Five Things Parents Need To Know About School Discipline
An Open Letter to Parents
I am not sure you know this but I deeply care about your child and have dedicated my life to empowering your kiddo to thrive. I know you understand what I am saying because you possess the same dream! With this in mind, please note that everything I do in my classroom connects to this goal of thriving, even discipline (especially discipline).
In my classroom, discipline is an active process of challenging and empowering students to grow and mature. It's not always fun but the reason behind each and every act of discipline is a dream for your child to reach a higher level of living. Due to this high value I place on discipline, I thought it's time we talk about it.
I wanna share five things every teacher wants parents to know about school discipline. As you read through this list, please keep in mind the fact that we are on the same team, working towards the goal of empowering happy, successful children.
1) When I discipline your kid, I am only disciplining your kid, not you or your parenting
Children are young and immature. It's inevitable that they mess up. I say this because I wholehearted believe that great parents are not defined by whether or not their kid makes a mistake, great parents are defined by how they react to their children's mistakes.
2) School is the ideal place for your child to mess up and learn from mistakes
School is exactly where you want your child to be caught making mistakes. In the grand scheme of things, it is a low-risk environment, with minimal consequences. By allowing your child to be disciplined and challenged to grow up at school, you save your child the heartache of real-world consequences (like getting cut from a team, being fired, or getting arrested)
3) How you treat me directly influences how your child learns to deal with authority and criticism
Be conscious of the fact that your child is constantly watching and learning from you. If you routinely dismiss the discipline your child receives at school, your child is learning to disrespect authority and ignore constructive criticism. In turn, this has the potential to highly limit your child's ability to succeed in the real world.
4) There are always two sides to the story
Trust me, there is always more to the situation. The reality is that kids lie and have a talent for framing a story that paints their innocent. Please don't be naive to this fact and don't just assume your child is telling the whole story. Probe your child with thoughtful questions to illustrate the full picture.
5) I make mistakes and need grace
I am 100% guilty of not always handing situations correctly. And I need to be told when I have made a mistake so I can learn and grow. However, my mistakes are not grounds for being disrespectful, bad-mouthing me to other parents, or holding a grudge. Instead, it's an opportunity for both you and me to learn how to better guide children through life. And remember, your child is watching and how you react when I mess up, directly influences their ability to live with grace and forgiveness.
Finally, please let me reiterate, discipline is not meant to be easy. Discipline is meant to stretch and mold us into better human beings. That being said, when we keep these five ideas in mind, we can powerfully work together to enhance your child's well-being!
A Hopeful and Dedicated Teacher
P.S. If you found this post interesting, check out 25 ways teachers are making your kids employable adults!
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A middle school health teacher turned curriculum developer (and #WAHM). I'm on a mission to share the easiest-to-teach, most impactful health lesson plans on the Internet. Because your time and energy is better spent on teaching and connecting, not on planning and prep.