“Absolutely”, says internationally renowned parenting author and teacher Lou Harvey-Zahra.
“Teachers are struggling everywhere to manage classrooms. There may be more tricky behaviours than ever before. It’s a struggle and many teachers come into their role without enough support or training in dealing with difficult, challenging behaviours”.
So, if a teacher struggles to cope with classroom management does that reflect poorly upon their competence?
“The most accomplished teachers all face challenges. Not coping is certainly not a sign of failure. It can be overwhelming for teachers to face classroom management issues without training or strategies to overcome their obstacles. To admit you’re finding the journey of being a teacher rockier than anticipated is courageous, not a sign of weakness”.
Sydney Rudolf Steiner College is hosting a NESA endorsed one day course on Positive Discipline techniques – aimed at Early Childhood and Primary school teachers – which will be run by Lou Harvey-Zahra.
Lou’s focus is practical, and solution oriented. “With only theories to help teachers, they may go away feeling inferior. In my experience they require practical ideas”, she says.
The course Lou has designed especially to run at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College is structured around the implementation of solutions. Divided into 4 stages, the course will look at the following:
- How to strengthen the relationship between teachers and students, the implementation of Rudolf Steiner’s “loving authority” principle;
- How to practically set up the class space to induce harmonious relationships
- How to implement 10 Positive Discipline strategies for transforming tricky but volatile classroom scenarios
- Closely looking at individual needs, uncovering the reasons behind a behavioural pattern and adapting the classroom or curriculum to address the unique needs of the child.
What are the benefits of doing Positive Discipline: Effective and Caring Behavioural Management?
“Firstly, by gathering a group of teachers to help one another, we are acknowledging we need to support one another to find the resources to manage these issues comprehensively. When you discipline a child, you care for the child and all the children within the class. The lessons you’re teaching them, to respect the class’s desire to learn in an undistracted, harmonious environment, for example, are about teaching that child an important life lesson which is to respect others. This lesson’s impact goes well beyond the walls of the classroom”, says Lou.
Teachers need, more than ever, the support to implement the “loving authority” that Steiner spoke about. Some may feel anxious to confess how trying challenging behaviours can be but in Lou’s courses teachers’ bond, providing one another solidarity, wisdom and acceptance.
Participants get to keep a take-home solutions manual. At Lou’s recent Melbourne Positive Discipline professional development course for early childhood educators one of the participants wrote, “Thank you so much for your invaluable insights, they were extremely practical and helpful. I got home so excited about how I was going to implement class management ideas, that I simply couldn’t sleep! It was an awakening!”.
NPD918 Positive Discipline: Effective and Caring Behavioural Management will run in 2019