I went to a marriage counseling session this evening and the topic was on conflict management. Everything the presenter talked about not only helped me put things into perspective in my relationship but also in my classroom. Conflict occurs in my room on a daily basis, whether it's student to student or student to teacher. I started thinking, I wonder if I could teach my students the conflict management strategies we're learning for successful relationships? I will definitely have to break it down a bit, but I think it could be really beneficial for the kids, if I can teach and model it correctly and give them lots of practice.
These are the steps I learned tonight about problem-solving:
1. Define the problem (listen, summarize, collaborate)
2. Brainstorm possible solutions
3. Analyze the ideas and select one to try
4. Create an action plan
5. Do it
6. Come back and evaluate the progress
Right now I'm thinking to spend 1 week on each step so the kids have lots of opportunities to practice. I've seen things like this happen with "peace tables" but I'm a little worried about making a peace table because I know my kids will take advantage of always wanting to go, so I'm thinking to just teach it and encourage them to practice it during non-instructional times. That will also give them a chance to calm down instead of trying to solve the problem while they're emotionally charged.
I've definitely never taught anything like this, so I'll just do my best and see how it goes! If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or experiences from your own classes to share, I'd love to hear them!