I need help with positivity.

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 they feel worse and suggests that student cooperation is more likely to be engaged if the relationship remains positive.

Below are some statements that might typically be made by teachers. Underneath each one, the same message has been phrased in more positive ways, either with another statement or with a reflective question. Which type of response is more likely to invite resistance/resentment?  Which is more likely to encourage students to willingly cooperate with a teacher?

No talking!

  • This is a quiet time.
  • We work quietly during class.

Stop running!

  • We walk in the hallways.
  • What’s expected in this area of the school?

Get down to work!

  • Is what you’re doing, helping you to finish your assignment?

Stop that!

  • Is that in your best interests?
  • Is this going to help you get what you want?
  • Is what you’re doing safe?

Sit down!

  • Time to be seated.

No gum allowed!

  • Gum is for after school.