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Bad Behavior and Punishment

Bad Behavior and Punishment | ITTT | TEFL Blog

I have a strong belief that no man corrects or punishes anyone minus love and a genuine concern about the future, human dignity and value of life.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Tumelo S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

The essence of bad behavior

Anything that grows on its own is considered wild and it can cause tremendous damage to anything around it, and the same applies to students. Look at how weeds badly affect any good crop. Failure to correct students will inevitably lead to self-destruction that will eventually affect innocent students or even leads to a rebellion in class. In short, bad behavior corrupts good morals.

Teachers have had certain individual life experiences that may either be good or bad and I don’t believe that a normal teacher will be happy to see his/her students whom he/she considers to be teaching to experience the bitterness of life. Hence, in my opinion, correcting a student should be a delight, second nature and an easy task for teachers.

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Punish vs. correct

I, therefore, wouldn’t use the term ‘punish’ but ‘correct’. Yes, teachers should correct any student in love. Every bad behavior deserves correction because of it maybe as a result of upbringing, past life experiences like abuse, rejection or even desire for fame or control, hence other students are bullies. So before a teacher can correct any student, background check of that particular student will help him/her to know and understand what he/she is up against. However, the most important thing is for a teacher to build a sound relationship and try to wear the shoes of his/her student. If it’s in the policy of that particular school and the teacher avails him/herself, then a teacher can make a follow up on that particular student. The best way is one-on-one but if need be, a witness, in some schools disciplinary committee member or a psychologist.

boy crying

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Types of punishment

Punishment may be on the physical body and is just a temporal solution to a permanent problem. The real person is within. Therefore, understanding of a root cause will help a teacher to know how to go about helping. Any informal chart will help a student realize that a teacher just wants to help and not an enemy. It may take time but will eventually yield positive results.

Physical punishment is a sign of anger, frustration and is a way of intimidation and sometimes maybe like maybe off the fire with fuel because some students may retaliate, more so if they don’t understand why they are being punished. Remember, their misbehavior is a function of time, personal experience and out of ignorance of the realities of life, hence a teacher needs to be patient. Seating down with them, finding out the root cause and explaining to the students what they did or are doing and the danger it imposes to oneself and others may lead to remorse and eventually respect on both sides. So punishment may not be necessary. This will, therefore, bring about a lasting solution to the problem and the society at large, especially where students come from.

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The correction will always bring about permanent inner transformation because is based on love, dignity and one's value of life, unlike punishment that seeks control, dictatorship, and manipulation. I believe that children don’t only hear what they are being told or taught but also catchers the spirit behind. Hence the enthusiasm of a teacher in a class easily motivates the students to love and excel in their course. That is why love and openness will always break any barrier between a teacher and a student.

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