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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting


Do you think I did the right thing?


I am an art teacher at an elementary school. I have three 4th grade classes that are usually difficult to manage. I have recently asked a guest artist to come and do a Jackson Pollock lesson with them. She is supplying all the paint and canvases for this lesson, except one. I also have one very large (6 X 8) canvas that only one class will get to paint. The other two classes will have to work on smaller individual canvases. This lesson requires the students to be on their best behavior and be good listeners as we will be “splatter” painting. I told the classes they could “earn” the big canvas.  I said that the class with the … >>>


Are all class incentives discouraged in this discipline approach?


I’m new to Discipline without Stress so bear with me.  I’m wondering if whole-class incentives for staying on Level C or D is appropriate.  For instance, if the whole class can stay on Level C or D for a certain amount of time, then could there be some sort of reward like a movie, free time or Preferred Activity Time?  Does this completely fly in the face of Discipline without Stress?  Are all incentives discouraged?


I can only speak for myself but here are several reasons why I, personally have decided not to offer incentives in my teaching:

1)  The basis of the Discipline without Stress program is that it’s counterproductive to reward expected behaviors.

2)  Once an … >>>


Rewards change motivation

I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me the following story.

Recently she had been chatting with a man who coaches soccer teams of 8 and 9 year olds. He mentioned that this year he’d had a lot of difficulty in getting his players to work together as a team.

My friend, an experienced teacher, started to offer some suggestions; she knew of many activities that might encourage teamwork.  But the man quickly stopped her.

“Oh, you don’t understand,” he said.  “It’s not the kids who are the problem––it’s the parents!  The parents have all promised their children that they’ll get two dollars every time they score a goal. The kids are so intent on getting … >>>


Isn’t an adult paycheck the same thing as a reward?


What is a good response to people who argue that extrinsic rewards are okay for students because they’re just the same as an adult getting a paycheck at the end of the week?  When people say this, I cringe.  I know it’s not the same, but I don’t know how to argue the point intelligently.


Here is what to say:

Employment is a social contract.  A person provides some service for remuneration. The only thing a fee for service has in common with rewards (as acknowledgments or as incentives) is that they both MAY involve legal tender.

When was the last time you looked at your paycheck and thanked your employer for the reward?>>>


What can be done so students know that the intrinsic is always most important?

I will start teaching next year and would like to get some ideas on behavior management and the use of rewards. I’m looking at a variety of discipline approaches, including Discipline without Stress.

I have a question: If a teacher does choose to provide extrinsic rewards, what should he or she do to make sure that students know that the intrinsic is always most important?

Would you agree that actions speak louder than words?

If a teacher chooses to reward a student extrinsically––but at the same time tells the student that the intrinsic reward is always more important––what message does the student actually receive?

If this is done routinely, sometimes both at home and … >>>


Some thoughts on rewarding from a Discipline without Stress teacher

Shared by Robin Tzucker
on the Discipline without Stress Mailring:

One of the reasons I like this system so much is that it feels much nicer to be in a place where everyone is treated equally. Kids don’t always need the same things, so there will always be plenty of times when we need to give certain kids more of our attention, more time, more help, etc.—but that’s not the kind of equal I’m talking about.

What bothers me is that it often seems that the more behavior problems a child has, the more “rewards” they ultimately end up with. This may sound odd, because they certainly also end up with a larger share of negative consequences too—but in … >>>


At my school, students receive “Duck Bucks” for behaving. How can I distribute these bucks without using them as rewards?

Next year, I’m going to be the first teacher in my school to implement Discipline without Stress. My concern is that our school has a store and students can receive “Duck Bucks” for behaving, doing good deeds, etc.–our mascot is a duck. At the end of the quarter, the kids can buy things. I know that this goes directly against the philosophy behind Discipline without Stress, but my students will be expected to participate in the store. Do you have any thoughts on how I can distribute my share of school bucks without linking them to reward and punishment in my classroom?

As you mentioned, this type of a “behavior store” would not be in line with the … >>>


What if my students are used to receiving discipline rewards?

As a Learning Assistance teacher, I work with small groups of students for 30-45 minutes every day. All of the teachers at my school use the “colored card, stickers and treasure chest” method of classroom discipline. I don’t think they’ve ever seen an extrinsic reward they didn’t like! Do you think I could still implement the Discipline without Stress system effectively when the kids are used to being rewarded so much?

You can certainly use DISCIPLINE without STRESS in your small-group teaching situation. You can implement it effectively even if the other staff members at your school don’t follow a similar philosophy.

There’s no need to announce to your students that you don’t give rewards for expected behavior … >>>


Are “sticker plans” compatible with the Discipline without Stress approach?

At our last behavior team meeting, it was decided that a “sticker behavior plan” should be implemented for one of my students who doesn’t accomplish much in class. I’m new to Discipline without Stress and I’m wondering if this kind of individual behavior plan would work in conjunction with this approach? It seems contradictory. Any thoughts would be welcome.

Your feeling is correct. A sticker plan is contradictory to a system of discipline based on internal motivation. Discipline without Stress employs the power of inner satisfaction to influence students to achieve, while a behaviour modification approach focuses on offering an external incentive (in this case, stickers), in order to influence student behavior.

The fundamental characteristic of an … >>>

Dr. Marvin (Marv) Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
PO Box 11 Los Alamitos, CA 90720
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