The Responsible Thinking Process works when teachers are able to give those students, who are disruptive, the opportunity for self-reflection in a non-controlling and supportive environment. When a student disrupts the teacher will ask them to reflect on their behaviour using a series of RTP questions. The student then has the opportunity to decide how they will behave for the remainder of the lesson. If the disruptive behaviour continues to occur, the student is given the opportunity for deeper self-reflection.
The student does this in what’s known as the Responsible Thinking Classroom, or RTC. Whilst in the RTC the child will spend time with an RTP facilitator who will listen to them patiently, without making judgment, and help the student to develop ways of achieving their goals and get along with others by thinking responsibly and following the class rules, without violating the rights of others to learn.
The student works through a RTP plan and makes his or her own suggestions on how they can achieve these goals. The student then talks this plan through with the teacher and negotiates a time when they, the student, can return back to the classroom. The teacher can make suggestions to the student to enable him or her to fulfill their plan. A plan is never ignored or refused and is taken as a sincere commitment by the student.
The key component of this classroom discipline process is its focus on how students can achieve their goals without getting in the way of others who are trying to do the same thing. In short, it teaches students how to respect others.
No matter how many times a particular student is referred to the RTC, each “Frequent Flyer” should be given the same opportunities as any other student. Every student is given the opportunity to reflect on the impact of their behaviour and its impact on the teaching and learning process.
The RTC is a wonderful way to minimize class disruption. For example, if a student forgets to bring any significant equipment, rather than the teacher using up valuable class time following up a number of students, asking where their equipment is and organizing for equipment replacement then discussing better planning for the future, the student is referred to the RTC. The trip to the RTC takes about 5 minutes to collect a form that reviews their behaviour and requires the student to develop a plan to avoid the situation again. The teacher is free to deal with the student later, read their plan and assist the student as needed. This can all be done in a time when the teacher is free to deal with the issue without directly effecting teaching time. This same strategy is used for a wide range of disruptive behaviours including incomplete homework or assignments and lateness.
All RTC or Head of School referrals will be communicated via email, phone or in person to parents. Our preferred method of home communication is via email. We encourage you to keep your personal details updated via student services and check your email on a regular basis. It is not always possible to express in writing the full and at times lengthy explanation connected to RTC visits. If you require additional information we encourage you to contact the referring teacher about the incident which led to the referral. Our RTP facilitators mediate the responsible thinking process which is initiated by a teacher and may not know the intricacies involved. However, should you have any questions concerning the responsible thinking process and our use of the process, please refer to our Common Q&A link or contact the RTP facilitators directly.