What is "Just Do the Right Thing"?
Just Do the Right Thing in the Classroom (JDRT) is an innovative character education program centered on ten simple questions and ten powerful answers — it is a dynamic teaching program that makes “doing the right thing” second nature by equipping students K-12 to make the right decisions at the right times. JDRT proactively influences a child’s behavior by giving both educators and participants the tools to build character with its easy to follow format. JDRT instills accepted life principles that teach respect, responsibility and “doing the right thing”, which therefore reduces the chance of conflict, creating success in the moment. JDRT allows for practical application in core values yet can be customized to fit individual needs of existing and new programs.
The Just Do the Right Thing (JDRT) program taps into the successful track record of several tried-and-true methods of teaching:
- The Power of a Question – by its very nature, a question prompts thought and reflection. When you stop and think, even for a moment, you have a better chance of making the right decision.
- Repetition – Repeating information is a proven way of strengthening learning skills and remembering important information.
- Pattern Interrupt – A question interrupts an unwanted behavior and the answer to that question suggests a more suitable behavior.
- Student Participation – By answering questions, students are participating in the decisions that affect them. Verbalizing/self-directing is the start of them taking ownership of their actions. The questions, and the discussions they inevitably prompt, remove the “Do what I say because I say it” undertones of parent and teacher teaching sessions and replace them with the much more positive, “let’s figure this out together” approach.
- “Think it to Happen”– JDRT encourages proactive decision making. There’s a huge difference between “thinking” something to happen and “allowing” something to happen. The questions reinforce the advantage of deliberate actions over knee-jerk reactions.
Benefits of JDRT
JDRT empowers educators, parents, and other facilitators with the four "power tools' to successfully implement character education in their classroom or program:
- Behavior Management / Pattern Interrupt
A question interrupts an unwanted behavior and the answer suggests a more suitable, positive behavior.
- Student Participation
Questions provide an opportunity for students to have input into the decisions that affect them. By verbalizing responses, students are basically telling themselves what to do.
- Think It To Happen
By practicing the JDRT principles, students are conditioned to pay attention to what they are thinking in the moment and how these thoughts affect their behavior. Verbalizing/self-directing is the start of them taking ownership of their actions.
- Character Development / "Plant The Seeds of Right Thinking"
Daily repetition instills accepted life principles that will guide students to make the right decisions.
JDRT is an Effective Discipline Tool
One of the best advantages for teachers who use the Just Do the Right Thing program in the classroom relates to discipline.
- The questions and answers define boundaries. The list helps teachers draw clear boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behavior and set up a concrete set of expectations.
- The questions and answers make sure kids “know better.” When you know better, you do better. The list gives students and teachers a chance to discuss most issues they will come across that influence their behavior in school. As a result, teachers can be confident that misbehaving kids really do “know better.”
- The questions eliminate the need for lectures. Lectures don’t work! (Just ask any teacher or any student!) The question program completely eliminates the need to lecture. Instead of launching into a speech to a potentially misbehaving child, a teacher can simply ask an appropriate question from the list. That triggers a specific, well-rehearsed response from the child, who can use the moment to stop, think about the right thing to do, consider the consequences, and respond accordingly.
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