We find that the children at NIST CCC have fewer behavioral problems because self-respect is encouraged as well as personal responsibility for his/her actions. It is important for each child to learn self-control and to respect the rights of others while learning in a safe and caring environment.
The staff at NIST CCC will guide the children in a firm but loving manner toward self-control. This will be accomplished with love, respect, and consistency.
Discipline is NOT punishment, but a means to encourage self-control and responsibility. It is nurturing and educational. Good discipline is based on caring, honesty, respect, and trust. Children will be treated with respect and in turn are able to be respectful to others. We expect the children and adults to observe four rules of respect in regards to their life at the center.
- Respect for self
- Respect for others
- Respect for materials, tools, and equipment
- Respect for the environment
This means that the children will respect one another and respect the school's property and that of other children. It also means that children do not use language that is hurtful or inappropriate or touch another child unless the child wants to be touched. If there is a conflict between children that they are unable to resolve, children will be brought together to talk out the problem and seek conflict resolution.
The staff exemplifies appropriate behavior with the children and with each other. In this way, a positive model is provided for the children. Staff model respect, kindness, and encouragement. Children are encouraged to be kind and respectful in turn, but are also acknowledged for who they are. Appropriate channeling of anger is fostered.
Encouragement of self-control and responsibility for offending and affected children is a collaborative partnership. It is imperative for parents and/or guardians to maintain open and immediate communications with the staff if they are alerted by their child of any ensuing behavioral problems and/or if a change in a child's mental state is observed. Rules of respect convey to staff, parents, and/or guardians while maintaining the privacy of the offending and affected children.
Principles for Guiding Behavior
Principles for guiding behavior are:
- Protect the rights of the child and others by setting clear-cut, consistent guidelines and rules for appropriate behavior.
- Anticipate problems before they occur.
- Speak to the child/children regarding the action in a calm yet firm voice. Voices may be raised slightly to alert the children that you are disapproving of their behavior or to alert the children of impending danger.
- Inform the children that there are consequences for not following the rules.
- Tell the children what to do rather than what not to do.
- Provide related and immediate consequences for unacceptable behavior when it occurs by all children in our care.
- Allow children to try and resolve conflicts that are not violent.
- Redirect the children to another activity if having difficulty focusing on the activity at hand.
- Offer children alternatives to aggressive behavior, such as walking away, ignoring, working in a quiet designated area in the classroom, or talking through a problem.
- Children will not be deprived of food at any time or be restricted from any activities of the program.
The safety of the staff and other children must be ensured. Inappropriate behaviors which will not be allowed in the classroom environment include:
- Hurting someone intentionally
- Foul language
- Rude gestures
- Habitual disruptive behaviors
When the staff observe that a child requires an increased amount of staff guidance and time, this will be documented and, if necessary, the parents will be contacted. The staff is committed to trying positive techniques, observing the behavior and recording it, and meeting with the offending child's parents and/or guardian to work collaboratively toward encouraging positive behavior. Our kindergarten classroom uses red, yellow and green stop lights as a part of a behavioral management technique. Each child starts the day on green; yellow is a warning, and red warrants a discussion at the end of the day with a parent.
First offense of a major misbehavior as deemed by the teacher, the staff will follow the principles for guiding behavior as given above. However, broken skin (i.e., biting) is always documented on our standard incident form.
Second offense - the child's teacher will provide a written record of the inappropriate behavior and the parent/guardian will be asked to initial and date the written record as an acknowledgement. The parent/guardian and the teacher(s) should identify a specific mechanism for collaboratively addressing the inappropriate behavior.
Third offense - the parents will be called for a formal meeting with the teacher(s) and/or director to negotiate a co-operative plan of action to resolve the misbehavior.
Fourth offense - the child will be removed from the class for the rest of that specific day. The parents will be called to pick up the child. In some instances, participation in counseling (delivered by school or community mental health providers) will be recommended.
In general, we do not expel children from the Center as this does not allow us to adequately deal with the behavior we are trying to change. However, if after all the above steps have been followed by the child, parents, staff and center director, and a child's behavior cannot be resolved, the child may be dismissed from the program.
Any parent or guardian who is disruptive to the program, does not comply with the policies of the NIST Child Care Center, or whose behavior is intimidating to the children, parents of other children or the staff of the Center, will be asked to leave the program.
See Mandatory Withdrawal.