Anger is weakness... calm is strength... anger is weakness... calm is strength......

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    He’s been a mainstay at the school for almost 23 years. I imagine that he’s giving me those recommendations because he understands the makeup of the school and community? He’s seen the kids that I’m teaching either work at the trailer park, dog food manufacturer, or metals factory. Or even worse, start having kids well before they’re ready and they become wards of the state. The ones that he teaches head off to JuCo or earn scholarship money toward university. I kinda envy his position but he’s been here a lot longer than I have so that’s that. I had a small conversation with my juniors today and told them that in real life they have to listen to their bosses. The ones who have jobs said, “We listen to our bosses and do what they say.” Since their currency for working is money earned, I can see why they don’t wanna math work. There’s no currency in grades for them.
     
  2. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    thank you for explaining this.
     
  3. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    thanks for explaining this.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Does the number of swats a day vary throughout the states that use corporal punishment, or is that a federal guideline/maximum? I may know the jargon, but I was lucky enough to be raised north of the Mason Dixon Line, so not at all aware if there are federal guidelines that come into play for the 14 or so states that still hit students.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I teach in Arkansas. I do NOT condone paddling, but my district does have corporal punishment as an option at the elementary level only. It is ONLY administered by the principal or assistant principal, and a certified staff member must also serve as a witness. If selected as the punishment, the student receives only one swat. Parents sign a form at the beginning of the year either allowing or not corporal punishment. Additionally, parents are contacted over the phone before it is actually given and they consent again verbally. Interestingly enough, my current school is 90% white, and the majority of parents are okay with a paddling. When I taught in a more urban district in my state, corporal punishment was not allowed, so I was very surprised that it still happened when I moved to my current district.
     
  6. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    I teach in Georgia and if I ever paddled or "licked" a student, I would be out of a job real quick. I am originally from NJ and this is the most backwards thing I've heard of.
    I was going to suggest you attend a "Modeling Instruction" workshop (ran by the AMTA. www.modelinginstruction.org ) to really redefine how teaching physics and math are taught using a very effective pedagogy (whiteboards)....
    Try looking for a job at a better school. There are numerous good, high paying independent schools here in the south (including AL and GA). There are numerous recruiting agencies like ATOMS that place STEM teachers at these schools if you have a Masters or Doctorate. You should try working in a better environment. It does make a difference to morale and overall mental health.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Thank you agdamity and Pisces! Born in Missouri, no paddling allowed, but I had cousins in both Texas and Arkansas who passed on how it worked. Since I had an uncle only 4 years older than me, who was a bit of a rascal, I occasionally heard about being paddled, or him talking his way out of it. That was Arkansas. The Texas relatives were not good students, and one cousin was, in retrospect, special needs, but that didn't keep him from getting paddled regularly for "not trying hard enough." His sisters were all disrespectful, and all stopped going to school to stop being punished. The smartest of the lot moved to Missouri, as did the young uncle from Arkansas, to finish HS. All felt that the punishment was designed to humiliate, not fix the problem. None of that lot would return to live in the South until after their own children were graduated.

    I really thought that hitting students would have gone the way of the dinosaurs, but apparently not. For those not familiar with NJ, I work in a private school with SPED students, many of which have been in trouble with the law. We have multiple in-services every single year to be approved to safely handle students who are violent towards staff, students, or intend self harm. Lashing out, even as a protective gesture is a sure fire way to lose your job, and I would not disagree with that. As teachers, we are supposed to be the rational adults who can self-monitor our own emotions. If we feel threatened, we have protocols that are put into play, all geared to safely de-escalate threats of violence of any kind. My first inclination was the same as another poster who believed that corporal punishment must be illegal in all US states, and only research showed that although situations are improving, this is still a part of many school's play-book.

    If you are thinking about teaching in the South, ask about this before accepting a job. I know it would change how I viewed prospective employers.
     
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  8. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Thanks for sharing your story. I just asked my department chair (who was born and raised in AL) and two other colleagues of mine (who were raised in GA) about this. They both said that this (if it happens) will take place (rarely) in rural places. We're in Atlanta and this is unheard of here. None of them have ever heard of this happening in Atlanta, Birmingham, or major metro areas.
    Ugh... OP , you need to get out of that school and go to a new school!
     
  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    In Louisiana, paddling is a district, and even a school-level decision. It must be done by an administrator, with an approved paddle, and with a certified witness. Very few schools still use this for discipline, and those that do are primarily elementary schools in rural or very urban area. It is used very rarely.

    As to the original topic, obviously corporal punishment is not a solution for unmotivated students. It is very frustrating when teachers are the people who care the most about a student's success. Here are some things my school/coworkers do to motivate students who are not college bound.

    - for ACT, students who score a 21 or higher are entered into a raffle for prizes. You get one raffle ticket for each subsection for each point at or above 21.

    - We also give the Workkeys test. Students find this more relatable, and we've trained local businesses to read the scores so students can use them on job applications. For that, each student who scores silver or better gets a special treat.

    - In individual courses, students can be exempt from final exams for scoring well on various standardized tests (EOC, ACT, etc.)

    - positive phone calls home! When I have a student whose practice test score goes up more than 2 points, I call home! Even if it's from a 12 to a 15, that's amazing progress! I make a big deal out of progress.

    - give rewards for baby steps. Some of the rewards I've given are homework passes, vending machine passes (it's a big no no at my school to go to the vending machine during class, so having a special pass to go is a big deal,) stickers, etc. Free or low cost!

    It's tough. For kids who aren't planning to go to college, keeping them motivated can be difficult.
     
  10. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I have paddled every senior boy at least once this year or when they were juniors. It’s like a game to them to see who would get them. The 2nd week of school, two boys kicked each other so I took them out and paddles them. Then the next week, a boy punched another in the nuts so the guy who got nut-punched kicked the guy. They both got paddled. Then one guy who hadn’t been paddled was egged on by his buddies to get one so he yelled out “F**K!!!” He got paddled. That’s my group of senior boys.
     
  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Feb 21, 2019

    Perhaps it's not the most effective punishment...
     
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  12. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  13. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Nope. Not a troll. Not proud of it either but it is what it is..... it’s one of our forms of discipline whenever things just get out of hand. What actually changed their dimwitted behavior was when the P threatened to suspend them all for their next infractions. No more paddling since.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I think my problem with swats and paddles is that it is like waiting for the "Gottcha!" moments to punish instead of inspiring moments of unexpected accomplishment to build pride and self esteem. I have shared my stories about corporal punishment in a family history, and documented that I value finding ways to help students find self control that don't depend on any perception of violence. It is just who I am and how I view and value students. Those with the least going for them are most in need of unexpected support and acceptance, IMHO. They already know how to fail, as OP's post proves. There are many ways to grow and find success that may not be seen in a report card. As a teacher, I strive to help students find the small successes they can build upon; it is how I parented my own child, and I believe it is a service I can offer my students. ;)
     
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  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Wow - that should have been the "ah-ha!" moment. They were just trying to trigger you into playing their game with them - and you played along! Instead of being a playmate, be the teacher.

    I have a link for you to consider:
    https://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CompetencyWorks-MeetingStudentsWhereTheyAre2.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  16. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Well that's actually something right there! They don't want to be suspended----so they must value being in school at least a TINY bit.
     
  17. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    As far as I know, being at school keeps them from getting into trouble when they’re not at school. Then again, one of the boys mouthed off to another boy about a girl so they fought. 3 days OSS for both.
     
  18. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Never realized they were luring me into their game and I got played. Thought they just being their normal selves. That’s probably resulting from my pre-conceived notions about them. Thanks for the link to the article. I’d like to improve upon my teaching skill set cuz I know I’ve got some distance to go!
     
  19. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    My first 3 years I worked at a middle school (6-8) in a city system that did not paddle.’ They had their own dedicated ISS area. My 4th year was at a county HS with no ISS are where paddling is not only allowed but “encouraged” as the P told us during our 1st faculty meeting. The next 2 years I have been at another county HS where ISS is in the copier room, the Ps office, or somewhere nearby. When students get into enough trouble where a choice is given between a lick or ISS, they take the lick from the P and go back to class. It’s very rare to see students in ISS. My own children attend the local city schools where there is no paddling. All the nearby city systems are the same way. The county schools are where paddling is an option. So it looks like places that can hire an at-risk teacher just to administer ISS don’t paddle. County systems can’t afford this. At least this is what I’m assuming is happening.

    My whole point is my 1st 3 years were fun and enjoyable. City system, younger kids, no paddling, can be goofy with them and they get excited when they learn and wish to please the teacher. Some of them went on to finally understanding math. The next 3 years haven’t been that much fun. It’s not horrible but they are older kids, lack of caring, most hate math.... the students even tell me “I like you as a teacher but I hate math.”
     
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I live in California and there is no form of corporal punishment here. We can't (shouldn't) even put our hands on kids because it might be taken the wrong way. So for me this whole paddling punishment sounds horrible. I don't think I could ever do it, nor want to, and wouldn't want to live in a state where someone else might put their hand on my child.
     
  21. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Hey, I wouldn't send my kids to where I teach!
     
  22. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I dont think this is terrible. We all get amped up sometimes and then kids realize we are human beings just like other adults in their life. And your apology was the right thing to do. I learned in my career it was ok to apologize to kids. But you got their attention and told the truth. SOmetimes the truth is painful to hear.
     
  23. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    The problem with the apology is that he insulted the HS students by saying that they were a lost cause, for all intents and purposes. You don't get to throw others under the bus to rationalize your actions with the student you yelled at. If you want to apologize, zero in on your actions, make the changes you can make, and leave other current students out of the conversation. It may have made OP feel better to tell them that he was angry because he doesn't want them to end up the same way, but that wasn't really what was behind his outburst. Don't you think that what was said when he yelled will get to the HS students? Or get out into the community? I believe we all have moments that aren't our finest, but we need to own that it isn't behavior we aspire to, and that we will work on our own weaknesses to be better teachers while they likewise work to be the best students they can be. And then the hard part, for all concerned, is follow through.
     
  24. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Correct.... if I had left out the “I don’t yell at the juniors or seniors because it’s too late” portion and just told the 8th graders that it’s not too late for them, it would have involved just the class that I was dealing with. Granted, the whole faculty knows about the juniors and seniors. I was just casually talking to our 1st grade teacher about my seniors and she said, “Bless your heart.... I know what you’re dealing with. They were mine way back in 1st grade and they were hard to handle!” But enough of the past. I’ve got to figure a way to reverse this trend. If I’m hired back for next year, the juniors will be seniors and a group of low performers that I had last year will return to me as juniors.
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard of paddling being used even though it’s still legal. Maybe twenty years ago?
     
  26. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Consider: Put yourself in the place of an unmotivated student. Pretend math is not your favorite subject due mainly to not having much success - Ds and Fs. When you try nothing positive happens. You are embarrassed to ask for help because you don't want to look stupid in front of peers. You don't work on assignments because to do so would show, graphically, what you don't know. Then the teacher, with best intentions, rubs your face in your mistakes by pointing out your errors. By hiding behind non-work you save a sliver of self-esteem as you subscribe to the saying, "Better they think I'm stupid than to show my work and remove any doubt."

    Now that you have a picture of the student you are dealing with what can you offer that will make the student try? Not talking about mastery of an algorithm. Talking about starting on a piece of work. A sliver. A morsel. A tiny step that he/she can be successful doing. In other words, one of the most powerful incentives (reward) is the feeling of being successful at something. It's human nature to return to those things you are good at and avoid those things you are not. If you can task analyse a skill into manageable steps and ask yourself, "If I'm a confused, unmotivated student will I be able to do this step?" If "No" then break it down some more until the student can "teach you" the step. Then practice only that step on a set of problems - about 5-8 (judgment) as opposed to asking the student to do the first step then start adding more steps - surefire way to cognitive overload and, again, "I can't do it. I'm still a failure." Idea is to work on "movement" through an assignment. Once students feel confident you can work on mastery.
     
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  27. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I received a notification that this post was added to the thread. I absolutely love your insight. I believe fully that students should learn at their own pace.
     

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