When I was thinking about writing this on Monday evening, argh...behavior was getting me down and discipline was getting them down. And we were only on Day 4 of the new school year!
As my teenage daughter has said on occasion (paraphrasing Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own): "There's no crying in 2nd grade!"
Well, apparently, two of my kiddos didn't get that memo :)
Because there WAS crying in second grade!
I started a behavior clip system. I thought it would be great, because if they moved down, there was opportunity to move up. My two little friends were annoying the heck out of me. Not following directions, not putting materials away when I asked (repeatedly), playing with said materials, not listening, not working. So I got to the point of, OK, I mean business! And that's where crying began - with moving their clip to Teacher's Choice.
And darn that Heather's Heart blog, she got me to thinking about my kids. She's written several posts about Conscious Discipline. But one thing Heather has said many times in different ways, is that we often don't realize the home life that these little ones come from.
And that got me to thinking. If I can gently correct and correct and correct and correct my little guy who blurts out because I don't think he's doing it on purpose, why can't I correct and correct and correct (gently!!) my pencil tapper; my one who is in love with her 5 big flower erasers and continues to put them on and off her pencil; my little friend who won't write anything on his paper, etc. etc. etc. Because maybe this is the best they can be right now.
So my bloggy friends, I prayed and prayed and prayed Monday night. I read some of Heather's Conscious Discipline posts. I thought about kids feeling like they are headed to the guillotine (something Heather describes). And it was like a switch had been thrown Tuesday morning. Was it me? Or was it them? I'm afraid to make an educated guess on that (me). I corrected and corrected and corrected. Nobody moved down on the clip chart, but if they did the right thing - Up They Went!
Let me tell you, on Monday, I was dreading the rest of the year. I didn't know how I would make it through and I was calculating how many sick days I had.
But do you know what happened? Things got better for ME! I wasn't as stressed. Oh, I got a little stressed today, but it wasn't terrible - to them or to me! I hope I can continue to be the stable one; the calm one; the one who has the place that's safe.
What's been your biggest challenge since school started?