We Can with Two Rules-Respect

Posted by Brenda Yoho

In the realm of education, the Two Rules serve as a powerful promise to students: a commitment that the school environment is designed to be a space where they not only feel good but also feel safe. These rules form the foundation of a unique approach that aims to foster social and emotional growth among students, addressing challenges that extend far beyond the classroom.

The issues that bring students to the office are not trivial; they are the beginning of a profound journey of self-discovery and learning about the complexities of human relationships. Some students grapple with understanding the concept of consent, while others navigate the intricacies of friendship. Some are in the process of learning how to control their tempers, while others are discovering how to gracefully handle moments of defeat and loss of face. The overarching theme is that each student is on a unique path to becoming a trusted and responsible individual.

The strength of the Two Rules system lies in its ability to frame every conversation in a manner that highlights the benefits to the students themselves. Instead of placing blame, condemning, or focusing on punishment, the conversations with students facing challenges revolve around demonstrating the influential power of their choices. This approach empowers students by showing them that, in every moment, they possess the agency to make choices that can either enhance their lives or complicate them further.

It is crucial to clarify that the Two Rules system is not about coddling students or making excuses for their behavior. On the contrary, it upholds the highest standards of behavior. The emphasis is on accountability, self-reflection, and personal responsibility. By guiding students through conversations that illuminate the consequences of their choices, educators using the Two Rules system encourage a deep understanding of how individual actions shape the trajectory of one's life.

In essence, the Two Rules create an environment where students are not only educated academically but are also equipped with the essential social and emotional skills needed for success in life. Through this approach, students are not merely recipients of rules but active participants in their own personal development, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As an educator, providing students with authentic learning experiences is always a priority. Eva Kor provided me with the opportunity to give students her perspective of what the Holocaust was like as a twin. She and her sister were part of the experiments conducted during the Holocaust. Witnessing her engage with students and share her personal story was truly remarkable.

We need to continue to have these conversations with those who can provide us with rich value from history. Eva and her sister have passed away, but her recorded interviews, the field trips students attended and her writings provide us with her knowledge.

History is important and I am thankful to learn from it.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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