Dr. Jody McVittie Reflects on a New Phase

Dr. Jody McVittie Reflects on a New Phase

Featured, In the News

January 2022; We are on the threshold of a new year, and I am also on the threshold of a new phase of life. Beginning in February, I am shifting from my role as Director of Strategic Partnerships to a transitional role as part-time Strategic Advisor. For the next 6-9 months, I’ll focus on a few specific projects: evaluation, curriculum development, and capacity building. As I move toward full retirement, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren, playing with some art projects, and exploring a small collective climate project that has interested me for a time.

This …

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The Power of Shared Purpose

The Power of Shared Purpose

In the News

Every day, we live in the tension between immediate practicality and purpose. Sometimes scary obstacles, challenges, distractions, and habits of mind obscure or induce amnesia about our deep purpose. What’s worse, the more aware of purpose we are, sometimes the more agonizing it is to struggle between our defaults and a response that connects with our purpose! (Or am I the only one?).

  • Do I need this kid to grow up loving learning, or just to get their homework done, brush their teeth, and get to bed so I can rest?
  • Do I need my student to experience belonging, or
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Taming the Brain’s Negativity Bias with Gratitude

Taming the Brain’s Negativity Bias with Gratitude

Brain Science, In the News, Trauma

Schools — places chartered to support young people to reach their full human potential — can instead be places where adults get stuck in negativity bias — perfectionism, hurt, fear, cynicism. It’s our body’s default response to stay safe. Our brains are wired to notice danger, threats, and problems. Because of this, we sometimes simply do not see the strengths, beauty, and potential in one another.

Let’s start by talking about strengths

One educator we began working with several years ago was struggling to see the good in her students. In the beginning, she believed Sound Discipline approaches were nonsense. …

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Shifting from Power-Over to Power-With When Working with Young People

Shifting from Power-Over to Power-With When Working with Young People

In the News, Point of View, Teachers, Uncategorized

“If I could wave a magic wand, my students would understand how thrilling it can be to take control of their learning. My co-workers would understand how much more of an enriching experience it is for both us and the humans who are our students to buy in to their learning.”

        • Sara Wozniak-Randall, 7th grade Pacific Northwest History, Dimmitt Middle School

 

 

Sound Discipline’s work is about power. Our work invites adults who work with youth to shift from practices based in control and compliance to practices based in shared power. The principles of shared power are basic to …

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What Happened to You?

What Happened to You?

Brain Science, In the News, Point of View, Trauma

When I was a kid in the late 1960s and early 70s, I attended St. Rita’s school in a little town called Sierra Madre. The culture was corporal punishment and shame. It wasn’t until 5th grade that I had a teacher who did not use physical violence or terror. None of this seemed unusual. My experience was common. We found ways to navigate and survive. Kids’ stories of themselves and one another were shaped by shame and fear – those stories shaped the course of our lives. My story was that adults could not be trusted. I did not respect …

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Repackaging Consequences Does Not Create Equitable Learning Communities

Repackaging Consequences Does Not Create Equitable Learning Communities

In the News, Point of View, Race and Equity

As the new executive director of Sound Discipline, I spend a lot of time studying everything I can about education equity, and social emotional learning.

A few weeks ago, I read an article that I found disturbing:  “How Novice and Expert Teachers Approach Classroom Management Differently.” Citing a 2021 study, the author asserts that it “reveals the ways in which new and experienced teachers think about discipline – plus 5 takeaways for managing your classroom effectively this year.”

I posted it on Sound Discipline’s internal Slack, asking colleagues, “Does this article bug you?”  Here are highlights of …

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The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part II: My Conversation with Jessica Calabrese-Granger, Chief of School Improvement in Renton, Washington

The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part II: My Conversation with Jessica Calabrese-Granger, Chief of School Improvement in Renton, Washington

In the News, Online Learning, Teachers

“Discipline is an outcome; engagement is an opportunity.” -Jessica Calabrese-Granger

In my last post at the close of the 2020/21 school year, I shared my conversation about ‘learning loss’ with Regina Elmi of the organization Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond (SPEB). We discussed that while much of the collective conversation in education was on the topic of ‘learning loss’, there have been unexpected gifts of distance learning – time with family, the chance for kids to focus and go deeper on a passion, closer sibling relationships, and authentic bonds between classroom teachers, and students and families. Regina’s experience reinforced …

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The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part 1: Outcomes vs. Experiences

The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part 1: Outcomes vs. Experiences

In the News, Point of View, Racial Justice

“The learning loss narrative does not bring us together. It’s not the teacher’s fault; it’s not one school. It’s a systemic problem that goes back to before the pandemic.” – Regina Elmi, Co-founder of Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond

 

As the country emerges from a global pandemic, we at Sound Discipline are paying attention to the conversation in education and policy circles about ‘learning loss.’ Applying the lenses of test scores, academic milestones, and SEL metrics, state and district superintendents are feeling and passing on the pressure to quantify and replace standards-based content not delivered in online …

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ACEs Awareness and Knowing Your Own Number

ACEs Awareness and Knowing Your Own Number

In the News, Resilience

 

ACE Resource Network recently announced the first ever public awareness campaign about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). At Sound Discipline, we’ve been talking and teaching about ACEs for a long time, and we’re thrilled to see a movement putting resources into spreading the word about ACEs and trauma-informed practices.

 

The term ACEs was invented with a 1990s study conducted by Dr. Vince Felitti, MD and Dr. Robert Anda, MD in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control. Over a two-year period, Kaiser collected data from more than 17,000 mostly white participants which traced adverse experiences  …

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The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

Brain Science, Connection and love, In the News, Point of View, Resilience

 

We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.

— Sonya Renee Taylor

On March 5 of last year, Sound Discipline’s leadership team met to make a COVID contingency plan. A 2-week school closure had just been announced. We drew all over a whiteboard, planning for three scenarios; 1) …

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