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Re: handling discipline - lack of administrative support


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 18 2003 - 09:05:45 PDT

Thanks Irene for giving a "jump" on one of our summer topics.....

> Just wanted to let those of you who gave the caveat about administrators
> being consistent were right.

I found that we art teachers had to deal with our own discipline issues to
"get something done" and make a change. This is what worked for me.

I would turn the infraction in as our handbook stated was the correct
procedure. Then I would call the parent and arrange my own detention with
the child after school (just one detention - for one hour). I would tell
them that this would keep their child from attending two Tuesday /Thursday
schools (two hours each) that is the handbook consequence (Knowing FULL WELL
that it would never happen - as my referrals were ignored completely).
The parents had no idea the administration would not follow through - they
were grateful that I was willing to help their child....The child's behavior
improved OR ELSE there were more severe consequences at home. During these
detentions, I would help the child with home work - help him or her with
their art project. They were really very enjoyable for me. Sometimes, the
child would simply pass the time by doing art room chores - like cleaning
brushes or scrubbing the sink. There isn't one detention that I didn't like.
Parents had to come in to pick up their child then so I could talk to them.

After the parent agreed to make the child stay for my detention. I told the
administration that the problem was taken care of -- and thanked him for his
consideration....and that I would let him know if I had any more problems
with the child. 90% of the time. I didn't need to refer the child again.

I could share some real doozies with you about what our administrators have
done --VERY inconsistent.

Elementary and middle school teachers - look for consequences that work. My
consequences do not work for high school students. My husband has tried them
all ---and still is not able to change behavior. (he teaches in an inner
city environment).

Judy Decker

From Irene:

> By the way, last year I presented the topic of a points/demerit system
> my school was going to adopt to address discipline issues and to insure
> consistency in dealing with offenders. So many of you wrote to say that
> the administrators do not follow through in enforcing consequences, the
> system would not work.
> Well, the principal and our "director of students" have not followed
> A lot of the referrals (when a student reaches thirty points) are never
> dealt with. Detentions are skipped with no follow-ups. Last week,
> kids got into fights in the cafeteria or hallways and nothing was done.
> Just wanted to let those of you who gave the caveat about administrators
> being consistent were right.