42. P.T.A.V.E.’s QUESTIONS, TWP’s RESPONSES & A SPECIAL TWP COMMENTARY

  1. Which accredited teacher college did each of you attend where you were taught “spanking-children” techniques? Please provide the name of the college or university,
    professors’ names, college material or text reference. First, we refer you to our post ABOUT US for a brief bio on the contributors to this blog. As to accreditation, we all attended N.C.A.T.E. (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) certified colleges of education: University of Georgia, Auburn University, and University of Alabama. All of us have B.S. degrees and state issued teacher licenses. In addition, all of us are enrolled in graduate programs in the field of education. As to your weird question concerning c.p.: The choice of having such a disciplinary policy rests with the locally elected school board. The teacher education programs at N.C.A.T.E. schools are very similar across the U.S. and none play a role in policy making in the school systems. The premise of your question is completely fallacious -One has nothing to do with the other. Teacher colleges offer one or two classes on classroom management, mostly theoretical in nature. In order to teach, one must finish all required undergraduate course work and submit a transcript and Plaxis test scores to the state licensing agency. Just as in the former, these state license agencies have nothing to do with c.p. on the local school district level.
  2. What psychological and emotional measuring tools do you use to determine or analyze a child’s mental capacity to be able to endure corporal punishment without it resulting in damage that lasts throughout their adulthood? 😛 Nice try but you get nowhere with that question. If you had a real educator on your staff, that question would have been red-flagged before it ever went out. Our answer: The premise of the question is INVALID because No classroom teacher is licensed to give any psychological test to anyone! The only non-teacher written tests that we are permitted to administer are standardized achievement tests given to our classes certain times of the year. If you had a real classroom teacher in your organization, you would have already known that!
  3. Parents and teachers are children’s biggest role models. Dr. Albert Bandura’s conclusion that children learn from role models has been scientifically proven. What are children learning when you model hitting for the purpose of disciplining them? First, any c.p. that is used in our school takes place away from other students so no visual “modeling” ever takes place for other students to witness. Second, we refer you to the remarks we made last week as to child and adult differences. First, stop comparing children to adults because they are not equal. We, as adults, DO NOT treat or consider children as equal to adults for obvious reasons. For example, we do not allow 8 year olds to drive cars.The reason is NOT just that children are physically smaller than adults. They are intellectually and psychologically less mature as well. As a mom. I do not have the same type interactions with my child as I do with my husband or the other adult contributors of this blog. So, the foundation of your argument as to question #3 is in error because of an absurd comparison and equally misguided understanding of the differences between adults and children.
  4. We have received numerous reports from adults who had been paddled only once in their childhood by a teacher and who later developed a spanking fetish. Could you explain the possible correlation between the spanking that took place in their childhood and the spanking fetish that they experience as adults? Hey, we are teachers, not psychologists -So ask a licensed psychologists that question. As teachers who have used the paddle, we believe that c.p. is a negative experience for the student because the behavior that preceded it is not repeated. Please understand that the use of a paddle is a negative for all of us as well. We recounted that fact in some of our past posts. We have never observed a fetish among our students who we paddled -They hated it and changed their behavior to avoid a repeat. (Thank goodness!)
  5. Do you know of any other paid professions where spanking someone’s buttocks is part of their job duties besides porn stars, prostitutes, and teachers? 🙄Boy, y’all are really hung up on prostitutes and porn stars. We are starting to wonder… What porn stars/prostitutes “do,” regardless of one’s own moral inclination, IS between adults. To compare that to legal c.p. in school is to equate mature adults with school children. (Also refer to answer given on question #3.)
  6. Proven statistical data shows that the schools with the highest graduation rates and academic achievement in our nation are those that use 21st century models of discipline.
    This data also indicates that the ten lowest achieving American schools are those that continue to batter children on the buttocks with a wooden board as a form of discipline. Why do “Teachers Who Paddle” continue to advocate spanking children as an effective form of discipline in light of this available data? If only you would have bothered to read our posts earlier this year!
    The anti-c.p. crowd is fond of rattling off figures and facts unrelated to one another in their quest to “prove” why that paddling students is “bad.” These facts can be summarized as follows:Paddling students causes lower graduation rates. Southern states have lower graduation rates. Therefore, because southern states have legalized paddling in schools, they have lower graduation rates.

    This theory requires an absolute correlation between paddling and graduation rates -without exception. Nevermind the historical evidence that non-paddling states once used the paddle just like paddling ones -the non’s are supposed to be “better” now BECAUSE they do not paddle.

    But the exceptions are a very BIG problem for the anti’s theory.

    Graduation rates of public high school students 2004-5 (Non-paddling states in BOLD)

    1)NEVADA 55.8 2)SOUTH CAROLINA 60.1 3)GEORGIA 61.7 4)MISSISSIPPI 63.3 5)LOUISIANA 63.9 6)ALASKA 64.1 7)FLORIDA 64.6 8)NEW YORK 65.3 9)NEW MEXICO 65.4 10)ALABAMA 65.9

    In addition, California (aka P.T.A.V.E. land) barely beat out Texas 74.6 to 74 but lost to “paddlers” Arizona 84.7, Colorado 76.7, Idaho 81, Kansas 79.2, Kentucky 75.9, and Missouri 80.6. (If you are going to throw that logic around that paddling equals low graduation rates, then please explain Nevada, Alaska, New York, etc.) The figures above come from the 2004-5 school year. The source for our information comes from NATIONAL CENTER for EDUCATIONAL STATISTICS, Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2006, Table 12. (Also, please read our post SURPRISE NEWS ON GRADUATION RATES.)

  7. Who can be sure that when teachers paddle children that it is not racist, sexual, a mental, or personal problem? The school districts that use c.p. have their policies outlined in STUDENT HANDBOOKS which are given out every year when registration for the new school year starts. These policies must be followed or the district IS legally liable. The scare words: racist, sexual, mental, and personal are a non-factor when witnesses, opt-outs, and student handbooks are a part of the school’s c.p. policy.
  8. There are numerous tools used by teachers who practice 21st century models to discipline their children, none of which include paddling or suspension. With so many methods that benefit both the student and teacher why do you limit yourself to these two tools only? 🙄We never said that we limited ourselves to c.p. and suspension. All of us have used the following over the years of our teaching experience: Enforce rules fairly and consistently,Make rules and consequences easy to understand, Innovative lesson plans, Encourage success, Extra help for slow learners, Monitor for misbehavior (What do you think we do all day -watch daytime dramas on t.v.?), and social situation role playing -We do this about three times a week. Thanks to these and other alternatives, we have resorted to the paddle very rarely. Of course, the junk suggestions -likely from non-teachers- simply will not work in the real world of the real classroom: Student Rulemaking (We are not kidding), Peer Mediation (We think that’s for labor-management meetings, not school classrooms) and our favorite: More Emphasis on Self-Esteem.
  9. Which is of greater value: the body of scientific knowledge on a given topic or sources of information outside of science-based knowledge? Very interesting question. As professional educators, we do keep up to date on teaching methodology by way of workshops and in-service meetings. In addition, we are all taking graduate coursework to keep up our certification. In doing all of this, we come across a lot of “new ideas,” some of which are useful and some not. Just slapping the label “scientific” on a new idea does NOT make that idea infallible. As members of a profession, we constantly seek to grow in new knowledge but that knowledge must be tested in the real world. I (Renee) admire and respect my college professors but also realize that some of their ideas are “ivory tower” and will not work in the real world. How do I know this? I have tried some idealistic concepts (students picking what to do:math, reading, computer time, etc.) which just DO NOT work in a classroom of 20 to 25 students. To know when a “new idea” is NOT working requires field experience that only comes by being a teaching veteran “in the trenches.” Scientific knowledge IS useful but must be paired with real world experience apart from the theoretical.
  10. We teach children that it is unacceptable behavior to hit anybody and to keep their hands to themselves. How do you enforce this behavior in children when you use this same unacceptable behavior as a way to instill this concept? Please stop comparing children to adults. What porn stars/prostitutes “do,” regardless of one’s own moral inclination, IS between adults. To compare that to legal c.p. in school is to equate mature adults with school children. We, as adults, DO NOT treat or consider children as equal to adults. For example, we do not allow 8 year olds to drive cars.The reason is NOT just that children are physically smaller than adults. They are intellectually and psychologically less mature as well. As a mom. I do not have the same type interactions with my child as I do with my husband or the other adult contributors of this blog. So, the foundation of your argument like in question #2 is in error because of an absurd comparison and equally misguided understanding of the difference between adults and children.

TWP SPECIAL COMMENTARY

Dear Readers: The questions above were not that difficult to answer because we at TWP understand the motives and thinking-processes of the people who sent them. Question #2 was a dead give-away as to the background of the questioners. Simply put, educators CANNOT evaluate psychological or emotional characteristics in school children because they are neither licensed or trained to do so. Another give-away was the fixation about porn stars/prostitutes and the invalid comparison of c.p. to student’s hitting one another. At first glance, these seem to be valid -Until one realizes that children and adults are NOT equals. By that, we do not mean physical size. Rather, as any teacher or parent will tell you, young children are mentally and emotionally immature as compared to adults. That is why children are treated differently in the criminal justice system than adult offenders. This points to one conclusion: The anti-c.p. activists come mainly out of the child psychology field and therefore, have an entirely different view of children. They can never endorse any kind of discipline whatsoever that treats children in a manner distinct from adults.

As teachers ourselves, we never really thought about this -We just took for granted that, as authority figures in the classroom, we were “in charge.” A few days ago, I (Renee) had an interesting chat with Mr. Smith, our school principal, about “teacher authority” in the classroom. What he told me “opened” my eyes to things I did not realize the last 8 years of my career.

It seems that the way our school (and many others) do things does not make sense to me or other teachers. The “secret” is that certain nuances that teachers “do” helps to create an aura of stature. This in turn, if handled correctly, causes children to view teachers with a certain “awe.” That is not intended to create an “ego trip” for teachers. Instead, by doing things this way, teachers reinforce their role as authority figures. Check out the following below:

Teacher Arrival Time: As a rookie teacher, I hated this policy the most! I am an early morning person but as a teacher in my school, I am expected to be at the school BEFORE the first bus arrives no later than 7:45 A.M. If I’m not working bus duty (Two teachers do this every A.M. and P.M), then I join the other teachers for our morning staff meeting presided by Mr. Smith, our principal.

Teacher Parking: I never understood why we educators all park our cars at the far side of the building. The cars cannot even be seen from any classroom and when it rains…you get the picture! (Umbrellas are not 100%)The semi-circle driveway in front is where the buses let kids out at the overhang. Parents let their children out in front as well.

Teacher’s Back Entrance: Another early pet peeve of mine, Mr. Smith insists on all staff persons entering through a backdoor that is only a few feet from the teacher lounge meeting room. This doorway has no overhang so when it rains… A few kids in front (and dry too!) are always waiting for the front door to be unlocked.

Restricted Access #1: The overhang and front foyer are the only areas that students are allowed in until 8:15 when our meeting is over. Clyde, our janitor and/or one of the teacher-monitors, opens the gates into the classroom wings of the school. Student tardy bell is at 8:30.

Restricted Access #2: The doors to our individual rooms are locked until teachers unlock them. If you could only see the way some of our pupils race down the hallway ahead of us -We make them go back and WALK to the room!

Restricted Access #3: This one is obvious: THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE. Not to be confused with the conference room, located in the classroom wing, where paddlings occur as well as parent-teacher meetings. The lounge is adjacent to the cafeteria and is where morning staff meetings are held. As the only break room for teachers during lunch (When we are not monitoring), the door to the lounge has a sign that reads: ABSOLUTELY NO STUDENTS PERMITTED BEYOND THIS DOOR. We are not “mean” about it but NO is NO and students are shooed away from that door completely.

Teacher’s Attire: With the exception of the teacher costume tradition of Halloween, teachers all must dress with appropriate attire -No tennis shoes, blue jeans, or casual wear of any kind.

Teacher Lunch: While a teacher CAN eat the same fare as students (The student’s food IS nutritious), that is not encouraged. Teacher’s fare is served through a side window in the hall opposite from the lounge and consist of soups, salads, and bread. The students are restricted to milk (regular and low-fat) but teachers have a choice of soft drinks from the Coke machine in the hall. Any student who attempts to purchase soft drinks will have them confiscated.

Recess Monitoring: Recess is NOT a break for teachers and we constantly watch for accidents, risky behavior, and especially bullying. Teachers typically sit at the top of the steps leading from the classroom wing to the playground and loud whistles are used to get the attention of kids misbehaving. First offenses mean sitting at the bottom-step just below us -Most kids HATE this and behave better next recess.

After School: Unless its an emergency or appointment, no teacher may leave until the last bus leaves and last students are picked up by their parents. Students are dismissed at 3:00 but teachers do not leave until 4:30 at the earliest. (Think 7:45 AM to 4;30 PM every day with 20 minutes for lunch break at the most -Still think we do this so we can “paddle” children? HA HA -Just don’t ask a teacher that when you see them arriving for school or leaving -They might SLUG you!)

Well, what does all of the above mean?

ALL OF THE ABOVE IS INTENDED TO CREATE A SENSE OF DISTINCTIVENESS IN THE MINDS OF CHILDREN TOWARDS THEIR TEACHERS.

(Uhhh… Renee dear, are you suggesting that we’ve been rain soaked, early bird arrivals, lunch shortened, and the last to leave for the sake of “DISTINCTIVENESS”? Grrrr…-Michelle, Jenny, & Wendy)

YES!

Actually, my co-contributors do make a valid point. There is NO fun and games being a teacher. But there is a reason for the way things are done.

Almost every week, one reads or hears about a teacher in serious trouble for breach of professional behavior by having inappropriate relationships between themselves and their students. By local custom, policy, and rules; our school has created two “worlds” in which teachers and students are “separated” for the benefit of both. Teachers dress, eat, drink, arrive, break, and depart DIFFERENTLY than the students. The kids see that and as a result, regard teachers in a higher way than if teachers “lowered” themselves in order to “relate” to the students.

We at TWP cannot imagine giving our cell #’s, addresses, or other personal info to our pupils. But some teachers do in order to “relate” and sacrifice their careers as a result. The kids in turn lose ALL respect for ALL teachers. We live, shop, and attend church in another community and it is amusing to see the looks on our students’ faces when they happen to see us somewhere! It is our honest opinion that teachers must be authority figures in their classroom and stop trying to be a “pal” to their pupils. We are “friendly” but not friends with our charges -If more teachers did likewise, there would be more respect for teachers everywhere, regardless of paddle or no paddle.

 

COMING NEXT: GUEST CONTRIBUTOR RESOONSES,

MORE READER RESPONSES,

&

“APPROPRIATE” PADDLES

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