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Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises (Maupin House) Paperback – December 1, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I must first say that I've read the new book twice, front to back, and I love it! I feel Andra Medea has raised the bar, once again, in dealing with sensitive, and potentially dangerous situations/people. I immediately thought while reading it, that not only does she show people how to talk the talk, but also walk the walk. I find the use of language to be very easy to understand, which to me, means that implementation is easier. The contents of this book can be read and understood by anyone, ranging from medical doctors, psychologists, direct care staff, parents and youth alike. I found that the techniques taught in the book are perfect for the more behavioral youth that were at Lad Lake, but also a breath of fresh air for dealing with kids that may be nonverbal, have behavioral and medical conditions or simply do not have the capacity to respond in an appropriate manner when they are being activated by not only the youth they're surrounded by, but burned out staff, that sadly exacerbate and instigate youth by raising their voices and ultimately flooding them to the point they need to be restrained, or given a medicinal cocktail to calm them down. The book flowed seamlessly, again giving the reader an easy and helpful understanding of how to navigate de-escalation techniques and ideas. I truly feel that the information in this book is on track to not only increase the quality of care for youth, but will undoubtedly lead to a more thorough understanding of the clients we are dealing with, which will make life easier for all of us. I've shared ideas from the book, and already have received interest from colleagues wanting to learn more about the process, as well as how to get staff on board to implement these techniques within the therapeutic milieu --Dr. Timothy E. Miller- Psychotherapist

After several school-based tragedies, national concern over school safety is at an all-time high. This book highlights what teachers and parents should know when dealing with mental health issues, typical tantrums and other issues in young people s development. Safe Within These Walls offers professional development on violence prevention, while helping caregivers and teachers deal with students aggressive behaviors early and appropriately. Bottom Line: If you re looking to deal with sensitive classroom situations, such as ones involving students with behavioral and developmental issues, and ones that risk becoming heated and/or violent, this book is the perfect resource. Safe Within These Walls provides common-sense and expert techniques to encourage positive student behavior and prevent outbursts and other disruptions. This title goes beyond de-escalating violence to address the core of good classroom management. --Education World

Medea's book, Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises (Capstone Classroom, 2014), offers classroom management advice for addressing students who are anxious, angry, or violent. The book, from a small publishing house for K-12 books, describes methods educators can use to subdue angry and violent students. One of the techniques Medea suggests for stopping fights is breaking students' eye contact by redirecting their gaze at you or away from the other student and using simple directions, like BACK UP; Medea tries to analyze past school shootings, the actions educators and students took, and methods for replicating safe behaviors.

The book includes information about how the brain malfunctions when a person is angry and how to read this body language. There are also solutions for different age groups: K-2, 3-6, middle school, and parents. Useful summaries and specific steps for educators are provided at the end of each chapter.

The best and safest time to de-escalate aggression is before it starts, Medea writes. Observe physical cues like avoiding eye contact or mocking tones. By reading situations and students, educators can intervene before situations get out of hand, she writes. --Education Week's BookMarks blog

About the Author

Andra Medea, M.A., grew up in a volatile neighborhood in Chicago and co-authored her first book on violence prevention at the age of 18. Andra developed the Virtual Tranquilizer de-escalation technique, which has been adapted for the National Guard, the American Bar Association, substance abuse counselors and judges. The technique is the basis for her latest book, Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises. With Zak Mucha, LCSW, she adapted the Virtual Tranquilizer for use with potentially violent clients with psychosis. Andra has taught at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.
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Product Details

  • Series: Maupin House
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Capstone Classroom (December 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1625215185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1625215185
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,580,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Safe Within These Walls is a MUST READ for new and for seasoned teachers, and for parents. It is all about understanding, identifying and addressing those moments in and out of classrooms when you and/or your students "lose it." While this book is directed towards teachers, it is equally appropriate and helpful for parents.

Safe Withing These Walls is all about making our classrooms, schools, hallways, and homes safe. It deals primarily with flooding- when something triggers a fight or flight moment - when hearts race, and you can't hear, see and/or speak because you're so overwhelmed. Medea helps us understand why people flood, how it feels when they flood, and how to help ebb the flood. She warns us that flooding is contagious and just like in a plane, as we are instructed to put oxygen masks on ourselves before our kids, she helps us calm down so we can better understand and help our students and kids.This book is full of practical advice and scenarios to learn from. It is a great book for teachers, for teacher workshops and in-service book clubs/training. It is empowering. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am really glad there is a resource like this available for teachers. This book helps teachers learn how to diffuse situations at school before they get out of hand. Not only can problems be intercepted, but the methods in this book can help kids learn to keep their emotions in check. This is a very important skill, especially with all the frightening things that have happened in schools recently.

I found a lot of the methods to be very interesting. I could suddenly recognize why some teachers are effective at keeping control in their classrooms while others are not.

Although this book is intended for teachers, I found it useful as a parent as well. I applied several of the methods talked about in the book when my kids started fighting. I also used the advice to help in the Sunday School class for 5 year old kids that I teach. I was very impressed with it's effectiveness.

Some of the book is repetitive, and other things may have been a stretch, but overall I think the advice is sound. It's all about creating a safe, welcoming environment for children to learn in.
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Format: Paperback
When teaching conflict resolution courses at the collegiate and graduate levels, Andra’s book Conflict Unraveled was a clear, practical resource favored by my students. It is also one I frequently reference in my mediations with clients who are divorcing and/or having custody and parenting-time disputes. I was thrilled to see Andra extend this knowledge to schools.

Andra’s new book contains essentials for the prevention of conflict escalation by taking out blame and providing practical solutions and strategies that could be immediately applied. She presents the reader with common scenarios from real educators working with actual kids and then provides tools and simple strategies for intervention.

Something happens to all of us when we flood with emotion that is so primitive and “young” and Andra somehow manages to acknowledge it while simultaneously willing us to do something different. As someone who has managed, developed and designed curriculum for peer mediation programs, I believe such programs would not be necessary—or at the very least, would be free to focus on the most appropriate cases— if teachers and school administrators taught and implemented conflict de-escalation strategies in their classrooms like those described in Safe Within These Walls: De-escalating School Situations Before They Become Crises.

When reading Andra’s book it’s impossible not to have that moment when it just clicks, like, why hadn’t I thought of doing that? As a society, we are ready for this. We can learn from the wisdom of those who have come before us and we can do things differently, hopefully preventing more violence from happening in our schools and in our neighborhoods. Andra’s book provides us with a reference point. The escalation of violence is complicated but Andra’s strategies and her clear approach is simple and practical and we cannot afford to wait in implementing it.
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Format: Paperback
It seems that every week we hear about another school shooting,. Most often the perpetrator is described as troubled or alienated but was not seen as dangerous This book gives teachers the information they need to discern when a troubled child presents a potential danger to others. Most importantly, it gives teachers the tools they need to intervene safely and avert a dangerous situation before it gets out of control or turns deadly. This book is loaded with practical advice, examples, success stories and research-based techniques, told with a subtle humor that makes it easy to read. It is filled with “ah hah!" moments. The reader comes away with a host of techniques that are easy to use and can be successfully applied to almost any situation. It offers our educators the ability to reach out to a troubled child and the techniques they need to put that child on a different and life-changing path. And to prevent the kinds of tragedies that have become all too common. The title says it all.

Kendra Reinshagen
Executive Director
Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
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