The school where I teach uses the Love and Logic model of discipline. This model is incredibly effective and easily implemented. According to Jim Fay, “Love and Logic is an approach to working with students that:
Puts teachers in control
Teaches kids to think for themselves
Raises the level of student responsibility
Prepares kids to function effectively in a society filled with temptations, decisions, and consequences.” (Teaching with Love and Logic, p. vii).
Key to Love and Logic is having a good relationship with your students. Some ideas: talk to the kids, ask about their families, and go to sporting events of theirs if possible. When students know you care, they are more likely to want to please you. This is so important!
Another key to Love and Logic is the theme of ‘consequences with empathy’. Kids are told the consequences for misbehavior up front. Therefore, when misbehavior occurs, you can empathize with them. “Oh yeah, it really stinks that you have to miss recess because you were talking and didn’t get your work finished, what do you think you might do differently next time?” Natural consequences are key to Love and Logic so students can see the connection between their behavior and the consequence.
Anytime a student has an issue that must be dealt with, I always end by reminding them that a mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it… and tomorrow is a new day with a fresh start! That way we end on a positive note, and when we walk back into the classroom we both (usually) have smiles on our faces.
If you struggle with discipline in your class and lets face it, who doesn’t from time to time, look into Love and Logic. This article is just a brief overview. If you’re not familiar with it, I highly encourage you check out their website: http://www.loveandlogic.com. My favorite book is Teaching With Love and Logic. I review this book every year. In fact, I have the CD’s so I can listen on my way to and from school. They also have Love and Logic for Parents which is also wonderful.