- Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation and Responsibility in Your Classroom
- The understanding of Mutual Respect is the linchpin to this program.
- Take the time to discuss what it means, how you show it, role play situations and role model it yourself.
- Respect invites respect… Disrespect invites disrespect.
- Mutual respect allows a person to respect others and to practise self-respect.
Do They Know You Care??
- Research has shown that the greatest predictor of achievement is the student’s perception of “Does the teacher like me?”
- Even though you believe that you may be showing you care, ask your students if they know you care. Tell them the way you show caring and ask for their suggestions of things you could do so they feel cared for.
- Cooperation is like a dance that draws people together.
- Cooperation is the cement that holds the foundation of Positive Discipline philosophy together. The essence of social interest, mutual respect and win-win situations is cooperation. The main idea of cooperation is to “do with” instead of “do to” or “do for”. It is so automatic for teachers(and parents) to have an idea, implement it, and then inform young people what is going to happen. When practising the principles of Positive Discipline, teachers retrain themselves to involve and include students as much as possible before making decisions. Instead of giving orders or commands, asking, “What do you think?” or “How would we accomplish____?” or “Does anyone know where we could find_?” invites students to feel important, appreciated and involved.
The Significant Seven Perceptions & Skills
Students who are weak in the development of the ‘Significant Seven Perceptions and Skills’ are very high risk to problems such as drug abuse, school drop out, teen pregnancy, suicide, delinquency and gang involvement. Class meetings provide an excellent opportunity to practice these perceptions and skills.
- Perceptions of personal capabilities- “ I am capable.”
- Perceptions of significance in primary relationships. “I contribute in meaningful ways and I am genuinely needed.”
- Perceptions of personal power over life. “I can influence what happens to me.”
- Intrapersonal skills. The ability to understand emotions, to use that understanding to develop self-discipline and self-control and to learn from experience.
- Interpersonal skills. The ability to work with others through communicating, cooperating, negotiating, sharing, empathising and listening.
- Systemic skills. The ability to respond to the limits and consequences of everyday life with responsibility, adaptability, flexibility and integrity.
- Judgemental skills. The ability to use wisdom and to evaluate situations according to appropriate values.
- Where did we ever get the crazy idea that to make people do better, we first have to make them feel worse?
- People do better when they feel better.
- What is the first thing you want to do when someone hurts you?
- What do you want to do when someone calls you names or puts you down?
- Mutual Respect and cooperation are the linchpins to this approach.
- This approach does not mean that you avoid or ignore defiant behaviour. By following through you are showing your student that you see him/her as someone capable of respectful behaviour.
- Follow through helps teachers be proactive not reactive. It means that teachers decide what they are going to do and then follow through with a kind and firm action, instead of lectures and punishment.
- Firmness & kindness…with respect.
- Opportunity = Responsibility = Consequences
- Follow through with dignity & respect
Teaching About Class Meetings
- Form a circle.
- Practise compliments and appreciations
- Learn about accepting & celebrating differences.
- Role playing & brainstorming
- Focus on non-punitive solutions – both in meetings and with each other.
- Develop an agenda.
The Class Meeting Format
- Compliments and appreciations
- Follow up on prior solutions (solutions are ‘tried’ for a week)
- Agenda Items (if you have any)
- Eg. Mildred keeps pushing me in line. ( Bob)
- Bob would explain the problem, perhaps role play if appropriate. Mildred offers her side of the problem. Children then offer solutions around the circle. Bob chooses the solution he likes best (and that you, as their teacher can live with.)
- The solution is written in the class meeting book to be followed up in a week’s time.
- If there were no agenda items you can then share, plan, celebrate, practise anything you like!
The Four R’s Of Solutions
- RELATED: The solution is directly related to the behaviour. Eg. when students don’t do their homework, Time Out is not related to not doing their homework. A related solution would be to complete the homework at lunchtime.
- RESPECTFUL: Teachers and students maintain a firm and respectful manner and tone of voice.eg. Would you like to do the homework at recess or after school tomorrow?
- REASONABLE: Don’t add punishment
- eg. Don’t say something like now you’ll have to do twice as much!
- REVEALED: Students need to know in advance
- what the consequences will be for homework not handed in on time.
The Four R’s Of Solutions
- An atmosphere of caring based on kindness and firmness, dignity and respect.
- Positive Disciple classroom management tools: – mutual respect, firmness, kindness & follow through, limited choices, classroom jobs, problem solving (looking for win-win solutions) , wheel of choice, opportunity = responsibility = consequences, understanding the four mistaken goals of behaviour, seeing mistakes as opportunities to learn, positive time out…
- For class meetings to be successful it is vital that you spend time teaching & practising the skills before holding a formal meeting that involves problem solving.
- Hold regularly scheduled class meetings. (Frequency will depend upon the set up of your classroom & timetabling.)
- Meetings can be creatively incorporated into your program not only to solve problems, but to share & celebrate achievements, including work, and to make future plans.
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