This year, St. Josaphat School has implemented the Positive Discipline program. This program aims at building a more positive school culture and empowering students to solve problems and make good choices. Throughout the year, a Positive Discipline trainer has led professional development sessions with the faculty. One area of focus is beginning the school day with a morning meeting. While morning meeting occurs at every grade level, the format and activities differ depending on the students’ needs. For a clearer understanding of what happens in morning meetings at different grade levels, please read about our third and seventh grade experiences.
Morning meeting is a sacred time in our third grade classroom. Students check in with themselves and each other, and they take time to calm their minds and bodies through mindful exercises. Once we are settled, students greet each other and share how we are feeling about the day, or we play a game with a focus on teamwork and community building. Students also get the chance to compliment one another. Morning meeting has had a big impact on our classroom community. It allows us to come together as a community before we start our day of learning. When reflecting on morning meeting one third grader said, "Morning meeting is fun because you get to greet your friends and calm yourself down before you start the day." Our morning meeting is an essential way we build a safe, loving community in our classroom.
The introduction of morning meeting has had a major impact on our seventh grade homeroom this year. Having the time to get to know each other, talk about our week, and check in allows the whole class to start the day in a positive and constructive way. It is a time that we all feel free to express ourselves in an open and judgment-free manner. “Morning meeting helps me prepare for the day and check in with Mr. Eshaghy and our class about what is going well and what challenges we might face,” reports one seventh grader. Morning meeting helps us to build and maintain a positive classroom community.