Friday Two Cents: New Rules, Positive Behaviour And Discipline


This past week has been a bit trying to say the least. The students in the class are all great yet the dynamic in the room between the students has been a bit … unkind to one another. One of them even told me that they were not being good friends to one another. These are kindergarten students so the social behaviour is something that needs to be taught and encouraged in great deal at school.

With this information the teacher and I embarked on a new inquiry, ‘Being a good friend to each other.’ I was asked to try to develop a few lessons to help the students be kinder to one another. The first thing I thought of was to create a chart of positive behaviour we need to work on. I read the book “What does it mean to be kind?” and the class and I created a chart together. We called it Manners and we came up with a few ideas. The first was saying please, thank you, you’re welcome and I’m sorry as the number one class rule. We also came up with listening to each other, helping others, being patient, sharing and treating others the way you want to be treated.   Not a bad start for kindergarten students.
The next day I reminded the students about these rules by pointing out examples from their own actions when they were and weren’t following the rules they helped to come up with.   Yet I also brought in a couple if things to help solidify these rules. One was a book called “How full is your bucket?” and the other was my Mufasa and Simba puppets.
My Mufasa and Simba puppets helps the students see that the adult lion Mufasa has rules that Simba may not like but they are there to keep him safe. These rules are not there because he wants to be mean to Simba or that he does not like him but because he cares very much for Simba. The moral is that adults have rules for kids because they care about them and they want them to be safe. As well, if Mufasa is upset with Simba for breaking a rule he is not angry with him all the time, he still cares for him. The same is true with adults like their mothers, fathers and teachers.
The book “How full is your bucket?” encourages positive behaviour by using the idea of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to be kind, appreciative, and caring by “filling buckets.” This is not a new concept for the students but perhaps some reminding will help them. I reintroduced the bucket idea on Thursday and all day Friday they kept talking about filling each other’s buckets.
It feels good to see that they are embracing this idea and the other concepts I have been trying to instil in the students. Yet the one thing I have been doing as well is being very firm when it comes to room discipline. I allow the students free expression yet the rules, manners and the bucket ideas are being strictly reinforced by the teacher and myself. I thought that they may have a problem with the extra discipline I am introducing but it appears that the students are welcoming it. I have noticed a bit more smiles on the students and a feeling of calmness in the room when it comes to the students’ personality dynamics. I guess the drill sergeant in me has a place within a classroom even when I am only there for a short stay. Only time will tell if these initiatives will hold up for the rest of my stay.  

Friday Two Cents: Discipline And Routine


 twoCentsOldNew

Last week was the annual March Break.  For those of you who do not know, in North America, schools suspend studies for one week to allow the children, parents and teachers a much-needed break, to recharge and get ready for the final push towards the end of the year studies. 

This March Break I stayed at home and just did some work for my courses and enjoyed some time with my nieces.  Unfortunately, I did something else; I stopped my routine and relaxed my discipline as a result, I gained about 4 – 5 pounds.  I was very upset with myself and I decided to get back into a routine. 

Therefore this week I made it a point to get back into a routine of eating right and getting out.  Every morning I would get up early, eat breakfast and go out to do some work.  I’d work out before lunch and then do some work after lunch.  At night I relaxed and enjoyed my time with people and other activities. And in one week, to my surprise, I lost the 5 pounds. 

George Washington

I have to tell you that I was a bit surprised that the routine and discipline bore fruit quickly.  I plan to continue the routine as best as I can, yet I know that this quick lose is something I have to maintain and because it can easily return. 

I guess I forgot the quote from George Washington, “Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.”  

Discipline and routine brings its own rewards.   

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