It felt good in this workshop to hear about what we already do well with discipline in my middle school. The speakers talked about the three areas of the brain which work together to allow for effective human to human connection and leadership skill development. Joann Deak, brain researcher, expertly laid out the importance of allowing students to learn through consequences in difficult moments, not just because this kind of practice helps learning, but because these experiences actually help the adolescent brain to grow and become more able to make good decisions. The brain of that 7th grader who plagiarizes will grow and develop more when the consequence requires some processing of what led up to her making that decision and some thinking about what she needed from her teachers, her parents or herself that she wasn’t getting.
Lingering questions for me?
What do adults in schools need to know about brain development in order to create discipline systems and consequences that work?
What do my middle schoolers need to understand about their own brain development in order to help them make sense of the ups and downs and learning in the middle school years?