Monday, September 20, 2004

Discipline Problems and Parents

An article in this month's American Teacher states the obvious to those of us who work in the public schools.

This excerpt from Class Notes: Discipline problems take a toll relays, rather succinctly, a nationwide concern in the classroom.

...while parents echo many of the solutions expressed by teachers, sometimes parents themselves are a big part of the problem.
Teachers and parents overwhelmingly agree that failure to teach children discipline at home is the top cause of behavior problems in schools. However almost 80 percent of teachers say students are quick to remind them that they have rights, or that their parents can sue.
Nearly half of the teachers say they have been accused of unfairly disciplining a student, and 52 percent say behavior problems often result from teachers who are soft on discipline "because they can't count on parents or schools to support them"
Not surprisingly student discipline problems take a toll on teachers. More than one third report having seriously considered leaving the profession because of intolerable student behavior, an many know colleagues who have done just that.

Behavior Problems
Percent of teachers who say item is a "very" or "somewhat" serious problem

  • Talking out loud and horseplay. 69%
  • Students treating teachers with lack of respect. 60%
  • Cheating. 55%
  • Students showing up late to class. 57%
  • Rowdiness in hallways, lunchrooms. 51%
  • Truancy and cutting class. 45%
  • Illegal drugs. 45%
  • Physical fighting. 36%

As the November election draws near, I anticipate the public admonitions of the teacher bashers this coming month when discussion of the school levy begins in the media. I would like to get a little jumpstart on the faultfinders and extend an invitation. Come and visit...see what we really do all day.


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