To start with this post, I will first share the background, I have been working in the same place from last 5 years and I am a person who keeps exploring new avenues to make my work better and make available for students, from last 2-3 year we have been trying to differentiate between counselling and discipline but still I was continuously being asked to discipline students with behavioural issues which neither a part of my personality nor my profile.. I tried my hard to talk to students and with teachers we could set up some consequences for non-negotiable behaviour which was also not very helpful for students hence I started this program, which I have named as behaviour management program till the time I don’t have a better name for this program (which you all can also suggest)
I started this program last week only where I selected few students who are being continuously sent to me and losing on their academics so I decided to call them on a Saturday where we can together do certain things:
1. explore our emotions and each others emotions, where students try to express their emotions with the music, or lyrics of a song, the purpose of the activity is to let student identify their emotions, this also includes activities like meditation, drawing our strengths, physical activities, listening to music etc.
2. exploring school as a physical space and owning it and making it a safe space as I believe when adolescents are given some sense of responsibility they are more focused towards those responsibilities, which includes taking a physical tour of school and also suggesting supportive placards in a positive language for everyone this helps students to identify positive words in their words and using it..
3. Understanding our actions: this is one thing which students need to know at this age as their actions are quite impulsive when they are in stage of hormonal rush and most of the times they are unaware of their actions, this includes listing down the things students do in 24 hours, and at time confronting them about their actions which they are not able to see, as simple as they see pushing as touching or they see slang as the only form of language they have, this also includes having sense of time..
4. Project based learning: another very important point is to add projects as homework to impart learning, we can use that in terms of values, reality checks of their behaviour like for bullying I gave two students a project on bullying like what is bullying and how does it impact mental health and further presenting it to the class. Students learn when they are exploring talking to people, collecting data and so on.
5. Appreciate appreciate and appreciate: most of the students who create trouble in class is because of the attention they need and once they start getting attention from negative behaviour they start enjoying it because most of the adolescents wants to be the hero of their generation and they do whatever it takes, so if you identify something like make sure you appreciate their positive behaviour and every effort they make and for other students also it is very important to appreciate them for their positive behaviour.
There can be end number of method to work with adolescents but one thing you cannot afford to give up is mutual respect and trust on them. They do wonders when you trust them.
If you also have some good methods which you have used and it comes out as successful, please share.