Behaviour Matters

Archive for April, 2012


Hello again

I know I missed a couple of days.

But I’m back with an announcement.  Well many of you know it now any way as it was yesterday’s news.  Well it was news for Steve and I from New Years Day.  We have decided between us to get married.  We hadn’t told anybody until we had it all sorted out, found all the paperwork needed, booked a date and paid all the fees.  So no all that is done you are now all officially informed that we are getting married at 11.30am on 7th June.  It will only be a small do, family and close friends, no suits or fancy meals, no massive reception party or evening ‘do’.  Just us.  Steve will have new shoes and some new clothes, I will be wearing a secondhand bought on ebay outfit, but I might treat my self to new shoes (any excuse).  Even the rings will be either used or inexpensive as the day will be about me and Steve and not about all the paraphernalia that has some how become synonymous with weddings. 

Any way that’s it for now.  Hope you all have a wonderful day and I hope the rain has stopped by June 7th.

Bye for now


Mixed groups

Hi all

On this cold, wet, and horrible afternoon in the soggy north east of the country, I decided to write a blog about mixed groups. By mixed groups I mean mixed age groups in education. Recently I did a small amount of research about the benefits of mixed age groups in preschool. This turns out to be quite a positive thing with the older children supporting the learning of younger children, younger children copying the models of the older children. But after working in a school this week, specifically in a class of year 5 and year 6 children, I can see a very big negative side to the mix. Not only do the differing abilities of the children become more apparent, and the behaviour of the children is difficult at best (mostly due to copying) the biggest single factor I have become aware of is the difficulty the teacher has in differentiating the work for the different syllabus needs of the different age groups. The year 6 children need to have a lot of revision time for their SATs; which they will be sitting in the next few weeks, but the year 5 children need to continue with their usual timetable and structure to prevent them becoming bored.

Although the idea of mixed age groups works well in some settings it is not a universal answer to small class sizes. In an ideal world every child would be taught to their own ability level, and be grouped with ability not chronological peers, but in our schools system that is not possible and the teachers, who are doing a great job, are required to make the best of a bad situation.


Eventually my blog is being written, it’s not good that work gets in the way of all this blogging and tweeting.

Any of you who know me will know about my interest in all things psychological. So today I want to blog about the relevance of Maslow’s hierarchy in today’s society. I did a lesson a few years ago about how Maslow and the hierarchy can affect a child’s behaviour in school and ultimately affect their whole education. But it is even more relevant than that, if you consider the EveryChild Matters document you will see that it all fits nicely into the hierarchy; stay healthy, stay safe, make a positive contribution, enjoy and achieve, achieve economic well being. In addition to this there is a similarity to the rights of the child too; children have a right to food and shelter, they have a right to belong to a family group, they have a right to education and play, and they have a right to achieve to the best of their ability.

So although Abraham Maslow came up with the concept of a hierarchy of needs in 1943 it is still being used as a benchmark for childcare and indeed adult care in today’s society.

Remember then that people need to have basic needs met, feel safe and belong to a community as well as able to express them selves if they are to be good role models in society.

Thanks for reading

Holland or Italy

Morning again

Emily Perl Kingsley wrote about the changes to life when you have a child with a disability as a trip to Holland when you have always wanted to go to Italy, and you had planned your trip to Italy. Now having been to both Italy and Holland I can tell you that although they are both very different, in the important ways they are the same. they are both countries in Europe that speak a different language to me, both cities have shops and bars and restaurants that are both similar and different to what I am used to. When I went to Italy I was travelling alone, the locals were friendly and the cities I visited were beautiful, full of architecture and charm, the rail system was excellent travelling from one city to another. Although on my own I felt safe and confident to go into restaurants on my own. I really enjoyed my time there and would love to go back. My trip to Holland was different but also enjoyable. I travelled with a group of friends, we went on the ferry from Tyneside. The city was again full of architecture, it was very picturesque and we sat in cafes along the canal banks enjoying drinks. Again it was a lovely break and I would definitely visit again.

But having a child is not like either of these, as having a child is for life not just a few days. I count my self as being very lucky in having had two healthy well adjusted children who now live their own lives with their partners. I am very proud of my children and the choices they have made. I cannot imagine how different my life would be if my children had a disability, but I do know both from life experiences, talking to friends and having done the research I have, that I would still have loved my children, the moments that make me proud would be different but just as important, and my life as I know would be very different.

So ultimately I would not care, after the initial shock, if I was in Holland or Italy, both of them have their beauty and differences to share, both have wonders and beauty. Make the most of what you have, live your life to the fullest and count every positive step as a win.

Stay positive.


Morning people

Any of you who follow me on twitter or have met me or have looked at my website will know that one of the topics in life I get passionate about is disability. This may come from a life growing up in a family who fostered and offered respite care to children with disabilities, or it may be from working with people who have a disability. It may be due to studying disabilities and special education fairly extensively. But what ever the reason I do seem to have a passion for equality and promoting the rights of individuals.

I have been known to walk through town centres and not notice people with disabilities or those in wheelchairs, some may say this is because I’m to self centred to see other people, I like to think it is because I see people and not disabilities. I find it natural to talk to people on their level, I get annoyed about access to buildings and the quality of pavements even when I am on my own, I notice where the toilets for disabled people are in new shops, I never park in special bays for disabled people and get quite angry when I see other people take advantage of this.

The aim of my company is to help other people understand the world of disability as I do, accept people for who they are and not look at people in terms of a difference. I know his is a malice task but I have a whole life to get the message across.

Part one is to ask everybody who reads this to think today about how they can do some thing positive today to help a person who is differently abled.

Good morning

As you can tell I don’t really have a topic for today. I could have a moan about the state of the economy or the fact it’s been raining all week, or that I’ve just shelled out over £100 to tax the land rover, but I feel too positive to day for that.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the dogs are not fighting, Steve is sat here with me, my children are happy and safe, I have work for the near future, and life is good (mostly). So today I would like you all to think of the positives in your life. Smile at people you don’t know and those you do know and make the most of any situation you find yourself in.

Spread the positivity vibe today 🙂


Good morning, well at the very least today’s blog is being done in the morning, so that’s a good start to the day.

Last night I did some more networking, which really is a fancy business term for having a good night out and meeting lots of people. When I started out in business lots of people talked about networking, people kept telling me I needed to network, but I didn’t have any idea what they were talking about, and being all independent and naive I wasn’t going to ask. I wish I had though.

Now I enjoy the networking I do and although there are many other networking companies out there, I like the format of the ones I currently use. I like the relaxed format of the one I attended last night, it give you the ability to be yourself and mingle as much or as little as you want. The other events I attend are a bit more formal, but they do ensure you leave every meeting with having talked to at least 3 different people, and have at least 3 business cards. The idea of both of tenses companies is that people buy from people, and you can never know who knows who.

I know many of my readers are not just business people, but do excellent work raising families. Networking can work for you too. Talking to other parent in similar situations, sharing advice and strategies that worked for you.

For me the real power of networking is meeting people, sharing ideas and lastly getting work.

So my advice for you all today is, get out there and mingle, realise that you are not alone and do not have to carry the burden all yourself.

Thanks again for reading