For many people, mastering the first principle of Discipline Without Stress—positivity—is a challenge. After all, how do you keep positive in a discipline situation when a student is doing something he/she shouldn’t be doing and quite possibly testing your nerves?
It’s important to think, speak, and act with positivity in order to be most effective when you implement the Discipline Without Stress system. Even when a situation might be perceived as negative, as in a case where discipline is necessary, it is possible to phrase communications with students in positive rather than negative ways.
Why is this so vital? Because people do best when they feel better about themselves, as opposed to when they feel worse. Additionally, 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. After reading these, consider: Which type of response is more likely to invite resistance/resentment? Which is more likely to encourage students to willingly cooperate with a teacher?
- This is a quiet time.
- We work quietly during class.
- 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?
- Is that in your best interests?
- Is this going to help you get what you want?
- Is what you’re doing safe?
- Time to be seated.
No gum allowed!
- Gum is for after school.