I am sure this book won’t be new to many teachers. It seems to have captured the attention of all teachers and schools across the country. I was already convinced I was going to love the book before I started as I was a keen listener of the Pivotal Podcast and agree with a lot of what is said here. The book did not disappoint.
The main idea behind the book, and the theme that runs throughout, is that the only thing we have complete control over in a school is our own behaviour and reactions to things. The children we are teaching are still learning how to behave, many of them have experienced trauma and multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences, therefore it is wrong and unfair of us to expect everyone to behave impeccably all the time. We also have to co sided the value of the way we react when things don’t go right, and the book strongly claims that punitive, harsh measures is not the answer (here, here Paul Dix!).
The book is filled with practical advice and tips for alternative behaviours for Adults. Simple things like caring about the children, recognising positive behaviour first and sending positive messages home all make perfect sense. The book is worth it for these practical tips alone. But these really are not anything new or groundbreaking. Essentially it boils down to creating a culture of kindness. A relentless, unwavering, unconditional positive regard. How fantastic!
The book is excellent. Well written, funny and useful. What more could you want? For me the real excitement comes from how popular these ideas are becoming. Hopefully this wave of kindness across the country will eradicate adults making children feel like they are somewhat less of a human being because they are younger. This book and the ideas within celebrate children as people in their own right, and I couldn’t agree with the sentiment more.