I know you are thinking this title doesn't make any sense... but hear me out. When disciplining children it is important to make connections. Keep in mind that I didn't say punishing... I said disciplining. There is definitely a difference. Discipline requires a relationship. Punishment is the absolute absence of relationship.
This week I intentionally worked on forgiveness as my main focus with students. I adopted two students at school as my personal projects. I was so happy to see the progress with the students... until Wednesday. There's something about Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Education. Nonetheless, I felt we were making some Huge improvements. I spoke with each student individually and worked on creating a plan to help restore them back to good standings with their teachers. It was a big task, but I was and am definitely up for the challenge. One thing I always tell those I mentor is to ALWAYS tell me the truth. I don't care how bad it is, just tell me the absolute truth. Wednesday I did not hear the truth.
Being that I was basically lied to, I was furious. I was upset that these students would disrespect one of the main advocates they have on campus. I began feeling very sad and didn't understand why those feelings were occuring. Then it dawned on me. I was taking their offense personal. There was no reason for me to take it personal because the discipline they displayed was not towards me. Then it clicked. With students we can't take it personal, but we have to be personal.
Those two students don't need another speech or program, they need a real relationship with a person that will help them at all times. Listed are below are five tips I use when dealing with students to make sure they see it's not personal, but is all personal.
Tip 1- Remember kids will still be kids. They make mistakes. It's in their DNA.
Tip 2- Remember I was once a kid (hard headed at that). How would I have reacted back in the day?
Tip 3- No one cares what you know, until they know you care. Establish relationships early.
Tip 4- Every student deserves undivided attention while talking to educators. Listen to our kids. It doesn't cost a dime, only time.
Tip 5- The goal is to help the student succeed. Success doesn't end after one referral.