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DC Youth Empowerment Group is a Non Profit Organization that specializes in engaging and motivating our youth to use their inner abitility & natural strengths to reach and achieve their full potential.


A Tool Kit for Teachers and Educators

A facilitator’s guide of understanding and managing surface behaviors within the home, school and community.


The information provided are intended to promote healthy educational setting that decreases surface behaviors, but more importantly increases student learning and academic success. We also hope serve as a tool against which we can measure progress toward achieving these goals.



These Five factors are indicators to achieving healthy cognitive development in 

children, teens, and young adults. Depending on the stress level of each factor it 

can result to maladaptive behaviors that are often displayed in homes, school and 



  • Biological

  • Ecological

  • Sociological

  • Humanistic

  • Behavioral

















youtube video in the hive


How to Create A Discipline Problem.

How to create discipline problems.
The Clearing House; 5/1/1994; Mark Wasicsko and Steven M Ross 
Creating classroom discipline problems is easy. By following the ten simple rules listed you should be able to substantially improve your skill at this popular teacher pastime. 

1. Expect the worst from kids. This will keep you on guard at all times. 
2. Never tell students what is expected of them. Kids need to learn to figure things out for     themselves. 
3. Punish and criticize kids often. This better prepares them for real life. 
4. Punish the whole class when one student misbehaves. All the other students were        

    probably doing the same thing or at least thinking about doing it. 
5. Never give students privileges. It makes students soft and they will just abuse  

    privileges anyway. 
6. Punish every mis-behavior you see. If you don't, the students will take over. 
7. Threaten and warn kids often. "If you aren't good, I'll keep you after school for the rest  

    of your life." 
8. Use the same punishment for every student. If it works for one it will work for all. 
9. Use school work as punishment. "Okay, smarty, answer all the questions in the book for

10. Maintain personal distance from students. Familiarity breeds contempt, you know.


We doubt that teachers would deliberately follow any of these rules, but punishments are frequently dealt out without much thought about their effects. In this article we suggest that many discipline problems are caused and sustained by teachers who inadvertently use self-defeating discipline strategies. There are, we believe, several simple, concrete methods to reduce classroom discipline problems.


















youtube video Breakfast Club “Don’t mess with the bull”


Cognitive-affective Psychoeducation
Focuses on basic thinking and emotional self-regulation skills that help students make sense of their experiences. Building on cognitive psychology and new findings about connections between brain activity, emotions, and behavior, these approaches demonstrate the importance of teaching thinking skills as mediators between emotions and actions.

















youtube video good will hunting
























  • A stressful incident occurs (i.e., frustration, failure) which ACTIVATES a troubled           student’s irrational beliefs (i.e., "Nothing good ever happens to me!" "Adults are       unfair.").

  • These negative thoughts determine and trigger his feelings.

  • His feelings and not his rational forces DRIVE his inappropriate behavior.

  • His inappropriate behaviors (yelling, threatening, sarcasm, refusing to speak) INCITE adults.

  • Adults not only pick up the student’s feelings, but also they frequently MIRROR his behaviors (yell back, threaten, etc.)

  • This negative adult REACTION increases the student’s stress escalating the conflict into a self-defeating power struggle.

  • Although the student may lose the battle (i.e., he is punished), he wins the war! His SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY (i.e. irrational belief) is REINFORCED and therefore, he has no motivation to change or alter his beliefs or his inappropriate behaviors.



















YouTube video clip….Breakfast club “Eat my shorts”



4 ways of dealing with behavior.


Permit Behavior


  • It is just as important for students to know what they CAN do than what they can’t.

  • The sanctioning of certain types of behavior eliminates much of the child’s unnecessary testing of limits.

  • Make privilege’s clear. 



Tolerating Behavior

The most common basic assumptions behind a teacher’s tolerating behavior are



Learner’s leeway:

  • teachers should expect students to make mistakes when learning new concepts, 

  • experimenting with ideas or trying to win status in the group.


Behavior reflecting developmental stage:

  • Behaviors that are age-typical


Behavior that is Symptomatic of Disease

  • This does not mean a teacher approves of behaviors but is aware that they are not conscious forms of meanness but are simply an explainable outlet for the child’s intra-psychic conflicts

Interfering With Behavior

It is important for teachers to handle the spontaneous behavior that occurs in the classroom and stop it if learning is to take place.
When to intervene:


  • Too many teachers do not set limits or interfere with behavior until they are choked with counter-aggression.

  • It is necessary for the teacher to protect children from psychological injury as well as from being hurt physically.

  • A proactive approach versus a reactive approach creates a feeling of safety in the classroom.


WHO ARE YOUR STUDENTS?  Every teacher should have a clear understanding of “who” his or her students are.  What are their likes and dislikes?   What do they know about YOU? 
Better school and classroom procedures can sometimes be developed in order to avoid particular types of disruptive behavior.

















Youtube video: The Hive



Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Citation: Huitt, W. (2007). Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved [date] from, 

Abraham Maslow (1954) attempted to synthesize a large body of research related to human motivation. Prior to Maslow, researchers generally focused separately on such factors as biology, achievement, or power to explain what energizes, directs, and sustains human behavior. Maslow posited a hierarchy of human needs based on two groupings: deficiency needs and growth needs. Within the deficiency needs, each lower need must be met before moving to the next higher level. Once each of these needs has been satisfied, if at some future time a deficiency is detected, the individual will act to remove the deficiency. The first four levels are:

1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.; 
2) Safety/security: out of danger; 
3) Belongingness and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and 
4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.






















According to Maslow, an individual is ready to act upon the growth needs if and only if the deficiency needs are met. Maslow's initial conceptualization included only one growth need--self-actualization. Self-actualized people are characterized by:

being problem-focused;


  1. incorporating an ongoing freshness of appreciation of life;

  2. a concern about personal growth; and

  3. the ability to have peak experiences. Maslow later differentiated the growth need of self-actualization, specifically identifying two of the first growth needs as part of the more general level of self-actualization (Maslow & Lowery, 1998) and one beyond the general level that focused on growth beyond that oriented towards self (Maslow, 1971).

They are: 

  1. Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore; 

  2. Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty; 

  3. Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential; and 

  4. Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.


Maslow's basic position is that as one becomes more self-actualized and self-transcendent, one becomes more wise (develops wisdom) and automatically knows what to do in a wide variety of situations. Daniels (2001) suggested that Maslow's ultimate conclusion that the highest levels of self-actualization are transcendent in their nature may be one of his most important contributions to the study of human behavior and motivation scene.


















youtube video: its not your fault




Cognitive-affective Psychoeducation
Focuses on basic thinking and emotional self-regulation skills that help students make sense of their experiences. Building on cognitive real context and new findings about connections between brain activity, emotions, and behavior, these approaches demonstrate the importance of teaching thinking skills as mediators between emotions and actions.


DC Youth Empowerment is a nonprofit agency providing academic and socio-emotional development programs for middle and high school youth in the District of Columbia. The program will form partnerships with local school districts and the juvenile court system. DC Youth Empowerment's goal is to foster a commitment to young people that will promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and introducing an intense career exploration model. We strongly believe that they can reassert a sense of hope for their future. Only through skills and abilities can a sense of individual responsibility be reestablished that will give youth the commitment to follow through on path to adulthood with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Through repeated failures in the classroom and the development of destructive habits, at-risk young people have lost faith in the possibilities that await them if they are successful in putting their lives together. To accomplish this goal, young people must be feel confident in in their skills and abilities in order to make a healthy transition into society.

DC Youth Empowerment is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young people that are either falling through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the juvenile court system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. The focus is slightly different at each level but the goal remains the same; empower the young person to make positive changes in his/her life.  
DC Youth Empowerment will focus primarily on post-secondary transition.





We believe that all youth can learn to be more effective. With our assessments, we can help youth understand their full potential, learn their leadership style, and identify strengths and possible barriers or areas needing further development. Help youth become more effective:

  • Setting a clear path

  • Social Interaction

  • Delivering results

  • Creating opportunities

  • Identifying and managing change




Resolve conflict and develop productive relationships at home, school, and community.

Our assessments can help strengthen the youth’s ability to cognitively recognize unhealthy interactions at home, school, community, and workplace that results in conflict, and offer the best methods for resolving it — creating a more productive environment. Our tools provide deep insight into the roots of conflict and offer concrete strategies for resolution, helping youth refocus their energy on positive outcome.Resolve conflict effectively:

  • Improve productivity at home, school, community, and workplace

  • Develop better social relationships with parents, schools, and service providers

  • Spontaneous and rational decision-making

  • Reducing and coping with stress




Helping youth find careers they are passionate about.

Helping a youth understand their personality, interests, skills, and capabilities allows them to more easily identify and pursue a career path that fits.
Our exceptional assessment collection provides everything educators, services providers, and career professionals need to know to promote a healthy transition into adulthood.

  • Help youth plan for any career decision or transition

  • Match occupational and educational choices to youth’s unique communication, learning and work styles

  • Give youth a deeper insight into the world of work

  • Challenge possible assumptions youth may have for particular careers or types of work

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