Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Amanda Spight

Episode Summary

Teachers are exposed to many new initiatives that are asked of them on a daily basis, some they agree with and some they don’t. Some of these initiatives are viewed as meaningful, while others are considered inconvenient. For administrators and school leaders, it’s important to be sensitive to these viewpoints when introducing Conscious Discipline.

Conscious Discipline is a transformational change that requires time, passion, and commitment. It asks adults to shift both their skillset and their mindset, particularly in the way they view misbehavior and children who misbehave. This change isn’t easy and is sometimes met with reluctance or unwillingness.

Listen as special guest Amanda Spight shares how she has navigated the challenges of implementing Conscious Discipline at her elementary school. Amanda is the principal of Gladden Elementary School in Belton, Missouri. She is also the mother of a two-year-old son and has successfully implemented Conscious Discipline both at school and at home. In today’s episode, Amanda shares her stories of success and provides tips on introducing Conscious Discipline to staff, proactively addressing unwillingness, and staying the course.

Essential Takeaways

  • Conscious Discipline requires transformational change rather than traditional change. Transformational change should be organization-wide, occurs over a period of time, and requires adults to make mindset shifts and skillset shifts. Most of us are used to traditional change, which is faster and easier.
  • Teachers are regularly asked to implement new initiatives. Increase willingness through relationship-building and shared leadership, rather than announcing, “We’re doing Conscious Discipline.”
  • Allow implementation to progress organically and connect it to the why (the purpose behind new changes). Surround yourself with support and encouragement.
  • It’s helpful to model for staff the processes, activities, and structures they’ll use in their classrooms. Introduce a “new normal.”
  • The first year of Conscious Discipline is a transitional year. Hold to your values and what you believe is important for our children, and you’ll see significant positive change in time.

Steps For Tomorrow

  • Start with noticing. Without judgement, provide feedback on the positives you see.
  • Offer empathy to others. If you’re a principal, extend empathy to your staff. If you’re a parent or teacher, give empathy to your students.
  • By consistently working on noticing and empathy, you’ll build feelings of safety and increase willingness.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline 

  • :20 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :48 What are real teachers?
  • 2:05 Conscious Discipline and transformational change
  • 3:14 Changing how you see behavior and children who misbehave
  • 5:20 Introduction of guest Amanda Spight
  • 6:11 Amanda’s introduction to Conscious Discipline
  • 10:00 Introducing Conscious Discipline to staff
  • 14:12 Integrating Brain Smart Starts and commitments into staff meetings
  • 15:19 The four components of a Brain Smart Start
  • 17:20 Proactively addressing resistance from staff
  • 20:00 Shifting from external rewards to internal skills
  • 21:35 The value of noticing
  • 22:00 Amanda’s story of professional success with Conscious Discipline
  • 26:00 Why the first year of Conscious Discipline is a transitional year
  • 27:00 Amanda’s story of parenting success with Conscious Discipline
  • 30:00 The importance of deciding what you value
  • 31:00 Two steps for principals and parents to get started with Conscious Discipline

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.