54. RENEE’S REPORT ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE WORKSHOP, A PREVIEW OF FUTURE TWP POSTS, & MORE PROF. N COMMENTARY

MEMO to All Readers: By now, we at TWP are sure the “hornet’s nest” of anti- c.p. zealots has been riled up by our post A SPECIAL MEMO but something had to be said. Labeling ENTIRE states as RACIST because they have legal c.p. is WAY OUT OF BOUNDS. Paula Flowe may have just been spouting off but that is no excuse. ANY t.v. commentator that said what was said on the ‘net radio show PUBLIC SCHOOL SPANKING 101 would be FIRED on the spot. TWP has called for a retraction on the “RACIST” state remark.

As of 08-14-2009, there has been NO retraction.

Therefore, thehittingstopshere and Paula Flowe are RACE-BAITERS and have NO creditability WHATSOEVER.

Dear Readers: As our inservices end and the school year begins a new, there was a big change at the old elementary school. The four young teachers who created TEACHERSWHOPADDLE and spent their teaching careers as a “team” of sorts are missing one of their own.

And no, there has NOT been a tragedy.

It is not Wendy…who is on maternity leave AND LOVING IT! (Wendy will be an occasional contributor this coming school year.)

Give up?

(Giggle)

Its RENEE who was missing the school inservice!

And why?

Because Renee got a PROMOTION to Intern Assistant Principal at the county middle school (Grades 6-8)!

Yep…I’m a “boss” now…But no…I PROMISED NOT to boss Jenny, Wendy, and Michelle TOO much. (Giggle Giggle Giggle)

So, here goes…

RENEE’S REPORT ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE WORKSHOP

The myth of the Administrative Workshop being held at a plush golf club is B*** S***! Take my word for it! Watching paint dry is a good comparison (All other attendees at least 10 years older than yours truly.) At the start, right after I was introduced to the other administrators -We spent the next ten minutes just debating where to meet for lunch and how long to take lunch break! Since a Pizza Hut was the closest -Everyone voted “YEA” and I had to leave my chicken pasta salad in the central office frig. Did not want to be the odd one out so a personal pan pizza it was -But so help the *#@&# who would DARE eat My salad while we were at “lunch”!…But no one did.

The a.m. session was certainly a national cure for insomia with discussions about bus schedules, maintenance issues, and teacher assignments to rooms as a few examples. I was told that when a teacher retires or leaves the district, the most senior teacher of that department (Example: English Dept. or Science Dept.) ALWAYS has first dibs on a “better classroom” and woe is the principal who forgets that unwritten rule.

An interesting topic brought up was the “swine flu” and the problem it may cause. An idea in the news is that of “quarntine rooms” instead of closing down a school if that flu sickens a lot of students. I was the one that first objected because the middle school has NO extra rooms -Although some rooms are empty at different times of the day.

Hey, would you want your child’s third period English class to be held in a room that was a “quarantine room” during second period?

I didn’t think so.

As a group, all the others agreed with me that if a room is not available, then the isolation idea could never work. Somehow, I have a feeling that if a severe “swine flu” outbreak hits our area, schools ARE going to close down.

As for me -I love my new job so far but…FAMILY COMES FIRST! There is NO way I will ever take a chance of bringing a “bug” home to my John and Tyler.

Betcha wondering about c.p. policy.

Sorry to disappoint but that topic never came up. (Can you just hear the confusion in the anti’s ranks?)

But in the afternoon, we did discuss the usage of In School Suspension rooms. Since the primary role of the assistant principal (me) is “Student Conduct and Discipline Management, I asked about deciding which classrooms could be designated I.S.S. rooms. The reason for my question was that the middle school uses 2 widowless rooms adjacent to the gym for I.S.S. while 2 trailer double wides are used as regular classrooms. My beef is that kids who have assigned classes in the trailers in back of the school get wet going to and from them when it rains -Despite an overhang.

Well, it looks like kids who are trouble makers will be stuck in the trailers this new year and two building classrooms will be used as they should have been all along.

But least anyone think I attempted to “outshine” the veteran administrators -FORGETABOUTIT!

I did a lot of listening and learning how to take school board policy and make it work in the real world of the real school. Our policies are complex but allow for some flexibility. On discipline policy, my plans, which parallel school board policy are as follows:

LEVEL I: Tardiness, Dress code violation (No shorts, tank tops, T-Shirts w/ any logos or messages, bandanas, or anything that is “gang-like” in appearance), disruption of classroom, and Not having required class materials.

Penalty: My policy is to require ALL Level I offenses up to 4 times in one 30 school day period to merit 1 Detention hall session the next day. Skipping detention will result in a doubling from 1 to 2 days. IMPORTANT: As per my authority as assistant principal, there is NO c.p. permitted for Level I offenses.

LEVEL II: 5TH Level I violation in 30 school day period, Harassment/Bullying, Intentional Shoving/Pushing, Stealing, Lying, Insubordination, Tobacco products on campus, Vulgar Language towards other students.

Penalty: For Level II offenses, the In School Suspension Program will be used with 1 day for first offense up to four days max for 4th violation. Attempting to skip I.S.S. will be a Level III violation. Parents WILL be notified by me or the Head Principal on all Level II, II, & IV violations. IMPORTANT: Students CANNOT opt out of I.S.S. by choosing c.p. instead.

LEVEL III: 5TH Level II violation in 30 school day period, Fighting, Vulgar Language towards School Staff, Disrupting of I.S.S. classroom, Pulling Fire Alarms, Illegal Drugs, and Vandalism of School Property or Property of Other Individuals.

Penalty: This is the Level that should NOT occur but if it does, the parents will immediately be notified and informed of an Out of School Suspension. However, despite my personal opinion that middle school kids are too old for c.p. -If the parents agree, then c.p. can be used to avoid O.S.S. But in the case of I.S.S. misconduct, the student will still be required to finish his/her I.S.S. penalty regardless of parent’s choice of O.S.S. or C.P.

Corporal Punishment will follow ALL rules as to privacy and witnesses. Also, I am requiring all c.p. to be administered in the conference room between my office and the principal’s.

Note: I will be “inspecting” all the paddles not kept in the front office. Watch out for a future post on my “inspections.”

LEVEL IV: 2ND Level III violation within half a school year,Weapons on School Grounds, Assaulting any School Staff Member, Causing or Setting Fire to School Property.

Penalty: Immediately Out of School Suspension with possible referral to Local Law Enforcement. At this level, student may not return to regular enrollment status for up to 1 year and will instead be enrolled in the Alternative School. Student status will be determined by the County School Board.

Note: All O.S.S. cases from Level III & IV are reviewed by the County School Board. In addition, this lists of violations is NOT exclusive and because a particular violation is not mentioned should not be interpreted as an intentional omission.

Well, there it is -The school discipline policy that I will enforce in the new school year at the county middle school. I’m sure everyone noticed the de-emphasis on c.p.

I wonder if the anti- c.p. zealots will notice?

Nah…They are a “lost” cause.

Readers, watch out for our next post as I report on my “paddle inspections.”

 

A PREVIEW OF FUTURE TWP POSTS

This section is meant to give you, our readers, a “heads up” on what changes to look for at TEACHERSWHOPADDLE in the new school year. Listed below are the new features that we at TWP will be trying out. It is our goal to try these new ideas for about a month and if you, our readers, like the features, we’ll keep them…And if not, back to the “drawing board”! Note: We WILL be keeping the FAQ’s and EDITORIAL features in TEACHERSWHOPADDLE at least once a month.

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE: This will be my (Renee) weekly diary on the highs and lows of being a new intern assistant principal. It will not be just about student discipline or c.p. but rather -A insider’s view of what really goes on in a school front office (It is NOT what you think!)

RENEE CHRONICLES: The inspiration for this feature came from my summer reading and it may seem corny but give it a chance -Its my story about my growing up years and the influences that made me the person I am today.

TEACHER FEATURE: This will be Jenny and Michelle’s contribution to the TWP blog and will give the teacher point of view as readers have come to expect. We may also have more guest contributors as well. This feature will be at least twice monthly. If and when she returns from maternity leave, Wendy will also contribute.

 

MORE PROF. N COMMENTARY

 

Hi Renee/everybody,

Ladies, two of my close friends and academic colleagues read your piece and suggested I explain in simple chronology how and why I got tied up with a Texan VP -let alone her paddle (!), (as it is cross referenced on 54 you may have read it , if so -sorry for duplicating, if not it may be helpful).

There are many of us in the UK who do watch your blog, because your approach is so sensible and safe, but would, if adopted universally , stop your classrooms going the way of ours!

Kind regards,

Nev (prof

Here is the post from Network54 :

Re :Strokes versus Swats – a personal view.

I’m writing this purely as a historical account, from my diary. Given we are talking in the 1970’s it will have little bearing on the situation today, but I thought it might be of antiquarian interest if only because I may be one of a very few people who had the ‘ empirical experience’ in their teenage years of ‘experimentially’ comparing six of the best in Public School (UK), and swats from a paddle , administered by a VP from South of the Mason Dixon.. ( Perhaps this explains why I generally find an anti empiricist, anti experimental , stance in life and social science alike, so attractive…..???!!)

I have posted previously about the lady who ‘acted’ as deputy head at my school during the serious illness of the incumbent , and who was responsible for my first caning. At I have said openly I cannot fairly assess her performance as a teacher, because in my case I already knew her through teaching me country guitar , subsequently playing in her country rock band for many years, and for sometime dating her only daughter..But she had come from teaching/administrating in the US where she had achieved the post of VP in High School.

This led to a rather ambiguous relationship at school, for which neither of us was responsible in that it could never have been envisaged that she would have taught me in main school curriculum, let alone been responsible for my academic progress and discipline. However it did cause some hilarity in class when from time to time, accidentally I would call her by her Christian name instead of the Ma’am she preferred, and she would respond in kind , most embarrassingly by calling me either by my shortened Christian name ( which has stuck forever with students and staff alike ) in a strictly surname only school, or worse, as ‘young cat/ number one cat ‘ which was what her band members had christened me!

At home she told me not to treat her a teacher , let alone my deputy head, – her only requirement being her house : her rules. She gave me typical open Southern hospitality, and told me to treat her house as mine., which in the 70’s England was quite unusual .As was her huge collection of vinyl from Dylan to Velvet Underground, great library, and a 25inch colour TV plus a huge fridge which you were welcome to raid ( provided you put the stuff in the dishwasher)!

Unfortunately ( for me ) she had one red line. Absolutely no tobacco in the house Zero tolerance. I didn’t smoke but my girlfriend did, and one day meeting after school she had persuaded me to buy her a packet of distinctive French cigarettes (cool!) from the local newsagent. I had forgotten , but I was still in school uniform, and the newsagent had been requested to report any boys buying cigarettes in uniform, and what’s more he knew who I was. ( dubious morality; he reported it but took the money as well!). Miss F took the call , and sure enough when I went round that evening we both faced the Spanish inquisition.

Basically she had found the cigarettes and had told her daughter she would paddle her- I had two choices- see her at school after assembly next morning , and take the mandatory six of the best in line with the school rules , or face a paddling, which after some thought she announced would be not more than twelve licks. I was , fairly , allowed to examine her paddle so I made an ‘informed’ choice!!!! No point in arguing the toss, she ran a pure consequence based regime, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!

I took the paddling as the ‘unknown’ quantity, because the reports of her sixes were the stuff of nightmares, and four had been quite enough for me. She gave us ten swats each .( Before anyone shouts abuse , cruelty, or whatever….. remember it was the 70’s and look up the number of students paddled in Texas alone at that time!!! The estimated figures!!).

We were given the licks in the brace position against the wall legs a couple of feet apart, back straight, with a typical 16x 3 inch or so half inch paddle with- I counted 8 bevelled holes, to those immortal words from the Deep South ‘ Stick that butt right out, please’ ( polite as well)!!

How did it compare to the cane? Well the pain is qualitatively different, being overwhelmingly blunt and bruising , with initial sting, rather than the biting, fiery, intense , deeper pain of a ‘best’ stroke of the cane ( I guess its all to do with kinetic energy , surface area, elasticity , and so on ….) . she took the swats from below the shoulder with , if anything, somewhat less force than when she used the cane. Afterwards my butt was bright red, but not badly bruised, certainly not as bad as I thought it might have been.

Years ;later , when we were able to laugh about it , she did say comparing the two methods, she considered one stroke of the best equivalent to two ‘normal’ licks with the paddle. A normal stroke of the senior cane would be more painful that one swat, but two swats much more than one stroke of the senior . She said in her view that night I chose sensibly. I didn’t break down , although I did use expletives several times, but most boys she caned would have been in tears after six of the best You would also have had a nice crop of markings……

Why was this the case? Well initially there may not be much difference between one stroke and one swat or lick, but the cane is cumulative over the minute or so of a caning, , whereas in time the paddle actually ( to me ) eventually numbs your backside. She had claimed that when she had caned me the last stroke (of four) had been ‘the best’ and certainly it seemed to sting far more than the other three combined , and was the one to which I reacted, both with a cry of surprise and involuntarily almost breaking position. On the other hand that stroke had ‘gated ‘ the other three….Certainly the cane marks were more impressive , and those after I did get six of the best from my Head two years later, even more so…

What did her daughter think of the swats? Well I never got a printable reply, for some reason. Despite having asked for the bxxxxy cigarettes in the first place she seemed to rewrite history for her other friends, so as to blame ‘the Brit boyfriend ‘(me!) for the whole episode…..

Anyway hope it has amused you even if it doesn’t help solve the question………..!!!!

COMING NEXT: RENEE’S PADDLE INSPECTIONS, R.C. Pt. I & RENEE vs. THE “OL’ BALL COACH”

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