Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility’s Kristin Stuart Valdes believes that conflicts are some of the best teachable moments that arise in our classrooms. Instead of viewing conflicts as requiring disciplinary action, consider them as an important opportunity for deeper social and emotional understanding both for the student and the classroom community.
A proactive approach is necessary; anticipating the need to respond to conflicts is a great place to begin. Think about the challenges you face and address them ahead of time, instead of waiting and reacting to unwanted behavior after it shows up. Peace Corners (“Talk it out Tables” or other) help students cool down and practice the skills they have been taught to problem solve and/or cool down. Give constructive feedback to students, providing them space to try, fail, improve, and refine their developing skills.Read Kristin’s new article in Edutopia