Level D and Reflection

In this season of gratitude and giving, I would like to share one of the many joys I received. (Warning: It  may be odoriferous.)

On the second day of  using  Raise Responsibility System, a miracle happened. The student who had driven me crazy all year chose to take a time out for reflection at his desk (instead of outside in the hall) after he farted five times in less than ten minutes during story time on the rug. Farting at will is one of his special talents. I explained that if he chose to sit at his desk, he would still have to allow the rest of us to concentrate. He agreed.

When after two minutes he began belching loudly, I said he must have changed his mind and decided now to sit outside. When he started to fuss, I asked him whose decision it was to bother the class. He sheepishly said, “Mine,” and walked quietly out of the room. Nothing that simple had ever happened with that child before.

But even more miraculous, when he returned to the classroom he said, with no prompting, “Mrs. Clark, I’m really sorry about how I behaved on the rug.”

I was was stunned and so was the rest of the class. So I asked, “Do you know what level of behavior that is?”  He didn’t, so I told everyone that this is an example of level D, Democracy, taking responsibility for your own actions and caring about others at the same time.

Thanks for helping me regain a bit of sanity. This will be my fourth year of teaching, and before your class I’d begun to think that starting this career at 56 might have been more than I could bear—but I guess I should be good for another ten years. Thank you.

Rachel Clark

1 Comment
  1. This was very inspiring to me – and particularly the part about this teacher starting a new career at 56! I’m 54 and started my teaching career 3 years ago and have often wondered if I made a mistake – especially after a particularly hard day. I love that she is finding the strength to continue in her new career path, too!
    I’m reading your book and reading the blog and plan to begin implementing these ideas after the winter break. Thank you.