Last week marked the end of the 2nd trimester of school. The last two days of the school week were reserved for parent conferences. I joined a few conferences to support. I was truly surprised when a parent thanked me for handling the discipline of their child at school. I was even more taken aback when it happened again.
It made me think of the times that I’ve had students in my office for breaking the rules or worse. I want to share what I do when a student enters my office because I think what I’m doing is working.
1. I smile at them as they enter.
2. I sit down at a table with them- I do not speak to them from across my desk. I ask them to tell me what’s happening.
3. I write down or type what they say, asking questions along the way.
4. I occasionally read it back to them. When they are done I read them their whole account.
5. I ask them if they are telling the whole truth then do my best to verify the student’s account of what happened.
6. I explain what I am going to do next. For example, if there were other children involved, I tell them that I’m going to talk to the other child.
7. Once everyone involved agrees with the accounts of what happened, I then issue a consequence.
8. I ask, “Do you think this is a fair consequence?”
9. I contact the teacher and the parents to explain what happened.
10. I periodically check in with the student afterwards.
I very rarely veer from this personal protocol. It is what works for me. I have gained the trust of the students, parents and teachers at my school by doing this consistently and fairly.