If you say it, mean it, and if you mean it, follow through.
- The key is to be kind and firm at the same time.
- “What was our agreement? So, what do you need to do now?”
- “I know it is hard to experience the consequences of your choices. I’ll bet you learned a lot from this.”
- “We’ll keep our agreement until we have time to come up with a new one that works better.”
- When an agreement isn’t working, see the “Agreements” tool card to make a new one.
Success Story From Margaret Gunter, 4th Grade Teacher, Atlanta, GA
As a fourth grade teacher I rely heavily on Positive Discipline tools to help create a positive environment for learning in my classroom and help teach my students important life skills. The tools help me see everyday challenges as opportunities to teach. My school’s mission focuses on facilitating students’ development of important 21st century skills for life. These skills go hand-in-hand with Positive Discipline. Our mission is to support solution seekers, creative thinkers, ethical decision makers while encouraging innovation, collaboration, and effective/respectful communication. Positive Discipline is fundamental in all of these.
Here is how the Agreements and Follow Through tools have helped with individual students and my whole class.
At the beginning of the year my students and I worked together to create our guidelines for getting our room reset before leaving for P.E. We agreed that before leaving the classroom, we would take 3 minutes to work together to re-organize our space and materials. We acknowledged that if it takes longer than three minutes the class would be late to PE, and everyone is upset and frustrated. I validate their feelings then simply remind them of our agreement. It helps to also use encouragement to remind them that they can try again tomorrow. Once or twice this year we have had to re-visit the agreement we made, which has resulted in discussions of class jobs and team work. So many tools at work here. Knowing the importance of follow through has helped me be kind and firm at the same time.
Follow Through - Individual Student
I have a 4th grade student who has a difficulty controlling his body and managing personal space. After a few weeks I noticed that he struggled to sit up when we were working on the floor and started rolling around on the floor in the middle of the other students. I also noticed, however, that regardless of his positioning or activity level he always attentive and willing to participate. I talked with him individually and together we made an agreement that he can sit or lay however he chooses during times we are on the carpet, as long as he doesn't disrupt other's learning. One day he was struggling and didn't respond after I said, “What was our agreement?" I followed through by asking, “What do you need to do?” He thought about it and moved to his chair.