How to Create a Love and Logic Classroom
By Jim Fay
The following audios and books are excellent for the purpose of learning the Love and Logic philosophy and techniques:
Most people benefit from reviewing these Love and Logic materials several times.
This "over-learning" will enable you to more readily apply these Love and Logic techniques while teaching.
Start slow. Pick just one Love and Logic technique and begin to experiment. Here are some examples to choose from:
- Neutralizing arguing with the Brain Dead technique
- Locking-in sadness or empathy before delivering consequences
- Setting limits with enforceable statements
- Sharing control through lots of small choices
- Building relationships with the One Sentence Intervention
- The Anticipatory Consequence
One by one, start experimenting with additional Love and Logic techniques.
Download the Creating Your School's Core Beliefs worksheet, compliments of Love and Logic. Choose between five and seven of these principles to guide your disciplinary decisions. Feel free to modify or add principles as long as each is consistent with Love and Logic.
In your classroom, post a list of expectations, describing how you will run your classroom. When developing this list, be certain that you can actually enforce these expectations. In other words, avoid making threats that you cannot back-up, such as "Keep your hands to yourself" or "Be quiet when I'm teaching." Use what we term "Enforceable Statements" to set these Love and Logic limits and expectations in your classroom.
DO NOT WARN STUDENTS ABOUT SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES IN ADVANCE! Just indicate that you will respond to each problem in an individualized manner, depending upon the unique situation.
Examples of Love and Logic Lists
Classroom Expectations (Example #1)
- Feel free to do anything that does not cause a problem for anyone else.
- I teach when there are no distractions or other problems.
- I listen to students who raise their hand.
- I listen to one person at a time.
- Please treat me with the same respect I treat you.
- If someone causes a problem, I will do something.
- What I do will depend on what happened and what the person is willing to do to solve the problem.
Classroom Expectations (Example #2)
- I allow students to remain in my classroom as long as they do not cause a problem for anyone else.
- If they cause a problem, I will ask them to fix it.
- If they can't or will not fix it, I will do something.
- What I do will depend on the unique situation.
- When making disciplinary decisions, ask yourself, "How is my proposed intervention consistent with my Core Beliefs of discipline that I have included in my plan and my posted list of expectations?" Encourage yourself to handle discipline problems on a case-by-case manner, focusing on the unique characteristics of each situation.
- If you don't know what to do at any given moment, delay the consequence, refer to your plan, and discuss possible solutions with other teachers, your administrators, the child's parents, or others.
- Your goal is to achieve consistency by basing each of your decisions on this same set of values or principles…rather than trying to treat every problem the same using a "cookbook" approach. Consistency with values is more attainable than consistency between students, situations, and consequences.
Example Classroom Discipline Plan
Guidelines and Core Beliefs for Discipline
Mrs. Krochmal 1996-97
Rules in my classroom are few. I believe that as all children are different, and all actions and reactions very personal in nature, effective discipline involves a few overriding tenets rather than a long list of specific rules. Situations are dealt with as they arise, with the focus on enabling the child to grow and learn from his or her actions.
Guidelines for Student Behavior
- You may engage in any behavior that does not create a problem for you or anyone else in the world.
- If you find yourself with a problem, you may solve it by any means that does not cause a problem for anyone else in the world.
- You may engage in any behavior that does not jeopardize the safety or learning of yourself or others. Unkind words and actions will not be tolerated.
In ensuring that the above guidelines are adhered to, I will operate with the following principles as my guide:
- I will react without anger or haste to problem situations.
- I will provide consequences that are not punitive but that allow the child to experience the results of a poor choice, enabling him or her to make better choices in the future.
- I will proceed in all situations with the best interest of the child who-foremost in my mind-academic, social, and emotional well-being will be fostered.
- I will guide students toward personal responsibility and the decision-making skills they will need to function in the real world.
- I will arrange consequences for problem situations in such a way that the child will not be humiliated or demeaned.
- Equal is not always fair. Consequences will be designed to fit the problems of individual students, and they may be different even when problems appear to be the same.
- I will make every effort to ensure that, in each situation, the students involved understand why they are involved in consequences.
- If I at any time act or react in a way that a child truly feels is unjust, that student need only say to me, "I'm not sure that's fair." I will arrange a private conference during which the student can express to me why he or she feels my actions were not fair. This may or may not change my course of action. I am always open to calm, rational discussion of any matter.
How to Create a Love and Logic School
I. INTRODUCE LOVE AND LOGIC TO YOUR STAFF BY DOING ONE OF THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS:
- Have the staff listen to the first two stories on the audio Four Steps to Responsibility. Make the audio available to those who are interested.
- Play one of the video clips from the Love and Logic teacher training program, 9 Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom.
- Invite a staff member from a Love and Logic school to make a presentation to your staff about the use of Love and Logic in their school.
- Invite a consultant from the Love and Logic Institute to make a presentation to the school or the school district. For information on hiring Jim Fay or Dr. Charles Fay, call 800-338-4065.
II. CREATE A STUDY GROUP
- DO NOT MANDATE LOVE AND LOGIC! This group should be made up of volunteers who are the most enthusiastic about learning new ways of working with students.
- If possible, provide 1 hour of release time on monthly basis for this select group to study the training program, 9 Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom. These staff members then conduct experiments with the Love and Logic techniques and informally share their enthusiasm for the results. The best results come when the administrator is part of the study group.
- Create additional study groups as needed.
- Provide the same kind of study opportunities for support staff members.
III. DEVELOP A LENDING LIBRARY OF TRAINING MATERIALS
Visit our Love and Logic customer service department for suggestions and ideas about the most efficient use of your budget. Call toll free 800-338-4065.
IV. CREATE A BUILDING-WIDE LOVE AND LOGIC PHILOSOPHY OF DISCIPLINE
Develop an agreed-upon set of basic Love and Logic principles that serve as a guide for all disciplinary interventions. Here are some suggested steps in developing this philosophy:
- Provide each staff member with a copy of the sheet entitled, Creating Your School's Core Beliefs, which can be obtained from the Love and Logic Institute.
- Ask each staff member to take some time to circle five or six of the Love and Logic values or principles they would be proud to endorse.
- Encourage faculty members to change the wording of these Core Beliefs if they feel a strong need.
- Have grade-level meetings where members discuss the Core Beliefs they circled. Next, use this discussion to develop an agreed-upon set of Core Beliefs representing the entire grade level. List these Love and Logic principles on paper.
- Conduct a meeting with teachers from all grade levels. Vote on the principles developed by each grade level to develop a school-wide list of Love and Logic principles.
- Post these Love and Logic principles in every room of the school.
- Share this Love and Logic document with parents and other community members, asking for their support in helping the school meet this commitment.
- When developing Love and Logic disciplinary interventions, ask, "How is my proposed Love and Logic intervention consistent with our overall principles of discipline?"
Note: This entire process may take up to six months. Don't rush it. Let it evolve.
Special Note: This entire process is useless if the administrators are unwilling or unable to monitor staff implementation.
Encourage each staff member to deal with discipline situations in their own unique ways based upon the merits of the situation, provided that the actions taken by the adult are consistent with the posted Core Beliefs of the School Wide Philosophy.
V. PROVIDE PARENTING WITH LOVE AND LOGIC TRAINING FOR THE COMMUNITY
- Purchase the parent training program, Parenting the Love and Logic Way. This program has been designed to be used without prior training. It is very practical and easy to teach. Just follow the simple lesson plans.
- Make it available to parents of all age children.
- Consider the parents of preschool and kindergarten children as a target audience.
Note: You will find that each parent who takes this course will be much more supportive of the school staff. In just a few short years, you can have the entire community speaking the same language about raising kids… and your job will get a lot easier!
Special Note: Many schools have found that is very easy to get Kindergarten parents to these classes. The school secretary is the important cog in this wheel. When parents sign up their children for Kindergarten, the secretary says, "Here are two forms. One is to register for Kindergarten and the other is to register for the parenting class that all Kindergarten parents take. You may register for the fall class or the spring class. It's your choice."
People who are really successful implementing this skill purchased Teaching with Love and Logic
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For more information, call the Love and Logic Institute, Inc. at 800-338-4065.