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Responsive Classroom - part 1 - "You Break it, You Fix It"
Dear South School Friends and Families,
I trust you are all managing to stay dry and warm during these chilly Maine winter days! For this installment of Principal’s Corner I’ll discuss some simple approaches to student discipline that help us at school and may be helpful to you at home. As you may know, South School is a Responsive Classroom school. Responsive Classroom is a systematic approach to teaching and classroom/school-wide management that, in part, provides a framework for how to address student discipline and learning. I will use the Principal’s Corner article over the next few months to describe some of the Responsive Classroom techniques we use here at South so you know what we do, and so you can perhaps try some of them at home.
“You break it, you fix it” is a concept that resonates well with some of the Restorative Justice practices that our middle and high schools are engaging in. Essentially, “you break it, you fix it” means that the student must make reparation for the offenses he/she commits. In other words, if a student does something unkind or disrespectful to another student, whether it is intentional or not, the offending student must attempt to “make it better.” A good place to start is to teach the student say “I’m sorry” followed by “how can I help?” These two terms used together have been promoted by the popular TV show Daniel Tiger. Sometimes it can be difficult to generate a reparation but, whatever it is, it should be logically connected to the offense and it is not “payback” or punishment.
Next month I intend to talk about the concept of logical consequences! Until then, be safe and stay warm!
South School Principal