Point of View

Point of View

Changing the World, A Classroom at a Time

We've been head down, all of us, chipping away at the tough stuff in front of us for the last few years.  At Sound Discipline's board retreat last week, we stepped back and took a look around at the world that is the context for all of our work in schools: The pandemic Division and suspicion of "the other" Climate impacts like wildfires, storms, and floods Racism Gun violence All of this big stuff is overwhelming and bigger than any one of us. But every day, when students show up in classrooms, the moments matter. Subtle changes make profound differences. [...]

2023-05-01T22:08:22+00:00September 30, 2022|

Shifting from Power-Over to Power-With When Working with Young People

"If I could wave a magic wand, my students would understand how thrilling it can be to take control of their learning. My co-workers would understand how much more of an enriching experience it is for both us and the humans who are our students to buy in to their learning." Sara Wozniak-Randall, 7th grade Pacific Northwest History, Dimmitt Middle School     Sound Discipline's work is about power. Our work invites adults who work with youth to shift from practices based in control and compliance to practices based in shared power. The principles of shared power are basic to our human [...]

2021-11-17T10:07:17+00:00November 17, 2021|

What Happened to You?

When I was a kid in the late 1960s and early 70s, I attended St. Rita’s school in a little town called Sierra Madre. The culture was corporal punishment and shame. It wasn’t until 5th grade that I had a teacher who did not use physical violence or terror. None of this seemed unusual. My experience was common. We found ways to navigate and survive. Kids’ stories of themselves and one another were shaped by shame and fear – those stories shaped the course of our lives. My story was that adults could not be trusted. I did not respect [...]

2021-10-12T13:52:12+00:00October 12, 2021|

Repackaging Consequences Does Not Create Equitable Learning Communities

As the new executive director of Sound Discipline, I spend a lot of time studying everything I can about education equity, and social emotional learning. A few weeks ago, I read an article that I found disturbing:  “How Novice and Expert Teachers Approach Classroom Management Differently.” Citing a 2021 study, the author asserts that it “reveals the ways in which new and experienced teachers think about discipline – plus 5 takeaways for managing your classroom effectively this year.” I posted it on Sound Discipline’s internal Slack, asking colleagues, “Does this article bug you?”  Here are highlights of their responses. Studies [...]

2021-09-16T09:53:28+00:00September 16, 2021|

The Problem with ‘Learning Loss’ Part 1: Outcomes vs. Experiences

"The learning loss narrative does not bring us together. It’s not the teacher’s fault; it’s not one school. It’s a systemic problem that goes back to before the pandemic." - Regina Elmi, Co-founder of Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond   As the country emerges from a global pandemic, we at Sound Discipline are paying attention to the conversation in education and policy circles about 'learning loss.' Applying the lenses of test scores, academic milestones, and SEL metrics, state and district superintendents are feeling and passing on the pressure to quantify and replace standards-based content not delivered in online classrooms. [...]

2021-06-09T15:17:46+00:00June 9, 2021|

An Open Letter to Teachers and Educators

It has been a rough year. The pandemic threw students, even those who had lived stable lives pre-COVID, into lives of uncertainty, including financial and housing insecurity.  Those who were already living challenging circumstances faced even more hardships. The constant drum beat of racial injustice added another layer of stress for both teachers and students. As always, teachers showed up for their kids. Through the struggles with steep learning curves in all manner of online platforms, and competing with video games, lack of motivation, kids’ challenges at home, and other distractions, teachers did their best. If you are a teacher, [...]

2023-05-17T18:49:02+00:00May 13, 2021|

The Journey to Understanding Trauma and Resilience

“The question we should be asking is not what’s wrong with that child, but what happened to that child?” – Oprah Winfrey “The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely they will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” - Dr. Bruce Perry   Let's talk about trauma and resilience. At Sound Discipline, we teach and coach educators and adults working with or raising kids about trauma-informed practice. Ten years ago, this concept was just migrating to schools and social service delivery. Like a [...]

2021-04-19T14:08:59+00:00April 19, 2021|

The COVID One-Year Mark: Let’s not go back

  We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature. -- Sonya Renee Taylor   The inital planning On March 5 of last year, Sound Discipline's leadership team met to make a COVID contingency plan. A 2-week school closure had just been announced. We drew all over a whiteboard, planning [...]

2021-03-15T18:39:16+00:00March 15, 2021|

Black History and Belonging in School

When we say, "what if every child knew they belonged?", what exactly do we mean?   Recently, I explored this question over Zoom with Dr. DeLeon Gray, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Education Equity at North Carolina State University and a leading researcher on the intersection of race, belonging, and motivation in school.   I learned about Dr. Gray's work from Education Trust Research Associate Nancy Duchesneau. When Nancy and I talked about Sound Discipline's investigation into belonging, she said, "Well then, you have to talk with DeLeon Gray. He is pretty much the leading voice on belonging."   [...]

2021-02-12T12:22:59+00:00February 12, 2021|

Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity

“Inclusion is not an intellectual thing. It has to be visceral. Words like diversity, equity, inclusion have no meaning at all unless we make it personal, unless we connect these themes to our life story and operationalize them in the actions of our daily lives.” – Jonathan Joseph, Sound Discipline Board of Directors.   Sound Discipline Board commits to an equity curriculum In July, Sound Discipline Board Members Jonathan Joseph and Debbie Symonds worked together to design an equity curriculum for the Sound Discipline Board around a year-long study of the book Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys [...]

2020-11-09T16:26:52+00:00November 9, 2020|
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