A Note from E. Perry Good, Jane Williams, New View and the Transformative Connected School System
Dear Principals and Administrators,
Do you remember why you decided to be an educator? Was it because you, like millions of other educators, cared about young people and wanted to help them have happy, healthy and successful lives? Did you see yourself as a mentor to your students as they grew to maturity? Do you remember how great it felt the first time a student’s eyes brightened because they finally “got it” or the first time a student thanked you for believing in them? Pretty fantastic, wasn’t it?
Now that you are a school administrator, do you ever, at the end of a long, challenging day feel more like a TORMENTOR than a mentor? Do you ever have a sick feeling in your stomach after you have suspended or had a student arrested? Do you often know, deep in your heart, that this is not going to help this student but your “hands are tied” due to “zero tolerance” policies?
Recently, US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder issued new discipline guidelines that inform schools they must adhere to the principle of fairness and equity in student discipline or face strong action. The use of law enforcement must be a last resort. Suspension or expulsion must be reserved for the most severe misbehaviors and applied without racial disparity.
Have you decided how you are going to: meet the expectations of the federal government in fairly and equitably managing student behavior; address morale and motivation problems with your faculty; insure your school is safe; be an instructional leader, and address the other hundred day to day responsibilities that you already have?
The Transformative Connected School System (TCSS) can help you and your faculty!
TCSS is not a program but a series of principle-based interventions that focuses on developing successful, caring, safe, and high achieving schools. TCSS educatorss know how to foster strong relationships that result in trust and open communication because they have a thorough understanding of human behavior. TCSS deals with the roots of student motivation and behavior rather than the symptoms. The result is a school culture that consists of a community of engaged teachers and learners who are self-disciplined, empowered, and demonstrate caring and respect. The changes that occur in a Transformative Connected School are long term and sustainable.
The Transformative Connected School System combines decades of research in the study of human behavior and motivation and its application in the school setting and ten years of research on school effectiveness by the Alliance for the Study of School Climate. TCSS is individually tailored to each school, implementation is comprehensive and systematic and includes: 1. Planning and leadership development 2. Analysis and assessment and 3. Training and Facilitation.
Ask teachers if they would like to work in a school where everyone does the right thing even if no one is looking. Most will answer with a resounding “Yes!” Unfortunately, few know how to achieve this. A Transformative Connected School promotes self-evaluation, genuine responsibility and self-discipline.
The goals of the Transformative Connected School directly and specifically relate to each of the U.S. Department of Education’s Guiding Principles as identified in the Discipline Guidelines released 1/8/2014.
Principle 1: Climate and Prevention: Schools that foster positive school climates can help to engage all students in learning by preventing problem behaviors and intervening effectively to support struggling and at-risk students.
Implementation of the Transformative Connected School creates a positive school climate with the desired outcome being successful students. Successful students are engaged in their learning, feel valued, have goals, and a growth versus fixed mindset. Successful students typically have fewer discipline problems.
Principle 2:Expectations and Consequences: Schools that have discipline policies or codes of conduct with clear, appropriate, and consistently applied expectations and consequences will help students improve behavior, increase engagement, and boost achievement.
The Transformative Connected School System acknowledges that all students are internally motivated and this motivation drives behavior. Expectations and consequences are addressed with a Social Contract. This Contract provides an opportunity for the student to be responsible to the group. It is effective when the students take ownership of the agreed-on principles. The teacher is the “keeper of the contract” and knows how to model and expects to see desired behaviors. When the contract is violated logical, developmentally appropriate consequences are enforced and then the focus immediately progresses to strengthening the relationships in the classroom as well as to shifting the students thinking from the external focus on the consequences of a behavior to the internal focus of the value of a behavior.
Principle 3: Equity and Continuous Improvement: Schools that build staff capacity and continuously evaluate the school’s discipline policies and practices are more likely to ensure fairness and equity and promote achievement for all students.
Implementation of the Transformative Connected School is individually tailored to each school. After the ASSC School Climate Assessment Instrument is administered and analyzed the school can determine strengths and areas of needed improvement. This will provide key areas of focus for the training. The goal is for each member of the school to be involved in the implementation and develop a sense of ownership. It is neither a quick fix nor a “one size fits all” approach. Training occurs in stages and provides ever-increasing depth in the understanding of behavior and Transformative Connected School Classroom Practices and Principles.
Secretary Duncan has stated that in order to be a great school a school has to be a safe school. This means safe from harm but also safe for students and teachers to challenge themselves, safe for students to share and trust the adults in the school, and safe to try, even if failure is a possibility, because failure is one way we learn. Students who feel safe and valued are higher achieving students and just as importantly they are happier students. Isn’t that what we all want?
Throughout the year and across the United States, New View offers seminars as well as individualized 1 and 2 day training sessions designed to teach the Transformative Connected School System (TCSS) as well as the principles and applications of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). For more information about TCSS training and implementation or to learn more about the professional applications of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), please contact Perry Good at New View: 800-441-3604 or 919-942-8491.
Also visit the TCSS website: http://transformativeconnectedschoolsystem.com/