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funteacher7 09-08-2010 05:34 PM

I LOVE my class this year- Hopefully it's because of RC!
I have one difficult child that has emotional issues. I haven't gotten the hang of dealing with him but hopefully will, once I understand what his needs are.

That said, I love how my kids have come up with solutions to different problems we encounter. It has been sooooo great having a much more peaceful year. Yesterday after reconvening when we finished practicing how to play partner math games, my kids shared about how they didn't have to do rock paper scissors to figure out who went first. Some just offered that the other person could go. They were so matter of fact about it that it made me feel so good.

Today, one of my students noticed that he couldn't stop laughing loudly because his math partner was making him laugh during their partner game. Another student near them was telling them to quiet down so he got up from their spot on the carpet and sat down in his seat. That's because it's a solution he'd come up with when I asked what they should do if a partner is playing around or giving them a hard time and I'm busy. I feel like I've been able to empower the students to make decisions for themselves that have led to a peaceful community most of the time. I hope it's RC and not just the group of kids I have because I LOVE my class this year. I've never meshed with them so well so early in the year.

Mrs.Lilbit 09-09-2010 04:39 PM

I feel the same way, funteacher. I do think I have some unusually good kids this year, but I also think it has a LOT to do with RC.

Yesterday, my kiddos were really hyper and talkative, not really defiant or disrespectful, just chatty. I went home feeling really exhausted and stressed out, trying to figure out where the day went wrong. It struck me that I had not been using proper redirecting, reminding, and reinforcing language. Without realizing it, I had slipped back into old habits of talking too much, scolding and using manipulation (oh, I like what so and so is doing)--I guess I was just starting to get too comfortable with them. Anyway, I decided to make an extra effort today to be aware of my language. But even while writing my message this morning, I was still a bit frustrated thinking about yesterday and I was tempted to write something like "yesterday we were not on our best behavior..." but I stopped and forced myself to let go of that frustration. Today is a new day, I told myself, they deserve to start it on a positive note. So I just wrote instead about what a great day is going to be (even though I wasn't feeling it at all).

After a while of being very conscious of my language, I realized that my mood--and their behavior--had improved dramatically and it really was shaping up to be a great day. Today when I went home, I felt so much better and had so much more energy than yesterday and I know it's bc I stayed true to the principles of RC. Without RC, even good kids can be trying, but with it, good kids are empowered to be great kids.

Mrs. R :) 09-09-2010 05:42 PM

You made my heart sing, Mrs. L
What a beautiful, reflective story. You should head over to the Facebook page for RC and post it!

Teacher Language was the most powerful tool I needed to retool in my toolbox!:p But it is amazing what can happen.

I tell this story all the time; when I was learning to talk to my students I held the Power of Our Words in my hands (open to the Appendix) and would flip constantly to find the right phrase for what was happening in that moment. It worked!

I also love your point about letting it go... the clean slate that margaret Wilson talks about over on the Responsive Blog. Your little firecrackers did not get out of bed this morning thinking "How can I annoy and break Mrs. L" Good for you for giving them a second chance!

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