More educators get training in positive discipline
THE TRAINING of educators in the new concept of positive discipline is gaining momentum, with over 50 teachers from 21 schools across Jamaica completing a one-day workshop on the topic at the Eltham Training Centre in St Ann on Wednesday.
Conducted by Life Skills Publishing, the workshop drew principals, deans of discipline, and classroom teachers from both secondary and primary levels, and according to Life Skills CEO Anisa Wilson-Smith, this new approach at promoting discipline in students is seen as refreshing.
“It’s refreshing because it’s a new approach. It’s something different we’re offering – known as positive discipline, through positive youth development, through social and emotional learning,” Wilson-Smith shared.
“The feedback I’m getting is that the system needs this, the teachers need it. The support for parents, the support for teachers to help our children as assets as they are; that’s the approach, helping to build them to make a positive contribution to nation building,” she added.
Wilson-Smith said with over 50 persons attending Wednesday’s workshop, there was a marked increase in participation, compared to the initial workshop last year.
One participant, principal at Innswood High School in Spanish Town, Collington Powell, said persons would have left the workshop feeling fulfilled.
“At Innswood we have a very high level of indiscipline, quite frankly, not startling to the point where we’re going to be tearing out our hair, but we recognise that our school is a microcosm of the society and based on where we’re located, in the volatile part of Spanish Town – that’s where our children come from largely – so we do expect the antisocial behaviour,” Powell admitted.
But with a very hard-working dean and a relatively new administration, he said the school will be tackling indiscipline from a different angle, which is where the positive discipline workshop comes in.
“We’re more appreciative of positive discipline which is why this, today, appeals to us so much as we recognise that the traditional way of approaching indiscipline is really not working and we have to really reach the children from a heart standpoint before we touch their minds,” the principal explained.
Meanwhile, Carl Sterling, the dean of discipline at St James-based Irwin High School, described the training as timely.
“The education system has its challenges where student discipline is concerned, so this workshop was quite relevant. We discussed a number of strategies from a theoretical behaviour perspective that can add to the tools that can help improve student discipline and, overall, impact society,” Sterling said.
“I’m very much appreciative of it and I believe that other educators, and parents especially, can benefit from this greatly,” he suggested.