Seventh Grade Teacher Uses the Concepts of Process Communication to Raise the Academic Achievement and Reduce the Negative Behaviors of Her Students

(The following story is excerpted from “Communication: The Key To Effective Leadership”.)

Jennifer Sheehey is a 7th grade teacher in a suburban neighborhood in southern California.  It had been the lowest performing middle school in the district on standardized testing for several years.  There were 31 seventh grade students, a mixture of “lower performing” students and students with special needs, in Jennifer’s class.

The students in this class were infamous with the administration and other teachers on campus because they were constantly in trouble for fights, classroom disruption, stealing, and swearing at teachers.

Jennifer told them about the concepts of Process Communication.  In the process of learning about the various personality types and the needs of each, they began asking for more information.  Specifically, they wanted to know how they could communicate better with their teachers. Jennifer saw this as an opportunity to lead her students to develop a positive attitude toward school and improve their lives.  In this way she led them to empower themselves using some of the concepts of Process Communication.  After having the students self identify the type they are, she told them what their needs were and they worked out ways to get their needs met positively.  These are the results.

  • 16 students raised their GPA and 5 students maintained their current average!
  • 10 students had slightly lower GPAs but showed a huge turn around in behavior-
  • 6 had no discipline incidents for the remainder of the year
  • 3 students significantly lowered the number of discipline incidents.
  • Overall, 30 of 31 students showed either an academic or behavioral turn around after being told about PCM!

One student was about to be expelled from school at the time Jennifer decided to tell them about Process Communication. He previously had 15 recorded discipline incidents for the year.  After he learned how to get his needs met positively, he had none.  At the end of the year he told her that he now knew how to get his needs met without fighting and he found it much easier to talk to his teachers. He did not get expelled.  He is still in school and he loves the 8th grade.

After being told about the concepts of Process Communication, two female students separately approached their teacher to confess that they were cutting themselves and had thought about committing suicide. They said they needed help and wanted to talk to someone instead of hurting themselves again. They both entered counseling and report that they haven’t cut themselves or had suicidal thoughts since. The concepts of Process Communication made it possible to open these lines of communication and make the students feel safe to come forward.

In addition, the students wrote letters to the teachers they would have the following year telling them their personality type and their needs.  In the letter they asked their teachers to help them get their needs met in their classes so they could learn more.  The teachers asked Jennifer for help in understanding how they could do this.  The students now are in the 8th grade.  Their entire attitude toward school has changed and they no longer talk about dropping out of school when they turn 16.  Jennifer not only led the students to change their outlook and behaviors, but very quietly has influenced the other teachers to help their students get their motivational needs met positively by individualizing the way they teach.

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  • Address

    Kahler Communications
    (Washington, D.C.)
    A Division of Process Communications Inc.
    8740 Sleepy Hollow Lane
    Potomac, MD 20854
    (Office) 301-983-8447
    (Fax) 301-299-7033