A teacher shared a few thoughts with me.
This year is a surprise for me. I thought I had my revelation last year when I discovered Discipline Without Stress. This year I have implemented the system from the beginning and the painful revelation this year is just how wrong I have been over the last 13 years. It is almost painful to reflect on who I used to be. I was so caught up in getting students to obey that I lost sight of the humanity of this profession. I was overpowering them rather than being flexible, understanding, and compassionate.
Here is an example: I have a student who doesn’t do his homework and who struggles in the class. Last year he would have had several detentions from me and a failing grade. I would have forced him to come in to do his homework and we would have been in a power struggle. This year I purchased several school supplies for him and have always had a kind word for him. I recently found out he is actually homeless and that he and his dad are living in a cheap motel. Recently he has started spending his break time in my class, by his own choosing, doing his math homework. He also drew me some pictures on binder paper that he wanted me to have. It breaks my heart to think of all the opportunities I have missed for this type of relationship with students.