Stating the Problem

I have been finding myself stating the problem at hand in a very matter-of-fact (yet positive tone!) way with the children.  For instance, if two boys are crashing cars in blocks, I say, “Gentleman, you’re crashing the blocks.”  Usually they answer with, “Sorry”. and it stops.

When children yell at me (which is often, because they are so excited!), I say, “Wow, you’re yelling at me.”  They turn their voices down.

Say it clearly, say it calmly.  “Fontal lobe!”

Making ‘no’ a ‘yes’

There is a way to say ‘no’ to a child in a positive way.  For instance, if a child often asks to go to the bathroom at the beginning of clean-up time (to get out of helping), answer, “Yes, I can take you as soon as the room is picked up.”  Isn’t that much kinder than, “No. It’s clean up time now”?

Another example:  If a child is yelling inside, instead of just saying “No yelling”, try “That’s a yelling voice – we can yell outside, not in here.”


Your Voice

YOU set the tone.  

I wanted to be the kind of teacher who never yelled, because if you yell all the time, your yell is not effective.   I raise my voice about twice a year, and the children are majorly freaked out by it.  When I speak to the children, it’s with my regular voice, not a sing-song fake voice.  (You know the voice I mean.)  I smile when I talk to them, I try to say everything in the most positive way, and I make sure they know that I am interested in what they are saying.

When I need to discipline, there are a few stages my voice goes through.  First ‘reminder’ – positive.  Second ‘reminder’ – positive words, but with less of a ‘smile in my voice’.  Third ‘reminder’ – a lower, firmer voice, but not mean or abrupt.  It’s the ‘I mean business’ voice.

Think about how you’ll use your voice in the room.