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Re: school discipline policy based on merit/demeritsystem--anyoneheard of this?

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From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 11 2002 - 06:11:33 PDT


"Susan L. Sanders" wrote:
>
> I am not sure how well a point system of rewards for behavior would work
> in an educational institution. <snip>
> My feeling is that if students are challenged by interesting material
> and in interesting ways, that if we as teachers are constantly working
> to improve our skills as teachers, and looking for challenging ways to
> bring the material they must learn to them, there will be little time
> for behavior problems.

Would this were true for all students! As you understood during your
tenure at the group home, you can't reach all kids with any one
approach, whether it's a discipline policy or a curriculum. Your
situation was pretty severe, and not representative of the average
public school.

> When students learn that you simply don't
> tolerate misbehavior, and that you do require them to do their
> work....the lines are simpler and far more easily understood.

I truly believe that the majority of our students crave structure and
boundaries that they may not get at home--even when they complain
bitterly to the contrary. Adolescence is an especially scary time and I
think the students need the security of knowing there are limits, even
while they test them.

I also believe that teachers should establish consistent and fair
policies for their classrooms, and handle the more minor things like
gum-chewing or name-calling in-class. Constantly referring students to
the principal sends the message that you're not actually in charge. For
some great ideas on classroom management, read Harry Wong's The First
Days of School and Fred Jones'...uhhh.....can't remember the title
offhand.

Maggie

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