We use something called a peace window - based on the Montessori idea of a peace table. Ours has a different name because I ran out of room to put an actual peace table ... so I grabbed some window markers and off we went!
The concept is simple; there are only a few rules:
- You have to go to the peace window if you're invited, but you can't invite someone in the middle of a lesson - only during group or individual work time (or play time).
- The person who did the inviting starts, and you can't interrupt.
- You start by saying, "When you ______, I felt _______."
- The other person can explain their side.
- Then you have to use the sentence started, "I'd like ______," and tell the other person what will resolve the situation from your perspective. The other person is free to accept or try to compromise.
It has made a HUGE difference in my kids. It took a lot of modeling and practicing our conversations, but now they leave me out of most situations, and I only get called in if a compromise isn't able to be reached, or if things are getting heated. I'd say 90% of the class uses it judiciously and 10% still needs me there for most conversations. That's a big improvement over the beginning of the year when I heard, "Ms. BBZ, he/she _____" ... all. day. long!