The Providing Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) program is grounded in social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL helps children: resolve conflicts peacefully, handle emotions positively, empathize, make responsible decisions. When students learn and use SEL skills, behaviour improves and disruptions lessen. In the classroom, time spent managing misbehavior decreases so teachers can teach and students can learn.

As part of the PATHS Program at our school students are learning to recognise when they are having a problem. They are learning that they need to stop and think rather than act out their feelings by misbehaving. It can be difficult for children to enlist self control because they are not experienced at planning ahead, handling frustration or using their thinking skills to control their emotions when they are upset. When children show poor self control they are likely to behave inappropriately, feel unhappy or do poorly in their school work. Being able to stop and think is critical because it is difficult to consider a solution to a problem when we are upset or confused. When we are feeling this way we often act without thinking about our behaviours first. This can then cause things to escalate.

The control signals that the students are learning in PATHS are:

  • Red Light - Stop! (Calm Down. Identify the problem. Identify the feelings)

  • Orange Light - Think! (Slow Down. Decide on a goal. Think of lots of solutions.Think about the consequences)

  • Green Light - Do! (Try My Plan. Evaluate. How did I go? If you need to, try again)