What Kids Say About RTP ®
Comments by some of the students at Evart High School, Evart, Michigan where RTP is the school discipline process. When asked to give their thoughts on the Responsible Thinking Process, here is what they wrote.
I think that RTP is a good thing. I like it because it does really help the students. I, myself, know very well just what it's all about. I used to go there at least 2 times or more, a while back, just in a week. I've learned a lot from it. I haven't even been there once this year. It's a good place to go to think about the way you were to another, or what you did wrong. I used to be this person who didn't care and was always rude to others. Going there so much made me think of what I was always doing wrong. I think it really made me see things more clearly.
I also have a better understanding where I'm in my life. It's good, just have a place, right in your own school, and that place could change a person's life forever. I think other schools all around the world should have it because I really think that it helps.
I think RTC is a good thing. It wastes nobody's time like with detention. RTC is also a good place to relax if you think you are going to blow. I have not been there this year so I don't know how nice it is but that would be a good thing, right? The RTC benefits the other students (the ones that are not causing trouble) too. It gets the problem out of the room. Therefore making the room a safe place to learn. I also think this makes the teacher's job easier. Another thing is the kid has to think about what he (or she) did. The only bad thing is you (the person in trouble) misses some class which means lots of homework. But that is part of the whole punishment thing. So, over all, RTC rocks!
I think that RTC is very important. If we didn't have it then we would have a lot of trouble in our school. It keeps a lot of kids in line. Including me. I went there once and I never want to go back. Its not that its hard or anything. Just that I always wanted to be able to say, "I've never been to RTC before." Now I can't. I served me right though. I was breaking the rules. Then to other kids its just a game, "Yeah man, I went to RTC again today." Some kids don't even care. I think RTC is basically mandatory for a school that is trying to be responsible. That's what I think about RTC.
I think that RTC or RTP, the center and/or the process, is a good thing. It gets disruptions out of the classroom and gives the kids who want to learn a chance to learn. I like the plan idea to be able to get back into the classroom. I think it is a good thing.
RTP or RTC as we know it is a very good idea because it allows the student and the teacher to get away from each other to calm down. Also the student gets to think about what he/she did and see what was wrong. RTC is a good thing because even if you just get real mad and want to calm down so you don't do anything wrong you can go which is cool. RTC teaches people to be good which is good.
I think RTP is an okay thing. An example is that if you did detention people might not get a ride home, but with RTP you never miss your bus. Its also good in another way because you have to write about what you did and then you have to talk to the teacher about what you did to be able to get back in the room. I have only been there once and it made me think about what I did.
Well, on the Responsible Thinking Process I think it's a good thing. Before we had this, like at the elementary, we would get in trouble outside and have to stand on the wall. But inside, in class, we would just have to go out in the hallway, unless you got in big trouble then you went to see the principal. Now that we have RTC the teachers don't have to mess with everything and can teach class. RTC makes most kids think about what they did and what they can do to fix it. Before they didn't care, they didn't have to do anything and you get out of class. But now its different. I think it's a good thing and we should keep RTP in school.
I have never been to RTC and I've only been asked the questions a few times. Even though it doesn't do anything to me first-hand, it does help a lot. When a kid is doing something in class that is making it difficult for others to work and they get asked the questions it doesn't take as long as it would if they were being sent to detention. The questions also make it. I think that it is a good thing and it does help.
In this school we have the Responsible Thinking Process (RTP). It allows the teacher to punish a kid without raising their voice. They just ask them the questions and if the same person does it again the teacher fills out a slip and he/she goes. Then it gives the student a chance to figure out his/her mistake by writing it on a plan and it helps them not make that same mistake again. They fill their plan out in (RTC) Responsible Thinking Class and when they are done the kids meets with the teacher and if the plan is acceptable the student is allowed back in class.
I think RTP is a very important process. I think this because some kids need a time out. Its for kids who are having an off-day. They, then, can go there and cool off. Also, when a kid is being bad or disrespectful they get sent there to fill out a plan. That plan makes them think a little. It makes you think why you've been acting this way, and how you can improve. By getting them to think this, you most of the time get a positive response. I think it is wise when you go through the RTP process you say that the student chose to go. The teacher didn't send you. That is because the student chooses to act or behave in a disrespectful manner. That is what I think about RTP.
Here is a story from Robin Harbaugh, RTC Teacher at Evart Elementary School, Evart, Michigan.
Shane was in RTC almost weekly the last two years. This year he has been in and out on occasion. He has been working on aggressive behavior when he is mad. We have had many interventions. Shane has had different plans along the way that have helped. Some of his plans have worked better than others. In one of his plans he wrote that he would come to RTC to chill-out. This has helped sometimes.
About two weeks ago Shane came to my door all red faced and upset. He stood there not saying a word. I asked if I could help him. He only stared and said I don't like this school! I knew he was upset, so I asked if he would like to come in and chill-out for a while. I also asked if his teacher knew where he was. He said no, his teacher didn't know where he was and yes, he needed to chill-out.
He said that he was upset with some boys in his classroom and knew if he went back to class he would get in a fight with them. I told him how proud I was of him to come and clam down before he had made a bad choice. I called his teacher to let her know where Shane was and had her send some class work down so he wouldn't get behind. Shane "chilled" for a while, then began to share.
Shane shared that he had been at recess and some boys in his class were teasing him. He became upset and yelled at them to stop. The boys said some other things to him and walked away. This made Shane even get more upset. He walked back over to them and they were laughing, that is when Shane came to me. Shane worked on his work for a while and was able to go back to class with out a problem the rest of the day.
I was so excited to see the process at work in Shane's life. He had made a responsible choice and knew he could handle the situation if he could just have time away. He knew that RTC was a safe place to come.
Here's a story from Lou Ann Olsen, RTC Teacher at the Gaylord Intermediate School, Gaylord, Michigan:
I had an experience last week with a 4th grade boy who was sent to RTC 4 days in a row for aggressive behavior during recess and one day in the classroom. On the fourth day when he was sent, a red flag went up for me that something else had to be bothering him. I felt he was trying to get someone's attention to help him.
I asked him the questions and added a new one. I said, I am really concerned about you, John, and want to know if there is anything going on with your friends or at home that I can help you with. He busted out crying and said that his rabbit had frozen to death the prior weekend and that he was gone to visit his dad and his mom forgot to bring the rabbit inside. He said he was angry at his mom and very sad about losing his pet that he had for 2 yrs. I cried with him and told him how I felt when I had lost my dog. He said he had been angry all week long at school and had not cried about his loss. I told him tears were good and that he needed to share his feelings with his mom and talk with her about what happened. He stopped by this Monday and told me he had talked to his mom and that he was not angry anymore. He stopped by again yesterday just to say hi. It was good to see him happy again.
This came from Vicki Creekmore, RTC Teacher, Ella P. Stewart Elementary School, Toledo, Ohio. This happened shortly before the Christmas holiday.
I love what I do and today I had one of those special moments I'd like to share. One of last year's "frequent fliers"(2nd grade) came running to me at the end of the day, going home for our holiday, with his arms stretched out to hug me and tell me proudly that he had not chosen RTC for a very long time this year, I felt such pride from him. As he turned to leave he looked up at me and said "I love you Mrs .Creekmore". My eyes filled with tears and all of my frustration from these last several weeks seemed to soften.
A Student's View Of Rewards
Margaret Carey is the RTC teacher at Minimbah State School in Australia.
This school is presently the only school in Australia that has been RTP accredited. Margaret is not only accredited as the RTC teacher, but is also accredited as an RTC trainer. Recently (May, 2000), she told about a group of adults from other schools who were visiting Minimbah State School. They spent time wandering around the school and visiting classes to gather impressions of the kinds of things that occurred at the school. During their visit to a year 7 class one of the visitors said "At our school we reward students with pizza parties when they achieve their goals. Do you have pizza parties here?". One of the girls in year 7 put her hand up to answer the question and said "At our school we find achieving our goals is reward in itself."
This is another story from Margaret, and this one illustrates how little we know about what a student is thinking when seen as disruptive.
A four year old boy was referred to Margaret's RTC the other day (August 2000) by his teacher. The disruption on the referral form that caught Margaret's attention was that the boy had been "destroying another child's work". The little boy had apparently scribbled all over a little girl's painting. When the boy was ready to plan Margaret was interested in investigating what he might have been controlling for. She started off by testing around the area of friendship. I'll call the boy Lachlan and the girl Eloise:
Margaret: "Don't you like this little girl very much?"
Lachlan: "Yeah, of course. She's my friend. We always play together?"
Margaret: "Do you let people know their your friend by ruining their work?"
Lachlan: "I wasn't ruining it I was helping her?"
This answer surprised Margaret a little bit so she went on.
Margaret: "How was it helping Eloise to scribble all over her painting?"
then Lachlan said: "Well, it's like this. Our teacher told us that when we painted we had to fill up the whole page and Eloise wasn't. I was just helping her."
Margaret thought this was a pretty precious insight into the workings of a young mind.
Lachlan went on to say that he thought he should "mind his own business" next time and that he would talk to Eloise about what he'd done.
Justin Kohler is a 6th grade student at Gaylord Intermediate School in Gaylord, Michigan. He wrote the following about the RTC and Mrs. Lou Ann Olsen, the RTC teacher.
Mrs. Olson has helped me stay out of trouble and get my grads up from an F to a E from help me by talking to me and when I get mad she lets me calm and chill out. If I could not have ever met her I would probably never ben were I am now. With the teacher to help in the RTC she helps many kids with her speshel little charm. She has always made me feel good about myself. And she's a vary cheerful person.
Year 7 student (11-12 years old):
"The plan I made in the RTC has helped me back in the classroom and in the playground because I have to be honest with myself and I can't rate myself higher than I am."
Year 4 student (8-9 years old):
"The plan was hard to make but was easy to follow. The RTC is a good place
to get help."
Year 3 student (7-8 years old):
"My plan was to put my hand up in class. I had a shape of a hand on my desk to remind me. My plan helped me co-operate back in class. Other kids in the class helped me co-operate in the playground as well. Other kids reminded me to put my hand up so I
didn't get into trouble."
Taylor Knight, age 11, explains PCT at his school science fair.
"A couple of kids at Morningside State School had been on plans for a little while and had been doing pretty well. The other day, though, the kids took themselves up to RTC because they thought they were starting to slip with their plans and they thought they needed to do a bit of fine tuning."