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No to zero tolerance, yes to conflict resolution skills

The White House education policy concerning the zero tolerance policies in schools around the country is in the news this week with changes to the policy. Education leaders in the administration would like for schools to downgrade the tough zero tolerance for discipline issues and give teachers better training in classroom management. The policy of zero tolerance has not worked for many students, and there have been countless incidents in which even kindergarten students have been suspended from school for some behavior that fit the category of being in the zero tolerance realm. The team of educators who work in the government education agency have recognized this, and now would like a change for our children.

peaceful classroom
dreamstime photos

Early childhood educators, principals, and directors of early learning centers are onboard with this change. Early childhood educators have always used a variety of curriculum early learning activities to teach negotiation skills and conflict resolution skills to young children.

The Sarasota Peace Center, located at 525 Kumquat Court in downtown Sarasota, provides resources for teachers in the early grades through high school to use in their classroom in teaching conflict management skills. "The Road to Peace: A Teaching Guide" is a curriculum resource that the Sarasota Peace Center makes available to teachers. The Peace Center offers a wealth of links for lessons on conflict resolution on its website resources. The lessons can be downloaded. Each lesson is noted with its grade level, and early childhood educators can easily find lessons that are developmentally appropriate. Decision-making and problem solving are both skills that young children can learn to use in conflict management. Compassion, respect, and tolerance can all be learned at at early age, and lessons for these skills are also contained in the resource offered by the Peace Center.

Early education in these skills are the key to children's ability to carry these skills into later grades, and peaceful classrooms instead of resorting to suspension begins in the early years.

Check out the included video with great advice on classroom behavior management.

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