When the sign-up form went up for the book study, I was immediately drawn to Chapter 11 - S is for Self-Discipline. Home with my three little girls all summer, I think the phrases, "Please show a little more self control" and "Make a better choice" are uttered far too many times a day ... and in different variations ... and sometimes not as nice. ;)
At the beginning of the second chapter, Barbara links self-discipline to self-control, explaining that as teachers we need to give our students permission to try to new things, sometimes unsuccessfully, so they can learn and grow and become resilient. Self-discipline happens when "we turn over control and give our students leadership roles and opportunities along with voice and choice." Self-discipline is necessary to succeed. Period. This definitely applies to our children at school and at home, so it was quite validating to read that I'm on the right track.
I've been doing a lot of reading about growth mindset this summer, and this ties in so perfectly. We have to teach our students that they have choice - they can CHOOSE they way they think and respond to challenges in their life, and by doing so, they GROW while building self-discipline. Stronger actions, stronger reactions, stronger students. How empowering.
I saw this anchor chart from Fieldcrest Elementary School earlier this year and fell in love. I shared it at a PLC meeting, and everyone had the same reaction I did. This is EXACTLY how I want to empower my students. We need to teach our students to respond to challenges with this mindset. Barbara says, "Every time we rescue a child and let or her off the hook, so to speak, they've missed an opportunity for growth." We can't rescue them - we have to teach them to change their mindset. It's not easy, but it's worth it. And that's what self-discipline is all about - it may not be what we want to do at the moment, but it's what we have to do. "When students are challenged to be self-disciplined, they become problem solvers, decision makers, and critical thinkers."
Self-discipline teaches decision making. Barbara teaches this decision making through four steps: Stop, Look, Think, and Decide.
- Stop for a minute and give yourself a little more thinking time
- Look at all of your options
- Think about possible consequences - good and bad
- Decide with confidence
When our students are empowered to make their own decisions, they begin to fly. And then they can truly grow into the superheroes they were meant to be.
You can read more about Barbara's book HERE. It really is a must-have for every classroom teacher.
Click through the links below to read other reviews and summaries of this gem.