Discipline, Part 4: Perspective of a Teacher

PASS Parents and Friends —

We are continuing our series on discipline and behavior. Curt Hoover is a former teacher at PMMS — and a current PASS Board Member. He conveys an essential point — the only real tool teachers and administrators have to discipline kids is removal from class, from their peers and from school. Beyond that the primary source of discipline is…no surprise…parents. Read on…

Hello, PASS Community:

I am a teacher and I have been thinking about the recent posts on the discipline situation. As a teacher, I want negative behavior replaced with positive behavior. Negative behavior that is left unaddressed spreads to other students and significantly disrupts learning.

The two broad areas where negative behavior can be problematic is when behavioral expectations are not clear or not enforced and when methods used to change behavior are not effective. Behavioral expectations are the first thing to look at if there are behavior problems in a division, school or classroom.
What is done to change behavior also needs to evaluated. The most common methods for changing significant negative behavior are contacting parents and removing students from class. These are very effective for most students because ultimately their parents provide them with practical guidance and direction that results in a change in their behavior at school.

I think we have great parents in Shenandoah County and they were generally supportive of me when I needed their help with a behavior problem. However, contacting parents and removing students from class or school does not change the behavior of every student. Some parents may not have the skills needed to effectively discipline their children. Some children have significant personal issues that are much more concerning to them than school. There are also children with learning needs that affect their behavior.

We need additional strategies for those students. That does not mean that parents are not called or that they are not removed from class when they exhibit negative behavior. It does mean that we need more strategic counseling and alternative programs that will provide the restorative discipline that we desire for those students.

Curt Hoover

Leave a Reply

3 × 5 =