Friday, April 13, 2012

Because I Said So!

Becky Bailey is the author of Conscious Discipline and she is amazing! She is also hysterical! One day I would love to go to a training led by her....especially, if it involves going to the beach with an adult beverage her Florida training center.

But there are some days, Becky Bailey has left my classroom...and heck, she went running out of the building! Yes, I might spit out a sarcastic remark, raise my voice, and sometimes give a silent cheer when someone cries realizes they need to start making better choices.

I am not perfect and I try very hard to remember to apologize to the kiddo that got a little taste of what they had coming for them the heart of patience that had been drained, irked, tested, and bucket dipped dry.

This is a part of Conscious Discipline that I struggle with. Have you ever watched videos for professional development that show this la la land classroom that has you going yeah right, if they only knew what some of my kiddos are like??!???!!! At times, I feel like the kiddos just need to obey me because I am the adult and that is have to do things whether you like it or not or you have to be ready to face the consequences that may result if you do not obey. I could get them to obey with threats, loss of privileges, or other forms of control but in the end we want the children to trust us and submit their will to us because we care about them and hold their best interests in mind.

Here is the statement that sums up chapter 4: The only person you can make change is yourself. When you find yourself getting upset by what a child is doing or in any situation, you are giving your power away and setting yourself up to blame someone or something else. Once again Conscious Discipline takes me to the place where I listen to what I am saying....and realize how changing my words can make a significant difference.

Have you ever said statements like this?

When you are quiet, I will begin.
Don't make me have to ____________
You are ruining the story for everyone
You are driving me nuts.
Look what you made me do.
Look how you made her feel.
I should do these grades tonight. I have to have them in by Monday. I have not mastered this one! =)

These statements are blaming someone else for how you are feeling....they are statements of entitlement and we need to move to empowerment.

The biggie for me was Look how you made her feel. According to CD, we need to change that to Look at her face. Her face is saying I don't like it when you push me.

Honestly, I am still trying to wrap my brain around this and the book gives some great examples of how to change these statements.

Here is one more example that I am sure many of you have been saying too.

Change When you are quiet, I will begin to I am going to begin when you are quiet. That shifts the power from the child being in charge of you and when you will begin to you are in charge of choosing when to begin.

The next part of this chapter is choices and how to offer 2 positive choices. This is going to have to be part 1 because this is a HUGE part of CD and can make a world of difference....and my Type A, control freak mind set still battles with this because the reality of life does not always offer you 2 positive choices.

How do I help the child most likely choose to ____________________________ instead of How can I get the child to ____________________________.

If you are thinking How can I get them to be quiet it is the same thing to your brain as How can I make them be quiet. If your brain is hearing make, it is going to come up with every manipulative, feared, forced, coercive strategy you have ever been taught. If you are thinking of how you can help the child make a positive choice, you answer will be more creative and might involve changing the structures of your classroom and reflecting on yourself and the needs of the children.

I am going to stop here because that is a lot to soak in and you might be getting a headache!

I am excited to share the next part about 2 positive choices because it helps me to revisit the ways I can help myself be a better teacher and in the end hopefully help my kiddos learn some powerful stuff! =)

I hope you come back to read more about choices.

I had a sweet follower ask if I had ever been to any training on CD. I have been to several workshops on CD  with presenters who have been trained by Becky Bailey. These were both through Early Childhood departments in nearby colleges. I am still no expert and don't have all of the answers. I still struggle with doing the things I share. I am more conscious of what I say and do now. But there are still days that Becky Bailey has left the building....and I wish she took me with her to go get an adult beverage or back to Florida and beach! =)

Moving on......

In word study this week, one of our centers is sorting words with a venn diagram. My kiddos are crazy about this!

Here they are sorting words with a ck ending, a blend, or both.

I just added it to my TpT store today. I would love for you to check it out here. =)

There are 4 activities:
*sorting compound words, words with blends and words with both.
*ck endings, blends, and words with both
*magic e words, blends, and words with both
*bossy r words, digraphs, and words with both

It is on sale right now for only $4....that is a dollar a game! =)

You can use it without the sorting loops and still have your kiddos record the words in the venn diagram.

Moving on......

I think I have shared how much I love Laura Story's song "Blessings". In case you are not familiar with it, here are the lyrics that always touch my heart:

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops,
What if Your healing comes through tears,
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.

One of my other favorite songs talks about how sometimes God calms the storm and other times He calms His child. When ever I hear it I think of rainbows. I love rainbows because they are a promise from God...I like to think of them as God's smile from Heaven. Each one of you that stops and takes a few minutes to leave me a heart note are blessing me in so many ways. I think of each one of you as I share this poem.

This poem is also a reminder to myself about being a rainbow's promise for my kiddos.

Blessings to each one of you!

From My Heart to Yours,

37 heart notes:

Mrs. M said...

Conscious Discipline is something I need to look into. I currently have a student teacher and I am extra conscious of how I speak to the children and handle difficult situations. I would love to learn more about this over the summer. Thanks for sharing!

Erica said...

I love Laura Story's songs! She is one of my new favorites. :) Thanks for the beautiful post. :)

Sprinkles to Kindergarten

Kelley Cirrito said...

I love the hula hoops Heather! I bet your kids enjoyed that activity. I hope you have a great weekend!

Mrs. Anderson said...

I love your post about Conscious Discipline!! You are so honest about what it's really like to deal with kids every day. It's not easy to remain calm at all times. I'm right there with you on this one!!
Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Cupcake said...

Hmmm, very interesting ideas! Thank you for always sharing what you've learned :)
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Beg, Borrow, and Teach! said...

Thank you for sharing your struggle with CD. Your blog was the first place I heard about it, and I've attempted as much as I can. It makes me feel guilty an awful lot:) It's nice to know that even a seasoned pro feels the same way from time to time.

Kelly said...

I really need to check out Conscious Discipline. Three times today I said to my class, "When you get quiet, we will go." OOPS! I need to go back and read your other posts about CD. Thanks so much!

Kelly @I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

Rachel Seymour said...

I love what you wrote about we talk to our kiddos is so important!

I also love Laura Story's song Blessings! I listen to it all the time! :)


Michelle Rist said...

Loved your post today.....but of course I love them everyday! You do a great job of putting everything into perspective!

Natalie said...

Hmmm....I may or may not be guilty of saying some of those statements...


Dawn Gray said...

First time at your blog. What a nice blog you have and so much to share. I can't wait to read more. I just became your newest follower.

M said...

Hi Heather,
I am your newest follower! Thanks for finding me through Teresa's Linky Party. Your posts are soo long. You obviously put a huge effort into your blog. I especially enjoyed reading about your journey with Conscious Discipline. Behaviour Management in all it's forms is a mine field that all teachers have to navigate on a daily basis. You have inspired me to blog about some of my own "behaviour management" experiences. I look forward to visiting again soon. :)M

Barbara said...

I've been enjoying your CD posts. Because of them I just ordered the book:)

Grade ONEderful
Ruby Slippers

Mrs. Dwyer said...

I {heart} your blog! I know you've probably received this before...but I rated you a 10! Stop by my blog to grab your award!


Carolyn said...

I had never heard of CD until I started reading your posts. I am from New Zealand, so not sure what is available over here.

So much of what you say is me this year. I have a very difficult class (6 boys in particular) that have frustrated me beyond belief.

I don't have the power in this class with them. To the point that I sometimes struggle to get their attention. I have never had this before, so it has been a HUGE deal for me, and with so many of them and only 1 of me, by the end of term I was definately losing!

We are now on a 2 week break, and I am going to start next term using some of the things you have so kindly shared.

Thanks for giving me some positive ideas that i can use to make a difference.

Sowing Seeds of Learning

Dee said...

Thank you so much for your blog.....I am a new follower and I really appreciate your thought :) I have heard of Conscience Discipline and I need to read up and get the say that they are located here in FL? Can you tell me where? I am going to go our and buy this CD/book. I work as a ESE teacher....but when I sub I need to slip back over to the teacher hat and this is one tool I would like in my toolbox....Thanks

Stacyfud said...

Have you been listening to my classroom? I am ordering the CD book today! I love your posts and always look forward to reading them. You are a blessing.

Rebby said...

I can totally relate with your struggles with CD. I feel that in a lot of situations, the precise word choice isn't as important as the message. For example, will my kids actually understand the shift in power when I say, "I will begin when you are ready," instead of "When you're ready, I will begin"? I happen to think the change will go right over their cute little heads. There's a lot to be said for compassionate discipline, but sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed by all the nuances. Thanks for your post and letting me share my opinion!

Classroom Compulsion

LYNDSEY said...

Love so many of these ideas! I try to put a positive spin on as much as I can when I'm trying to direct my students. I sing a song that goes like this,

"If I had to compliment someone, who would it be? It would be ______________ because they're _____________ (sitting, waiting, standing) quietly." Then, the person I call on gets to sing the song and compliment someone. It works like a charm!

Thanks for sharing this resource. I'm excited to check it out.


Anonymous said...

I love the song Blessings. It is one that I am hoping to sing this summer in church. The words just really get to me and hopefully others will hear and think about what they mean too.

Thanks for sharing.

Confessions of a Teaching Junkie said...

OK, so you sold me on the book (expensive, but I suspect worth it, so I bought it.) I have been working on trying to be more positive with my kiddos, so this sounds like just what I need. Thanks for sharing.
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
Find me on Facebook!

Katie Knight said...

Heather, I know what you mean about the nice teacher leaving the building. I always tell my kids that my crazy teacher arms are coming out. I say "uh oh my arms are feeling kind of funny" as a warning to them. But after staying up all night reading the last hunger games, being on a diet (7lbs down), and a thunder storm rainy day schedule, Mrs. Nice had left the building. I could feel it, they could too. Thanks for your post!
Katie Knight

Shibahn said...

I have to say it's always reassuring that other teachers are having the same frustrations with classroom discipline. I am always trying to be conscious of how I am working with all my students but have fallen short on the mark. I will definitely look into this book you are so fond of and glean more insight. Your post really spoke to my heart as I feel like my class has been slowly "going crazy" and we didn't start out that way. I have quickly recognized that I need to make changes to help them get back on track. The school year is almost over and I want to end it on the best possible note. Thank you so much!!

Laura Boriack said...

Cute Savvy Sorters!! I'm having a giveaway with a friend, head over to my blog to check it out.
Over the 1st Grade Rainbow

Allyson Butler said...

This is such a great post. The more I hear about Conscious Discipline, the more I want to read. Thanks for sharing!


Jody Lynne said...

Your posts are always inspiring! Thank you for the beautiful poem. =)

Amber Leigh said...

I'm so glad you started following me because I'm so glad I'm following YOU!

Your blog is amazing and I am looking up conscious discipline to learn more about it. So far it reminds me a lot of Love and Logic. Have you heard about that? It has similar statements.

The sort activity is something I haven't seen before, using a venn diagram. Great idea!


Primary Possibilities said...

I just wanted to say, "Thank you for following our blog!" I jumped over to your blog and am now a follower as well. Thank you! I love your site! :)
~Primary Possibilities~

AthenaPhoenix said...

Okay, Heather...I love you and your blog but I must tell you I was happy to see that you have your Becky Bailey has left the building moments as well. I was beginning to feel as if I was turning into an ogre lol.

Love these lessons!
Strive to Sparkle

Jaysa said...

Just popping over to say thank you for visiting my blog. I was already a follower of yours so it was extra exciting when I saw you had left a comment. And, yes, there may have been a little bragging going on... I am going to pass this post about classroom management onto my coworkers because I am hearing and reading a lot of changes to what I was taught also. Have a great week!

Busy Bees said...

Thanks for sharing what you learn. I am going to have to look up the CD book!!

Unknown said...

Heather, I would just like you to know what a blessing your blog post was to me tonight. As much as you feel blessed by our little heart notes, your words have touched me beyond belief. I am currently going through an extremely difficult time in my personal life and your post spoke right to my heart.

Not only does your commentary on 'school life' completely speak to my teacher side, but your summary of chapter 4 was an arrow straight to my heart. All I need was to change one word of the next sentence to become: "When you find yourself getting upset by what SOMEONE is doing or in any situation, you are giving your power away..." to have that speak directly to my current situation. Thank you, because I needed to hear that.

Thank you for sharing the lyrics to Laura Story's song "Blessings." It is one of my favorites and is exactly how I need to reorient my thinking right now. I am in the middle of what seems like countless raindrops, tears, sleepless nights, and trials, and I needed that encouragement tonight (along with your own wonderful poem [You are extremely talented!]).

Thank you for blessing us, your readers with your encouragement, love, and kind words. Your blog is at the top of my list. Thank you for sharing so much with us. Know that you are loved by us!

God bless,
~Heidi V.

Kati said...

I am soooo glad we connected! What an amazing message. I can't wait to learn more from you!

Nicole said...

I truly believe God sent me you! The fact that you just posted Laura Story's song is nuts...she is one of my favorite artists right now...and that song is just incredible!

Thank you for being such a great inspiration...both in teaching and faith! :) You are doing a great job!

Sara said...

Wow I definitely need to pick up this book! Especially with some of the children I have in my classroom this year! So glad I read your insight on some of the book... and..I'm following u now! LOL