We read about how we’ll be explicitly teaching a new behaviour curriculum, about red/yellow card systems, about furniture being nailed to the floor in rows and even about some weird speed marching ritual for naughty kids.

This followed on from a couple of weeks where some states were consumed by heated conversations about direct/explicit instruction.

It’s left many teachers and school leaders more than a little befuddled about what the future is going to hold and what the impact on their restorative and school culture ambitions will be.

One principal asked me, “Are we supposed to care at all about relationships any more?”

But as is the nature of the beast, the media conversation was designed to whip up confusion and outrage far more than generate understanding.

So, let’s take a moment to bust a few media manufactured myths on all sides of the equation.

Teaching explicitly or directly works a treat through restorative learning circles.

In so many ways, that’s what they’re for. My team of former principals are currently working on some new resources to support every school’s clarity on this. You don’t have to use rows.

Teaching a behaviour curriculum won’t be harmful. It could well be useful to establish behavioural consistency around good order within and across schools.

You’re just going to need a plan for what to do when kids inevitably fall short of those behaviours. It’s good to have you here, RP!

You won’t be mandated to use the more draconian aspects of “old school” approaches that the media focused on this week.

Changes in system policy and approach aren’t new.

The media shitstorm about them is almost as old.

The constant force is your commitment to a sound, strong, high expectation, restorative culture.

In reality, that’s the only way that any new policy around student conduct can stand a fighting chance.