Session 4

Reflecting on practicing mindfulness:

  • a student raised their hand after the practice to point out that it was the first time in weeks that everyone was silent for a period of time

Reflecting conflict cycle reading:

  • helpful to know underlying issues: validates student makes them feel more comfortable and safe. helps teacher be empathetic, builds trust, blocks making assumptions on their behaviors.
    • can I help you address with it or can I help you survive
  • teachers don’t come into conflict cycle until observable behaviors: assumptions
  • some students might try to provoke anger responses in teachers in order to confirm their beliefs that adults are hostile
  • how to navigate two different approaches in teachers/school staff
  • hard to focus on the positives when there are so many overwhelming negatives.
  • where’s the space for teachers to be non-reactive? What’s the role of teacher reaction in the cycle?
    • choosing your battles and knowing your population
    • mindfulness helps you choose where you are going, how you will respond to the behavior
  • when kids are constantly off task (e.g. drawing and not reading) what is the best way to deal with it
    • we can only remind them of the expectations so many times
    • avoidance behavior (avoidance of work): irrationality is taking responsibility off of themselves. Major goal is to connect students with taking personal responsibility and connecting the responsibility they have to themselves
    • check in with them: what is keeping you from doing your work? is your mind not in it? is something else going on for you? reinforce that it is important for their learning
    • transferring ownership of doing work back to them: “you’re not doing your work and I get it, but you are making a conscious choice to not do what is expected of you” pointing out they are making this choice in the moment and have them reflect back on why that is happening
    • one of my frustrations is closing the distance between what I imagine the learning environment to be and what it is. need to adapt teaching to be what the kids need
  • This led to a discussion on positive reinforcement and the obstacles in using it consistently, as well as the clear benefits of this approach

The Conflict Cycle: