Schools in all Australian states and territories are being implored to try harder to improve student behaviour and reduce suspensions. They’re worthwhile ambitions but they’re also hard to achieve without changing the system.
If the system is that we investigate student behaviour and then use the findings of that investigation to determine blame before dispersing an appropriate punishment, then there’s only one way to get better at this system.
You’d need to spend more time investigating and get busy handing out more severe punishments. And put simply, nobody I know in schools has the time to call more witnesses and supervise more detentions or internal suspensions.
It’s not the deployment of this system that we need to get better at. It’s this cumbersome, time-consuming system that’s needs fixing.
Crime and punishment may work in a judicial environment, but it falls well short in a learning environment.
And if the game is students who spend their time in schools learning to become more respectful, responsible, honest, kind and empathic – then we don’t need to try harder at a system geared to deny that growth at the expense of constantly dodging a personal sanction.
There are systems and approaches available to schools that can replace the prevailing and outdated model, a model that isn’t helping us with either our missions or to comply with policy from above.
The trick is to identify that it’s system change that’s required and to fully discard the old operating system for the new. Sadly, a few big educational departments around Australia are yet to learn that you can’t run two systems for behavioural improvement at the same time and are trying to be all things to all people.
Don’t make that mistake in your school.
Keep fighting that good fight,
I have a few PS messages for you today:
PS1. You really should come to a FREE webinar I’m running about “Leading Whole School Behaviour Improvement” on Wednesday 9th November at 2pm AEDT by registering at this link.
PS2. If you’re a Principal contemplating a career change, then you should attend an online Role Briefing on Monday 7th November at 7pm AEDT about becoming our next Real Schools Expert Facilitator by clicking here.
PS3. Places in The Inner Circle for 2023 are now rapidly filling. If you’d like to be personally mentored by yours truly, you’d better get a wriggle on. Click here for info and enrolment.
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