Principal's Corner

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Getting Kids to Solve Their Problems and Gain Confidence

We have started our second year implementing a discipline and behavioral approach called Responsibility Centered Discipline. With this philosophy, we aim to have students learn to bear the weight of their own responsibility. This is the kind of "weight" that makes kids stronger, and builds their confidence. 
The term “Response-Ability” is used to describe the ability of the student to respond in a manner that can create lasting change and correct the problem he or she may have created. Part of this program is a five-step guided and creative conversation called “Give ‘em Five,” which is conducted privately between the teacher and student when undesirable behavior occurs. The five steps to the conversation are as follows: Support (teacher offers something positive to the student to start out) Breakdown (teacher ensures that the student knows what was not acceptable) Expectation (teacher ensures that the student knows what is expected) Benefit (teacher explains why it is important for the student to choose more desirable behavior) Closure (there is agreement and movement forward on a solution and the teacher/student relationship is left intact). When a teacher has talked through “Give ‘em Five,” the goal is always getting students to engage in the problem they may have created.
On occasion a student shows he or she is not ready for closure and this is when the teacher may offer further support. This might include going to a place in the classroom that is a designated responsibility area designed for thinking and calming. If this step doesn't work and the child still refuses to work with the teacher, then a call will be made to me (Mr. Shdo) to pick the child up to spend time in the "Solutions Room." We will review the conversation the teacher had with the student and then give the student time to finish the responsibility process by coming up with a plan to resolve their problem. 
Getting back into class is often as simple as being able to share a clear plan to address the issues and to share it with the teacher and ask for permission to re-enter class. Having young folks become more responsible for their behavior leads them to develop a sense of ownership for their lives and leads to making better choices. Here’s to a great year of growth, both academically and behaviorally for all our students! Take Care~ Mr. Shdo

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