Everyone needs to feel known, liked, and respected before they can accept instruction. A strong positive approach to discipline must be accompanied by a strong positive approach to building relationships where trust and mutual respect flow freely.
Such relationships are not built overnight, but often require time and lots of nurturing to take root. Both the boundaries for acceptable behavior and the sure knowledge that we care need to be very clear to all our students.
What do you do to show your students you care?
Remember when the worst problems that teachers and principals had to deal with were chewing gum, talking out of turn, not getting the paper in the wastebasket, and running in the halls? These days, in addition to all of the above, we are now dealing with abuse, violence, gang warfare, bullying, and the trauma such things leave in their wake.
On the positive side, though, teachers today are able to do so much more with learning! Students today are achieving things never before dreamed! Technology has opened so many doors and there is now open discussion about formerly taboo subjects such as addiction, race relations, and mental health that equip our students to make positive choices for themselves and their lives, interact with others in healthy ways, and better cope with these challenges should they arise.
As educators, we must capitalize on the positive! We can meet them where they are and show them that the sky is the limit! It certainly isn't easy, but it is DEFINITELY worth it!
What challenges do your students face and how do you help them?