At Education Alternatives, staff work with clients on their social-emotional and behavioral health. When dealing with emotional disturbance, our therapists, teachers, and counselors emphasize positive approaches that are affirming rather than punishment-based. Using the philosophy of Unconditional Positive Regard and the proprietary IAM Level system, EA offers a positive education program to naturally encourage healthy behaviors.
About Our Positive Education School
What does it mean to be a positive education school? At EA, clients understand that everyone on the care team is on their side and believes in their ability to succeed. Every day, every class, and even every hour can be a new opportunity to make the next best choice. Rather than a specific positive education program for a set period during the day, EA infuses these principles into every interaction and reinforces them not only in group therapy but also during academics, social interactions, transitions, and more.
Unconditional Positive Regard, coupled with the IAM Level System for clients to consistently monitor behavior using a common vocabulary, is effective. Here’s why it works:
- Positive education programs build trust – When clients begin to trust that staff will never judge them, they feel safe interacting in ways that foster real progress. They can share thoughts and fears honestly, in a way that allows them to process them without resorting to aggressive, irritable, or other negative behaviors.
- Positive education programs promote self-worth – Many negative social-emotional issues stem from a fear of “losing face,” a lack of confidence, or a poor self-image. By actively assuring clients that they are worthy of care and that our staff expects them to succeed, teachers and facilitators can help them build confidence.
- Confidence is the key to progress and goal setting – At a positive education school, clients are always working toward clear, measurable goals for behavior as well as academics. The IAM Level System gives them clear benchmarks for where their behavior is now and where they would like to improve. Confidence and self-assurance are the keys that internally motivate students to improve their own behavior through positive reinforcement rather than imposing external consequences that can cause later setbacks.
- Positive education programs teach strategy – Daily group therapy focuses on which strategies and tools clients can use to respond to negative feelings and emotions. By discussing these strategies daily, in the context of what is currently happening in their lives, EA helps clients make connections between what they’re learning and how they apply it.
When discussing positive education programs, it’s important to understand that positive does not mean permissive. While teachers and facilitators affirm clients’ feelings, they do not always affirm the behaviors that result from these feelings.
In fact, by separating the behavior from the emotion or feeling that preceded it, clients learn that their feelings are always valid – they simply can make either positive or negative choices when responding to those feelings. The results are transformational.
For 20 years, EA educators have used Unconditional Positive Regard together with the IAM Level System to create meaningful and lasting behavior change. When reviewing positive education programs, parents can feel confident that our experience makes the EA positive education school northeast Ohio’s trusted partner for alternative education.
Have Questions About EA’s Positive Education Program?
Feel free to reach out to our staff and we’ll be happy to help.