47. RENEE RESPONDS TO READER’S QUESTIONS & READER’S COMMENTS

UPDATE FROM WENDY: I’m trying to get back in shape for running 5k road runs this fall but early morning runs (Because of the heat, of course!) with Patrick riding in a backpack is HARD! Why? Because my baby is GROWING ALREADY! I think a three-wheel baby cart with a jogging mommy pushing it will be in Patrick’s future.

Dear Readers: Judging from the surge in readership and the questions I (Renee) have received since the publishing of last week’s post, I decided to dedicate this post to respond to your inquires. Most questions were sensible but a few were…well…”off the wall” to say the least. One quick note: TWP will continue to publish posts during the summer months but not as frequently as in the school year. After all, all of us at TWP take graduate classes during the summer at a state university.

RENEE RESPONDS TO READER’S QUESTIONS

Why did you choose to become a principal? So you could paddle more kids?

Come on…Anyone that has kept up with TWP knows how I feel about c.p. in school. I first decided to enter a graduate program for a Master’s Degree after my second year of teaching when tenure was achieved. Most all teachers today keep up their licenses by taking graduate coursework during the summer. Jenny, Wendy, and Michelle are all pursuing Masters in elementary education which is the primary field of all of us. Fewer teachers go the education administration route but most all Master’s Degrees do take about 10 years if a candidate takes 1 course per year as we all do during summer. As for myself, I (Renee) wanted to make a bigger difference in the lives of young people and with the ideas and programs of my thesis -they will make a difference! Some of those ideas will appear in future postings. (In case anybody asks -A ban on c.p. is NOT a part of any program I’m researching!)

How can you become an intern assistant principal in a middle school when your background is in elementary education?

Simple. In our state, certification for education administration requires a Master of Science degree and the license itself is K-12. In other words, as long as you have the Masters and license, you may be an administrator at any school level. Starting out in our district, one must be an intern assistant under a veteran administrator for at least 2 years. Then, if a opening pops up, apply with central office and interview with Chief Superintendent and the school board (and redeem your “brownie points”) -and Then you may become a REAL principal.

Will you continue the TEACHERSWHOPADDLE weblog while being an intern assistant principal?

Absolutely. The best part is that the blog will have some new perspectives on school discipline with an insider’s viewpoint as to educational issues. Of course Jenny, Wendy, and Michelle will still contribute to the blog with their “teacher’s angle.”

What role will Jenny, Wendy, and Michelle have in the TWP blog?

Their roles will not change and I promise that I will not be “too bossy” because of my “promotion.” (Giggle Giggle Giggle)

Will you use the paddle as an assistant principal?

I was waiting for that one!

My role as an assistant principal DOES mostly involve student discipline. But with older students, I intend to use detention hall and in school suspension as a primary discipline tool over the paddle. However, the reality is that the paddle is a part of school discipline in our county although my goal is to reduce its usage at the secondary level. As a future (hopefully) elementary school principal, I also hope to reduce the use of paddling but am a realist: The disciplinary options are much more limited with younger school children.

What will be your new pay grade?

Oh brother! Why would I post that? Might as well post my address and social security number too!

The only thing that I will say is that intern administrators who are not licensed when hired/promoted (I will be in 2 years) are paid what they would make if still teaching. When fully licensed, their salary is at least double what they would make as teachers.

Will you change the way you approach school discipline? What will be your discipline strategy in dealing with 12 to 14 year olds?

My approach will be in accordance with the school board policies in effect this Fall. These policies give administrators some leeway and I will give some more details on my discipline strategy later this summer. Stay tuned!

 

READER’S COMMENTS

 

 

I am glad to hear everyone is great and having fun. Thanks for the info about the paddles and glue. Hope attitudes will change once they are dried and used, running out of timeouts and taking other things away. Good Luck to the newly weds and congrads to everyone else on their promos. Love all the info TWP are giving. KEEP IT UP!!!!

Thanks for the encouragement -It means a lot! As to the usage of the paddle, we at TWP believe that corporal punishment must be JUDICIOUS, MODERATE, AND SPARE. Please check out our post MISSION STATEMENT for more detailed commentary.

I just happened to be searching the web for articles and info on corporal punishment. I am working on my Masters in Education and feel the need to understand why so many states are trying to ban corporal punishment. This is the subject of my Thesis for my final research project before I graduate! If you have time I would appreciate your response. Is corporal punishment effective and why? Why not use other methods that are suggested? If so, are they as effective as corporal punishment? Thanks for your help.

First, lets make one fact clear so there is no misunderstanding: TEACHERSWHOPADDLE is a “commentary” type blog that is dedicated to giving the “other side” of a difficult issue for all educators. Therefore, this blog is non-scientific as to publishing its own research but the opinions and commentaries are from real educators in real schools and classrooms. We do, however, quote from independent sources with regards to relevant data. Please check out our archives and feel free to quote this blog or its independent data sources.

As to the question of the effectiveness of c.p. in school. We offer no scientific research but rather -Our own experiences as teachers in the field. Because we use it very sparingly, we believe that c.p. works to deter misbehavior and when used -We do not have to repeat the c.p. on the same student. On “other methods,” we are unsure of what you are “suggesting” but TWP has covered this question on prior posts. The reason we do not resort to c.p. much is that we USE alternatives BEFORE c.p. is considered. Therefore, in most cases (99%), the alternatives DO work -The problem arises in the rare instance when these alternatives fail. The anti-c.p. zealots have NO answers for this but real teachers in real classrooms have to deal with this question.

Finally, as to why so many states are banning c.p.; keep in mind that since 2000, only Delaware and Pennsylvania have enacted state wide bans. In Ohio, a ban pushed by Governor Ted Strickland is bogged down in the legislature while next door Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels pushed a teacher “shield law” to legally protect teachers who discipline students according to school policy.

So, we at TWP would say that the momentum is NOT with the c.p. ban backers as of today. The reason for the ban backer’s success was addressed by TWP in our post Ingraham v. Wright: THE AFTERMATH AND WHY IT MATTERS.

And the reasons why 29 states passed c.p. bans are many; but in our opinion, can be summed up as social and cultural differences within the U.S. Put in an educational context, a given behavior is regarded differently in different parts of the U.S. For example, a 10 year old student who yells the “F-Bomb” in Michigan or California may be sent to the school psychologist for counseling. But the same child in Alabama may be subject to c.p. or suspension. Same behavior but different consequences because of social and cultural differences between certain areas of the U.S. A simplistic but true explanation: In America, we are NOT a monolithic culture but rather -A hodgepodge of many cultures with some predating the founding of the republic.

 

COMING NEXT: WHAT EVERY TEACHING APPLICANT NEEDS TO KNOW -A TWP PERSPECTIVE

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