In my school, we have been grappling with student behaviors, choices and what to do about them. Our Green Team – the staff guiding us to a cohesive K-4 plan – is incorporating and blending ideas from Ruth Payne’s outstanding book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Linda Albert’s book Cooperative Discipline, and Responsive Classroom. As a staff, we are exploring this further in a graduate level course offered after school hours.
The deeper I delve into the topic, the more complicated things seem. A majority of our student come from trauma: financial, emotional, social, even academic. I am beginning to understand the role this plays in driving less-than-acceptable behaviors that appear in the classroom. Explicit and direct teaching and talking to children seems to be a key to helping students be and achieve their best. What does effort look like? What does it mean to work hard? What is a good choice?
This morning, I came across this resource. The CHOICES program itself may not necessarily fit with our school’s plan, but the literature lists for introducing and teaching character — making choices, honesty, integrity, caring, etc. seem to offer some great ideas for creating a literacy link to classroom discussion.
For more information, click on CHOICES Character Education.