podcast

Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey, Jill Molli, and special guest Lindsey Merrick

Episode Summary

Charter schools, or independently run public schools, have increased flexibility over operations. While this additional freedom is exciting, it often comes with its own unique challenges.

In this episode, Certified Instructor and charter school administrator Lindsey Merrick talks to Master Instructor Jill Molli about her Conscious Discipline journey. Currently in its fifth year as a school (and fifth year of implementation), Lindsey’s school has experienced great success with Conscious Discipline. She shares how Conscious Discipline helped her staff get through a difficult first year, explains why the program has been such a success at her school, and offers helpful tips for other administrators.

Essential Takeaways

  • Creating a Staff Family and sending as many staff members to the Summer Institute as possible have been keys to the school’s success with Conscious Discipline.
  • Conscious Discipline is modeled by and for parents at orientation, Open House, and PTA meetings.
  • Other schools in the district and from as far away as Pasco County come to visit classrooms and observe what teachers are doing.
  • Parents of children who have come from other schools frequently comment that their child’s anxiety levels have dropped (including anxiety about testing, bullying, and going to school in general).
  • Third grade students at Lindsey’s charter school scored the highest in the district in reading proficiency. 91% of students tested at or above grade level.
  • Funding was an initial hurdle to Conscious Discipline implementation. The PTA holds fundraisers each year to send staff members to the Summer Institute.

Steps for Tomorrow

  • Start by building a Staff Family. Focus on keeping your staff connected, and that will carry you through early challenges and reduce staff turnover. It’s also important to build relationships with PTA leadership.
  • Send staff members to Summer Institute as often as possible. Lindsey’s school has sent 19 staff members, and at least one of the two teachers in each classroom has been to Summer Institute.
  • When deciding which teachers to send to Summer Institute first, focus on your transformers. Identify teachers who are already implementing, are excited about Conscious Discipline, and want to learn more.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :20 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • 1:35 Introduction of guest Lindsey Merrick and the history of her charter school
  • 3:00 Deciding on Conscious Discipline as the SEL curriculum
  • 5:53 Background information on the charter school system
  • 6:50 Academic successes
  • 9:32 Why Conscious Discipline has been so successful at Lindsey’s school
  • 13:40 Conscious Discipline with parents
  • 14:45 Collaborations with other schools in the district
  • 17:41 Feedback from parents and students
  • 19:45 Biggest hurdles to implementation and how Lindsey’s school overcame them
  • 24:15 What’s Becky up to?
  • 24:35 What’s Becky celebrating?

Thank You for Listening

There are many ways you could have spent this time today, but you chose to spend it with me and I am grateful. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it with others via your favorite social media platforms.

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On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.