Home » Services » West River Head Start » School Readiness » Conscious Discipline
West River Head Start staff establish a school family environment which creates a safe, caring classroom that fosters meaningful academics and social learning. Part of building this school family includes each child having a meaningful job, creating rituals, setting classroom commitments, and building connections with each child. The school family promotes and encourages kindness and helpfulness.
Classrooms will practice the Safe Keeper Ritual: My job is to keep you safe. Your job is to help keep it that way! Safety is the core of the classroom.
Verbal abuse or derogatory remarks about the child, his/her family, or their race, religion, culture or economic status will NOT be used or permitted.
Children will learn anger management, helpfulness, assertiveness, impulse control, cooperation, empathy, and problem solving skills.
Breathing techniques will be taught as a way to relax, become calm, regain composure, and maintain control. Star, balloon, drain, and pretzel are some examples.
The Safe Place in the classroom provides an opportunity for children to remove themselves from the group in order to become calm, regain composure, and maintain control when upset, sad, angry or frustrated. Children go to the Safe Place in order to be helpful and not hurtful to themselves and others. There may be breathing techniques posted, family photos, squishy balls, comfort bag, or many other things there to help manage feelings. Time out will not be used.
All children shall be within the sight of an adult. No child shall be left alone at any time.
All behavior is viewed as a call for love (help) and will be seen as an opportunity to teach the child skills so that next time the child/children will be better able to handle the situation on their own. Children will be involved in the conflict resolution process.
Staff will help the children to be successful instead of attempting to make or "get them" to behave. For example, the perspective, "How can I get this child to clean up?" will be changed to, "How can I help this child be more likely to choose to clean up?"
The staff will focus on what they want the child to do! Instead of saying, "No pushing, you know better than to push your friend, you need to be nice to your friends." Say, "When you want your friend to move, say, ‘Move please.' Tell him now for practice."
Children will be offered choices and given consequences. For example, "When you throw the blocks, one of your friends could get hurt. You can throw the ball when we go outside and you can build with the blocks. If you choose to throw the blocks again, you will have to leave the block area. We are going to keep our friends safe."