What Is Conscious Discipline?
Conscious Discipline is a social and emotional intelligence program designed to help children and adults respond to conflict in the higher centers of their brain instead of react from the lower centers of their brain. It is a relationship based model of discipline. The Conscious Discipline model believes that it is possible for adults to change themselves in order to change how children will respond to them. It does not rely simply on rules to govern behavior, but our relationships with children to govern behavior. The Conscious Discipline model embraces conflict perceiving is as an opportunity for growth. It sees conflict as missing social and emotional skills and teaches us how to replace those skills within our self and our children. This will allow us to build healthy relationships with one another. Conscious Discipline’s goal is to foster permanent changes in the behavior of both children and adults. It consists of three components: 1. Safety through self-regulation, 2. Connection through the school family. 3. Problem-solving through changing our perception and response to conflict.
Conscious Discipline has been shown to: decrease aggressive behavior, improve academic achievement, reduce impulsive and hyperactive behavior in difficult children, improve teaching time, and foster a positive school climate. Conscious Discipline is a journey that the faculty and staff at Joshua Butler Elementary has chosen to adopt to strengthen our students and help them become the best they can be as productive members of our society. As faculty, we hope to also be strengthened and become the change that we wish to see in the world. We are in the early stages of our journey, but we are seeing changes in our school climate and in our academic success.
What is Morning Meeting?
At Butler we have a large school morning meeting (K-5th grade students) each day in the auditorium to help us start our day off right. During morning meeting, our school family meets to have the Conscious Discipline Brain Smart Start. The Brain Smart Start is made up of four activities: 1. An activity to unite- 2. An activity to disengage stress 3. An activity to connect 4. Activity to commit. These activities allow us to shift from a disorganized to an organized internal state. They also change our internal state from conflicted to peaceful which will dictate our behavior. The Brain Start Smart fosters our ability to learn and create cooperative classrooms.
At Butler, we say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing our Morning song, and do our behavioral chants as activities to unite. Our activity to disengage stress includes our breathing strategies, singing, stretching, moving and laughing together as a school family. We utilize our morning song as our activity to connect as it requires two people to conduct the activity together. During this activity, we focus on eye contact, presence, playfulness and touch. Our activity to commit is done in the form of our chants. Stating what we plan to do for the day, our brains are prepared for a day of increased self regulated learning.
After our large school meeting, students report to their classrooms for a meeting with their class families. The individual class meetings also incorporate a Brain Smart Start. They may also include class chants about their behavioral expectations. They include a safe keeper ritual and a Wish You Well Ritual. Class meetings provide an opportunity to engage in the problem solving process and resolve conflicts that may occur.