A teacher is creating a Peace Zone at school to address negative behavior.

Soft SkillsAt North Main Street School, fourth grade teacher Jayne Donato Dempsey’s classroom is a Peace Zone. It’s not always peaceful, but it is where students can be honest about anger,fear, and stress at they learn to cope with it.

“We are not happy all the time,” said Dempsey. “We have work. We have problems. But we want the norm here to be peace, to be a place where children feel safe.”

Ten years ago, Dempsey developed the program, making school a positive place that is supportive of children.

“I entered teaching with unrealistic ideas of how kids would behave, sit and listen,” she said. “But I was also into energy work and yoga. I realized I was being pulled down by stress and anger. I thought I could leave or change the system.”

Dempsey began helping students focus on learning and success while letting go of their problems at the middle school where she began teaching, and then brought it to North Main, where eight teachers in six classrooms are using it.

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