January 27, 2012

Traditionalists still struggle with discipline problems

Here is a paraphrased conversation I walked in on, between two long-time teachers, struggling with discipline problems in the classroom:
Teacher A: "Every time there is noise in the hallway, we need to gather the students, leave the building and walk back in again in silence."
Teacher B: "Back in my day, we used to take one kid and put him in front of the others and. . . ." (You can complete the sentence with whatever horrible, demeaning act that comes to mind.)
Teacher A: "We can't do anything too extreme now, but I'm telling you, if you make them do something over and over, until they say, 'Enough already,' things will change."
Teacher B: "I just don't know. . ."
Normally, I'll jump in on these debates; in fact, both of these valued colleagues have  heard my opinion on using results-only learning strategies to solve the behavior problems that continue to plague them. This time, though, I said nothing.

I only pondered the conversation, wondering how long the traditionalists will continue to struggle.