Charging students money for swearing?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by raneydae, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2009

    I teach high school so of course I hear lots of colorful language in class. While I've been told that some of the "hip" teachers at our school don't care if they swear in class, personally I do. (and I'm one of the youngest teachers too!)

    Usually, if a student swears, I'll just tell them to watch their language, or I'll correct them with an appropriate word (i.e. "Darn would be more appropriate", or "I heard you say shoot, right?"). I've done it enough that they kind of expect it now and have started catching/censoring themselves.

    However, I'm thinking of implementing a new system. What if I charged them a quarter for each time they used inappropriate language (which counts for both swearing and rude comments to each other). I'd keep track with simple tally marks on my daily roster, so I'd remember who owed me money. And I'll tell them if they get to a certain amount, say, $1.00, that I'll email parents or give them a detention.

    I'd use the money to buy things like pencils and erasers to keep in the classroom for everyone. And if anyone didn't feel like they could afford to pay their debt, I'd let them "pay" with a detention or something.

    Does anyone do this already? Do you think this would be acceptable to do in a high school classroom?
     
  2.  
  3. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,729
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2009

    I don't know if this technique would go over well with admin and the parents.
     
  4. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 9, 2009

    I can't wait to hear what others say. I love this idea, but idk how your school will handle it or parents. Good luck in finding something that works.
     
  5. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2009

    Well, I probably would talk to administration first to get their approval, but I just wanted to find out here first if it even seems to be worth it to ask.
     
  6. Mr D

    Mr D Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 9, 2009

    I had a teacher when I was in high school who did that. I think she charged different amounts of money ranging from a nickel to a quarter, depending on what word was said.

    I don't remember bad language being much of a problem in her class. That was probably because nobody wanted to pay.
     
  7. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 9, 2009

    I've always done this and no one has ever complained. The money doesn't go towards buying pencils and class stuff though - it goes towards our end of the year party. The students "rat" on each other because they want to go someplace fun. I have a jar sitting on top of a file cabinet and it can clearly been seen by all. Most of the language slips don't occur in my class, but in the hallways, etc.

    Also, I didn't ask permission. I follow the policy of "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission."
     
  8. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2009

    ha ha - I like this. I'm a first-year teacher and didn't know any better, right?? :lol:
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,292
    Likes Received:
    122

    Jan 9, 2009

    I used to do this! I had a blue delft china bank in the shape of a cat, and when kids slipped up they had to "feed the kitty." Well, I didn't insist, but I strongly suggested, and they'd usually put in a quarter. Pretty soon swear words became known as "kitty words." I donated the money to one of the charity fundraisers our clubs have at school. I didn't put the kitty out this year because I've gotten better at establishing a positive classroom environment and/or I've had very nice classes recently, but I wouldn't rule it out for the future. I told my kids and parents about it but didn't put it in my written policy - I'm also of the "ask forgiveness" school of thought. :)

    Just last week some of my former students were commenting on the class picture of themselves on my Facebook, and one of them used the F-word, and another commented that that was a kitty word - cute!
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2009

    I wouldn't do it.

    It won't go over well with teachers and administrators. It sets a different standard for kids with money from those without.

    But, more than that, I think that using foul language is a respect thing. And I wouldn't want the kids to think that respect for me comes that cheap.
     
  11. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2009

    Novel idea, but it wouldn't work at my school or with my administration.
     
  12. MuggleBug

    MuggleBug Companion

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2009

    I also had a teacher do that when I was in high school. Everyone loved his class, and it was usually the same students who were in "debt" - had a number of IOUs cause they couldn't control their swearing but never had the money. All of the money collected (and it added up!) went towards our Project Graduation fund, until someone went home and told their parents and the parent complained...so that was the end of it. That was almost 10 years ago so I'm sure it probably wouldn't fly for too long these days.
     
  13. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jan 10, 2009

    I might try it. I love the idea. We had a teacher last year that made the kids do pushups every time they slipped out of line, and the kids absolutely feared her. She had virtually no classroom management issues the entire year.
     
  14. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2009

    Hmm...I go back to school Monday and I think I'm going to try this (at least until I'm told that I can't). This is how I was going to word it for the kids:

    "Every time I hear this language from you [meaning both swearing and rude comments to each other], you will be required to “donate” a quarter to our new classroom supply fund. :)
    If you have to donate $1.00 or more in any given week – it’ll be a detention. Every two weeks, if you haven’t paid up, I’ll send a reminder email to you and your parents. If you still haven’t paid after a month, I’ll translate your debt to detentions. One detention for every dollar you owe.

    If you feel as though you cannot afford a quarter, you may always “pay” with detention(s) instead."

    Do you think I could phrase it this way?
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2009

    I'm still not comfortable.

    If I have a dollar to spend, does that mean I can say 4 swears wtihout an consequences??

    Again I think it's a respect issue, and my respect doesn't come that cheap.
     
  16. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2009

    So are you saying that (if you could away with charging) you would charge more?

    How do you usually handle swearing?
     
  17. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    170

    Jan 10, 2009

    Last year the other teachers in my program implemented the curse jar and I went along just to back them. Our (HS) students could pay 25 cents, push-ups or minutes after school. I wasn't so crazy about it at first. Then I began to realize that many of my students really and honestly had no clue that they were cursing. It was such an accepted part of their every day language that they weren't aware of it. I tell my students that my problem isn't with the language - I know they know these words - it's with their inability to control the use of their language. They need to learn what is appropriate when and where. Last year many of them had a teacher in an after school program that salted her language. The kids actually complained about it!
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Jan 10, 2009

    How about a ZERO tolerance policy...You swear you 'get time'...
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jan 10, 2009

    Yeah, I don't think I would do it. What will happen if they don't want to give you their money? You can't force them to give you money. Will they get a detention? I can't imagine giving a student a detention for not giving you money. What if they come from low-income households where a quarter really is a big deal? And if it's the opposite extreme and they have money, a quarter would be nothing.

    I'm actually shocked that other people are saying they do this. From what I understand, the OP doesn't currently have any consequences for swearing. You seem to just brush it off, so they students don't really care, either. Why not just have a zero-tolerance policy where the consequence is a detention? I'm sure that will make them stop quickly.
     
  20. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2009

    Detention is a difficult thing to give at my school as we don't have a traditional schedule and every student starts/ends at a different time. I honestly don't like to have to deal with detentions at all and would like to find something else first.

    My kids are not low-income. I'm pretty sure most of them have quarters. But of course, I know I'll get some that'll make a big deal, and pretend loudly that they can't afford it - that's why I'll offer the detention option for them if they want it instead.

    If they don't want to pay, I'll give them a detention for swearing, not for not paying.

    I can't realistically enforce zero-tolerance. I'm a performing arts charter school and they already think they have so many freedoms here. It doesn't help that other teachers allow them to swear during class. Honestly, I just want to make them aware of their language.

    Also - this is kind of going hand in hand with sometime else I'm going to implement: I'm SICK of having students come unprepared to class and have to loudly ask others to borrow pencils, paper and erases. So, I'm going to use the money to purchase some community supplies and keep these in the room for them to use as needed instead of being disruptive. So I kind of see this as killing two birds with one stone.
     
  21. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jan 10, 2009

    Sounds good to me It could be a "Time jar" or "time in a bottle"
     
  22. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jan 10, 2009

    Detention is a necessary evil!
    Who is in charge? If you say zero-tolerance then there is zero-tolerance, push the respect aspect. It is your classroom you set the rules, if another teacher allows them to swear during class that is unprofessional!


    if you want you can show this to the teacher or if you want to invite me to talk to the teacher. There is a direct flight to LA from here ......
    was that over the top?
    Sorry
    I have P.U.W.T.S. Putting Up With Teenage S*** :rolleyes:
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2009

    No. I'm saying my respect isn't for sale.

    I correct the kid and he apologizes. If it become a pattern, I threaten, then follow through, with detention.

    I'm not criticizing your idea; I'm just not comfortable with it for my classroom.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Teach200,
  2. SaraFirst
Total: 266 (members: 3, guests: 232, robots: 31)
test