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Step Five: What do YOU choose to do now and next time?

9 December, 2015 - 14:53
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This step seemingly asks for two choices. This is because some actions require attention immediately. If a student breaks or steals something, things might need to be repaired or given back as soon as possible. Following this choice of action, discussion can begin on how to handle the situation differently in the future. Some actions will only require decisions of how to handle things differently in the future and only one choice is needed.

The difficulty of this step is finding the choice that is appropriate, the student has the ability to do, and the student feels is the way he wants to do it. Often students either choose what the teacher wants or choose a behavior that they do not have the skill to do. This becomes apparent in the next step of demonstration. There is nothing wrong with changing this choice at a later date. In fact, if it does not work or the negative behavior continues, then the choice of an alternative behavior must be changed. Common sense is needed here.

The principal or teacher should give as much freedom of choice to the student as possible. This is because it is the student that has to demonstrate a new habit or behavior. Although they may have displayed a very naïve, negative, or inappropriate action in the past, they will be more likely to learn a new behavior if they believe it was their decision.

Many principals and teachers require an apology as part of the choice. This works well with very young students, but often does not with middle and high school students. The forced apology is often meaningless and the student equates it with "I give" or "I lose". This does not mean that teachers do not advise on the merits of apologizing, but does mean that it should be the student's choice. Often, students apologize later, after the uproar of the current problem has subsided.