Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey, Julie Ruffo and special guest Melissa McComb

Episode Summary

Many classrooms and schools rely on systems of punishments and rewards, and these systems can be especially common for children with special needs. Punishment and reward systems provide external motivation to behave appropriately. They don’t teach social and emotional skills or problem solving, and they rely on judgment rather than personal responsibility. They foster separation instead of inspiring unity and connection. With Conscious Discipline, the focus is on blending effective SEL, school culture and classroom management to educate the whole child and teach new skills. This approach leads to increased connection, collaboration and compassion—and to lasting behavioral changes.

Of course, making this shift often feels scary or overwhelming at first. In this episode, Melissa McComb, the Director of Special Education in the Litchfield Elementary School District, talks about her district’s experience with moving from a points system to skills tracking. Despite initial doubt, Melissa and her district stayed the course and experienced phenomenal results. Listen in to learn more about Melissa’s journey and hear her top tips for other school districts.

Essential Takeaways

  • One strategy to increase both teacher understanding and teacher buy-in of new systems is to involve teachers in their creation and development. In Melissa’s district, a group of teachers helped build the new skill tracking system.
  • It’s important to check in with teachers throughout the process: How did that feel? How’s it going for you? What’s holding you back from doing it this way?
  • Since shifting to teaching skills, Melissa’s district has experienced an 87% decrease in CPI holds and restraints. Students and staff feel calmer, secondary trauma is down, and a compassionate family culture is emerging.
  • As the district’s understanding of Conscious Discipline expanded, they revisited and revised their new processes again and again. This is why we often call Conscious Discipline a journey: It is an ongoing cycle of personal growth, reflection, adjustment and action.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :40 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :57 Introduction of topic and guest
  • 1:51 Join Dr. Bailey in conversation with guest Melissa McComb
  • 2:40 Litchfield Elementary School District’s journey with Conscious Discipline
  • 5:38 Teacher skepticism and buy-in
  • 7:15 Results and success stories
  • 9:54 Melissa’s tips for implementing Conscious Discipline
  • 15:29 What’s Becky up to?

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.

Also, would you consider taking 60-seconds to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes? Your feedback is extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and I love to hear your feedback! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live!

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