I just finished watching The Effective use of Consequences on my PD 360 account. This video was great as it reminded me of so many ultra-important philosophies when dealing with kids (my own included). Here are some examples:
1. Most kids would rather be seen as behaviour problems than slow learners.
2. There are no punishments, only consequences and consequences are opportunities for learning.
I found the poem below in an email one day. The subject of the email was “do you read bad poetry” This was a reflection activity on the relationship between consequences and punishments. After I read it I deepened my belief that we must understand the student’s perspective and stance on consequences and punishments for it to be truly reflective. Many schools have them. Detention rooms, Reflection rooms, Room 104, The “Thinking Room”. What ever you might call yours I ask you, what are they for? Who do they serve? Is it effective or is there a better way?
Reflection Room–author unknown
I have spent too many nights – sleepless,
fighting with you in my head.
I cannot live with it.
Yet each day that it continues
without my action condones it.
My soul hurts
for kids like Kye-
punished for who his parents are,
and where he comes from,
and because he is a bother- to us.
Kye doesn’t get what he needs.
Kye gets what we think he needs
from our privileged position.
Kye gets our pity,
but not our compassion.
When did we forget-
what it looks like and feels like
-school for Kye?
Maybe we didn’t forget-
maybe we never knew.
When did good intentions
become a battle for control-
Us vs Them? Final SMACKDOWN!
When did being on Kye’s side
mean that I’m not on yours?
Look in the mirror-
I can’t live with the reflection. (room)
I am reminded of so many important learners that have shared their experiences and beliefs with me over the last 6 years. Todd Whitaker’s stance on relationships and student behaviour-“they need to leave the office happy because hurt people hurt people.” I think of Kevin Cameron’s empty vessel analogy in reference to students that need “one caring adult in their lives to make a difference.” Ruby Payne’s work goes without mentioning a single quote just the simple idea that discipline without relationship breeds resentment. I thought about many things when viewing this segment. What I thought about the most though was that I wanted my boy to be loved and treated with patience and understanding when he enters school. And that is why I will extend that same right to all the students I work with.