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No classroom punishment ... at all?
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 9:02 pm    Post subject: No classroom punishment ... at all? Reply with quote

My boss has recently come up with this one, his latest in a batch of wierd and goofy ideas ... quite simply, he's telling us not to punish the kids at all.

Ever.

Yeah, I'm not talking about physical punishment, hitting the kids (THAT thread go locked, I notice) but any kind of behavioral reprimand. No matter what they do.

No two-minute time-outs in the corner, with or without holding a book over their head. No sending them out of the room. No, not even telling them to put their heads down and "go to sleep" when they start yelling or humming or otherwise taking attention away from the lesson.

When I asked him what I should do when Jack jumps on the table and starts doing his tae kwan do kicks in the middle of story time, the boss said to have Jack sit next to me so I can give him more attention. Told him, yeah, I do that before I send him to the corner, but you know what? I'm really rewarding bad behavior that way by turning the guy into a star, and the good kids who come to class ready to learn - hey, why do they deserve less of my attention?

Boss just smiled and said, We'll try it this way for a few months.

I said, No way, look, I don't punish them cuz it's fun. I'm responsible for their safety while they're in my room, and if one of them decides to pick up a chair and toss it, and another kid winds up with stitches on his head ... man, I don't want that to happen. My job is to make sure it doesn't happen. They come to my class, maybe they learn and maybe they don't, but the very least anyone can expect of me is that I make them safe. How can I do that is I have no tools to control them?

Another smile, We'll try it for a week.

Obviously, the school is a small one and the boss has decided he does not want even one complaint from any mom about anything. It is not news that my boss also does not seek to make my job easier, and I don't care about that, but I need it to be possible to do my job ...

And I am truly worried about that scenario mentioned with lobbing chairs at one another. It happened to an acquaintance of mine, and a few days after the kid came out of the clinic with the stitches in his scalp my teacher was on a plane back to New Zealand, canned from his job and as they say, SOL ... the parents complained, and the teacher was sent packing and I can't say that I blame them because like I said safety is number one, right?

The boss does not want me to send the kids to him for reprimands either, and I feel like I'm being put in a situation that's dangerous not only for my kids but also for my teaching career ... which is something that I do take seriously.

My question now is, what should I do?
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Blue Flower



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Location: The realisation that I only have to endure two more weeks in this filthy, perverted, nasty place!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no way that you can even begin to attempt to teach a class without any discipline at all. Jesus. I can only imagine the sort of chaos that would erupt. I guess it depends on how naturally well behaved your kids are, and class size. I'm not this big inforcer or anthing, my limits are slamming this wooden stick down on the desk to shut them up/wake them up, threatening to throw them out, and ignoring them. I once had two boys crawling around on the floor for the majority of the lesson, they caused much less hassle then they usually did.

I've totally gone off on a tangent, but, you are right to be worried about the safety issue. Thats a big thing. How happy are you in your present situation? If you cannot discipline your students, you cannot teach your students. And if you cannot teach your students, you are not a teacher. You might as well be a cardboard cut-out stuck in the front of the class, with an english tape playing.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this sounds flip, but I'd suggest polishing your resume.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bobster wrote:

Quote:
My boss has recently come up with this one, his latest in a batch of wierd and goofy ideas ... quite simply, he's telling us not to punish the kids at all.

Ever.


That is an obsurdly horrible idea.


Quote:
Yeah, I'm not talking about physical punishment, hitting the kids (THAT thread go locked, I notice) but any kind of behavioral reprimand. No matter what they do.


What is the reason for this sudden brain-child of his?



Quote:
My question now is, what should I do?


Well, your boss said give it a week, right?

Okay, give it a week.

After one week, and it is shown to be a useless endevour, start sending the kids to the wonjannim's office.

Tell your wonjangnim, "Look. You will not let me punish them. Here he/she is. You do it. And walk away."

They will soon change their tune when they have to be the bad guy.

The way I punish kids is write their names on the board, and when they are bad, they get sad faces, and when they are good, they get happy faces. At the end of the class, the sad faces are subtracted from the happy faces to determine the number of happy faces. The student with the most happy faces is the winner.

What the winner gets is completely up to you....
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Rand Al Thor



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Locked in an epic struggle

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,

I must say that your boss has laid a pile of crap on you with this one. Having met you twice, I can't imagine you having too many problems in the classroom. But, it will happen - I don't see that you have much choice here regarding what to do...

I think GWoW has a good point, give it a week show the boss what an idiot he is and then insist on change. If that doesn't work, then I would follow Forrests advice and start working on your resume.

Hope it works out for you.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta say that as well, Bobster. If a place severely limits you like this, and you feel like it might be endangering your ability to continue teaching, tell him you severely disagree, attempt to give it a week(or until something nearly happens, whichever is shorter), and then tell him your opinions one more time, while stating your intent to quit. Give him the month's notice if you have to. Leaving early might cause you several other hassles, but not having any control over your students would, as far as I can surmise, drive you bonkers.

I was shocked when I first heard this doozy, and it's still high up there on the "What the f***?" meter...
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Harvard Material



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:38 am    Post subject: Discipline. Reply with quote

HA! You watch and see what happens down the road; fired because you can't control the students. Or because you were too hard on them. Or because you didn't follow the school's policy. How do you see it? You can take your pick. Blowing the dust off your resume is worth considering.

This one was an issue for me. The manager was getting complaints because all I did in class was impliment reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Confused Lots of spelling, reading and verbal exercises. I thought that was what a teacher did.
I was told, by the manager, to put the books away for a while because one student's mom was gonna' pull her kid out due to a lack of enjoyment during lessons.
So, I followed the manager's instructions and played games for the next two classes...educational games of course.
The following week three mom's called in and said they weren't paying for their children to play games; they want their kid's reading, writing and speaking. The game playing stops or the kid's get located at a different institute. Guess who's fault it was? Yep. Both times.

Your getting sound advice from these posts. First, management doesn't know how to deal with your students anymore than they are aware of your teaching abilities. They aren't in the class with you, and could care less. Unfortunate when they say you aren't doing this or that properly. How the hell would they know? Kind of like me correcting wonjangnim's Korean.

I have been doing exactly what The Great Wall Of Whiner suggested; wait till next Monday, but start sending bad dudes to the directors office and let him or her deal with it.
My present director was sending little s$#t back into class immediately after I closed the door. The third time it happened I walked into the director's office and said "You come and teach this class. He isn't out there for being a good boy."
She doesn't send these kid's back now, but hits them with a piece of wood! One extreme to the next Bobster.

I know it's a ridiculous situation, but do what you gotta' do. Use your own methods of discipline anyway. You will have to, or your classes will be chaos. Next Monday start shipping the problems to the know-it-all. It sounds like a sweet invitation to me!
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Devil's advocate weighing in here. Punishment is distinct from discipline, & good discipline can be achieved through lots of different strategies. Tougher to initiate once battle lines are drawn, but reasonable classroom harmony can be won & sustained through positive reinforcement, humor, & just a bit of sternness when warranted.

I dont do punishment & my kids know it, but they show me respect because I respect them. It took me 6 months (starting green) to get a handle on that -- I yelled & smacked the desk & did time-outs because thats what I was shown, but it didnt work. Then I started to take a real personal interest in who these kids were. Guess what, they responded. Suddenly our relationship wasnt adversarial.

I'm not just talking out my windhole here. I've taught hagwon classes of 7-year-olds up through adolescents, & I teach classes of 30 to 40 teens now. I havent raised my voice in anger or punished a student in over 3 years now & my classes (I humbly believe) are popular & effective.

I tolerate & encourage noisy & somewhat chaotic classes, but when I need to ask the kids to rein it in, they do. They come into my classroom knowing theyre going to have fun but that there are limits, & none of them want to wreck a good thing. I am not some kind of superteacher -- I blunder & disappoint the kids sometimes too -- but I've managed to cultivate the idea that hey, we're in this together.

Nightmare kids? I've known them. Hellions in the classroom but you know, when you meet them in the street with their parents theyre all smiles & hi teacher & the fondness they show you then is genuine. You can work with that.
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Marathe



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Spider Hole

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't need punishment

just wave a gun around from time to time

kids will get the message right quick.
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igotthisguitar



Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Location: South Korea (Permanent Vacation)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

>. This is the reason my Director is currently using to justify my early release Rolling Eyes Play your cards as you will. In the event their Hagwon is experiencing monetary hardship they will later almost certainly use this against you as what is essentially deemed cruel & unusual punishment Laughing As far as this goes i swear i coulda worn blue socks on a GREEN sock day & found him terminating my contract on these grounds alone.

Simply be aware AND be prepared to move on Confused
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to tend to agree with schwa on this one.

Classroom managment is one of the most important keys to teaching. For a few lucky souls it is somthing that comes easily and naturally, for the rest of us it is a struggle.

I have recently completed an Education Degree and completed two practicums in Canadian Elementary School classrooms (grade one and grade six). Both of my mentor teachers were unbeleivable in terms of classroom management. There was no 'descipline' as referred to in this thread. They were big on intrinsic motivation. One of the most important things to do in this regard is to have very clear expectations. The problem in this regard is the language barrier that we have with our students in a Korean classroom. I would suggest making up a list of rules (max about 7) and have them posted in Korean and english. Refer to these rules constantly......and make sure they are rules that you believe in. Problems also arrive when work is either too easy or too difficult. Make sure you plan your lessons so that they challenge the students but are not so difficult that some of the students can not do the work. Boredom also leads to behavioral problems. Make sure you use alot of variety in your lessons and do not fall into a rut of delivering the same stuff everyday. This site has some great ideas on activities and lessons you can add to your repetoire.

Perhaps most importantly, if you want your students to respect you and behave responsibly you must respect them and act responsibily yourself. If you hate your class you will communicate this implicitly to your students and misbehavior will result.

These strategies might sound flaky but they work. Changes might not happen overnight but in the long run, if you are committed, they will work.

Some interesting reading on Classroom Management: Try Alfie Khon's "Punished by Rewards"
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[][]

Last edited by itchy on Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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leej00



Joined: 07 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just ignore that brat...
dont even look at him or even look that way.

cant believe these hakwons!

and what is up wit the Korean mothers geez!!
how ignorant can they get , i mean of course studying
cant ALWAYS be FUN , but to say they are goin to pull their
kids out of class?!?!? some nerve
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kylehawkins2000 wrote:

I have recently completed an Education Degree and completed two practicums in Canadian Elementary School classrooms (grade one and grade six


Congrads, you have something 99% of us here in Korea dont.
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Crazy Oz



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Run with the bosses idea. Sometimes this type of management actually works, and if not, the boss will be into the class as quick as a flash to find out what the hell in going on, due to noise complaints from the neighbours.
If they are going to can you, it really doesn't matter what you do, they are only formulating a series of justifications for unloading you. Make a few enquiries as to what other positions might be available in the area you work (assuming you want to remain in the area), maybe even visit a few of the other schools to see whats on offer. If your boss is going to can you he/she won't be perturbed, and the parting will be blissful. If they have no intention of letting you go, you will be confronted by a rather pissed boss, most likely demanding why you are looking for work at other schools. Explain the situation as such and all should be sweet.



Still crazy, still here.
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