My Philosophy About Discipline

by Larry Martin

Children should act on inner directives and be gentle and gracious in the classroom based on these inner directives not on external punishments or rewards. We need to train children to be self-directed through consistent, fair, firm, and prompt redirection. We must only use logical and natural consequences.

Many children grow up with unmet sensitive periods of development. It is our calling to train children to learn and use inner directives when lacking. When children choose to go off task, we need to swiftly enact redirections. However, if redirections fail, we are to patiently and persistently enact fair, firm and consistent logical and natural consequences. Also, it is imperative that we must include and educated parents in the discipline process. It is our goal to help children pull out of themselves the ability to stay on task without external punishments or rewards. However, we are to attack the problem in as many different ways as possible. Sometimes, one child will need numerous redirections. So as to meet the needs of the child in as many ways as possible, we must use our creative inner juices to come up with creative and proactive discipline.

One thing that should be done upon the onset of the first week of school is to unambiguously establish the expectations of the classroom and to announce and establish the routines. Routines should not vary from one month to the next, but routines may be adjusted to meet the collective needs of the classroom. After routines have been clearly established, children must be reminded of the routines and helped to follow them.

Apart from the abstract aspects of the classroom in regards to helping children to follow their own inner directives, there is the curricular aspect. That by having children engrossed in the full "Cosmic Education" spoken of by Maria Montessori, children become more normalized. Although the term "Cosmic Education" sounds quaint it includes the study of all the sciences – Zoology, Botany, Earth science, Geology, space exploration, Chemistry, and natural history.

The idea that this part of a child's education should be termed "cosmic" is that all the sciences are interwoven. After a person has become knowledgeable in all of those sciences he or she becomes conscious of his or her part in the universe and how he or she has both positive and negative impacts on the world around them. Also, their basic knowledge is increase significantly.

If all people were to have such an education, where would we be?

Larry Martin has a BA. Ed. {ASU} and is Montessori Certified MTEC San Francisco.

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