Throughout this summer, I’ve been emailing back and forth with one teacher in my province who wants to learn how the reading program my partner and I have developed, works in our grade one classroom. She is also quite interested in a program our K-6 school has instituted called “The Whole School Read,” in which every class reads for the first 30 minutes of the day and parents are encouraged to join us as helpers.
She recently asked me the question posted below and I share my response here because it includes an explanation of how this discipline approach can be used to help children take responsibility for their own behavior by understanding the concept of Choice-Response Thinking. In … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Recently I came across this poem by Portia Nelson.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS
by Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.READ MORE >>> →
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.… >>>
I once had a grade 8 student who said, “It doesn’t matter what level I say I’m on, you’re always going to find a way to tell me that I’m on an unacceptable level.”
I’m wondering what a teacher might say in response to something like that?
RESPONSE from Tammy, shared on the DWS Mailring:
I’d probably ask, “Can you show me, then, how the behavior fits into a higher level?… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Language is my biggest stumbling block. I know what I want to say but on the spur of the moment I often find it hard to put into words. As I develop new habits with this discipline approach, I sometimes feel a bit tongue-tied. Can you give me some examples of questions that don’t sound manipulative or coercive.
Developing new habits can be a challenge at first, but remember that any skill gets easier with practice! There are many questions in Dr. Marshall’s book that can be used to prompt reflection (pages 19-20.)
It’s important to remember that tone of voice is very important when asking questions, so as to avoid any sense of sarcasm or coercion.
Here … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Through our use of the Discipline without Stress approach, my teaching partner and I have come to understand that positive changes in behavior are more likely to occur when we prompt students to think about how they choose to operate in their lives. More and more often, we now practice the Discipline without Stress Principle of Reflection–not only in behavior and discipline situations, but in academics too.
Dr. Marshall’s Hierarchy of Social Development is a wonderful tool for encouraging students to look honestly at choices in all areas of their lives. With an understanding of choice-response thinking, young people become aware that a conscious choice to operate at the higher levels is always an option—an option that results in powerful … >>> READ MORE >>> →
At our school, we have a program intended to create peace in our community. I am being told that I must teach the pledge that goes with this program. Although I do like the idea of encouraging kids to be peaceful, I wonder how a pledge would fit into a Discipline without Stress approach. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
The pledge is:
I am a Peacebuilder.
I pledge to give up put-downs,
seek wise people,
notice and speak up about hurts I have caused,
and to right wrongs.
I pledge to build peace at home, at school,
and in my community each day.
RESPONSE:READ MORE >>> →
Perhaps you feel uncomfortable, not about the pledge itself, but rather about telling students that … >>>
Dr. Marshall suggests practicing THREE PRINCIPLES when teaching and when dealing with situations that require the use of discipline: POSITIVITY, CHOICE and REFLECTION. These THREE PRINCIPLES are the second step of the Discipline without Stress Teaching Model.
Dr. Marshall encourages adults to verbalize all they say in a positive way, even when the situation itself might be perceived as negative. For example, when noticing students running in the hall, teachers might typically say, “No running!” Instead, the same message could be stated in a positive way: “We walk in the halls.” Student cooperation is encouraged when the tone of the classroom/school is one of positivity.
2. CHOICEREAD MORE >>> →
With this discipline approach, students are proactively taught about “choice-response … >>>
Recently I was glancing through a book from the public library: THE BOOK OF NURTURING–Nine Natural Laws for Enriching Your Family Life by Linda and Richard Eyre.
In the chapter on discipline, a little story caught my eye because it contained a very PROACTIVE and POSITIVE suggestion that could be used by anyone who wanted to make changes in their life or wanted to develop new habits.
I find that many people are first attracted to the DWS Teaching Model because they like the idea of acting positively in discipline situations with young people, yet initially they find that the habit of positivity doesn’t come to them either naturally or automatically. Most people find that it’s something they must consciously … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Recently, I attended a community workshop. Over the lunch hour I happened to sit with a very interesting lady. After a few minutes, our conversation turned to what we did for a living and I explained that I was a teacher. She told me that she worked for the Ministry of Social Services, a government agency. Her job was to take some of the most severely disturbed teens of our community into her home for approximately six weeks at a time, with the goal of readying them for foster care.
She expressed with some regret that the Ministry wouldn’t consider allowing her to take on the role of a regular foster parent, instead of what she does now. She explained … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I’m having a hard time with the first principle of Discipline without Stress–the Principle of POSITIVITY. I’m not sure how I can say something positive in a discipline situation–when a student is doing something that he/she shouldn’t be doing! I need some examples.
Dr. Marshall encourages teachers to think, speak and act with positivity in order to be most effective when they implement DISCIPLINE without STRESS system. Even when a situation might be perceived as negative, as in a case where discipline is necessary, he points out that it is possible to phrase communications with students in positive, rather than negative ways.
He points out that people do best when they feel better about themselves–as opposed to when … >>> READ MORE >>> →
My teaching partner and I have always provided a home reading program for our grade one students. We give each one a ziplock bag in which to store their home reading books and every morning they make an exchange, taking two new books home.
Well, that’s the theory of it anyway! In reality, we have never had a high rate of consistent and continued participation in this program. Although in the first few weeks of any particular school year, most families manage to send the home reading bag back and forth on a regular basis, as time goes on, fewer and fewer students actually participate to full advantage. They don’t maintain the routine of returning the bag on a daily … >>> READ MORE >>> →