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   Discipline is a positive concept. Without  it no one could achieve their goals. Without it no one would be an expert at or of anything. Discipline is what makes good things happen: winning games, acquiring contracts in business, losing weight, becoming fit and strong, learning something new, and most importantly, having and keeping relationships with others. Without discipline society does not exist, there would be anarchy. Democracy does not thrive without discipline.       Often when discipline is thought of in a school setting, it retains its negative connotations. As in, "the usual suspects are sitting outside the discipline office." Staff and teachers also look to the discipline office to mete out some form of punishment (preferably harsh and swift.) Students also maintain this idea of discipline, that it is about restraint, punishment and exclusion.        The first step is to replace the negative with the true meaning of discipline. It is through the practice of discipline that we don’t make the mistakes that are associated with punishment.  When students and adults break rules, it is usually due to a momentary lapse in judgement and self discipline. If a student or an adult repeatedly break rules, it is usually because they lack a particular skill to deal with a situation. In those cases, it is not punishment but a logical consequence along with teaching of the missing skill.       As with other academic subjects, conferencing on behavior and self discipline go a long way to improve a skill base. Asking students to identify their “mistake” or “unexpected” behaviors” and then pursuing a discussion on redirection will start the student on the right path. As with other academic skills, many reminders and opportunities to practice and discuss will help to solidify the skill. This helps to give the student ownership in the problem and in the solution.       Relationship in key in modeling and teaching discipline. Students need to trust the adults. Simple things like knowing the students name and what they are interested in can build respect in the relationship and open the door to that student achieving self discipline. Remember, schools are building a society one student at a time. It is well worth the investment.
Posted by AUDREY.FLOJO-COLLETTI  On Jun 28, 2018 at 2:03 PM 41 Comments
Winter has arrived with a blast of arctic weather.  Unfortunately, this means indoor recess when temperatures dip below 15 degrees. I worry when children do not have the opportunity to get some fresh air and sunshine. More often now children are relegated to the indoors because of schedules, extreme weather and safety issues. In Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, , he explores the importance of nature for emotional regulation. Consider spending some time outside this winter, even with the arctic air. Silver Lake Nature Center is a beautiful and family friendly resource for short hikes and explorations of nature. As for school, recess is on if we are at 15 degrees.  Layered clothing, socks, hats and mittens are passports to the outside. Children thrive on a brisk blue sky day! On the unfortunate days when recess is indoors, we encourage children to engage their imaginations, play quiet games with friends, read, draw and create. Hopefully, children are learning to appreciate the exhilaration of the cold and the warmth of an indoor day.
Posted by AUDREY.FLOJO-COLLETTI  On Jan 02, 2018 at 2:10 PM 92 Comments
As we visit classrooms to observe student learning, I am always amazed at the potential that I see in those desks. This month we focused on students using various strategies to solve problems. Children are amazing problem solvers. I have had many interesting conversations with students regarding their thought process when solving a particular problem. Our classrooms are the incubators of the future. How many of our students will be instrumental in solving the problems we are now facing as a global society. How can we best prepare them? In reading and researching, the consistent answer is that students need to be first and foremost curious about their world. Always having a question in mind  is the driving force behind discovery. Classrooms are now shifting from a place where teachers ask questions and students give answers to a place where student ask questions and everyone explores the question together. Maybe the question leads to more questions. Einstein famously asked endless streams of questions. "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." 
Posted by AUDREY.FLOJO-COLLETTI  On Dec 05, 2017 at 9:26 AM 46 Comments