Rules in my classroom are few. I believe that as all children are different, and all actions and reactions very personal in nature, effective discipline involves a few overriding tenets, rather that a long list of specific rules. Situations are dealt with as they arise with the focus on enabling the child to grow and learn from his or her actions.
Guidelines for Student Behavior:
1. You may engage in any behavior that does not create a problem for you or anyone else in the world.
2. If you find yourself with a problem, you may solve it by any means which does not cause a problem for anyone else in the world.
3. You may engage in any behavior that does not jeopardize the safety or learning of yourself or others. Unkind words and actions will not be tolerated.
In ensuring that the above guidelines are adhered to, I will operate with the following principles as my guide:
1. I will react without anger or haste to problem situations.
2. I will provide consequences that are not punitive but that allow the child to experience the results of a poor choice, enabling him or her to make better choices in the future.
3. I will proceed in all situations with the best interest of the child and-foremost in my mind-academic, social, and emotional well-being will be fostered.
4. I will guide students toward personal responsibility and the decision-making skills they will need to function in the real world.
5. I will arrange consequences for problem situations in such a way that the child will not be humiliated or demeaned.
6. Equal is not always fair. Consequences will be designed to fit the problems of individual students, and they may be different even when the problems appear to be the same.
7. I will make every effort to ensure that, in each situation, the students involved understand why they are involved in the consequences.
8. If at any time I act or react in a way that a child truly feels is unjust, that student need only to say to me “I’m not sure that’s fair.” I will arrange a private conference during which the student can express to me why he or she feels my actions were not fair. This may or may not change the course of my action. I am always open to calm, rational diiscussion of any matter.