The task here is to review all the methods you now use and change any punishments to consequences. If they need to be removed from the group or class, remove them until they have problem-solved and commit to a new behavior. If they need to be placed in a detention-type setting, place them until they have problem-solved and committed to a new behavior. If they need to be removed from school (suspension), remove them until they are ready to return and problem-solve and commit to a new behavior. Some students will only need a brief time while others will need more time and assistance.
Again, using consequences instead of punishments will not result in lower student expectations. With enforcing expectations and teaching, a principal or teacher can actually raise expectations. They can also use problems to show the student that they expect much more from them (raising self-esteem), and that they want them back in school or class (increasing sense of belonging). The principal and teacher are now in the position of being the ones to help and assist in getting the student back into school and/or class -not the punisher who believes they should not be there.
In the alternative school where these methods were first implemented, the student handbook's first sentence was Our School Has No Punishments. It went on to explain that students would be removed from class or school if they presented harm to self or others or if they needed to solve an important problem prior to returning to school or class. The school taught the students the difference between punishments and consequences. Parents often asked about the first sentence in the handbook and the principal or teachers were able to teach many of them about the practice.
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