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Punishment in the Classroom: Is it Correct or Not?

Punishment in the Classroom: Is it Correct or Not? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Since we should appraise students, we should punish them as well. I do not believe that the decision of whether or not to punish is up to us. Therefore, discipline is a key to success for both teachers and students. Thus, once we deal with a bad conduct case, there are strategies to use to overcome it.

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

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The Code of Conduct

The main purpose of a code of conduct is to make things better whenever possible; otherwise, it could not bring positive changes. We exert punishment with regard to a disciplinary code set up by school authorities. Therefore, the decision of establishing that code is out of our control. In effect, we are mainly seen as performers. School authorities may argue with teachers when a code is not conveniently followed. Reasonably, we have to keep in mind that teachers who do not apply a code of conduct may face disciplinary action. That is to say, we are also punishable. Certainly, teachers could never accept to lose their jobs for concealing a misconduct case.

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Although teaching is one of the most respected jobs in the world, there is no proof that it can be done without difficulties. Indubitably, a school must be an area of knowledge seekers but not a spot of troublemakers. Knowing that it is vital that we act on time as soon as possible whenever confronted with misconduct before it gets out of hand. A good class environment requires mutual respect between teachers and learners. We must inspire our students, but we will never find an excuse for being lawbreakers. We should not favor a group of students to the detriment of another group, too. It will always be in our benefit to promote good rapport which is inevitable for the sake of everyone.

Physical Punishment

Naturally, young children are known for being noisy or making fun of others. Furthermore, they are not bored playing or talking when they should be listening. Once in a while, young students might go further for stealing, skipping class, bullying so on and so far, causing disorder in the learning environment. As soon as possible, we must act without delay by talking to the concerned students after class. Another solution is to summon a meeting with their parents to discuss the issue. Teachers should never make a decision in a hurry. If the first attempt does not help, we implement a punishment as a last resort and with regard to the code of conduct. For example, the students at fault can water the school garden after class, clean the classroom for one week, denied the recess, or even barred from attending school for one day, among others. Any physical punishment should be banned. One strategy may work for one student and not for the other. In this case, it is up to teachers to make an adjustment. We also must remember that overstepping our prerogative might put us in troubles.

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Are you ready to teach English abroad?

Dealing with a disciplinary matter is one of the most challenging tasks in the teaching job. The difference between the students’ background can generate problems. In every situation, we must prefer discussions to punishment. It is not obvious that all punishment can work. So we must always have a plan B ready for implementation. The sooner we react, the better the strategy works.

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