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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

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4 Ways Parents Can Promote Positive Behavior in School

September 7, 2015 2:48 am

Word arrives from school that the parent’s child is in trouble. Maybe it was a minor offense and the student simply faced a trip to the office. But maybe a suspension or expulsion is in the near future, leaving the parents wondering whether they could have done something before the situation became so dire.

Before parents beat themselves up too much, though, they should remember that student discipline isn’t always a clear-cut thing, says Renae Azziz, founder and director of Virtuoso Education Consulting, which provides professional development training to teachers and school district leaders.

“The reasons students are sent to the office are not always well defined,” says Azziz, a school psychologist. “So-called problem behaviors are often too subjective, which leads to different teachers having different perceptions and definitions of what a problem behavior is.”

The situation can be especially frustrating for the parents of these students. When there is a mismatch between what the teacher sees as acceptable behavior and the student’s view, problems can surface.

Teachers can learn to account for those cultural differences through explicit and ongoing training focused on culture. But there are also steps all parents can take that will go a long way in helping their children understand the school’s expectations, Azziz says.

She offers these tips:

• Educate yourself.
Parents should read the school’s discipline handbook and become familiar with the expectations for behavior in their child’s school. That way parents will have a clearer understanding of the rules and can discuss them with the child. Handbooks lay out all kinds of information, such as what constitutes bullying or how unexcused absences affect participation in extracurricular activities. “Knowing and talking about the rules can help you head off problems,” Azziz says.

• Offer positive reinforcement at home. Parents can set up positive ways to acknowledge their student for doing the right thing at home that connect to the behavior expectations at school. Children usually respond better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement, so praise at home for correct behavior can translate into good behavior in the classroom.

• Learn the rules face to face.
Early in the school year, parents should meet with their child’s teacher and principal to define and clarify behavior expectations and discuss how you will communicate with each other. Often, email is a good way to communicate with teachers because they can read and respond to the correspondence after class is over for the day. But find out what the teacher prefers. Good communication can help the parent and the teacher work together to make sure behavior expectations are understood and followed.

• Champion the child. A parent should be the child’s advocate. “After all, if you aren’t in your child’s corner, who is?” she asks. But that doesn’t mean taking the attitude: My child is always right. “You will need to be fair and balanced,” Azziz says.

Source: VirtuosoEd.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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10 Tips for Fall Entertaining

September 7, 2015 2:48 am

Looking for some ways to spice up your fall fetes? Then feast your eyes on these 10 great entertaining tips from Carla McDonald, the hostess with the mostest behind The Salonniere, the leading dedicated source of party tips from entertaining experts. As McDonald likes to say, "I feel a party coming on."

Choose a stellar date. There's nothing more festive than an autumn moon, so hold your party on or around an evening when the moon is full and bright. Full moon dates this fall are October 8th and November 6th.

Harvest your guest list. Select your guest list carefully. Have a look through your social media feeds to see who had interesting experiences over the summer that you think others might enjoy hearing about.

Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. Try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree and rosemary.

Prepare a seasonal feast. Serve warm, earthy nibbles with fennel, figs and other fall flavors. Butternut squash soup topped with sage and served in shot glasses is a classic autumnal touch that looks beautiful passed on trays. Garnish your dishes with edible fall leaves.

Fill the air with the sounds of autumn. Create a seasonal playlist. Songs to consider are "Autumn Leaves" by Nat King Cole, "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire and "Forever Autumn" by the Moody Blues.

Bring food to your flowers. Reflect the bounty of fall with floral arrangements that include seasonal vegetables and herbs like chard, beets and purple artichokes.

Sprinkle seasonal touches into your decor. Serve your nibbles on leaf-shaped platters and choose linens in autumnal shades like gold and pumpkin.

Stoke the embers of friendship. Place votive candles in groups on tables to draw people together as though they're gathering around a hearth.

Gather the leaves. As each guest leaves the party, send them home with a thermos filled with warm cider or a classic caramel apple. Nostalgic touches make people smile.

Chill. Remember to relax. If you don't have fun at your autumn fete, your guests won't either.

Source: The Salonniere

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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