Care and Inclusion
When a teachable moment presents itself we embrace it as an opportunity for learning. Rather than reacting to a situation with harsh words that might cause embarrassment, break trust and harm relationships, we strive instead to respond with empathy and care keeping the student’s self-esteem and sense of belonging within their crew intact. We guide students to own their choices, participate in the formation of consequences and repair any harm they may have caused.
These intentions are accomplished using the practices of
Love and Logic, Restorative Justice and Mindfulness.
LOVE AND LOGIC
Developed by Foster W. Cline, M.D., Jim Fay and Charles Fay, PH.D., Love and Logic uses humor, hope, and empathy to build relationships while emphasizing respect and dignity for both children and adults. Providing real limits in a loving way, Love and Logic offers alternative ways to communicate with students through sharing control and decision-making and using empathy with consequences. The result is the enhancement of self-concept.
Student guidelines are simple, few and used school-wide for ease of recall and continuity.
You may engage in any behavior that does not create a problem for you or anyone else in the world.
If you find yourself with a problem, you may solve it by any means that does not cause a problem for anyone else in the world.
You may engage in any behavior that does not jeopardize the safety of learning of yourself or others. Unkind words and actions will not be tolerated.
Two Essential Love and Logic Practices
When a child causes a problem, adults hand these problems back in loving ways.
We set limits...
using enforceable statements: Enforceable statements tell kids what WE will do or allow… rather than trying to tell THEM what to do.
regard mistakes as learning opportunities
resist the temptation to nag
Adults set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, threats or repeated warnings.
empathy before describing consequences
use few words and more loving actions
delay consequences when necessary
give kids the gift of owning and solving their own problems
Love and Logic Classroom Principles
Teachers ensure student guidelines are met by operating with the following Love and Logic principles as guides.
Teachers react without anger or haste to problem situations.
Teachers 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.
Teachers proceed in all situations with the best interest of the child who—foremost in my mind—academic, social and emotional well-being will be fostered.
Teachers guide students toward personal responsibility and the decision-making skills they will need to function in the real world.
Teachers arrange consequences for problem situations in such a way that the child will not be humiliated or demeaned.
Equal is not always fair. Consequences are designed to fit the problems of individual students, and they may be different even when problems appear to be the same.
Teachers make every effort to ensure that, in each situation, the students involved understand why they are involved in consequences.
If teachers act or react in a way that a child truly feels is unjust, that student need only say, “I’m not sure that’s fair.” Teachers will arrange a private conference during which the student can express why he or she feels the actions were not fair. This may or may not change a teachers course of action. Teachers are always open to calm, rational discussion of any matter.
Restorative Justice represents a significant paradigm shift from traditional school disciplinary practices, where students who engage in increasingly disruptive behaviors receive increasingly harsh punishments. Restorative practices require instead that students focus on the harm their misbehavior caused others, and what they can do to repair that harm and restore and strengthen relationships that may have been affected in the process. With Restorative Justice, there's a shared responsibility among students and teachers to hold each other accountable for maintaining high behavioral expectations, and for creating a culture of trust, safety, and mutual respect.
- MARK KATZ, PH.D
Restorative justice empowers students to resolve conflicts on their own and in small groups. The idea is to bring students together in peer-mediated small groups to talk, ask questions, and air their grievances.
THREE MAIN IDEAS
If action causes harm and justice requires repairing that harm.
The best way to determine how to do that is to have the parties decide together.
This can cause fundamental changes in people, relationships and communities.
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.
- JACK KORNFIELD
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment with openness and curiosity.
The American Psychological Association shares research on a range of benefits of mindfulness, including reduction in stress, boosts to working memory, emotional regulation, cognitive flexibility, and focus.
You can read more about the research and benefits of mindfulness and how mindfulness practice can literally change your brain, here. The benefits of mindfulness can take us beyond the terrain of managing symptoms to a place where we are developing our deeper human capacities for awareness, attention, empathy, kindness and compassion.