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 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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An Open Letter to Teachers and Educators

It has been a rough year. The pandemic threw students, even those who had lived stable lives pre-COVID, into lives of uncertainty, including financial and housing insecurity.  Those who were already living challenging circumstances faced even more hardships. The constant drum beat of racial injustice added another layer of stress for both teachers and students.

As always, teachers showed up for their kids. Through the struggles with steep learning curves in all manner of online platforms, and competing with video games, lack of motivation, kids’ challenges at home, and other distractions, teachers did their best.

If you are a teacher, …

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The Journey to Understanding Trauma and Resilience

The Journey to Understanding Trauma and Resilience

Point of View, Resilience

“The question we should be asking is not what’s wrong with that child, but what happened to that child?” – Oprah Winfrey

“The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely they will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” – Dr. Bruce Perry

 

Let’s talk about trauma and resilience. At Sound Discipline, we teach and coach educators and adults working with or raising kids about trauma-informed practice. Ten years ago, this concept was just migrating to schools and social service delivery. Like a …

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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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Black History and Belonging in School

Black History and Belonging in School

Point of View, Racial Justice

When we say, “what if every child knew they belonged?”, what exactly do we mean?

 

Recently, I explored this question over Zoom with Dr. DeLeon Gray, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Education Equity at North Carolina State University and a leading researcher on the intersection of race, belonging, and motivation in school.

 

I learned about Dr. Gray’s work from Education Trust Research Associate Nancy Duchesneau. When Nancy and I talked about Sound Discipline’s investigation into belonging, she said, “Well then, you have to talk with DeLeon Gray. He is pretty much the leading voice on belonging.”

 

To learn …

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Who is Sound Discipline’s New Leader?

Who is Sound Discipline’s New Leader?

Point of View

On December 3rd, Sound Discipline hired Andrea John-Smith to serve as our new Executive Director. Andrea succeeds our Founding Executive Director, Dr. Jody McVittie. In January of 2020, to facilitate Jody’s transition to the full-time role of Director of Strategic Partnerships, the Board brought Andrea on as our Transition ED. Not long after, COVID hit. Andrea went above and beyond her transition scope to help navigate and respond to rapid change. When it came time to resume our ED search in August, Andrea became a candidate for the permanent ED role. Following a rigorous and inclusive selection process, the Board’s

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Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity

Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity

Connection and love, Featured, Feelings and emotions, Point of View

“Inclusion is not an intellectual thing. It has to be visceral. Words like diversity, equity, inclusion have no meaning at all unless we make it personal, unless we connect these themes to our life story and operationalize them in the actions of our daily lives.” – Jonathan Joseph, Sound Discipline Board of Directors.

In July, Sound Discipline Board Members Jonathan Joseph and Debbie Symonds worked together to design an equity curriculum for the Sound Discipline Board around a year-long study of the book Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation by Floyd Cobb and John …

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Sound Discipline Data Teams: Addressing Disproportionality in Discipline

Sound Discipline Data Teams: Addressing Disproportionality in Discipline

Featured, In the News, Point of View

Sound Discipline school data teams are representatives from the school community who share leadership and meet regularly to review disciplinary referral data with a trauma informed, solution focused lens. As day-to-day situations come up, the data helps place those incidents in a broader context, revealing patterns and pointing to deeper systemic issues — processes, policies, practices, and mindset — often the upstream causes of problems in the classroom.

Ms. Thompson’s 4th grade classroom was a stark example of the kinds of issues data teams can uncover. When Ms. Thompson saw her disciplinary referral numbers, she was shocked. All of the …

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