Does anyone have a letter communicate to parents about Discipline without Stress?
Here is one letter that was shared by a Kindergarten teacher in Memphis and is based on the outline Dr. Marshall provides in his book. It may provide a starting point for your own letter.
Our classroom is a small community where teamwork and good relationships are expected. Since Kindergarten is a new experience for most students, we will spend a lot of time learning class procedures/routines and practicing them. Each student is expected to act within our standards of behavior.
The following are the standards for our class:
1. Be kind and nice.
2. Be safe.
3. Be a good listener.
4. Take care of things.
We will be using the Discipline without Stress approach which encourages children to become self-disciplined through reflection and self-evaluation, rather than rewards and punishment. I will stress personal evaluation of behavior using the four levels of behavior identified and discussed by Dr. Marvin Marshall in his books, “Discipline with Stress” (for teachers) and “Parenting without Stress.” The levels are identified on the attached list.
Levels C or D are always acceptable and encouraged in the classroom. Behaviors at Levels A or B are always unacceptable and are usually the child’s way of saying they need help from the teacher in controlling behavior. The child is asked to identify the level of their own behavior. “Can you tell me the level of that behavior?” followed up with further conversation and perhaps, “What kind of teacher will I have to be if you continue to act on this level?”
This questioning helps the child reflect and recognize that he/she has chosen to behave unacceptably. If unacceptable behavior continues, the child and I will work together to come up with suitable consequences. This questioning process sometimes takes more time than saying, “Pull your card…” but the result will be longer lasting and more productive for all the children and for our classroom community. In this way, children develop positive attitudes and behavioral skills that are so necessary for successful lives. We want our classroom to be encouraging and conducive to learning at all times.
Through exposure to Dr. Marshall’s system which promotes self-discipline, your child will be developing the following Personal/Social areas identified on our KK report card:
1. Respects rights and property of others.
2. Exercises self-control.
3. Listens and follows directions.
Each of these areas encompasses many skills which will be explained in greater detail in our class newsletter. Each Friday I will mark your child’s Weekly Report as to the level of progress in these areas. This assessment will be used to determine your child’s conduct grade for each six weeks. The standards code can be seen on the Weekly Report sheet. I look forward to working with you and helping your child become more responsible at school as well as at home.