Discipline comes from the word “disciple” which means to follow. Our goal as a staff is to be role models for the children in our care. An important part of preschool is affirming a child’s worth and giving the child tools to learn to control his/her own behavior. The staff recognizes how fragile the child’s ego and self-esteem are and has committed themselves to demonstrating love and firm guidance. It is our desire to first use the preventative approach to discipline. Steps to preventative discipline are:
- Make sure rules are known and understood.
- Praise a child for his/her efforts, recognizing verbally the positive.
- The teacher may touch a child on the shoulder and five the child a verbal reminder of appropriate behavior.
- The teacher will tell a child he/she has a choice in their behavior (Ex. “You may choose to have a quiet voice for story or you will need to sit next to the teacher.”) The teacher will follow through with stated consequences if necessary.
- At times, directing a child elsewhere is the best way to help in a situation where children are having difficulty working together.
- The teacher will assist the child in verbalizing his/her feelings. The child will be reassured that his/her feelings are valid and be encouraged to talk things through and work out a more appropriate solution as opposed to hitting and so forth.
- Physical or verbal abuse from one child to another will not be permitted. The teacher will stop the action and model for the child a more appropriate means to communicate.
- Should a child’s behavior become uncontrollable or disruptive, the teacher will remove them to a quiet area away from the other children. The teacher will suggest the child “take a break” until he/she feels comfortable to join the others. The child will not be left alone or isolated. When the child feels settled down, he/she will rejoin the group.
- There is no “time out chair” for the child to “take a break” but this chair is only suggested. The “take a break” area may be in a bean bag chair, chair by the teacher, or at the library area. Suggesting a child “take a break” will only be done when efforts to reason with the child prove unsuccessful. Two or three minutes shall be the maximum time a child is asked to ‘rest’ and he/she will have the freedom at any time to rejoin the group when ready. The teacher shall remain close to the child and talk with the child as to why they need to rest and help them see what they could have done differently.
- The teacher will look for ways to affirm a child’s effort to control his/her own behavior. Teaching self-discipline is the key.
- No corporal punishment shall be administered at the center by any staff member.
- All employees, staff and adults in the center must abide by center rules.