Can Discipline be Both Simple and Easy?

I often describe the Discipline Without Stress approach as “simple.” Sometimes teachers question my word choice. After all, it does take continual effort to deal with classroom management and at the same remember to be positive, offer choices, and ask reflective questions.

Realize, though, that “simple” does not automatically mean “easy.” For example, learning how to drive an automobile is SIMPLE, but it only becomes EASY after you have driven for awhile. Likewise, deciding ahead of time not to eat dessert at a banquet may be SIMPLE. But when the plates from the main course are removed and the cheesecake is placed in front of you, your original decision may not be so EASY to implement. The point is that implementing any new approach or procedure in your classroom or life will involve a learning curve. Only after practice does it become easy.

The Discipline Without Stress approach is simple in that there are only four parts to the Teaching Model—not a dozen or so. The third part, The Raise Responsibility System that is used to deal with classroom discipline issues, has only three phases: TEACHING the concepts, ASKING reflective questions, and ELICITING a procedure to redirect impulses.

When I present Discipline Without Stress to a school or district, people leave with a four-part Teaching Model. The implementation is up to them. I never say it is easy. I do emphasize that the more they practice the principles and implement the system, the easier it becomes and also the more responsibility they will promote, the more effective they will be, the more improved their relationships will become, and the less stress they will feel. And I point out that they WILL see success from the beginning.

As with anything in life, you don’t practice a set of procedures one time and then expect them to be set in place to run themselves. When dealing with humans—as opposed to machines—constant awareness and practice are necessary. As you practice, new neural connections are made and implementation does become easier and simpler.

People who reflect, evaluate, and are conscious of their practices are engaging in one of life’s greatest joys—striving for improvement and reaping the satisfactions that result.