On Thursday, Nov. 30, the SUperior Mutual MInistry Team (SUMMIT), along with the Diocese of Superior, St. Mary’s Press and the Wisconsin Directors of Religious Education Federation, sponsored a daylong event for adults who work with youths.
Tom Rick, teacher in the Rice Lake School District, was the presenter. He spoke on a discipline style called Love and Logic and shared the four key principles of the philosophy.
They are (1) enhancement of self-concept; (2) shared control; (3) consequences with empathy; and (4) shared thinking.
Participants were given concrete examples of how to apply these principles in the classroom and in religious education programs. Examples included building positive relationships with youths; using a “brain dead” technique for communication; presenting guidelines for giving choices; giving one-sentence interventions; and using recovery.
“Recovery” is not a time out, he stressed, and it is not punishment. So often, students come to class or religious education programs with many other things happening in their home, which prevents them from being able to focus, concentrate or even think about what is being taught. These principles and applications help instructors to better deal with such situations and help students develop a positive self-concept.
The goal of Love and Logic is to transition kids from extrinsic to intrinsic locus of control, he explained. It helps them to develop a conscience — this is a long-term solution, versus a short-term solution. It is about helping youths to have self-control and problem-solving skills, which allows them to become successful adults through building positive relationships with adults.
Another goal is to get youths to understand their teachers and role models love them, Rick said. The more broken they are, the more important it is that they are loved. Educators are sometimes part of the first and only positive adult relationships one or more youths may have; Love and Logic teaches adults to use their time with youths wisely and effectively.
The event included networking between other teachers of the faith and those who work with youths. Dennis Kurtz from St. Mary’s Press, Winona, was on hand to present news curriculums and resources for youth of all ages.
SUMMIT’s next event is Feb. 5 in Hayward. Current topics that have come up in diocesan youth programs will be addressed. Call Kay Berg at St. Mary, Tomahawk, 715-453-2878, for details.