What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?
June Arbelo, a second-grade teacher at Central School, comforts a student who wants to go home during the first day of school. Tristan Spinski/GRAIN Leigh Robinson was out for a lunchtime walk one brisk day during the spring of 2013 when a call came from the principal at her school. Will, a third-grader with a history of acting up in class, was flipping out on the playground. He'd taken off his belt and was flailing it around and grunting. The recess staff was worried he might hurt someone. Will was "that kid." The expression "school-to-prison pipeline" was coined to describe how America's public schools fail kids like Will. How we deal with the most challenging kids remains rooted in B.F. But consequences have consequences. Teachers who aim to control students' behavior—rather than helping them control it themselves—undermine the very elements that are essential for motivation: autonomy, a sense of competence, and a capacity to relate to others. But brains are changeable.
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