Schools can win or lose in discipline depending on our level of engagement and if we even know how to play the game. It’s essential to provide an inclusive culture, work for long-term goals, and continually rethink our current practices if we want to have a real chance at victory. Before we start pushing more programs and prizes, let’s consider the impact of feelings, fidelity, and follow through both in ourselves and our students. It’s not just about hoping for compliance. Fight for them and not with them. Understand your kids. Provide for their needs. Give every single one of them a chance at their own progress and success. Embrace your inner passion. Play to win, each child, each day!
School discipline can bring out emotional and rash responses in both staff and families, so schools must be very prepared for predictable behaviors and then strategic in their responses to keep everyone focused and working together. Proactively teach social skills and self-regulation. Incorporate ways to regularly check your students and yourselves. Create accountability systems to ensure that relationships are developed with every child, every day. Find something special in every student so they know that you want them and value them in your school.
It’s ok to want the best in your school, but it starts by looking in the mirror and finding the ways that you can improve first. It’s all about adding individual and team accountability within your school culture! There are reasons some schools thrive during challenging times while others fall apart. Truly engage those around you towards your common goals. Maximize input from stakeholders. Rework your school norms and routines. Lead from within, both personally and organizationally, to empower the true potential of your entire school community. Oh, and don’t forget to have a ton of fun along the way!
Imagine if we focused more on learning than labels! All of our students deserve to opportunities to personalize their environments and instruction based on their needs and preferences. Our schools should look different based on the kids we serve, but how does that work and how do we still integrate mandates that are not our own? Use systems to automatically learn levels and needs. Help inspire students to want to work and want to be supported. Reaching and teaching our most struggling students begins with a sense of urgency and ends with a belief that every single one of them can and will be successful! Our kids are not broken. They don’t need to be fixed. It’s on us to change the school to meet them where they are!
Interview with Tom Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools
Interview with Jeff Prickett and Adam DeWitt
The Principal Leadership Lab Podcast
* Empower people to take risks using trust and relationships
* Changing schools because of the interests of staff and parents
* Aligning your budget to your school core beliefs
* Defining ourselves by how we teach all of our kids
Interview with the Planning Period Podcast
* How to lead change
* No suspension philosophy
* How one-size-fits-all discipline is negatively affecting our students
* How we still don’t know the goal of education, how we need to
* The importance of learning from the teachers around us now
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