Kerry continues her post:
Teachers DO make a difference. THE TRICK IS TO BECOME MORE CONSCIOUS OF THE THINGS WE SAY AND DO IN EACH NEW MOMENT BECAUSE WE NEVER TRULY KNOW WHICH OF OUR “SEEDS” ARE TAKING ROOT.
Several times now I have had the privilege of teaching some of the children of the children I taught myself as a beginning teacher. This has been a wonderful “lesson” for me in terms of letting go of worry and simply concentrating o the moment at hand.
As it turns out, these particular parents who have returned to me now were children that caused me endless worry twenty years ago—ones that I felt I just couldn’t help, ones that I felt were destined to future failure. Well, guess what? They turned out just fine. In fact, better than that, they grew up very successfully and happily and have raised wonderful delightful children themselves! IT WAS A HARVEST I NEVER WOULD HAVE PREDICTED ALL THOSE YEARS AGO.
So, what is most important with those children who do not appear to “respond” Raise Responsibility Systeim? Marv discusses the paradox of becoming a more effective teacher by giving up the need to CONTROL students. In other words, hand over to the students the responsibility of LEARNING TO CONTROL THEMSELVES. This is important for every child but especially important for those children who appear “not to respond.”
Marv’s advice is to keep in mind the three principles of theDiscipline Without Stress Teaching Model: BEING POSITIVE with students, EMPOWERING THEM WITH CHOICE, and PROMPTING THEM TO REFLECT. He says that it is critical that they not FEEL the teacher is trying to manipulate or coerce them in any way.
The most effective teacher gets across the message that behaviour is a choice and all choices naturally have consequences. Some are positive, some are negative, and some are neutral. Since behaviour is a CHOICE people are free to choose responses to much of what happens to them. If you can get a child to start contemplating these ideas, then you have planted some very valuable “seeds.” You can empower them with the realization that life is a never-ending series of decisions and help them to notice that it feels pretty good to be able to look after yourself BY CONSCIOUSLY TAKING CHARGE OF THE PROCESS.
For me, the key is to use the Hierarchy of Social Development ALL the time so that it isn’t associated in the minds of kids only with discipline problems. It is my experience that then the students become more open to using the understandings of the levels of development in the Hierarchy of Social Development to help themselves make better choices. The more I discuss the hierarchy in a variety of situations, the more it seems to becomes a natural tool that the children begin to use independently. They start to evaluate their own choices, actions, and behaviours on an everyday basis.
As Marv stresses, one of the main principles of this approach is to ask questions that will promote serious reflection. Those children who have out-of-the-ordinary behaviour issues are the ones who especially benefit from these questions. You can’t force children to change their behaviour, but as the teacher, you can ask questions that will challenge them to think about where their own behaviour is leading them—somewhere they really want to go or not.
Learning to ask more effective questions is the main way in which I feel I can improve my skills and thus become a better teacher. The child’s INNER RESPONSE TO THESE QUESTIONS IS WHAT WILL MOTIVATE THE OUTER CHANGE. The better the questions, the more likely the child will respond. See 180 School Announcements: ONE QUESTION A DAY…to promote responsibility.
Kerry in British Columbia, Canada