I’m excited to give you an exclusive sneak peek into my upcoming book, which delves into the heart of what truly motivates your students. Imagine being able to unlock the full potential of students like Brian, who struggles with math not just because of the numbers but because of the fear and anxiety that hold him back.

In this excerpt, you’ll discover the power of understanding your students’ internal perspectives. It’s not just about what’s happening on the outside but tapping into their inner world to overcome the barriers of fear. You’ll learn about the concept of interoception, the 8th sense, which is the key to linking their emotions with their learning experiences.

Student’s Perspective: Brian

“Open your textbook to page 264,” said Mr. Grappner. “You too, Brian.” He shot me a let’s-do-this kind of teacher look. I took a deep breath and felt my fingers slide over the pages until I found 264. My heart sank as I saw the numbers above and below a straight little nasty black line—Fractions. 

Brian Caricature
Listen to more about Brian here

“Take out your math journals as well. I want everyone to take great notes on it,” Mr. Grappner said. My sweaty hands reached for the notebook even though my brain was like, NO! I want to find a distraction from these fractions! I hate numbers and stuff, and fractions are like double trouble. 

UmmmI wonder what game I will play after school? I thought to myself.  I looked at a few of my classmates to see if they were as excited as I was. Yup—haha! I swear I just saw one of them rolling their eyes. But wait, that student is crying. 

I returned to my paper and thought I had cried a time or two in math. I suck at math and don’t even know why I have to do this dumb stuff anyway. 

Tanisha Caricature
Listen to Tanisha’s story

I looked over to the other side of the aisle and caught Tanisha’s hands going back and forth on the side of the desk, with her eyes flying all over the room, but she was smiling. 

I sighed; now, there’s a distraction. I thought. Tanisha wants out, just like me. I looked at her, and she smiled back.  Dang! I thought. I know I can’t do this math stuff, but Tanisha knows how to do it, or at least the math I copied from her yesterday.

Hum, I thought. When she finally writes down stuff, I can check out her answers with mine or something like that.

“Excuse me, Mr. Grappner,” My eyes looked up at the announcement. Sweet! A distraction, I said to myself.  A woman with a blond ponytail said, “I need to take Tanisha,” 

“Oh yes,” said Mr. Grappner. I saw someone wave to a few students and motioned over to Tanisha. 

Tanisha stopped fidgeting but didn’t turn her head toward the speaker. I wonder if she heard her. Then suddenly, she snapped her head around, got up, and walked past me, giving me a wink. What the heck was that for, I thought. Tanisha winked at me. 

Suddenly, my heart pounded a bit, and I looked down, hoping the red feeling going up my neck would stop soon. 

“Ok,” said Mr. Grappner. Fractions are parts of the whole, with a top and a bottom number. What is the top number called?” Suddenly, I realized that I needed to write this down.

Mr. Grappner Caricature
Meet Mr. Grappner Listen to his story

I started looking for my pencil. But all I could think of was Tanisha. She winked at me. Nowait. I  reminded myself. Stay focused on the lesson; I commanded my brain. Brian suddenly remembered hearing his dad’s words echo in his head, “If your math grade doesn’t improve, I’m taking away your gaming.” I swallowed hard. 

I looked back up to see that Mr. Grappner wrote a lot of stuff on the board. I felt my feet sweat. Oh no! I think I’m already behind

Wait, I said to myself. Mr. Grappner said something about top numbers. I put my pencil on the paper and started writing the teacher’s words.  

My mind suddenly tried to remember what I was supposed to do to these numbers and that stupid black bar drawn on the chalkboard. I had to flip all of these and swap them out. Panicked, my eyes darted from the paper back to the board. 

 “I can see that we have a few students that need to get their math brains going and our focus on,” Mr. Grappner said as he walked over to the wall, flicking off half of the bright, obnoxious lights. He cleverly said, “Lights out, Math Light on,” as he turned on two soft light lamps. That is better, I think. He should just always do that.

“Kevin,” repeated Mr. Grappner, “filled 15 glasses with 2/3 pints of soda in each glass. How many pints of soda did Kevin use?” Wait, Brian thought, who is Kevin? Suddenly, the door opened, and Tanisha smiled in my direction. She walked back to her desk and slipped in. She grabbed her pencil, read the board, immediately focused, and started working—no fidgeting or shifting. 

Brian looked back at his paper. He had only written 3/2 and 15. Right. Ok, and I’ll just add this up. He said to himself. Suddenly, my eyes slid out of focus and back to Tanisha as I strained to see her math answer.

Transform Your Teaching with Simple Questions

What if I told you that asking the right questions could open up a whole new world of motivation for your students? Questions like “What do you see?“, “What do you notice?” and “How does it make you feel?” can deepen your connection with your students and unlock their true potential.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to revolutionize your teaching and create a classroom environment where every student thrives. Stay tuned for more insights and practical strategies in my upcoming book.

In the meantime, check out the Tier 1 Interventions Podcast for a deeper understanding of how to motivate kids and make a lasting impact in their lives.

Tier 1 Interventions Podcast Trailer

Remember, you were put here for such a time as this.

P.S. Overcome Fear using INTEROCEPTION.

Listen to the Podcast on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.