In any environment where children are having fun, there are usually 1 or 2 who will get carried away with the excitement. When this situation rises to the level of distraction or disrespect, time-outs are generally recommended. These are accompanied with a conversation with the student about appropriate behavior in class. This conversation is either had immediately after the act which requires discipline or at another time more convenient, but before the student is allowed to rejoin the group.
We insist that the ‘Time-Out Chair’ is not identified as the ‘Naughty-Chair’. Mustardseed does not want to encourage negative labeling. We would like the children to identify the disciplining as a time to reflect on what they have done as well as what they are missing when they don’t get to participate.
Apologies are always encouraged. On a few occasions students have been asked to write a letter of apology including a rationale for why they should be allowed to participate in the activity which they have disrupted. This process is often successful as it provides a moment of quiet consideration of the infringement, but also once submitted and allowed to rejoin it becomes something of a compact between student and teacher.
Mustardseed has a no tolerance approach to acts of willful violence. Students who act violently are to be appropriately disciplined immediately – such discipline may range from being asked to sit-out of an activityor the duration of the class, or in extreme circumstances, calling the parent to collect the child before the scheduled end of class – depending on the situation.
At all times our Tutors and Assistants try to ensure that the rest of the class is not distracted or encouraged by acts of indiscipline or by disciplinary procedures – in other words, we try not to let the class miss a beat.