Discipline like reality is a very fluid concept

July 11, 2016 | Boys’ Preparatory

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are” – Talmud….

 The challenge is for each of us to reflect on “Who and where we are”; against a local, national and global framework of environmental, political, economic, social and educational veracities which quizzes our perceptions.

Within our prep, we all share perceptions around educational practice – not only in pedagogy and curriculum matters but moreover recently in discipline matters.

Boys’ preparatory strives for a restorative versus punitive approach to discipline issues where boys are guided towards reflecting on their actions or behaviour so that learning from the incident encourages growth, genuine relationship building and an honest ownership of ones actions.

This does not imply that punitive action does not never occur, naturally, each discipline matter presents a varied degree of restorative or punitive actions, and the latter action, is often the reality which attracts mixed perceptions.

We all seek justice in our country and within a world context. One perception is that we can’t control justice outside of our school environment and subsequently want a more aggressive punishment process within our school. Fairness within a school discipline matter is of interest not only for boys/parents directly concerned but at times for onlookers or those who “get to hear” about an incident.  We need to guard against the notion that if a boy who commits the discipline matter in “public” that his disciplinary action can also be “public”.

The staff are aware of the varied perceptions that exist around bullying or theft. We collectively work towards eradicating both of these problems and the associated perceptions. We reassure One and All neither is condoned nor tolerated, the reality is that we will deal with bullying, “perceived bullying”, theft and or “perceived theft” swiftly, impartially and against our framework of our discipline strategy, honour code, values and our initiative towards #good boy Great Saint.

Discipline like reality is a very fluid concept. What you see as real is only defined by your belief structure. Your version of what is real or discipline is only your perception of it; not what is so.

We (staff and parents) as examples to our boys must model morality and character, it is essential that we make sense of human complexities. Informed role models inspire others while educating themselves as part of the continuum of learning… We need to be reminded that we influence and work with boys aged 9-13.

The bottom line is that we must understand ourselves before we begin to make sense of others’ complexities. The belief that perception is reality is relevant for us all understanding our strengths and weaknesses and what is expected of us and by us.

What is a reality, is that we care for each boy at our prep. We believe in our “product offering” and we trust that our discipline strategies promote ownership of actions, responsibility, maintain dignity and grow our boys.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― C.G. Jung

The staff have returned from the mid-term break with a renewed energy and are excited to once again serve our boys. We encourage boys and parents to support our actions around discipline and to guard against perceptions which are counterproductive towards us building a positive discipline reality.