Discipline and the Adjustment Counselor
Do you have students who are disruptive? Truant? Late? who donít do their homework? who are violent? uncooperative? Did it occur to you that misbehavior is a character flaw? a lack of virtue? a lack of moral competence?
It is just as important, and even more so, to teach appropriate behavior as it is to teach academics.
Punishment is a poor learning tool, even though many schools rely on it for discipline. Detention, staying in from recess, being sent to the principalís office, suspension, and Saturday school should be replaced with Character Education Classes.
This is how:
When a student misbehaves, the teacher makes a referral to the Character Educator, who, with the student, develops an Individualized Behavior Plan for the improvement of the studentís behavior.
The student is helped to identify the misbehavior, the character flaw, and the virtue that needs to be strengthened.
The student studies that virtueówhat it is, by definition, and what it looks like in the classroom.
The student describes what it looks like in other areas of the school, and in the community.
The student examines natural consequences, both positive and negative, of showing or not showing that virtue.
Through contracting the student makes a Behavior Plan for strengthening that virtue in his or her character. In the plan are rewards the student will give him/herself when the virtue is exhibited, and negative consequences when the trait is not shown. Only when the student has exhibited the character trait is he or she allowed back into the classroom setting.
For further information look in Chapter Six of Comprehensive Character-Building Classroom: A Handbook for Teachers.
Worksheets in Activities I and Activities II are designed to strengthen the character of students. These activities were field tested on young people with severe behavior issues.
For further training of teachers see Workshops and Consulting.
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