The reality of K-12 education in the 21st century is that punishment alone doesn’t work and sending kids to the Principal’s office is a waste of everyone’s valuable time.

Punishment is about us and immediate gratification. Discipline is about the student and helping them develop new behaviors over time.

The majority of children who get suspended come from homes that lack the resources needed to turn those days off into a learning experience instead of a long weekend.

Sending kids to the office tell them that you give up and have turned your authority over to someone else. Is there a time and a place for punishment and referrals, absolutely. But as a general way of dealing with low-level, non threatening, off task and disrespectful behaviors (which are the vast majority of what we deal with on a daily basis) these forms of punishment no longer work and ultimately hurt our ability to connect with our students.

K-12 education is all about the relationship we’re able to create with our students and coming up with creative ways to discipline behavior is a powerful way to connect and show them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to help them succeed.

If not us, who? If not now, when? Thank you for all you do everyday to change the future.


Rusty May is a Classroom Whisperer who thrives to inspire educators to connect more completely with all their students by training them to be assertive classroom managers and positive disciplinarians. In 2002 Rusty created SchoolToolsTv.Com, a daily SEL show that reaches 25k Students per day. His inspiration are his wife and their two children.

Rusty’s trainings are fun, interactive and full of real tools you can start using in your classroom the very next day without any prep or additional busy work on your end. Ask for a free quote today!