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Push Past It!
A Positive Approach to Challenging Classroom Behaviors

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Push Past It!
A Positive Approach to Challenging Classroom Behaviors



Item number: 15953
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Resource books often provide tips and tricks for managing challenging behaviors, but what happens when those tactics don't work? Most teachers give up. Push Past It! brings a raw, real, and at times funny approach to handling challenging behaviors and understanding why most behavior-management strategies don't work. Author Angela Searcy shares real-world examples, proven solutions, and new approaches to overcoming classroom disruptions using her PUSH PAST IT approach. Beyond behavioral-management strategies, Push Past It! will teach you how to:

  • See children's behavior as communication
  • Understand what is (and is not) developmentally appropriate behavior
  • Identify when to seek support
  • Communicate and listen more effectively
  • Help children overcome their own challenging behaviors
  • Take care of yourself too!
Angela Searcy, EdD

Angela Searcy, EdD: An educator since 1990, Angela Searcy, EdD has experience teaching at all levels of education including early childhood, middle and high school, undergraduate and graduate. She holds a BA...

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“This book is touching, inspiring, funny, intelligent and based on the best research available. It is a book that all educators and parents of preschoolers should read regularly. ”

Dr. Richard E. Tremblay
Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, Psychology, & Public Health; University of Montreal and University College Dublin

“'Push Past It!' is a perfect book for understanding the "why" of challenging behaviors and the "how" they can be managed using an approach that looks at both the adult and the child. I loved reading about Dr. Searcy's journey that includes relevant research because it's often sprinkled with humor and heartfelt real-life experiences. This book is a great tool for me to use as a support to teachers facing challenging behaviors in their classrooms. I also believe it's perfect for anyone who directly works with children! Love the quick ideas, handouts and checklists. It's an "everything" book!”

Marilyn Peterson
Education Consultant

“The book Push Past It! A Positive Approach to Challenging Classroom Behaviors by Dr. Angela Searcy provides a solid foundation of the subject matter with evidence-based research where educators will expand their breath, depth and application of techniques/strategies for behaviors that have been denoted as challenging preschoolers. As you read each page, you are curious of what’s on the next page. Her sense of humor is exhilarating as you are reading each page. While reading the book, one will conduct self-reflections on statements made or heard from others related to students’ behaviors. Dr. Searcy’s personal experiences are relatable and realistic to what classroom teachers are faced with daily. Various analogies are used through uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, and stimulating towards better planning of student’s individualized challenging behavior(s). Readers can visualize and incorporate the Adult Behavior Laundry list, reflective exercises along with the 5R Cycle toward students’ learning through developmentally appropriate practices. Every early childhood educator and administrator should have this book in their classroom or office and discuss during professional learning community meetings. Also, I would strongly recommend that the book be included on syllabi of courses that specifically relate to Introduction to Early Childhood, Child Guidance, Challenging Behaviors and Child Development to give adult learners (students) additional resources in their challenging behaviors toolkit.”

Dr. Brenda K. Williamson
Educational Consultant and Adjunct Professor, Early Childhood Education department, Durham Technical Community College

“In her book PUSH PAST IT!, author Angela Searcy provides a positive approach to addressing problem behaviors in the classroom. As a former teacher, Dr. Searcy shares her wisdom and experiences, providing practical, step-by-step approaches to prevent, understand, and eliminate conflicts so often found in classrooms. The author takes the reader on a journey, beginning with self, to better understand adults’ reactions to children’s behavior. She challenges teachers to examine their own history with crying, tantrums, and aggression to better understand their own social emotional development and overall temperament. For children who need more supports and intensive interventions, Dr. Searcy presents Change You strategies that adults can employ to prevent challenging behaviors, Change the Child strategies that supports children in learning new behaviors to the replace undesired behavior, and Change the Consequences, to deter teachers from using ineffective techniques that may be triggering for children. Dr. Searcy’s stories and case studies offer the context in which incidents occurred in natural environments and brings the strategies to life. Throughout the book, she describes personal challenges, and successes as teaching opportunities that are deeply rooted in research. Push Past It! gives teachers the tools they need to prevent and promote social emotional competence in the classroom. It provides a practical-hands on approach that is evidence based and supported by research. Push Past It! can serve as a practical guide for teachers and can be used as an effective textbook for teacher education programs focusing on social emotional learning. Teachers will inspired to ponder, examine, and reflect on themselves, the children in their classroom, and their families to develop a plan of action to address behaviors and open a world of possibilities based on the strategies provided by Dr. Angela Searcy. ”

Dr. Rosemarie Allen
Metropolitan State University of Denver, Associate Professor; Institute for Racial Equity, President and CEO

“While challenging behavior is always a top area in which teachers indicate needing more support, providing concrete, workable solutions that providers can implement is no simple task. Dr. Angela’s Searcy’s Push Past provides an enjoyable and accessible approach for early childhood providers to reflect on strategies that they can implement immediately. With her long history as a behavior specialist, Dr. Searcy brings with her both an expertise in the area and a wealth of real world stories that will resonate with all types of early childhood providers. The conversational tone of Push Past It! makes this the exact opposite of what it feels like it to read an academic textbook. Dr. Searcy has a gift for describing the work of some the top researchers in the field in an easy to understand and easy to apply way. The case studies provided in each chapter offers the reader lots of opportunities to consider how the Push Past It approach can be applied in real life situations. Additionally, the reflective exercises provided throughout the book allow the reader to consider their own experiences and approaches to supporting young children’s social emotional development and addressing challenging behavior when it occurs. This book provides a welcoming, non-judgmental and positive approach to challenging behaviors that early childhood providers of all kinds will find both easy to read and easy to apply.”

Rob Corso

“I can truly see Push Past It! as very useful when working with “that child”. I would argue so powerful in fact, that I intend to post it in my work space to keep it visually accessible and to be mindful of it. I never considered looking at how I could be a part of the problem, but truly if you are a part of the problem, you can be a part of the solution. Love it. I can see easily using it as a support and way to document the behavior, strategies, and changes. It also goes hand in glove with the Pyramid model of social emotional learning that is used in many early childhood programs. I plan on keeping chapter 9 on strategies close at hand so I can access it quickly when a concern comes up. Chapter 5 has an overview of what is developmentally appropriate at different ages. I plan on sharing this with families on my home visits this year. I truly cannot recommend this book highly enough. For a new teacher, it’s one more tool, for an experienced teacher it’s a new tool but also a new perspective. This book worked so very well for a book study as the exercises bring up much to discuss and debate. It will be not only on my bookshelf, but used regularly for many years to come.”

Lynette Perlikiewicz
Los Ranchos Elementary, NM State Pre-K Teacher

“What impressed me is the authentic voice of the author. She has truly caught the way teachers think about problem children (a biter). She uses humor to empathize with the teacher (“a three year old serial killer”) and turns the conversation to why he acts this way. She is equally adept at capturing the realism in children’s feelings (I hate you), while giving the teacher clues as to why. The book has an incredible range of ideas for teachers to try without being a recipe book. Searcy explains carefully the rationale for how to set up appropriate social and physical environments for children. She explains why before she makes suggestions, which enables teachers to think for themselves in selecting strategies to use in the classroom. I would recommend this book as a text for special education or advanced general education students as well as a reference book for experienced teachers.”

Barbara Bowman
Erikson Institute, co-founder and professor

“In Push Past It!, Searcy explains how important it is for educators to first take care of themselves so that they can better take care of "their" kids. Understanding how the brain develops, how it feels safe enough to risk taking chances with learning, and how to meet the needs of each and every student can be found in this book. In Push Past It! you will learn what trauma is, how it presents itself, and what you can do to help. Searcy provides case studies to help educators understand various ways to deal with trauma. This is a book full of ideas and answers. Searcy has earned the privilege of your time in reading this book!”

Marilee Sprenger, M.S.
Sprenger Consulting, ASCD Author

“Including a mix of her own classroom experiences as well as those experienced over her rich career in an array of classrooms, Searcy provides an engaging account of what causes challenging behaviors and practical strategies to address these behaviors in a positive and productive manner. This book outlines a comprehensive approach to addressing, understanding, and acting on challenging behaviors. While the book encourages the reader to push past it, it is laden with the idea that you should never do so alone or without deep understanding of your actions or the children and families in your care. Regardless of how you choose to read this book, read it. Talk about it. And, adjust your practices for the better. ”

Vincent Constanza
Chief Academic Officer at Teaching Strategies for Early Childhood Education, LLC