Background

Spencer Henry, an international consultant on motivating and managing people, is an exceptional presenter with over forty years of experience in education. Spence has taught in the elementary, middle school, high school and at the college level. He has served as a principal in the middle school and the high school. As a principal, he has transformed schools in crisis to blue ribbon schools. From his experience in working with at-risk, difficult, and non-compliant students, he has developed a wide variety of practical, doable strategies that teachers and administrators can use immediately. His common-sense approach and warm humor will rejuvenate and motivate you to look at your daily challenge in a different light.

Spencer Henry has had the privilege of working with or studied some outstanding experts in the field of motivating and managing people… individuals such as Dr. Stan Dubelle, former Superintendent of the Wilson School District, West Lawn, PA and author of Misbehaving, and Effective Teaching Strategies. Dr. Dubelle was a disciple of Rudolf Dreikurs, author of Children; the Challenge, Maintaining Sanity in the Classroom and ABC’s of Guiding a Child. Linda Albert, author of Cooperative Discipline and Jane Nelsen, author of Positive Discipline were also influenced by Dreikurs.

Others whom Spencer Henry has had the pleasure to be associated with are Betsy Geddes, a colleague of Jim Faye, author of Discipline with Love and Logic, and Allen Mendler, author of Discipline with Dignity.

Other respected educators who have influenced Spencer Henry are Harry Wong, author of The First Days of School, Diane Gossen, author of Restructuring School Discipline, who was greatly influenced by William Glasser, author of The Quality School and Reality Therapy or Responsibility Training, Alfie Kohn, author of Beyond Discipline, From Compliance to Community. Ruby Payne, author of Poverty – A Framework for Understanding and Working with Students of Poverty, Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Eric Gensen, author of Teaching with the Brain in Mind.

Spencer was also trained as a trainer in Cooperative Learning by David and Roger Johnson.

Spencer Henry Believes

  • Today’s teachers and administrators are faced with challenges far greater than ever before.
  • That teachers should be provided with the opportunity to teach and students with the opportunity to learn.
  • 99% of the problems dealing with difficult, challenging and non- compliant students that occur in the classroom can be handled by the teacher if they have effective strategies.
  • All individuals must feel significant in the eyes of others. If a student’s basic needs are not met in a positive way, they will be met in a negative way.
  • Fear and intimidation do not work with today’s difficult students.
  • Classroom discipline is like any other discipline: English, social studies and science… It must be taught, modeled, practiced, reviewed and reinforced if it is going to be learned.
  • You cannot assume anything, including that children know how to behave. You must teach everything.
  • Good classroom managers have a sense of confidence because they have a complete discipline plan that includes:

Prevention: strategies and techniques to help prevent discipline problems,
Action: short-term strategies and techniques you can use to intervene when misbehavior occurs, and
Resolution: long-term strategies to help bring about change from negative behavior to positive behavior.

  • Your discipline plan must be based on MUTUAL RESPECT if it is to be effective and long-lasting.
  • Your discipline strategies should foster the essential life skills you are trying to teach your students: problem solving, decision-making, accountability and responsibility.
  • If control is too tight or too loose, students will move in one of two ways – retreat or rebellion.
  • Behavior is changed from within, not from without.
  • It is more important to teach responsibility than obedience.
  • There are three ways to interact with students: authoritarian (enforcer), permissive (enabler) and mutual respect (empower).
  • If you are going to have a positive influence on a student, you must have a positive relationship. Your actions should bring you closer to a student, not drive you from the student.
  • The only person you can control is yourself. You control how you act and respond at the time the student misbehaves.
  • Developing self-discipline in your students takes time and hard work.
  • There are three things we control that determine the quality of a child’s education: how well we manage our classrooms, the relationship between the adult in the classroom and the student, and how capable we are as teachers.
  • There are no easy answers. Hopefully, his materials will provide you with strategies to become more capable.

Spencer Henry’s Vision

I have a vision. My vision is to have classrooms become a wholesome environment based on mutual respect, trust and cooperation; where teachers can teach and students can learn… where teachers and students work together to solve problems…

My vision is to help children have their basic needs of belonging and feeling significant met in a positive way so that they will not have to misbehave.

My vision is to have teachers develop a positive relationship with students so students will work for them not against them.

My vision is to have schools be a safe place emotionally and physically for our students, where bullying is eliminated.

My vision is to prepare children for a successful life outside the classroom. To do this, they not only need basic skills, but they also need to learn the essential life skills; i.e. respect, responsibility, accountability, problem solving, decision making, thinking and collaboration.

To accomplish this vision, there may need to be a paradigm shift in the way we interact with and discipline children. We need to move from punishment and rewards to empowering students through the use of problem solving, logical consequences and encouragement. We need to move from fear and intimidation to mutual respect, trust and cooperation. We need to move from win / lose to developing a win / win environment… from hurting each other to helping each other. We need to move from looking at mistakes as failures to viewing them as opportunities to learn…from solving students’ problems for them, to empowering students to solve their own problems.

I hope my vision is your vision.

My vision can only come true with your help. One way to meet this vision is by taking a serious look at the way you are interacting with and disciplining students.

Spencer Henry