Specialists Find Special Time with Students

Specialists Find Special Time with Students

Connection, Inspiring Stories, Problem Solving, Relationships, Teachers

Imagine you’re a librarian at an elementary school. You have the unique opportunity of getting to interact with EVERY student in your school community and hopefully instill in them a lifelong love of reading. Cool, right? Here’s the catch: unlike a classroom educator, your time with students is limited and spread out. So, how do you develop those deeper relationships that support students to engage in learning?

The Specialist staff at Terminal Park Elementary in Auburn, Washington were feeling this struggle of not having enough time to get through their content while also getting to know their students as individuals. …

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2020 Taught Us to Embrace Mistakes

If there was ever a year in which we did a lot of learning in a short time, it was 2020. It took multiple attempts and making lots of mistakes along the way. We worked at gaining skills at delivering online instruction and figuring out ways to build relationships and create community even though we weren’t in the room together. We accomplished what we had never imagined before the pandemic. Most of us do not like to make mistakes, but last year we had to leap in. We discovered that that people had more grace for us than we expected. …

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Sartori Elementary Practices Repair and Problem Solving

Inspiring Stories, Problem Solving

Our Inspiring Story in November is the staff team from Sartori Elementary School, for the many creative ways they’ve been integrating Positive Discipline into their school practices this fall. In September, they designated their first lab days for Social & Emotional Learning (SEL). Grade level teaching teams explored goals for class meetings, then planned a Positive Discipline lesson focusing on structures, talk moves and questions to help students be sense makers. They tried out their lesson together in two classrooms, with time allotted for the teaching team to reflect after each one. The teamwork and the curiosity of the …

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Practicing Patient Parenting

Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

It happens to most of us…there’s no cream for coffee, you are late leaving the house, the traffic is bad on the way home….and then one of our children unknowingly says or does something that pushes us over the edge. Out comes that “yelling” parent, leaving our child bewildered and us feeling guilty and regretful. All parents have at one point or another resolved to be more patient with our children, because of course we know, they are learning from how we respond, more than how we tell them to respond. What we do matters. Here are some ideas to …

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Mistakes Can Be Opportunities

Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Tips & Tools

No one likes to make mistakes. Making mistakes can invite uncomfortable feelings of guilt and shame. Those feelings result in students (and most of us) thinking about mistakes in ways that aren’t helpful. Students may think that mistakes are “bad” or that others will laugh at them if they do something wrong. They may work really hard to try not to make any mistakes – to be perfect. These thoughts and feelings invite students to feel discouraged or to give up.

As an educator you know that learning requires making some mistakes. Can you imagine learning math or how to …

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Mistakes yours and theirs, Problem Solving, Tips & Tools

Traditional discipline often focuses on what not to do – often blaming, shaming or humiliating children when they make a mistake, in an attempt to “teach” them to behave. Isn’t it interesting that we think we have to make children feel worse before they can do better? Positive Discipline focuses instead on teaching children what to do. They don’t always get it right the first time, but they do learn. We can start by modeling the courage to be imperfect ourselves– acknowledging and repairing our own mistakes. We can also:

  • Ask curiosity questions when children have an issue: What
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Class Meetings

Problem Solving, Tips & Tools

Class Meetings are an effective way for students to learn many of the life skills that are just as important, long term, as academic skills. Students do not magically know how to safely get into a circle, how to listen respectfully, or how to focus on solutions. These are foundational skills that need to be taught and practiced before Class Meetings are implemented.

Before teaching your students how to do class meetings ensure that they have some basic skills. This takes time and patience.

  • They need to be able to self regulate enough to sit quietly in a circle for
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What Are We Learning?

Growing Responsibility, Problem Solving, Tips & Tools

Submitted by Adrian Garsia Teacher, parent, Positive Discipline Trainer

For a long time I have wondered why Positive Discipline is more successful in some classrooms than others, why do some teachers and schools embrace it and others reject it. Why do systems based on rewards (and punishment) thrive? Why do I embrace Positive Discipline and at other times reject it? Why do I resort to things that look like punishment with students and why do I consider rewards when I feel really stuck?

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a parent of two children in their …

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Beginning Family Meetings – Part 2

Connection and love, Mutual Respect, Problem Solving, Routines, Tips & Tools
You’ve been courageous to start something new. You’ve done a couple weeks of compliments at the dinner table or another time and now you’ll add some structure. There are two projects for this week: 1) Have a short family meeting (15 minutes) in which everyone gives compliments and together you plan a short family activity. 2) Do the family activity.
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Beginning Family Meetings

Connection and love, Problem Solving, Routines, Tips & Tools
One of the most treasured books in my library is the collection of notes we took at family meetings. It is an archive of family history. To some it might look like a list of problems: the kids grieving about something that we did as parents, the problem of how chores would get done (over and over again), one kid complaining his or her sibling. But what I see when I look at the book is handwriting that grows up, art that the scribe put on the page while they were patiently waiting for the meeting to proceed and a story of how our family learned to live together using meetings as a regular routine: a small sanctuary in our life to share genuine appreciations, to celebrate, plan, and solve problems respectfully.
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