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Punishment and the Principal's Office
By Rusty May



The reality of K-12 education in the 21st century is that punishment alone doesn't work. Sending kids to the principal's office is a waste of everyone's valuable time. Punishment is about us and immediate gratification. Discipline is about the student and helping them develop new behaviors over time.

The majority of children who get suspended come from homes that lack the resources needed to turn those days off into a learning experience instead of a long weekend. Sending kids to the office tells them that you give up and have turned your authority over to someone else.

Is there a time and a place for punishment and referrals, absolutely. But as a general way of dealing with low-level, non threatening, off task and disrespectful behaviors (which are the vast majority of what we deal with on a daily basis), these forms of punishment no longer work. They ultimately hurt our ability to connect with our students. K-12 education is all about the relationship we're able to create with our students and coming up with creative ways to discipline behavior is a powerful way to connect and show them that you're willing to go the extra mile to help them succeed. If not us, who? If not now, when? Thank you for all you do everyday to change the future.



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About the Author

Rusty May, Rusty May Inc.
10. S. Sherman Drive
Bear, DE 19701
415-948-0668

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