the room on April 10, but with thousands of children, educators, and parents – in Maine, across the country, and around the world.

A focus group that includes several island educators has been established to help inform a curriculum for Compassionate Communities that is currently in development.

Check out the Lives in the Balance website where you’ll find more information on both these projects as well as a tremendous amount of practical print and video resources readily available and free. Greene’s work is transformational, and the schools that have embraced CPS and use his resources have seen marked improvement in student behavior and learning.

i-Mark (Invest in Maine’s At-Risk Kids) is a one million dollar investment from the state of Maine that aims to identify our most at-risk kids and prevent adverse outcomes (including preventing incarceration) by deploying several proven strategies, including careful tracking of students and seamless collaboration and communication among caregivers.

Compassionate Communities is a voluntary commitment that classroom teachers and schools can make stating that they subscribe to certain values in their interactions with kids.

Additionally, proactive intervention is far more effective than reactive intervention, and understanding the child’s cognitive delays and triggers helps the therapist and parents work to plan interventions in advance rather than simply putting out fires.

Greene then describes the three ways of responding to problems or unmet expectations with children, what he calls “Plan A,” “Plan B,” and “Plan C.” Plan A is for the adult to impose his will on the child; Plan C is for the adult to remove or reduce the expectation, and Plan B is what he calls the Collaborative Problem Solving approach, or CPS.


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