Training & Consulting Institute, Inc.

The forces that shape our social, economic and demographic trends strongly influence the students we work with today. Observations in over 2000 classrooms have prompted a real concern about the students' lack of social skill and internal control in school settings. Further research documents a significant change of children's behavior in the last ten years; suicide rates are alarming and drug use is prevalent.2 In the 80's many pupils became identified as "youth at risk". In today's classrooms they are our "target students".

Target students create potential or actual behavior problems in the classroom and on the school yard. They exhibit aggressive, resistant, distractible, withdrawn and dependent behavior styles. Students who use these coping styles are growing in number and create a challenge for every teacher and for our society as a whole. It is critical for schools and for society that we have effective strategies for shaping target student behavior, and that we respond with a problem solving approach to achieve lasting change.

In the early 1980's, Dr. Robert Spaulding of San Jose State University published his research on Student Coping Styles, using over 2000 documented cases of individual students in public school classrooms and other educational settings during a 7 year period. His method for identifying individual student behavior styles, combined with TCI's 21st Century Classroom Leadership framework and philosophy,* guides us to make curricular, instructional and environmental adaptations to decrease the inappropriate behavior of the coping style and increase desirable social and academic behavior.

I first studied Dr. Spaulding's work in the early 80's when I began working with a target student in my own classroom who was coping in an aggressive style. As I used this approach, I witnessed the student's dramatic behavior change from coping in an aggressive style to maintaining classroom norms and, in many settings, to coping in a self directed style. In subsequent years, I used the same problem solving approach with resistant, withdrawn and distractible coping styles.

The training, Problem Solving for Target Students, addresses the critical need to reach today's students and support teachers to shape the behavior of target students. Using the Coping Styles indicators provides educators with a systematic method of identifying students who are potentially "at risk". In addition, it depersonalizes the student's behavior and frees the teacher to create a plan of action, using TCI's 21st Century Classroom Leadership skills to alter the factors that place a youth at risk and shape the student towards internal control over his own behavior.

-- Pat Belvel


To create an environment which invites today's students to become caring, self directed and responsible and to develop positive, internally motivated behavior.


To support teachers administrators and others working in the classroom by teaching strategies which allow and invite students to develop internal control. By the end of the training and the follow-up coaching, the participants will be able to:

  1.   Connect the "at risk/target student" research and its relationship to drug abuse in order to utilize strategies in the school setting which will prevent these factors from pressuring students.

  2.   Identify "at risk/target students" utilizing "Coping Styles" indicators in order for the teacher to plan for appropriate behavioral and curriculum adaptations.

  3.   Apply specific "Coping Style" behavioral considerations to "at risk/target students" in order to shape students toward self-directed, socially responsible behavior.

  4.   Utilize strategies which promote student cohesion (connectedness to school) and sense of influence to prevent the "at risk" factors from influencing students into negative "Coping Styles".

  5.   Apply specific "Coping Style" curriculum considerations in order to increase the students' sense of competence and success level.

  6.   Create a written plan of action for one target student in order to provide consistency and create a trust level for target students.

  7.   Initiate a "Problem Solving Conference" with a target student in order to break the power struggle pattern, build a sense of connectedness with the teacher and create student ownership for his own behavior.

  8.   Facilitate class meetings in order to provide students an opportunity for evaluating their social skills and exercising an appropriate sense of influence.

PREREQUISITES: TCI's 21st Century Classroom Leadership or equivalent classroom management skills.

Meeting the Challenge of 
Today's Classroom

A training workshop with coaching 
days to provide support for 

Offered to administrators, principals, 
teachers and others who work 
with students.
Overview and Philosophy
Problem Solving

For more information, call us at: (408) 996-7293 or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!