Overdiscipline?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Pi-R-Squared, Oct 12, 2014.

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  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yes, we will agree to disagree. But I would also like to point out that there is no reason that you cannot both know your students and hold them accountable in the same way as your other students. This is what I do and it is very powerful in the classroom.
     
  2. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    That's why I titled the post "Overdiscipline?". I ask because of what I did last year by sending the wrong student to the office on purpose. In the post, someone mentioned that a student could be devastated with such an action. No, I didn't send her to the office but it seemed to have really devastated her. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting her reaction as just feeling bad. She said she didn't mean to disrupt class and was sorry. That's why I'm being cautious and observant on Monday. It was not my intention to break the spirit of any student.
     
  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I think you have done the right thing by reflecting on the situation. You are a better teacher becasue of it.

    I think you will honestly figure it out on your own, the fact that you are concerned about "breaking her spirit" is very important to me, I do believe as teachers we can both inspire students and break their desire.
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You're growing as a teacher, and it's really interesting to see the changes from last year to this. You've already learned the lesson about avoiding accusing innocent students. Now you've also learned about the perils of personal contact with students. It isn't easy. My dad (HS teacher and coach) taught himself to keep his hands in his pockets or locked behind him when disciplining a student. This wasn't because he wanted to reach out in any way, but he wanted to make it clear he wouldn't (my dad is imposing, especially when angry). He simply used his words. I guess that's your next life lesson. Fortunately, I have a feeling you'll think before reaching out again.
     
  5. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Thanks for noticing that I am growing. I think I'm just trying to get through the year, learning to manage the classroom better, and being good at what I do. In the future, I certainly will avoid contact with students. But I will not lose my caring and compassion. If I did that, I'd quit my job.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Use your words, sir, use your words. I am MILES away from any student, but they know how much I care.
     
  7. Proud2BATeacher

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    I teach in a school for students with severe behaviours. They are all taught from the first day that fair is not equal. :whistle:
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

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    You might not have to quit...you just need someone walking by observe your 'innocent' act of wiping away the tears of a crying little girl.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's nice. In my experience that doesn't work.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2013/07/fair-isnt-equal.html?m=1 this picture perfectly demonstrates why we need things to be fair but not equal. Do you make accommodations or modifications? Those aren't equal... Sometimes we need to take other circumstances into account. I'm glad I have a P who realizes that.
     
  11. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    "Fair doesn't mean equal". My theatre students know that from day one, and I have never had a single problem. I agree whole-heartedly with Pashtun in this case.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I've seen that picture more than enough times on this forum. Yet it still does not convince me, because it's not backed by data.

    Also whenever this conversation seems to arise, there are many who start making it into a false dichotomy discussion where they're attributing to the opposition the argument that if you believe in equal consequences for all students that you believe in never individualizing anything for any student.

    So if we could avoid running the same rat maze again and again, that would be great.
     
  13. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I get that fair and equal aren't the same thing, but if I were going to give one student a consequence then turned around said "Oh, well, because it's you, there's no punishment", there would be drama. Accommodations/modifications are not the same as consistent and fair consequences, especially in public. If this had been a private situation, something could have been done differently, but once it was public, I think the OP's hands were tied.

    OP, it seems a leap that you went straight to assuming the one student was guilty based on the fact that his name was on the paper anyway. Did he deny that he had thrown it before the girl confessed? Next time, taking a few extra minutes to decipher a situation before jumping to conclusions might save yourself from these situations. It sounds like the girl would have confessed and then you could have dealt with it in private and avoided the public showdown.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that it is more important that the behavior is addressed than that the behavior is addressed in the exact same way with every single student. In this situation, telling the student that the behavior was inappropriate but adding that the student's honesty was appreciated would have probably been enough to curb the behavior. Isn't that the point of classroom management and discipline, to help students make good choices? Or is the point to punish students, devastate them, and make them feel ashamed of themselves for making a mistake?

    There are absolutely times when I hold students accountable differently. Let's say I have two students with their heads down during my lesson--this is a big no-no in my room. I will address the behavior with each of them. If I find out that one student isn't feeling good and only came to school to take a test next period, that's a lot different from the other student who was just bored and checked out. I will not issue the same consequence to both students.

    Similarly, in this situation, I would argue that the girl who admitted throwing the paper airplane definitely created her own natural consequence in feeling guilt and shame. That's a big enough price to ask a kid to pay for something a small as a paper airplane. You don't need to push it. This girl wouldn't be weaseling out of a punishment because the teacher likes her in particular (although the physical contact might blur that line), but because she experienced a different consequence. That's fair, and it's not favoritism.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    :thumb:

    Completely agree. And I love that you brought up public vs. private. Things should be kept consistent, especially in public displays of behavior management, but in private, you can deal with issues with a little more flexibility.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would agree with this, as long as there wasn't a huge disparity in how you dealt with the problem, similar to the situation HistoryVA proposed.


    Most certainly the former, but also to show that for every action there is a consequence. From what I've learned of behavior management through experience, behavior doesn't change unless there is a real consequence attached to an action (at least for some students).

    I would do the same in my classroom. By consistent accountability, I'm talking about the specific circumstances and implied motivations of each incident as well.

    I would agree if this took place in private. I would have let it slide if I had caught it and had a word with her in private. But since it took place in front of the entire class, such a show would be interpreted differently by the students if I did not show that all students are held accountable in the same way.
     
  17. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sorry but our P does believe in different consequences for different situations and so do I. A kid didn't do his homework because his grandfather died? I'm giving him an extension, not an intervention.

    Our ED kid is behaving very well for him but still talking out of turn? I'm going to talk to him, not give him demerits, which set him off and can even make him violent. He's much more receptive to a chat.

    I've seen this used successfully time and time again. It's good that you don't see accommodations as the same thing because your first post came across that way to me.
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Again you are using false dichotomies. Because I believe in holding students equally accountable doesn't mean that there are no circumstances such as serious family concerns and other things which would not be taken into consideration.

    What I am talking about is treating your "frequently misbehaving students" the same as your "model students". If you give your model students free passes to misbehave but harshly punish your frequent misbehavior students, you are essentially communicating to the student that they are in a separate class and always will be because the model student gets away with the same misbehavior that they do, but gets treated differently.

    That different treatment will also communicate that you have lower expectations for certain students and you don't believe they can attain the same level of behavior as other students.

    Why bother even trying to change their behavior at that point. There is no hint that you'll allow them in to the special circle that you have with your model student. They'll be labeled and label themselves with "problem student".
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There is most definitely a consequence for this student, and I would argue that the consequence she gave herself will be far, far more effective than a "behavior slip".

    Do you think that this student is going to be throwing any more paper airplanes? I would seriously doubt it.

    I have been known to say something like this to students: You understand that when students say "F--- you" to me in class, that's an immediate referral to the deans' office. I appreciate that you apologized to me and it seems that you are being sincere. I recognize that you're having a rough day; we've all been there. I would be willing to forgo the referral to the deans' office if I really and truly believed that this was a mistake on your part and that it will never happen again. Can I be assured of that? Between you and me then, I won't be sending you to the deans' office for this. Please understand that I'm doing this because I trust you to make better decisions in the future. If it happens again, I won't be as lenient. Is that understood?

    I have found that this approach is as effective, if not more effective, than using the office to handle referrals. Students, even habitually misbehaving students, recognize that I am not out to get them and that I want them to be successful. They rarely let me down after this point, and they almost always start making better choices. To me, that is effective classroom management, and it doesn't involve sending a mandatory referral to the office.

    It might not work for everyone, especially people who might have other or pervasive classroom management issues. My class runs pretty smoothly--and it's in an inner-city, overcrowded school with lots of gangs and drugs. I don't have an easy population by any definition. What I do have, however, are students who need a little help being set up for success. I will help them do that.
     
  20. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    There is a differences between a free pass and a different consequence.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Agreed
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    My classroom also runs pretty smoothly and I have few management problems. Students who I hold accountable know that I am not out to get them because I treat all students (even my model students) the same and that the consequences they receive are simply what happens in response to their actions and choices in the classroom.

    After a warning, and being clear that my consequences are serious and will be applied to everyone equally, students rarely misbehave, and it rarely gets to a referral to the principals office.

    Better yet, students respect me because they know I do what I say I'm going to do, and they know my word is good. I don't promise consequences and not follow through with them, if they know their actions merited those consequences.

    The consequence the student gave herself in this case is probably far more effective than the behavior slip, but because of the circumstances of the situation, the consequence needed to also be applied to ensure fairness. I know you probably disagree with me, but there it is.
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do disagree. I think this is a situation of not being able to see the forest for the trees.
     
  24. Peregrin5

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    I also was wondering, do you say this to all of your students (even at least once during the year), or just the ones you like?
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Totally 100% disagree. First of all, if you do differentiate at time for different circumstances, then you're not treating every student equally, simply fairly.

    Students with frequent misbehaviors DO and SHOULD have different consequences. A student gets argumentative for the first time? Warning. A student is argumentative for the 5th time? I'm definitely notifying the office. Do you just keep using the same consequence over and over again? I'm confused.

    I have certainly turned around students with behavior problems. I'm currently working with an ED student right now who is making significant gains. I had a student last year whose behavior improved as the year went on despite the fact that I had to write him demerits.

    I believe you're insinuating that I don't treat my students fairly, which I most certainly do. I just don't always give them the exact same consequence for every issue. I know to look at the circumstances and see beyond what happened in that moment. I evaluate the whole picture. It's rare I have a discipline issue in my class. If I do, it's a student who likes to chat too much. I consider that a very minor behavior as long as he or she is easily corrected and directed back on task. My classroom runs smoothly, my students respect me, and I respect them back.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

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    Something tells me not every student says F you!

    Are you trying to be personally argumentative? Caesar is now at least the second poster you've accused of playing favorites.
     
  27. Peregrin5

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    What if it is a student who another teacher was complaining about misbehavior for last year? Or maybe the student just doesn't have the best attitude. The first time they get argumentative with you, would you allow them just the warning like with other students, or are you going to jump directly to notifying the office?

    I'm not insinuating anything about you. Though you seem to be insinuating that I am not effective because I treat most public issues the same for all students. My students also respect me and I also respect them. My classroom also runs smoothly.
     
  28. Peregrin5

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    Don't be asinine. I'm asking if she treats all students who say F you the same way. A question is not an accusation.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Typically the students who drop the f-bomb in my direction aren't my favorites. I say what I said above to any student who could benefit from hearing it.

    Your implication that I play favorites makes me chuckle. I don't play favorites. I give every student exactly what he or she needs.
     
  30. Peregrin5

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    Then I don't see the dissonance between your approach and mine. I would treat all students who said such a thing to me in the same manner, if it was the first time that it happened, rather than give the benefit of the doubt to some and not others.
     
  31. dgpiaffeteach

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    A question can most certainly be an accusation depending on the tone used. Ask anyone who knows anything about language or debating. As you probably know, it is difficult to discern tone through brief online posts. Given your previous argumentative posts, I read a tone in the question that you apparently didn't mean.

    Your classroom seems to be very black and white. Maybe that works for your students in your grade. But my students most certainly benefit from a shades of gray approach.

    ETA: we have clearly hijacked this post, which I must apologize to the OP for.
     
  32. Peregrin5

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    It is mostly black and white in some areas (i.e. how I publicly administer consequences), but very gray in others (relationships, academics, etc.).
     
  33. gr3teacher

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    There's a big difference between giving two different students a different consequence for the same offense, and what happened here. If the girl had been "rightfully accused" to begin with, then yes, a different consequence would have been appropriate. However, after handing down a specific consequence, finding out a different person did it, and WITH the wrongly accused still in the room... it would have been very inappropriate to change the punishment for the offense at that point, unless the wrongly accused student had a history of misbehavior.
     
  34. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I do not really believe in "zero tolerance" as it is applied now in schools. One size does not fit all. I have a kid who continually breaks rules and an another that finally breaks one. They are treated differently by me. Depends on the offense obviously.
    And I never thought about wiping tears away as something intimate. I cannot recall if I have done it but probably have. When I get one crying I always tell them to go wash their face before returning to the group. I think a real point is we all have different styles because of our personalities and backgrounds. I have seen all kinds of ways be successful with kids. Common sense and not letting emotion dominate an incident helps a lot.
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    And that's why the first offense should never be addressed with a write-up, per the OP's behavior plan. The first offense should be a student conference or warning. That policy would have prevented this problem from happening in the first place.
     
  36. gr3teacher

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    Probably true, but that's a different discussion.

    I think in the "heat of the moment," it can sometimes be easy to see something as being a bigger offense than it actually is though.
     
  37. Peregrin5

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    Yes, but only if he had only given a warning to the other student as well. He shouldn't change it just because the student changed, unless the first student had done something earlier in that day and merited the larger consequence.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Right, that's my point. He backed himself into a corner by requiring that all first offenses result in a write-up, even for something as silly and inconsequential as a paper airplane.
     
  39. 2ndTimeAround

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    I totally agree. I'm dealing with this very situation right now. How in the world can I let a "good kid" off with a wrist slap when a "bad kid" gets detention?
     
  40. Peregrin5

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    My only point was that both students in this case should receive equal treatment considering the circumstances.

    I would regard a stern warning as a fair first offense consequence.
     
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