Research: Sound Discipline of Seattle published a great article this week that asks us to re-think the notion of disrespect in school and at home, distinguishing the concept of respect from that of obedience. They define obedience as “following the directions of an authority figure,” an act that is based in fear and results in compliance. By contrast, respect means “holding the other person in high regard” and considering their feelings, an act that is based in a cooperative relationship. In schools, they suggest that teachers and staff model self-regulation and respect, connect with students before asking anything of them/correcting them, and listen to their students. Click here for tips about how to practice respect at home.
Practice: We don’t believe that children choose to be disrespectful. So when we see behaviors that could be interpreted as such we dig down to find what’s really going on. Something must be off for such behaviors to flare. Is the student being stretched too far in some way? Academically? Socially? Physically? Emotionally? Does the student connect with their teacher or their peers? We gather teachers together or call team meetings to problem-solve such issues and can change the student’s program to meet their changing needs at any time. Respect is a fundamental aspect of our program.