By Marcus Jackson, Ed.D.

While engaging in dialogue with a group of educational leaders, I was asked the question: What Do With Kids Who Are Consistently Misbehaving? Without hesitation, I responded I give them 6 L’s.

Everyone stopped and turned around as I stated:

L1 – I love them despite their challenging behavior.

L2 – I listen to them intensely despite their behavior. I learn so much about the root cause.

L3 –  I learn from them to better understand their challenges and strengths. You’ll be surprised at what they’ve been through.

L4 – I laugh with them to ease their pain and their difficulty overcoming their deficiencies.

L5 – I lift them to higher heights by reminding them that they have a unique gift to offer to the world and I focus on what’s strong as opposed to what’s wrong. 

L6 – I lead them to discover their purpose which guides them in reaching their optimal level academically, socially, and behaviorally.

Notice suspension and expulsion weren’t mentioned. As an educator I believe you must connect before you correct, you must focus on what’s strong as opposed to what’s wrong and you must lead with the most important L of them all… LOVE!