Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Why We Should Expect Disrespect !

This memo was distributed to the staff at a local suburban high school was posted on the town's Internet message board.
Folks- oversight on my part - but an important piece from Mr. F as we move to the mid-point of the year.
Quoting Mr. F
"As many of you are aware we have had an inexcusable number of fights and events in our building over the last few weeks. As Dave and I work together to manage discipline I have been experiencing a number of extremely disrespectful students. This behavior is not acceptable on any level. If you confront a student who is disrespectful please send them down and they will be dealt with accordingly. To help alleviate discipline problems please aim to plan lessons and activities that begin and continue through the bell. Also, your presence in the hallway between periods is recognized by the students and so I ask that you assist us as much as possible. Thank you!"

I would like to add that you should not have to deal with consistent surliness in your classrooms--- Send them down-- we will send them out.

High School
Some replies to this post, blamed the Governor amongst other things for the increase in disrespectful and aggressive behavior at the school.
Some other subsequent posts defended him.
I replied as follows:

"It disturbs me that you are finding a way to blame the Governor for this" (A quote from one of the posts)
Here's how the Governor and all those who constantly bash teachers are to blame.
Kids are not stupid!
When they see public officials and the public in general show little or no respect for teachers they figure, why should they?
How can you expect children to respect someone who is continually referred to as "greedy, lazy, poor performing, a leech, overpaid, under worked, in it strictly for the time off, etc."?
Additionally, teachers are frequently chided for not making it "interesting enough".
If only they did, all children would learn and flowers would bloom in every classroom.
In other words, we want teachers to be entertainers for forty two minutes every class period.
If the child doesn't pay attention, do the work and learn, then it must be the teacher's fault because he hasn't been entertaining enough.
If the child isn't entertained sufficiently, the teacher is doing a poor job and the student has the right to act up and be disruptive.
If the child is sent out of the class for poor behavior then the teacher is labeled as "not being able to control the class".
Trust me, Socrates couldn't teach a disruptive class!
If the student refuses to participate in learning, it is the teacher's fault because he hasn't "engaged" the student.
This mentality has been foisted on public education by politicians and educational "experts" many of whom haven't been in a classroom in decades (if ever) but continue to pontificate and dictate.
The saddest part of all is the public continues to believe it.

At a later point in the message board conversation I wrote:

Teachers and schools have little authority and what little they have is becoming less day after day.
If a child is given a poor grade, it is because the teacher is a poor teacher.
If a child is disciplined, he is being bullied.
If a coach requires a child to do an extra push up because of poor performance, he is the victim of corporal punishment. (Believe it or not asking a child to write "I will behave" fifty times is considered corporal punishment!)
If the child does poorly on a state test, it is because he hasn't been taught well.
If a child is disruptive, it is because the teacher hasn't made it "interesting" enough.
And to top it off, every one has an Uncle Joe who is a lawyer eager to pursue all these injustices!
Additionally, to address the fight issue.
If a teacher intercedes in a fight and a child claims injury, the teacher is punished.
If a teacher intercedes in a fight and a child claims any sexual infringement, the teacher is fired or worse.
If a teacher does not intercede in a fight and a child is injured, the teacher is neglectful.
If the teacher is injured - well tough luck for him (or her).
Talk about no win!

What are your thoughts on student behavior, how it affects classroom learning and manner in which discipline is handled at your school?

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