The School Family: The Foundation for Connection - Conscious Discipline
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The School Family:
The Foundation for Connection

Ask yourself, “Would I rather have children say, ‘What do I get if I’m good?’ or ‘How do I give of my goodness?’” How you answer this question will determine the school climate and culture you want to create.

School climate impacts all achievement. The culture of a school can foster bullying, blame and cliques, or it can build cooperation, willingness and responsibility.

Historically, we have unconsciously used the metaphor of a factory when creating our classrooms and schools. The goal of a factory is to create standardized products through a rewards and punishment paradigm. Research and experience prove that we need a new metaphor if we wish to build successful and safe educational institutions. The School Family, built on a healthy family model, is this new metaphor. The goal of a healthy family is the optimal development of all members.

The School Family builds connections between families and schools, teachers and teachers, teachers and students, and students and students to ensure the optimal development of all.

These connections provide the three essential ingredients for school success:

A willingness to learn: Without willingness, each interaction becomes a power struggle instead of a learning opportunity. The School Family brings all children, especially the most difficult, to a place of willingness through a sense of belonging.

Impulse control: Connection with others is the construct that literally wires the brain for impulse control. Disconnected children are disruptive and prone to aggressive or bullying behaviors. External reward/punishment systems cannot improve a child’s ability to self-regulate because they are not designed to teach new skills. The School Family uses connection to encourage impulse control while teaching self-regulation skills in context.

Attention: Our attentional system is sensitive to stress and becomes engaged with positive emotions. The School Family reduces stress while creating an atmosphere of caring, encouragement and meaningful contributions. These components are essential for children to develop and apply sustained attention.

The School Family is
created through routines, rituals
and structures.

The School Family creates a fundamental shift in education and classroom management. Leave coercion, fear and external rewards behind, and step into a world where intrinsic motivation, helpfulness, problem-solving and connection govern your classroom.

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