About St Anthony’s - School Expectations

Responsible Thinking Program


The purpose of the Responsible Thinking Classroom is to create a safe environment conducive to learning and free from disruptive behaviour, where students develop the ability to become self-disciplined. The Responsible Thinking Program is designed to teach the students to take responsibility, not only for their actions/behaviours but also for their learning.

What is the Responsible Thinking Program?

The goal of this program is to help children to think in such a way that their actions demonstrate respect for the rights, safety and the learning of others. In many instances people do things to get what they want, but often pay little attention to whom it hurts or what may happen as a result of their actions. By asking the children a series of questions, they are taught to think responsibly about what they have done and what choices they have made. Through this questioning process children are not told how to act, but instead taught how to think.

The Responsible Thinking Program is not based on rewards and punishment because that places responsibility for the actions on the person with authority instead of the child, where it belongs. Mutual respect is fostered through the questioning process. Children learn, with assistance, how to make a plan to help them deal with future situations. Confidence is built when students make their own choices to obey the rules and, by doing that, experience success.

What happens when children choose to not follow our school expectations?

When children choose to not follow our school expectations they are asked a series of questions in a calm and curious tone by the classroom teacher/specialist teacher.

Questions - Set 1

  1. What are you doing?
  2. What should you be doing? OR What are the rules?
  3. What happens when you break the rules?
  4. Is this what you want to happen?
  5. Where do you want to be? Or What do you want to do now?
  6. What will happen if you disrupt again?

If they disrupt again ask the second set of questions.

Questions - Set 2

  1. What are you doing?
  2. What did you say would happen the next time you disrupted?
  3. Where do you need to be?
  4. You have chosen to go to the Responsible Thinking Classroom.

In many cases, the questioning process alone will help students get back on task. If children avoid answering a question, it is repeated. If they persist in not dealing with the situation, the teacher asks the second set of questions.

What happens to children in the Responsible Thinking Classroom (RTC)?

The RTC is a place where children are taught how to think for themselves, deal with their problems through effective plan making, and develop self-discipline. The RTC teacher is there to help the student through the entire Responsible Thinking Process. Students remain in the RTC until they finish their plan. Children are responsible for their missed class work while they are in RTC.

When children are committed to solving their problem, they write a plan. The children ultimately have to learn to resolve conflicts in their lives. Using questions, the plan guides students through a thinking process designed to enable them to take responsibility for their actions, understand the result of those actions, and achieve their goals without disturbing others. The RTC teacher assists the children in writing plans.

When do students return to class from the RTC?

Students referred to the RTC remain there until they have finished their plan. If students choose to stay in the RTC for an extended amount of time, other interventions may be necessary. Students are responsible for class work missed while they are in the RTC. Students do not bring work with them to the RTC.

What happens if a student is referred to the RTC frequently?

If a student chooses not to follow his/her behaviour plan and continues to disrupt, he or she returns to the RTC to evaluate the plan.

If a student consistently continues to display minor behaviours which distract the class over the course of the day the RTC teacher will make contact with their parents. If necessary the RTC teacher and classroom teacher will meet with the students parents.

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