Safe and Sound Schools
Empowering a Nation of Safer School Communities
Safe and Sound Schools

Scott Ervin

Scott Ervin is in his 17th year of working with extremely difficult, at-risk, disturbed, abused, and neglected kids. He has worked exclusively with populations in extreme poverty. For the last 13 years of his teaching career, he requested that all of the most difficult kids in the grade be placed in his room. He has also been a principal, superintendent, and discipline specialist in schools serving kids from preschool through 8th grade. These schools had poverty rates between 84% and 98%.  As Founder and CEO of Ervin Educational Consulting LLC, he travels around the country teaching educators and parents Calm and Assertive Procedures and Strategies, The Nine Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom™, and Becoming a Love and Logic Parent®. He performs demonstration teaching and common area management with real students in real schools to show how skills and procedures are used in order to create a safer, more functional, and more positive classroom and school environment.   

In his free time, he has mentored neglected and abused kids both in and outside of school. Most of those children had some combination of PTSD, drug affection, Reactive-Attachment Disorder, and/or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.   

Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master’s degree in Education, and a current Ohio PK-3 Teacher’s License. He has taught classroom management as an adjunct professor at Antioch-Midwest and as a visiting lecturer at Ohio University.    

Scott is a proud father and husband, and he is married to a fellow educator. His wife taught kindergarten and third grade for twelve years.  A difficult child himself, Scott flirted with suspensions and expulsions throughout his school career. He has come a long way.

Presentations

The Nine Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom® (18 hours of workshops, includes a 2 hour introduction) is a comprehensive way of being calm and assertive with even the most difficult kids. It is nine skills, that, when used cumulatively, can allow any educator to be able to create a calm, strict, safe, loving environment where adults can teach and students can learn. Here are the skills:

  1. Neutralizing Argument: If, after I teach this skill, you can show me how an educator at your school argued with a child after following the argument neutralizing steps, I will give your school 100% of its money back! Would it be helpful for there to NEVER be arguing in your school ever again?
  2. Delaying Consequences: Is there anything more stressful than thinking that you have to react immediately to a student’s negative behaviors? You don’t. Let me show your staff how to be simultaneously strict and calm in the face of any behavior that a child could come up with, all on your schedule and at your convenience!
  3. Utilizing Empathy: I can show your staff, through the use of a simple, empathetic statement, how to actually change the brain function of a child so that the child will be able to place blame for his negative behaviors on himself instead of on his mean, unfair teacher or principal.
  4. Utilizing the Recovery Process: Recovery is like “time-out”, except that it actually works. I will work with your school to implement the use of the recovery process, whereby all students understand that they are allowed to be with their class for as many seconds as they can manage to not cause a problem. I will show you how to set up areas in the classroom and in other classrooms (NEVER in the principal’s office) where they can “get it together” and come back when they are ready.
  5. Building Positive Student-Teacher Relationships– Every bit of research on the subject shows that building relationships with students is the key to creating schools where teachers love to teach and students love to learn. Using skills such as the one-sentence intervention, I will show you how to have a school where students love their teachers and principal so they will be happy and cooperative at school.
  6. Utilizing Enforceable Statements– What is the most important implication of a student saying “You can’t make me!!!”? It is that he is absolutely right! By using enforceable statements, we tell students how we live our lives, not how they should live theirs. This allows us to have much higher behavioral expectations without unnecessarily taking away control from kids.
  7. Utilizing Choices to Prevent Power Struggles: Isn’t it better to prevent power struggles than to take the time to fight them? Have you ever wondered why no one ever teaches educators how to do this? I will show you, step-by-step, how to get students to be more cooperative by giving them the control that you don’t need anyway.
  8. Quick and Easy Preventive Classroom Interventions: I am so good at classroom interventions: the movements, questions and one-liners that we use to prevent negative behaviors, that they have become 95% of everything that I do to manage my classroom.
  9. Guiding Students to Own and Solve Their Own Problems: How much more time do you suppose your staff would have if they only solved students’ problems when failure to do so would be likely to cause serious or permanent injury? What if your students were trained to solve their own problems because they knew that this would be the only way that the problems would get solved? What if your staff was trained to guide kids to take responsibility for their problems? What would your school be like?

Calm/Assertive Procedures

Research has shown the importance of giving students choices and the importance of building relationships with them as a means of creating a positive, happy learning environment where students feel loved and supported and are able to live within the parameters and expectations of their teachers and administration. 

Calm/Assertive Procedures are specific and explicitly taught procedures, routines and rituals designed to allow you to effectively build relationships and give healthy control in school. They are specific to locations and activities in the classroom and in common areas. Professional Development regarding implementation of these procedures, rituals and routines is available ala carte and will depend upon the needs and wants of the school.

Calm/Assertive Procedures for Common Areas (Workshop times and content will be determined by which locations are audited, trained and Real-Time Coached)

  1. The Calm/Assertive Hallway (for both teachers and administrators)
  2. The Calm/Assertive Playground
  3. The Calm/Assertive Lunchroom
  4. The Calm/Assertive Non-Instructional Hallway
  5. The Calm/Assertive Instructional Hallway

Calm/Assertive Procedures for the Classroom (18 Hours of total instruction includes a 1 hour introduction)

Relationship Building Procedures

  1. ESPN Greeting
  2. Team Creation
  3. Nickname creation and ceremony
  4. Afternoon Meeting/ Celebrations
  5. ESPN Goodbye

Control Sharing Procedures

  1. Student-led Morning Meeting
  2. Student-led transitions
  3. Student-led prompts
  4. Student-led choices
  5. Student-led workshop choices
  6. Student-led Afternoon Meeting

Calm/Assertive Procedures for a Calm and Quiet Classroom

  1. How to Create a Truly Silent “Silent, Sustained Reading” Environment
  2. How to Create a Calm, Pleasant Workshop Environment
  3. How to Get Students to Work Hard Without Asking Them To

Calm/Assertive Behavioral Intervention Plan

  1. Want/Control Analysis: Create a plan to get the desired behaviors from any student in any situation.

How to Interact with Parents: No Matter How Difficult They Are (1.5 Hours)

Even the most skilled teacher, principal, or superintendent can be made miserable by a persistently difficult parent. Let me train your staff or district to work with parents in a calm, and assertive way so that you can hold students and parents accountable in order to do your very difficult job with optimal effectiveness.

How to Effectively Monitor and Bully-Proof Students (2 Hours)

Effective and thoughtful monitoring and teaching of students from power positions is an essential skill in creating safe, calm schools where teachers can teach and students can learn. Let me show your school or district how to use proper monitoring techniques in both classrooms and common areas so that both educators and students can spend their days in a healthy, safe, pro-social environment. In addition, I can teach your staff or district how to create consequences for bullying that will extinguish this negative behavior and help o create a safe space in which students can learn.

No matter how safe we make schools through proper monitoring and the use of logical consequences, there will be times when we are not able to monitor students: on the bus, at home, or online. When we show students effective skills for dealing with bullies, we give them a tool that they can use to empower themselves for the rest of their lives.

You Will Fail Because You Are Not Good Enough (and other words of inspiration) (20 to 45 minutes)

This speech is perfect as a commencement address or motivational message for high school or college students. The message is that failure is a guaranteed part of success for any worthwhile endeavor. The awareness of this guarantee can help the child or young adult to handle it in stride. The tools contained in this speech allow them to use failure to create success.

Testimonials 

I like that the whole school is on the same page-including paras, teachers, and administrators. Good things are happening academically because we are spending less time on discipline!
– Jennifer Levine, Mt. Ayr Community Schools, Iowa

I was in my thirteenth year of teaching when Scott and Love and Logic saved my classroom, my students, and my love of teaching. In my school, we had hand-picked the most disruptive students in first and second grade and put them in my classroom in hopes of changing their behavior, so they would become productive citizens in our school and in our world. In order to change their behavior, we used behavior charts, color charts, earning/losing privileges, phone calls with parents, parents coming to school, a token economy, food rewards, candy rewards, party rewards, coupon rewards-you name it, we tried it. Nothing worked. Everything was a gimmick, a game, or a system the students could beat or work around or find loopholes. I felt like I was teaching them how to circumvent the judicial system instead of abiding by it. I cried on the way to school each day because I knew I was failing my kids, and because I didn’t want to endure another day with them. Then I met Scott. Scott empowered me. He gave me confidence, answers, and a way of life in my classroom that increased everyone’s happiness and safety tenfold. Not only that, but I got to teach and my students got to learn! My students improved their math scores and their reading scores. They created projects and wrote letters. Kids who were flipping desks, throwing chairs, scratching teachers, flipping off peers, and being defiant and unpleasant were excelling socially and academically. I was no longer anxious about going to school, and neither were they! Their lives and mine changed in less than a month thanks to Scott and his training in Love and Logic.
– Beth Perry, Lakota City Schools, Ohio

Working directly with Scott has been the single most valuable experience I have had when it comes to learning how to work with challenging students. He has trained me to use Calm and Assertive procedures, as well as skills from Love and Logic, to be successful in teaching my students this year. I believe that these skills have worked far better than any other skills I have been taught, and since I have been trained by Scott, my quality of teaching (and life in general), has been positively transformed. I am less-stressed, slower-to-anger, and I truly feel that I am making a difference in the lives of my students.

In the beginning of this school year, many of my students engaged in behaviors that were very distracting to the learning environment of the classroom. Some of my students flipped their desks, laid on the floor during instruction, left the classroom without my permission, screamed cusswords at me and other students, engaged in fights daily, and refused to do their schoolwork. I attempted to use various behavior charts, the schoolwide Class Dojo, timeouts, parent phone calls, calls to administration, and nothing was truly helping. I started using techniques learned from Scott (such as empathy and logical consequences) and I can say, without a doubt, that my classroom has been completely transformed. I no longer see any of the issues listed above, and very seldom have to call for administration to assist with challenging students in my classroom. My students are respectful, responsible, and hold themselves accountable for their own actions. They are self-regulated, and they value their education. This is an incredible feeling to have as an educator.

I truly feel that the skills I have learned from Scott have made me effective in managing behaviors in my classroom. I have been told by multiple people that I have strong classroom management skills and I give all credit to my training with Scott Ervin. With that being said, I think I would benefit from having more training from Scott, and I also think that other staff would benefit from attending Professional Developments by him as well.
– Ashley Owen, Dayton Public Schools, Ohio

I teach in a self-contained Behavior Disorders (BD) room at Mt. Ayr Elementary School in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. I’ve been teaching for thirteen years and have been in this specific room for three years. I work with students who have the most challenging behaviors in the building. Our building hosts students from kindergarten through sixth grade, approximately 300 students. My students were removed from their general education classroom after numerous office referrals for negative behavior, parent complaints, and general frustration from the classroom teachers. When I first began working with these students, I had no real plan for dealing with the behaviors. I would bribe, offer tokens and rewards, punish, raise my voice….honestly, nothing was working and we were all very frustrated. Then, our school contacted The Kid Whisperer and everything changed! The Calm and Assertive techniques that we now use have completely transformed my teaching and our days are now infinitely more positive and productive. My students understand that I cannot and will not ever make them do anything. They are free to choose their behaviors and they know consequences logically and naturally follow negative behaviors. It really is that simple. Learning how to use Love and Logic skills and Calm/Assertive procedures has been a truly rewarding and fun experience for all of us. Thank you, Kid Whisperer, for helping us transform our classroom into the fun place that we wanted but just didn’t know how to get. We are so happy!
– Melanie Knapp, Mt. Ayr Elementary Community Schools, Iowa

 

For more information on Scott Ervin’s presentations contact Susan Parziale at sparziale@safeandsoundschools.org

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