Guided Discipline: Voices from the Field

Educators describe tremendous benefits from ESR’s multi-day Guided Discipline institutes and workshops, which help middle and high school teachers organize and manage their classrooms in ways that increase students’ learning and cooperation, self-management, responsible decisionmaking, and disciplined work habits. These skills and habits lead to greater personal and social efficacy and academic success.

From San Francisco:

Natalie Eberhard, principal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, recently told us that “Most of our teachers have had very little training in how to communicate clearly and appropriately with adolescents and how to create a sense of community in the classroom. Both of these deficits were very well addressed by ESR’s coaching which has helped the adults feel that they can really improve their teaching and their students’ behavior.”

Assistant Superintendent Jeannie Pon said, “The Guided Discipline institute will help teachers really focus on what’s happening or not happening in their classrooms. It’s important because everything starts in the classroom. If you do not have classroom management and engagement strategies, relationships with your students, and know the strengths and challenges that your students have, you’re going to have disruption, and that’s going to carry over to the rest of the school. Your classroom should be a haven, an oasis for students.”

Here’s what some teachers in New York City have told us:

“I’ve been teaching a long time and have seen problems increase in my classroom. I found that my lack of skill in dealing with them often makes them worse. I’ve always had good relationships with my students but I lacked routines, clear expectations, and consequences, and kids need these. Before the Guided Discipline training, when a student arrived late I would say, ‘You’re late!’ Now I say, ‘I’m glad you’re here. Please take a seat and we’ll talk about the consequences after class.’ This way I communicate that I care that the student is there, that there will be time to talk later, and that there will also be consequences. Since I started using all of the practices I learned with Guided Discipline, I’m no longer having issues in my class.” – Sonia Burke

“I implemented all of the ideas right away in my classroom, from the entrance and exit procedures to everything in between. I found that things as simple as explaining to the kids what I was doing and why, and hanging the rules on the wall where kids could see them so they were no longer ‘my’ rules but ‘our’ rules, changed the dynamic in the room.” ― Paula Anji

“I took your Guided Discipline workshop last April and, because of it, I’ve been having success in all my science classes – 9th through 11th grades. I’ve used the rights and responsibilities technique with my sophomores and juniors which made their endless chatter go away. I also used one of your techniques to urge students to complete their homework assignments prior to the end of the second marking period. It worked!”   – Felicia Barahona

We heard the following from teachers in Denver:

Ryan, a middle school science teacher at High Point Academy said, “ESR’s consultant has been a great support to me. She has helped me use total participation strategies to engage my students. She teaches, she listens and she is great at modeling. One thing that has really changed is my approach to the behaviors that I see in my class. Instead of saying, ‘Stop it!’, I ask myself why might this student be behaving this way. I try to understand the behavior and help the student.”

Tony, a High Point Academy middle school English teacher, said “ESR’s consultant has exposed us to strategies that go beyond our discipline and content. As a middle school team we have unified ways of helping kids with their behavior from class to class. We have a mutual language to use with the kids.”

Visit our Guided Discipline professional services page for more about the ways that your school can work with ESR to learn and implement support and structures that will make a positive difference in teaching and learning in your school. For more on other ESR Guided Discipline resources, including excerpts from our publication Getting Classroom Management RIGHT: Guided Discipline and Personalized Support in Secondary Schools, visit the Guided Discipline Resources page.