Problem Solved

Oh Wow! Motivation-Makers

08/26/2009  |  Ruth Herman Wells, M.S.

Got problem students? Here’s immediate, problem-stopping help.

You’re reading SEEN Magazine’s newest column. This is your new place to turn for the best, most innovative solutions for your worst K-12 classroom management problems. Even better, each column will include at least one completely free printable worksheet or device that you can use right away to stop or prevent classroom discipline and behavior problems.

My name is Ruth Herman Wells, M.S., Director of Youth Change Workshops, and I can help. For over twenty years, I’ve criss crossed North America, teaching educators how to manage unmanageable students. I’ve got twenty years of practice explaining what to do about work refusers. I’ve got twenty years worth of novel new ways to motivate sleeping students. I even have attention-grabbing solutions for students who think that school exists solely for dating purposes. I’ve helped teachers, principals, teaching assistants, school counselors, and special educators from Kotzebue, Alaska to the Florida Keys. Whatever your classroom nightmare, I can help.

If you have a classroom management problem, tell me about it, then watch for your solution to appear here in a subse-quent SEEN Magazine issue. To send me your request, visit

To anticipate your classroom management concerns, let’s start off with a few innovative, new motivational interventions that are just so surprisingly different and powerful that you’ll want to start using them immediately. You have two choices on how to use these motivational interventions. The first choice: You can verbally use the phrases and ideas that make up the techniques. Second choice: Get the printable handouts free and immediately use them with your students. Here are a few dynamic motivational methods to get you started:

Breaking News! All Jobs Now
Require a Diploma!

This intervention is so surprising that even your co-workers may react with shock. It’s such a potent device that it won’t just jar your students-- it may grab the attention of anyone who sees it. As you can see from the picture at right, the paper proclaims that “All jobs now require a diploma.” The small text at the bottom says “Think this paper is scary? Try life without a diploma.” The text at the bottom may be small but it may also be haunting. This intervention works as both a handout or wall poster, plus you can use this device verbally. To get this device free, courtesy of SEEN Magazine and Youth Change Workshops, visit

Want variations to use with different age groups? All Jobs Now Require...Math Skills...Computer Skills...People Skills...Punctuality...Weekly Drug Tests. The potential adaptations for this device are limited only by your imagination. To see many more unexpected and powerful variations, visit

Who Else Wants $329,000?
Here is a fun activity for any age group. Have your students insert their own picture onto this handout and see them-selves surrounded by $329,000. That is how much more money your students will earn if they graduate. Get this worksheet (minus the youngster pictured) by visiting Use this device as a handout or poster, or you can use it on a computer too. For younger students, you may wish to bring in $329,000 in play money to give them a deeper appreciation of how much money $329,000 is. For older students, let them “translate” that amount into cars, houses, trips, and other items that matter to them.

Your Diploma: The Real Value Meal
Many students are quite vocal about not wanting to work in fast food. They may be equally vocal about not wanting to do anything in school. Here is a device that may propel students who disdain a career in fast food, to care a bit more about finishing school. This intervention gives you a great new tool to transform students’ dislike of working in fast food into renewed interest in school. This device will only work with students who dislike fast food jobs, and should only be used with that portion of your youngsters. This device can be used as a handout or poster and says: “Which Side of the Counter Do You Prefer? Get a Diploma, the Real-Value Meal.” To get this worksheet, visit

Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the Director of Youth Change Workshops, Email Ruth at [email protected] or call 1-800-545-5736. To get more of Ruth’s interventions, visit
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