In the relationship based classrooms at Kerry Street, teachers and students develop tools to express their needs. They practice the art of empathy – of listening to their own feelings and needs and those of others. Communication is of key importance and the children are encouraged to foster self-responsibility while being supported by their teachers and their peers.
Our strategies for guiding behaviour are based on building strong relationships, meeting the needs of all members of the community and are non-punitive. Each class establishes their own class agreements, suited to age and realistic expectations.
When problems occur, we aim to minimise disruption to the class in the short term by providing an alternative space, for the individual/s to process. In the long term, we aim to find the underlying cause of the behaviour and provide alternative strategies for meeting the student’s needs. We seek cooperation, rather than compliance. We work with students to solve problems where the children construct authentic solutions and focus on restoring relationships.