Mobile Menu Button

The Woods Academy

Where curiosity and confidence thrive.

De-Bugging: A Lifelong Habit

De-Bugging: A Lifelong Habit
Ms. Jane Pontius, Lower School Guidance Teacher
Montessori students at The Woods Academy in Bethesda, MD read together in the reading corner. 

In the early grades at The Woods Academy, a focus of the guidance program curriculum is the introduction of the concept of “De-Bugging.”  It continues through all of the Upper School. For those of you who are new to The Woods Academy, you may wonder, “what is this peculiar name to a foundational component of the school’s guidance classes?”

In fact, it is a very simple, basic concept: how to react to someone else who is annoying or bothering you. All of us have had this happen to us throughout our lives. This is part of human interaction, be it at home or in the classroom or anywhere else.

The concept of de-bugging starts with 1. Ignore. This is the simplest, easiest way to de-bug.  When we ignore another person who is bothering us, ignoring them takes all of the wind out of their sails, so to speak. By ignoring someone, that person loses interest in pursuing the matter.

Next, step 2 is to Move Away. This gives distance and time away from the bothersome individual.

If that does not work, step 3 is to Talk Friendly. For example, one can say, “Please stop saying that or please stop being mean to me. I don’t like it.”

If that is not successful, step 4 is to Talk Firmly. One can repeat what was just said, only start out by looking the other person straight in the eye and with a stern, serious voice say, “I told you already, stop saying that to me. I mean stop.”

If, after taking all of the above actions, the negative behavior is still occurring, then the final recourse is step 5 Get Help.  If the person does not stop the bothersome behavior or if one thinks that they might be in serious danger or trouble, get help immediately.

Both Woods teachers and students find that de-bugging works. It works for all ages and conditions. If you have not done so already, please try it.  You will find it both simple and effective.