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Growing Positive Discipline this School Year


Growing Positive Discipline this School Year

We are excited to expand our Positive Discipline work at St. Patrick’s this school year. We now have 47 faculty, staff, and administrators across the Lower and Middle School Divisions fully certified in Positive Discipline in the classroom. You may be wondering, what is Positive Discipline? 

Positive Discipline is a program developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen, based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Driekurs. Adler believed that human behavior is motivated by a desire for belonging, significance, connection, and worth. Within the Positive Discipline program, whether through parenting in the home or the Positive Discipline in the Classroom model at school, we are teaching young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. We accomplish this by providing opportunities to develop necessary skills and helping students  see how capable they are, and showing how it relates to the overarching themes of belonging, significance, connection, and worth. The core values of Positive Discipline, such as mistakes being wonderful opportunities to learn, promoting dignity and mutual respect for all, and focusing on solutions instead of punishments, beautifully align with the mission and values of St. Patrick’s. 

Positive Discipline in the classroom involves engaging students in a series of experiential activities that aim to build skills such as regulating emotions, listening, problem-solving, understanding themselves and others, and respecting differences. The culmination of this work is learning to take part in Class Meetings, which provide a process for safely solving problems while building a sense of belonging, significance, and connection in the classroom. Within this context, students are given real-life, consistent opportunities to practice the skills they have been learning and the same skills that we, as the adults guiding them, often name as skills we want them to develop in order to be engaged members of any community. “The meetings provide a great structure for students to respectfully learn to disagree, make mistakes, and to problem solve together,” shares Grade 4 teacher Sam Hart, “Especially during a time where our students feel like so much is out of their control, Positive Discipline helps students feel a sense of ownership and voice that helps ground them.”

Want to learn more about Positive Discipline and how we use it here at St. Patrick’s? Join us on Monday, November 6, from 8:30-10:30 am for a Positive Discipline Presentation and Faculty Panel. You will hear more about Positive Discipline, how it is being implemented at St. Patrick’s, and participate in activities similar to those your children engage with in their classrooms. You can also look out for regular social media posts about our Positive Discipline work! 

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