4/17/2010

Discipline follow up

The other day I wrote this post.  It was about a situation with a little girl, Julia, that the teacher, in my humble opinion, handled excellently.

Oh, did I mention that I was that teacher?  No?  Oh, I wanted to walk through the scenario with you as an observer for two reasons.  First, when I review how I handle situations I always like to look at it as an observer because then I can be a bit more objective about what happened and see if I should have done something different.  I’m not perfect, I know it, but I am good at my job…that I do know.  I have a knack for discipline and challenging children/situations.

The other reason was that I wanted you to be objective in your response as well.  Some of you like/trust me and some of you think I have my head up my…well you know (ahem, miss anonymous, ahem).  So I know that, love me or hate me, it might sway your opinion.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I apologize if I led you astray or you feel I betrayed you in anyway.

I also want to add to it my opinion.  I don’t think discipline should change just because a child is having a rough time of it.  There are consequences (good and bad) for ALL behaviors (good and bad).  Sometimes behaviors gets us stickers, high fives, and raises!

Other times, behaviors get us firm words, privileges taken away, and possibly having to hold a teacher’s hand for a while.

Either way, it’s the BEHAVIOR that should drive the discipline. 

Just because a serial killer had a horribly abusive childhood, does that mean he shouldn’t go to prison for the rest of his life?  No!  Did his life suck?  Yes.  However, there is still a right and wrong.

Now, I would be very careful in HOW I handle a child who may be currently (or very recently) in a physically abusive situation.  I probably wouldn’t grab at them so quickly, however I would gently hug/hold them until their body was being safe again.

Knowing that a child is going through some struggles helps us, as teachers/adults, understand WHY the behavior is happening and, at times, gives a direction for the conversation with the child.  However, I am not going to look past inappropriate behavior just because s/he is going through a rough time.  That isn’t going to help the child in any way learn to live in a social world.

Knowing that a child is going through some struggles may help me have a bit more patience, definitely a bit more understanding, but never does it allow me to over look the behavior.

Sometimes I see teachers look past behaviors.  I’ve heard, “Well, yeah she’s pinching children, but her dad was just arrested for domestic violence and she witnessed it.”

I’m response?  Well, yeah she’s going through a rough patch, but she needs to be taught, aka disciplined, that pinching is not a way to solve conflicts or get her way.  Otherwise she’ll grow up to think this is acceptable behavior.”

Reminder, discipline means TO TEACH.  It’s not a bad word.  It is simply that: to teach.  When we discipline children we TEACH them the appropriate behaviors that they need to have.

Did I thoroughly confuse you all?  Did I turn you away?  Do you agree?  Thoughts?

5 comments:

Barbra Stephens said...

I'm not confused. You sound like me when I was your age....
And ME at my age.
You have what's called, values.
Mine come in handy and work well with my integrity. I also found that where I teach played a major factor in whether or not I was a good fit for the program. If the philosophy of the school did not match my own philosophy chances are it was not going to work out.
I learned that was okay. I mellowed in some areas but in some I will always be a fire ball-I think you know what I mean, Jenni.
Great post....

Jenni said...

I COMPLETELY know what you mean. I make many waves as the program trainer where I'm at; however I have a Program Director who backs me up 120% and she knows that I know what I'm talking about. I usually have research, facts, and experience (mine and others) behind all my ideas and that helps immensly. I have really (luckily) only worked in two places in my career that the philosophy didn't meet my own.

I've mellowed in SOME areas, and maybe someday I'll mellow in others; however, right now I find that there are more ways that I get fired up over every day. :)

Barbra Stephens said...

I was wondering. Have you ever taken an aptitude test? I am willing to bet you are in the right line of work but possibly these tests show more about you-in depth.
I took the STRONGS test and it reviled I would be happier in the same line of work but probably as a business owner. I never would have guessed that about myself.
I don't know. Just a thought....

Jenni said...

I have, they said I should be an architect or a teacher...on the surface they seem like such completely different careers, however when I really analyze it, that is exactly what I do every day! Play and build in the dirt, making something out of nothing, and teaching/showing others the way to do it!

Barbra Stephens said...

LOL. True. Architects are builders, too. You sound like an entrepreneur to me, that's all.