Love & Logic

I’m currently reading Teaching With Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk.  So far, I like it A LOT more than The First Days of School (the first book I consulted about classroom management).  This book aligns closely with my own personal views on classroom management – it focuses on more on respecting human nature rather than behavior modification.

The authors (Fay & Funk) understand that situations in life are circumstantial.  Students are challenged to self-discipline, rather than follow a strict set of “unbreakable” classroom rules.  This is profoundly more important than teachers blindly imposing consistent punishments on children.  Life is not like this.  Circumstances affect a person’s behavior and that person needs to understand the consequences of their own behavior.

I can’t even imagine a classroom where every student is treated exactly the same, no matter what.  This is crazy!  Not even our judicial system works this way (on a related note, if you believe in democratic education – I do – the classroom should model our democratic society).  Teachers need to take into account the person they are dealing with, not solely the infraction.  Equality does NOT mean “the same” – equality means providing for the person, accounting for individual needs and preferences.

DISCLAIMER: I realize that some rules must be always be adhered to – mainly rules dealing with issues of safety.  I fully support those rules being enforced consistently.

What I love about this book is that it emphasizes children taking responsibility.  They literally suggest allowing children to come up with how they will be disciplined.  In all of the examples, children were able to come up with their own appropriate consequences.  This shows they understand what was wrong about their behavior and also understand that the “punishment needs to fit the crime” (note: love & logic teachers don’t “punish,” they discipline).

Overall, I’m pleased with this book so far (I’m about half way through).  I hope to embody the principles they describe when I teach.

Have a great weekend!  Hopefully this rain clears up 🙂 – Shauna


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