8. ABOUT US & YOUR FAQ’s

ABOUT US

Dear Readers: The following is a brief sketch or outline of who we are, our personal thoughts about education, and some of what we do when not teaching. Of course, no traceable personal info will be found here and do not bother to ask. As we requested for your feedback to “humanize”, we have also done likewise.

RENEE (BLOG EDITOR)

AGE:29

COLLEGE: UNIVERSITY of GEORGIA, B.S. Degree, Elementary Education; M.S. Degree candidate, Educational Administration.

HONORS/ACTIVITIES: Pi Lambda Theta and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies, Alpha … … sorority, College Environmential Club.

BEST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: To see the eyes of a slower learner light up when they finally understand a concept.

WORST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Dealing with the apathy of parents who do not care! Hey folks, they are YOUR kids- take some interest in their education.

FAVORITE NON-EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Hiking and off road motorcycling when not in aerobics workouts with contributors. (whew!)

JENNY (Contributor)

AGE:27

COLLEGE: AUBURN UNIVERSITY, B.S. Degree, Elementary Education.

HONORS/ACTIVITIES: Kappa Delta Pi, Delta … … sorority, Science Teachers Club, Biology Club.

BEST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE:Taking my class on a field trip to the Atlanta Aquarium- Just seeing the look on their faces when they saw the whale was priceless!

WORST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: When my outdoor chemistry demo backfired and caused a bad odor to get into the school air vents- No harm- everyone just opened their windows for awhile.

FAVORITE NON-EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES: I have a passion for floor gymnastic that goes back to when I was only nine. While I can only do a little bit of that now, my floor dance routine is well known in my aerobics class. When not doing that, my newest passion is whitewater rafting! (Thankyou, Renee!)

WENDY (Contributor)

AGE: 25

COLLEGE: AUBURN UNIVERSITY, B.S. Degree, Elementary Education.

HONORS/ACTIVITIES: Kappa Delta Pi, Sigma … … sorority, Marching Band, Music Education Club.

BEST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: When my 1st year was over and all my students made grade and were promoted- I felt so proud- despite my rookie mistakes- they overcame them and achieved! (Hey Wendy- You did not do any worse than any other rookie ever did-including myself- so go easy on yourself!-editor)

WORST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Explaining to some parents why homework that is due on Tuesday morning is LATE if turned in the next day.

FAVORITE NON-EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES: My favorite activity is distance running and as a former cross country runner, I still compete in 5K runs on weekends. I also love music and play the organ in my church.

MICHELLE

AGE: 24

COLLEGE: UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA, B.S. Degree, Elementary Education.

HONORS/ACTIVITIES:Kappa Delta Pi, Kappa … … sorority, Cheerleader, Finalist-State Miss Teen, Dance-a-thon charity coordinator.

BEST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Every day – watching my students as they progress! I try to make each day a new learning experience for everyone.

WORST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE:We all agreed to leave the subject of this blog out of ABOUT US but I cannot think of anything worse- having to paddle my students. My two worst days were when I had to paddle and I hope every day that the paddle will stay where I keep it- in my desk drawer! (We understand, sweetie- and Jenny, Wendy and myself all feel the same way!)

FAVORITE NON-EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Because of my background as a cheerleader, I have an affinity for aerobic exercise and have dragged my fellow contributors into it as well. As a co-instructor, three days a week, I have “whipped” Renee, Jenny, and Wendy into shape! (YEAH…RIGHT!-editor)

 

 

 

YOUR FAQ’S

Note To Readers: We at TWP have decided not to post comments but instead, to answer your comments, questions, and criticisms which we have received since the start of our blog. Do please READ our blog first before sending us your replies-It never ceases to amaze us how uninformed some comments have been!

Are you a “pro corporal punishment” site?

We expected this one- reader probably did not read the MISSION STATEMENT. We at TWP are a middle of the road blog. TWP believes that elected school boards must be the only ones that make school discipline policy. In that capacity, they, as representatives of their communities, should have the right to set all policies, including corporal punishment. However, TWP also believes that corporal punishment must be administered Judiciously, Moderately, and Sparingly.

Why do you advocate paddling children?- There are so many other positive options besides punishment.

Questions like that makes TWP wonder if people even know that all current educators have at least a 4 year college degree with one or more classes in classroom management. The blog contributors , all teachers, spend additional in service training twice a year on various methods of classroom management. As to paddling, we really use the paddle sparingly- SIX times all last year among the four of us. We practice what we preach and the paddle IS the last resort with us and we use it less than any of the other teachers in our school- as far as I know.

What do you think will happen if they take your paddles away?

Our schools will still be open for business as normal and we at TWP have the best, most supportive administrators anywhere! (Our principal is aware of and wholeheartedly agrees with TWP!) Anyway, the elimination of the paddle will not mean that the rules are thrown out. Rather, w/o the paddle as a last resort, the next option will be suspension and as educators, we hate the idea of children not being in school. The reason we all wanted to be teachers is to teach children IN THE CLASSROOM. Our school faculty is proud of the fact that all of our “kids” have been academically promoted each year-and w/o the high suspension rates of other schools and/or districts.

Why were you so shocked about the anti-c.p. web sites?-There are people who are opposed to paddling in schools.

No one who chooses to go into education is unaware of anti-c.p. opinions. The four of us attended three different universities and ALL of our professors were very opposed to the use of paddling in schools. The four of us did not take sides on the pro/con debate of c.p. but understood that some districts had it and others did not. We were not picky with where we ended up teaching at-we were just so thrilled to be teachers! We are not opposed to anti-c.p. sites- Everyone has a right to their opinion. We just feel that the poisonous venom of the “debate” such as referring to teachers who paddle as “sadist”, “perverts”, and worst of all as “rapists”( A dear friend of mine was a date rape victim in college so this is a sore point for me) is totally out of bounds. Instead of namecalling, the debate needs to be toned down and all sides need to be more civil towards other points of view.

What do you say to people who believe that non-paddling schools and districts are better academically than the ones that do use paddles?

One has to remember that -like individual students- every school district is different in its demographics (social, economic, cultural, ect.) and so to are the individual schools within larger districts. This is the reason most educators dislike academic comparisons between schools and/or districts. The same can be said for states and regions. We at TWP think it is unfair to compare a mostly rural and more economically disadvantaged district (our school district) with one that is urban inner-city or in a wealthier suburban area. Likewise, any cross country comparison of our school or district to schools or districts in California or New York would, in our opinion, be invalid because of the social, economic, and cultural differences.

Do you not believe that paddling leads to more school violence between children and/or violence against teachers by students?

No, TWP does not believe there is a direct correlation between violence in schools and the use of the paddle in school discipline. The last two years, I have attended national education convention/workshops and talked with teachers from around the U.S. I have been told in no uncertain terms that school violence is a problem that occurs in ALL types of schools. A couple of teacher friends of mine in a large urban district have faced violence themselves and yet their district abolished paddling years ago. As to our school, it is fairly placid but every once in a while, we have a tussle between some kids and we teachers- always on the lookout-break it up. And, fyi, we have never paddled any kid for minor scuffles-kids will be kids!

How can you be so mean as to force children to submit to your likes/dislikes by using a paddle?

Perhaps we could have worded that sentence better. Our intent was to focus on the teacher setting a tone at the start of the school year as to acceptable and unacceptable behavior. We constantly strive to make our classroom learning experiences as enjoyable and positive as possible. Regardless, our classes are not micro-democracies where the children vote out their teachers every morning and chaos reigns all day. I sometimes think our kids are better at accepting rules than some “adults” who have sent us their “feedback.” As to these rules- they are simple and fair- one has to overtly and CONTINUOUSLY break them before any usage of the paddle is contemplated- and the child is always forewarned about the paddle. In conclusion, with all that, none of our students should ever be paddled but a few are- because of their repeated and willful defiance of the school’s rules.

Why did you laugh at Ted Gup’s story of his abuse by a teacher? Is that not insensitive and unprofessional?

First, we were not laughing at Ted’s abusive paddling (We felt bad about what happened and consider it abusive) but rather at the idea of the “3 foot long paddle” and how “sharp” his memory was after 50 years. Second, the fact that he wrote about his “welts” and did not cry leads TWP to believe that Ted used some literary hyperbole in his account. If the story is true and had one of us been there, the paddling would have been stopped as soon as it started!

What do you say to people who claim that non-paddling teachers are better educated than paddlers?

We all had a good laugh at that one. All four of us were in education honor societies and will cede nothing on that point. The biggest problem for inexperienced teachers entering into the profession is that most end up teaching in the worst districts (urban), in the worst schools (inner-city), which have the least supportive administrators (teacher-friends tell us). Sadly, most of those teachers in non-paddle districts “wash-out” in their first or second year and leave the profession. The “survivors” transfer out to “lower-problem” schools and eventually accumulate years of experience. Hence, the smart tag means just “more experienced.” And remember- urban areas have larger populations and-as a result- more teachers. We at TWP think that a teacher, with 20 years experience in ANY school district, is “smarter” because of the years in the profession.

COMING NEXT: INTRODUCING A “ROOKIE” TEACHER TO THE PADDLE and YOUR FAQs

 

 

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