Thursday, August 4, 2011

Conscious Discipline

Does anyone practice Conscious Discipline, by Dr. Becky Bailey, within their school or classroom? Our school has been using this philosophy (for lack of a better word) for many years. (If you are unfamiliar with Conscious Discipline click HERE.)    According to Dr. Bailey, "Discipline in not something you do to children.  It is something you develop within them."  I love this quote and I feel like this has value.  I want so much to be that teacher who can spout conscious discipline out of her mouth with ease!  But to be honest  I feel like I start off strong each year but somehow manage to drop into my dominant teacher role by mid to end year.  Anyway.... My plan is to start off strong this year and try very hard to continue with this throughout the year.  But..... I am so wrapped up in my current behavior system it is hard to change.  What I currently use is a system of five colors.  They would like to keep a blue star day.  If not they progress down the chart from there.  This model has served me very well for 15 years.  I know it has value but it does not follow the Conscious Discipline model.  I know this to my core - but it is hard to give up! The hardest part to give up is the daily notice that goes home.  It is expected. - or so I have convinced myself.  Is it really necessary? I am  beginning to think not. But.... How do I best explain these changes to my incoming parents?  I would like to present something during our open house, but I don't really know how to explain the changes without trying to explain ALLLLL of Cons. Disc!!  Am I making sense?  Does anyone have any grand ideas on how to quickly, yet succinctly, explain this?

I know I may sound as if I am rambling to some of you, especially if this is the first time you have heard of Conscious Dispinline, but even if there is one of you wonderful bloggers out there that can help me I would appreciate it! 



Mrs. Hoang said...

I have seen her speak as well and have her book. I wanted to do it too, but the time is a issue. Our school is starting the PBIS next year, so that will probably be a modified version of that. I saw a cute blog with the idea to use pony beads. You tape a cut pipe cleaner and put it on each desk (table). Then if they do something good they get a bead (getting on carpet when told, cleaning up when told, lining up correctly,etc). She also said that if anyone steals they loose theirs. They get about 2 a day. If they get 10 by the end of the week they get a prize of Friday (Ex. popcorn, snack, free centers for those who got it,extra recess for those who got it etc).
I hope that helps

Anonymous said...

We use CD too and it is SO hard to get out of that method of saying "stop", "don't", etc. We used a color changing system last year, but this year we are getting rid of it. I, too, am wondering about how to report to parents (because that is really the main reason why we use colors). I will be implementing a parent/teacher communication log in our take-home binders that will have a space for a "positive" note each day, even something as simple as "Johnny said please!" and then if there is something to work on... We will see how it goes!

Jennifer K. said...

I attended CD training given by my district. I got some good ideas from it, and maybe it was our trainer, but I really prefer Great Expectations to CD. That said, I think there are some parents who really want that communication of how their child is doing daily, and some who wouldn't care either way (and of course the few who don't even bother looking lol). The ones who are not behaving you are probably going to be contacting home about anyways right? So maybe for those who DO behave, you could jot down a quick note on a sticky pad every few days and place it in the child's folder. My son was in pre-k this past year and his teacher did not have a clip chart or color system at all. It worked for her, and I was satisfied with the occasional email/note home. Also, if you still want the clip chart, you can try one like this where children have the opportunity to move Up as well as down. This was made by Desiree at
She has many different themes, so you could find one that works for your classroom.

Also, since the parents don't know how you did things last year, don't even explain to them that you've changed things. Just lay out how your classroom will work and leave it at that. ;)

Whew, that was a long comment lol, hope it was semi helpful anyways!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Nicki said...

I went through conscious discipline training last year and was so glad to give up the behavior charts and behavior notes home to parents. With lots of modeling by mid year my kids were using the CD jargon with their peers if anyone was acting up. I much preferred (and I'm sure my parents did as well) sending home positive notes. I did find that it was hard to remember a lot of principals when in the thick of things but our trainer gave us a great little set of card on a ring that I could slip in my pocket as a reminder. I also posted several of the phrases up in my room on the high side for my own reference. Trust me you will feel liberated no to have that behavior chart.

Tessa said...

Thanks for the comments ladies! I think I am ready to dive into the no behavior chart pool! Like I said, my biggest worry is the expectation of parents (many of whom I have had their siblings) of a daily chart. I like the daily correspondence idea or the sticky note idea. I may have to do one of these. I'm just not sure if I want to be filling out positive (or negative notes) daily. Now, if I picked a couple of kids a day, kept track on a check list somehow of who I sent positive notes home to and made an effort to send positive notes home often with my repeat offenders... - do you think that would work? Ahhh! I think I might be overthinking this and just need to relax!

William Smith said...

I think with anything we do we have to practice it consciencely until it becomes our unconscience practice. I agree with you that it is easier to start the year with discipline and much harder to keep it going. Thanks for leading me to conscience discipline.

Nancy Pham said...

Hi I was wondering how did the change into conscious discipline go? I want to learn about this program so that I could use it in student teaching in the fall and future. I looked through the website and purchase a few things but couldn't afford to go to the workshops. Would you be able to tell me more about how you use it throughout the school year?

Unknown said...

To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge. See the link below for more info.