The Way We Do Discipline

As Integral Education invites us to cast a wide net and apply the best intersection of tools and philosophies, we use a variety of pedagogy for managing discipline in the classroom and classroom management at Odyssey School.

We primarily draw from Positive Discipline, Restorative Justice, Compassionate Communication, and Responsive Classroom.

Positive Discipline is a program designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best selling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, Cheryl Erwin, Kate Ortolano, Mary Hughes, Mike Brock, Lisa Larson and others, this philosophical tool teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults.  Odyssey School aims to see and hear each student and their needs, and we understand that behavior is a tool students use to satisfy unmet needs. With a clear set of policies, procedures, and dynamic consequences (both natural and logical), we help our students understand how to participate in and enjoy the fruits of democratic decision making.

Recent research tells us that children are hardwired from birth to connect with others, and children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave.  The Positive Discipline Parenting and Classroom Management models are aimed at developing mutually respectful relationships. Positive Discipline teaches adults to employ kindness and firmness at the same time, and is neither punitive nor permissive. 

The tools and concepts of Positive Discipline:

  • Mutual respect. Adults model firmness by respecting themselves and the needs of the situation, and kindness by respecting the needs of the child.
  • Identifying the belief behind the behavior. Effective discipline recognizes the reasons kids do what they do and works to change those beliefs, rather than merely attempting to change behavior.
  • Effective communication and problem solving skills.
  • Discipline that teaches (and is neither permissive nor punitive).
  • Focusing on solutions instead of punishment.
  • Encouragement (instead of praise). Encouragement notices effort and improvement, not just success, and builds long-term self-esteem and empowerment.

Every week each homeroom has a classroom meeting based on the principles of positive discipline.

Odyssey School is an independent, non-profit school with a focus on whole child, emotionally intelligent, personalized curriculum for students in PreK-12. Our mission is to prepare students, families, and educators to lead lives of intention and purpose with an authentic sense of self.

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