Thursday, May 3, 2012

new approach to school discipline

Rule No. 1: Take nothing a raging kid says personally. Really. Act like a duck: let the words roll off your back like drops of water.
Rule No. 2: Don’t mirror the kid’s behavior. Take a deep breath. Wait for the storm to pass, and then ask something along the lines of: 'Are you okay? Did something happen to you that’s bothering you? Do you want to talk about it?'"

I drive a school bus. Last year I had a route with kids I never did figure out how to keep settled in their seats.  They'd scream, hit each other, crawl under the seats.  Of course, on a bus you don't have much time for discipline.  But the zero tolerance idea that every infraction demands a response is ridiculous.  Kids are kids, for one thing. They're supposed to be in school to learn about life.  Acting socially is part of that learning that should be taught.  Just responding with punishment is not teaching.

I have no solution to kids who act up, but at least in school this approach has time to work.  I hope it gets tried and tested many places.

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