Day 20 (of 183) thinking and rethinking supports & consequences – with thanks to @chriswejr & @TheTeacherTom
Today I read and tweeted & retweeted:
Really been thinking about @ChrisWejr -when Ss struggle w math/read we support yet struggle w behaviour = punishment https://t.co/KS6gKCC5wb
A good reflection blog on how/when/why to use rewards/consequences/punishments.
But I really liked that element that providing support for academic s is easier to support than doing the same (ie differentiating) punishments. It’s why I will sometimes prefer to mention ‘appropriate consequences’ – because like it or not, punishments don’t often lead to a change (usually improvement) in behaviours (thus the frequent repeat offenders – and those who do the same thing and expect a different result, well….it’s worth a Google search)
I tend to use suspensions from schools only if a) it will effect a change in behaviours (very rarely) or b) to provide some time & space (usually between two people).
I prefer to help students learn via practice. It also made me think of a recent article about the ‘worst behaviour time’ aka recess: http://ow.ly/SXnXM by @TheTeacherTom and the reflection piece about how it’s “harder to be nice to kids” https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/22/what-has-changed-is-that-it-is-harder-for-us-to-be-nice-to-kids-departing-veteran-principal/ by retiring principal George Wood who eloquently stated “School should be a place of challenge, but also a place where children are supported to try, and try again.”
It can be a tough mind shift, but when repeated punishments don’t have an affect….it’s kinda like when rewards are repeated – is it repeated for the activity or just for the reward? We always need to be mindful when we are offering rewards or punishments. But consequences….those can be personalized because sometimes the consequence for snowballing can be one missed recess time per grade (as a ‘fer instance) but can also change by region (snow only falls once a year? maybe you can overlook mischievous temptations!)
There’s no one response to a situation; but when we consider providing supports and practice opportunities for behaviours rather than strictly consequences, it allows us to look at each learner as a whole person – It’s why I’ve had to explain why we have some rooms that have been filled with pool tables & air hockey games etc – not as rewards for poor behaviour choices, but as a tool for students to practice “better behaviours” with.
Thanks to Chris and Tom and George and so many other principals & vice principals that promote mindfulness and reflection when working with learners.