Teachers Q&A

Questions have been answered by Dr. Jane Nelsen and Certified Positive Discipline Trainers. Please use the Blog Search to find specific topics.

School Discipline

I'd like your opinion on the following discipline technique used by one of my 7th grade son's teachers: 
My son's table (4 students) was told to leave the classroom during correction of a test because someone at the table was talking. The teacher knew who was talking. She told all four students that the guilty party needed to come forward and confess or the three non-guilty students needed to confidentially come forward and tell her who was doing the talking. 

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Question 126


I am a teacher of children in 3rd grade and I am taking a graduate class on positive discipline. We have class meetings several times a week and the children show great problem-solving skills while we are still in our circle. However, they make little or no carry over to the actual situations. They revert to their "pre-class meeting" ways of solving problems. Any suggestion, other than constant repetition, of getting them to use the techniques they learned in their class meetings?

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Question 107


I've got a student whose frequent behavior is slamming books on desks, disrupting other students, giving dirty looks, and calling me a dirty bitch—suggestions please?

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Question 090

Q. Is there any teaching style (i.e. cooperative classroom vs. traditional teacher centered classroom) that is more conducive to a disciplined class when students are lower level and are lacking in the basic social skills?  If you feel that one is better than the other, will you please give a reason for this.

Thank you for your input here.  This idea is one that is important to me and the students in my Encouraging Student Discipline and Responsibility class. 


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Question 088

Q. I wanted to tell you how much the positive discipline techniques have helped my teaching. I experimented with class meetings at the end of the past year. It was a great success. Let me begin by telling you that I teach band. I tried the meetings with my small bands (approx. 25 people). I want to try to have meetings with my high school band, but there are 50 people in that class. I don't know if I have enough time to have meetings with that many people and still get all the work done that I need to get done. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for my situation.

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Question 082

To: Jane Nelsen


Our K-4 elementary school punishes minor infractions with detention. This has come to, for some teachers, standing facing the wall at recess from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the seriousness or number of infractions. Many parents have requested a more constructive method of discipline. Any suggestions?

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Question 081

Dear Jane Nelsen

I am concerned with my daughter's kindergarten teacher saying, "I hear a tattle-teller" when the children bring their problems to her. I feel that this statement negatively labels appropriate behavior for five-year-old children. I would prefer she first listen to the problem, consider offering the children appropriate suggestions, and encourage them to work out the problem themselves if possible.

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Student Teacher Needs Help!

A. I understand your frustration.When I was a student teacher we were always begging for discipline methods, but all we received was curriculum.I have since written several books on discipline methods that have helped many new and experienced teachers enjoy their teaching careers instead of wanting to change.
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Using Positive Discipline in a College Setting

A. Your timing is excellent. My daughter, Mary, and I have just decided to write a book on how to use the principles taught in Positive Discipline in a college setting—or any setting where people share living space. As you have learned, just because people are old enough to go to college isn't a guarantee that they have learned the skills and attitudes for treating people with dignity and respect. Nor does it mean they have the skills for problem-solving. These skills and attitudes have to be learned and practiced.
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Online Learning

Positive Discipline offers online learning options for parents, teachers, and parent educators. Learn in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. You have unlimited access to our online streaming programs, so you can watch and re-watch the videos as often as you like.