71. TEACHER FEATURE: CONSEQUENCES OF A “FOUL” MOUTH, A “DISCIPLINE PLAN” FROM ARIZONA, PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week 14/15, & R.C. pt. XIV

MEMO TO “Prof. N.”: Thanks for the “Heads Up” on the email address -Your concern is appreciated. However, I (Renee) was NOT surprised by the posting of “adpuga4ever” on an anti c.p. web site. That was the address used last spring when communicating with P.T.A.V.E. (and Paula Flowe) on an internet back and forth debate. But that address and the one other we used in communicating with readers about TWP were DEACTIVATED shortly after usage. So, there is NO other way to contact TEACHERSWHOPADDLE other than the means provided by wordpress.



 

A PHONE CALL

On Saturday night, I was working on supper in the kitchen while John was glued to the couch watching the Alabama-Florida game (No surprise there!). Tyler was on the swing set outside as I watched him through the window while peeling potatoes. Then, my cell phone rang. I pulled it out of my apron pouch and opened it.

I then heard,”Bama won!…Bama won!…We are the champions…of the S.E.C.! “(singing)

It was TWP’s very own Alabama ex-cheerleader, Michelle.

“Oh…Well, congratulations , Michelle…I know you are happy but I’m not an Alabama grad…” I replied humorously.

“Oooops…So sorry, Renee…I speed dialed your number by accident!” Michelle apologized.

“Don’t worry about it!…Just be careful while leaving the victory celebration you’ve wanted for so long!…Remember, tomorrow night is you and Richard”s turn to host Sunday dinner,” I responded.

Our newlyweds made it out of Atlanta just fine and all of us at TWP and our families were treated to a nice cookout on Sunday night with Longhorn(?) steak as the main entre.

And this past Monday, Michelle wore a “ALABAMA 2009 S.E.C. Champions” sweater at the elementary school. Rest of the week: Various assortments of Alabama apparel.

At least, that is what Mr. Smith, her principal told me. (But NO cheerleading outfits and, no, Michelle did NOT violate any “dress code”.) (Giggle)

 

TEACHER FEATURE:

CONSEQUENCES OF A “FOUL” MOUTH

Hello, this is Jenny, the other 4 grade teacher across the hall from Michelle’s room. This segment should put to rest ANY remaining notion that I get the “angels” of the 4th grade students. Or as Michelle puts it: We must “spread the wealth” when it comes to our “angels” and “devils”.

Just kidding about the “devils” though!

But sometimes, you wonder what the heck got into some kids. Like Jack, who came to our school last year from out of state (non c.p.) but did o.k. in Robin’s 3rd grade class (Next door to Renee’s). His behavior changed this year from last year -For the worse.

Jack was just plain defiant and stubborn from the start of the school year. He would be warned on those occasions and would be “parked” inside during recess when warnings were not heeded. Then, Jack developed a “talk back” habit which has resulted in more loss of recess time with a warning of “paddle consequences” if that behavior continued.

At this point, it must be understood that profanity is defined as an extreme violation of school rules which can result in the usage of the paddle as a first option. At the start of every school year, all the kids are made aware of the rules and when the paddle may be used. Jack was made aware of the rules on day #1.

But Jack chose to ignore the “no profanity” rule.

It started with a recess playground dispute that continued after my class headed back to the room. I do not know the details of the “dispute” but I ordered Jack and the other boy to be seated at their desks like the rest of the class. The other boy did but Jack did not and ignored me when I repeated,” Jack, get in your seat!…NOW!”

Instead of responding to me, Jack turned and started towards Ben’s desk saying,” Take it back or I will kick your f****** a**!”

I was stunned and you could have heard a pin drop at that moment. But I recovered and quickly dashed towards Jack and grabbed him by the back belt loop of his jeans while ordering,” Ben, stay seated at your desk…Jack, you come up front with me…NOW!”

I then reached into a drawer of my desk and retrieved my least favorite teacher “tool” -My 16″ x 3 1/2″ x 1/4″ paddle.

“Uh, Mrs. …., my mom and dad don’t believe in paddling…” Jack mumbled.

“That so?…Well, I’ll have to check with the office on that,” I replied.

It took only a few minutes to call the office via intercom phone to confirm that the “opt out” part of Jack’s file was not marked or signed by either parent.

As Jack began to plead and whine, I was able to get Robin, the 3rd grade teacher, as a witness since both 3rd grade classes were at the library. The three of us met at the conference room.

“Com’on, Mrs. …., give me ONE more chance!” Jack pleaded.

“Jack, you have been on ‘thin ice’ for weeks already and have been warned about your behavior…You have only yourself to blame so turn around and face the wall,” I answered.

I then had Jack bend over with his hands braced against the wall. After making sure nothing was in Jack’s back pockets, I carefully lined up my paddle with the back pockets and then held the same at a 90 degree angle and swung briskly.

Flicking my wrist as I connected 3 times soundly.

SMACK SMACK SMACK

Jack let out an “owwww!” on the last swat. He didn’t cry (thankfully) but was sniffling and red-faced when I told him to turn around. I consoled him, saying,”Jack, I’m not happy about doing this either but I cannot allow that kind of language in my classroom…EVER…Understand me?”

Jack indicated he understood and then hugged me whinning,” I’m sorry, Mrs. …., please don’t paddle me…”

Patting Jack on the head, I replied in a soft voice,” Jack, I’m not going to paddle you any more but you cannot use vile language in my class, o.k.?”

He promised not to and we returned to the classroom.

Jack’s mom did complain to the principal but that availed her nothing. Why? School policy WAS followed and if Jack’s mom was opposed to c.p., all she had to do was “opt out” which she never did.

This episode happened last month and Jack has not been in major trouble since. Nor anyone else in my class, for that matter!

 

A DISCIPLINE PLAN FROM ARIZONA


 

Hi You all: (could not resist some southern humor):

As promised I wanted to detail the classroom disciplinary plan I have referred to previously.

The foundation of the plan revolves around the use of demerits for student misbehavior or not following the rules. Examples of things a student can earn a demerit for include the following:

– Talking in class
– Not Listening
– Not following procedures at recess or lunch
– Chewing gum in class
– Tardiness
– Not having homework completed
– Disrespect to the teacher
– Unauthorized “horse play”
– Misbehavior towards other students (Bullying, etc)
– Other minor rules violations

Major Misbehavior such as fighting and cheating can be addressed separately and/or as part of the overall disciplinary/demerit plan.

In establishing any effective classroom disciplinary plan, we did not want it squarely focused on the “negative” consequences. As a result we implemented a very positive side of the plan as well. We also understood that all students need some “latitude” from a behavior standpoint so we took that into consideration as well. Lastly we wanted to focus on a student’s overall behavior for the week in terms of the consequences both positive and negative and wanted both to be consistent and equal for all students.

At the front of each classroom, we built a chart for each student to track their demerits. Demerits can be handed out by any of the teachers based on behavior. We also have a color coded system to track where a student is at any given point of the week. One of the advantages of the tracking system is that it also encourages the students to be aware of where they stand amongst the other students which is helpful.

Should a student receive 5 demerits or less during the week, they receive an award. These awards range from a trip to our class treasure chest (for a toy or game), to earning points for our student of the month and year awards, and towards achieving special field trips (to Coldstone Creamery as an example). The fact that we allow a student to earn 5 demerits for the week and still receive a positive consequence gives the child a window to make a few mistakes during the week and not suffer any negative consequences. With 2nd graders, we do not expect perfect behavior so this is an important component.

However for those students whose weekly demerit total exceeds 5, unfortunately there is a need to address their misbehavior with a “negative” consequence. With our new plan, this consequence for the most part (there are some exceptions) is in the form of administering what we call a “spanking” (not a paddling) to the student. The type of spanking (which I will detail in a moment) is based on the number of demerits an individual student as earned for the week.

Please note the following general guidelines:

1) All spankings are administered on Friday afternoon for the week. Should a student be absent on a Friday and have earned enough demerits for the week for a spanking, their spanking will be administered on their next day at school during the morning recess.

2) All spankings are administered in private by one of the 4 teachers with another teacher serving as a witness. The responsibility of giving the spanking and witnessing is one that we rotate each Friday.

3) The student is always allowed some time to compose themselves before going back to the classroom.

4) A note is sent home to the parents (for return signature) of any student who receives a spanking.

5) A copy of that note is kept on file at the school office.

As I mentioned above, there are 3 types of spankings that a student can receive based on the number of demerits earned. These are as follows:

6-8 Demerits Hand Spanking- 5 swats
9-10 Demerits Wooden Ruler Spanking- 5 swats
over 10 Demerits Paddle Spanking- 5 swats

The paddle we use is a thin wooden ping pong shaped paddle. As you also outlined in your August and Sept articles, the purpose of our spankings is to create a “temporary period” of discomfort for the child and a short to medium lasting sting. It is definitely NEVER our intent to bruise or mark or injure a student.

As you might imagine, we have received an array of reactions from the students who we have had to spank. Some frankly have cried and screamed like they are being killed and others whimper quietly or somewhere in between. It is not a task any of us like to do but it is one that is necessary when behavior warrants.

We have seen a decline in the number of students who have received a weekly spanking since its inception and it has truly helped more efficiently manage the classroom process. I know you often detail your emotions in having to spank or paddle a student and I will be happy to discuss mine as well as both the Administrator and Witness.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or if you need further clarification.

Have a great week…

Sharon

Thanks for the info, Sharon. The discipline plan you sent TWP got our attention and we would like to comment on it but need to clarify a few details in the “plan” first.

(Editor’s note to Sharon: TWP received your latest message via our blog and all of us decided that, in fairness to our other readers who number in the 100s, TWP will communicate ONLY by way of our blog site. There has been only two exceptional cases where we communicated privately: P.T.A.V.E. and “Sharon of Arizona”. As of the publishing of this post, ALL future communication will be through this blog -No exceptions.We also reaffirm our policy of confidentiality as to email privacy.)

1) In your list of violations; does “talking in class” or “not paying attention” count the same as “disrespect towards teacher” or “inappropriate horseplay” as to issuance of demerits?

2) Is “spanking”/c.p. the only negative consequence for 6 or more demerits?

3) What are the “other minor rules”?

4) How does your plan work on a shorten week -Like Thanksgiving week?

5) How many students in your classroom have been “spanked” since the plan was started? How many “spankings” total over how many weeks?

Sharon, please do send us your first hand recounting of the administration (by you) of a school “spanking” as well as how you felt about it just before, during and after giving it.

We at TWP look forward to hearing back from you soon. When we do, TWP will post a commentary on “DISCIPLINE PLAN FROM ARIZONA“.

Until then, best wishes,

Renee (TWP Editor)

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #14/15

The week after thanksgiving (#14) started off well with the typical student grunts about “Weekend pasted by too fast!…When is Christmas break?”

For once, I really sympathized with the kids -I’d like some more vacation time too! But gotta pay the mortgage, car payment, groceries, utilities, etc.

Miranda Update

With the middle school football season over, the basketball season has tipped off and Miranda is on the girl’s team although her playing time is more limited due to lack of experience. But she IS playing and I made sure that I was supervising campus security during her first game. Miranda played well her first game AND SCORED TWO BASKETS!

After the game, I told her how proud I was of her. She just smiled and shrugged saying,” I did o.k. but had a couple turnovers…I still need to work on my passing skills versus the press…”

Unknowing to Miranda, I made sure her mom was able to make it to the game. Ms. …. snuck up behind Miranda and surprised her, “Is mommie’s basketball star ready for some dinner?”

To see mother and daughter embrace after only two months ago drifting apart was a heart-warming sight.

There was nothing for me to say so I backed away as the pair left the gym headed for home.

There was an inner satisfaction that I played a very small part in this positive turn. (I maintain that 90% of Miranda’s change came from WITHIN Miranda -I just helped to start the process) I guess it is just the feeling that only an educator can understand.

Nothing out of the ordinary to report as of Wednesday, December 9th as to middle school discipline -Other than the usual as to detentions and I.S.S.

Special Note: On Thursday, Renee had a “woodshed moment” with a deserving 13 year old boy. Due to space limitations, this will be covered next week.

 

RENEE CHRONICLES pt. XIV

Volleyball

When Christmas time draws near, I have a lot of fond memories that tie in with the season. From Christmas Eve church services to letters to Santa to, of course, helping to pick out and decorate the family Christmas tree. My schooling memories are a part of that too.

The biggest school memory for me is when, in the 9th grade, I decided to play a sport. Recall from previous chronicles that my attempt to be a part of the cheerleading sorority failed and I was heartbroken to not make the cut. Well, mom and dad and my three older brothers encouraged me to try something else. Since my options at the start of the school year were limited to cross country distance running (Wendy did this at her high school) or marching band -I chose band as a member of the “color guard”. My parents were o.k. with that but did want me to do something else more “athletic”.

When late November rolled around, I had two choices: Basketball or Volleyball. Without a moment’s thought, I picked Basketball because I had played with my brothers in the driveway at home and was a “pretty good shot” according to one brother. So how hard could school basketball be? Look out and make way for female version of Michael Jordan…Right?

WRONG

The girls coach must have been a relative of Coach Kaye (Miranda’s). On the first day of tryouts, there were at least 25 girls and the coach must have decided to cut down the number THE HARD WAY. Thats right -The coach chose to RUN the hell out of everyone.

How?

Simple. Each wanna-be basketball player had to dribble the ball while running at full speed from one side to the other side of the basketball court -Back and forth for 10 d*** minutes. And each time you lost the ball, you had to do 10 pushups. Then you had to start over the 10 minute dribble run drill.

Guess how long my basketball “career” lasted?

Yup -Ten minutes might be an over-estimate!

I made a FAST switch to volleyball and never looked back. Hey, it not that much easier but definitely less running. I am a shorty but not all volleyball players are tall spikers. I was a setter/server and did quite well from the back court. When I rotated to the front where the net was, our coach just pulled me for a taller player. Then when that player rotated to the back court, the coach switched me back in.

Sure beat the heck out of running my a** off in basketball.

So I have to admire Miranda’s persistence in her basketball tryout which was also very challenging for her. (Even though I never saw a 10 minute dribble run drill.)

 

COMING NEXT: TWO (2) NEW POSTS

POST #1: TWP’S REVIEW OF

“A DISCIPLINE PLAN FROM ARIZONA”

&

POST #2: PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE week #15/16

(RENEE PADDLES A BOY!),

RENEE CHRONICLES pt. XV

&

I WISH…

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