Christ the King Catholic School’s goal is to lead children to SELF-DISCIPLINE. We believe that a student can be taught self-discipline skills as a part of the total school curriculum. Discipline should not be viewed as punishment. The aim of discipline is to institute and maintain satisfactory educational conditions free from distracting behavior. Based on the respect of authority and welfare of the group, discipline will develop the student’s ideals, attitudes, and habits for good Christian living. To this end, the school will use the program, Discipline With Purpose. This is a positive approach to discipline based on the developmental level of the student. The following are the fifteen self-discipline skills taught:
BASIC SELF-DISCIPLINE SKILLS:
- Following directions
- Asking questions when something is not understood
- Sharing time, space, people, and things
- Social skills
CONSTRUCTIVE SELF-DISCIPLINE SKILLS:
- Understanding rules and the reason for the rules
- Completing a task
- Communicating effectively
GENERATIVE SELF-DISCIPLINE SKILLS:
- Organizing time, space, people, and things
- Resolving problems of mutual concern
- Initiating solutions
- Distinguishing fact from feelings
- Sacrificing from a motive of love
Discipline with Purpose is not a plan for classroom management
In order to protect the rights of all children, it is important that parents and students understand the consequences of misbehavior. The long-range goal of achieving self-discipline gives direction and purpose to short-term consequences. We want parents to know that school rules are designed to protect all children and that students who choose to break the rules are treated firmly, but kindly and appropriately.
All disruptive behavior is routinely handled on the spot by school staff members. Each classroom teacher works with the children to make sure the rules are understood and the reasons for the rules are taught. Broad rules that affect the daily routine of the school include:
- Follow classroom procedures
- Show respect to yourself, others, and your school
- Contribute to the learning environment
- Practice self-discipline skills
Each classroom teacher has adopted some version of these four rules. The teachers work with the children to make sure the rules are understood and the reasons for the rules are taught. Children learn that each adult may have different procedures in helping them follow the rules. Children review orally and in writing to ensure that they know and understand how rules “safeguard each person’s rights.”
In addition, each classroom teacher has an established discipline cycle that lists consequences for not following rules. Teachers work with the students to determine acceptable consequences. Be sure to ask your child’s teacher about the discipline cycle being used this year. The system used should help your children mature by following self-discipline skills.
How to give good instructions
- Give instructions only when you have your child’s attention. Use your child’s name and encourage your child to look at you while you speak.
- Use language that your child understands. Keep your sentences short and simple.
- Use a clear, calm voice.
- Explain exactly what you want your child to do by breaking the task into smaller steps. For example, don’t say, ‘Get ready for school’. Instead say, ‘Clean your teeth, and then get dressed for school’.
- Make sure your child understands each step before you give the next one. If your child has a learning disability, you might need to let your child learn each step before teaching the next one.
- Use gestures to point to things that you want your child to notice.
- Use feedback. Praise your child when she follows your instruction, and say exactly what she did right or well. But avoid giving lots of negative feedback when your child doesn’t get it right. Maybe just point out one or two things your child could do differently next time.
If you want to help your child learn to do tasks independently, you can phase out your instructions and reminders.
Another option is to use a poster or illustration to help your child picture the instructions you’re giving. Your child can check the poster by himself as he works through the instructions.
A poster can also help children who have trouble understanding words.