Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

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Dr. Marvin Marshall’s Blog

Banish Negativity

I was brought up on the principle my mother instilled in me, “If you can’t say anything nice about a person, then don’t say anything at all.” This counsel grew into the first principle of my life’s practices: positivity, which is described in my book as the first principle to reduce stress. In building relationships, negativism is the biggest enemy. You don’t want it in your mind. You don’t want it in your classroom. … [Read more...]

Student Motivation and Discipline

No matter how long you’ve been teaching, you simply cannot judge a student’s motivation with complete accuracy. Within a classroom, where all the children look as if they are doing the same thing, perhaps cooperating with the teacher and quietly doing their assignments, some will be operating on Level C and some will be operating on Level D (for details of the four Levels of Social Development, click here). While you may … [Read more...]

Discipline and the Raise Responsibility System

In the Raise Responsibility System, we speak of Levels of Behavior, with Levels C and D being the two highest. The main difference between the two lies in the difference in motivation. While an action at Level C and D can look identical, it is the difference in the MOTIVATION that identifies one person’s action as being at Level C and another person’s as being at Level D. When your students are acting at either level, … [Read more...]

Attentiveness Reduces Discipline Challenges

When people feel good about themselves, they naturally do better, produce more, and are just happier in life. So if you want to reduce discipline issues in your classroom and have a more enjoyable experience with youth, help people feel good, not bad. An old story shows how this type of outlook affects the other person: A young lady was taken to dinner one evening by William Gladstone and then the following evening by … [Read more...]

Discipline and Personal Development

What does a discipline approach have to do with personal development? When a person subscribes to my newsletter, the automated system prompts an inquiry as to how the person found out about it. Responses range from parents seeking ways to reduce their stress and promote responsible behavior to teachers struggling with classroom discipline issues. Every once in a while someone explains that while they are not a parent or … [Read more...]

Discipline, Simplicity, and Awareness

Teachers often tell me that even though the Raise Responsibility System discipline approach is referred to as simple-to-implement, they find that they continually have to be aware of being positive, offering choices, and asking reflective-type questions. When I hear this I always reply: “SIMPLE does not mean EASY.” The system is simple in that ONLY THREE principles—not a dozen or so—need to be practiced. In addition, the … [Read more...]

Positivity and Emotions

In the human body, the amygdala (Greek for almond) is composed of two almond-shaped emotional storage areas above the brain stem. It developed before the thinking part of the brain did and prompts immediate reaction—the so-called “fight or flight” syndrome. As the amygdala does not differentiate between physical or psychological threat, so the mind often does not differentiate between fantasy and reality. You can tell … [Read more...]

Responsibility and Discipline

At the heart of the concept of responsibility is the beautiful idea that it is about “response” (RESPONS-ability), which means that responsibility always has to do with relationships. In other words, responsibility is inherently mutual. You simply cannot use imposed discipline to make someone act responsibly. So often we treat and confuse responsibility with obedience, as if responsibility can be imposed. Just as imposed … [Read more...]

The Impact of Counterwill on Classroom Discipline

Counterwill is the natural human instinct to resist being controlled or coerced, and it is often the cause of classroom discipline problems. People don't like being told what to do, so we react negatively when someone tells us to do something. Yet, we tend to be surprised when encountering counterwill in younger people. Somehow we forget that all people have feelings; even infants cry or smile depending upon the … [Read more...]

The Discipline of New Year Resolutions

As the years quickly pass, the tendency to make New Year resolutions decreases. However, I encourage you to have the discipline to make at least two resolutions this year—even if you do not implement them. The reason is that resolutions carry an inference that you can change. This can be extended to thoughts of having control in how one reacts to situations in life—–that one is not a victim. Resolutions bring a sense of … [Read more...]