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back to article Teachers crucified by coughing pupils

Teachers are cracking under the relentless strain of dealing with pupils who have become adept at combining the latest methods of cyber bullying with some distinctly old school methods of disrupting lessons. Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, told the union's …

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@ Mark Finn

"Lose the dole. Or at least bring it down to a realistic survival level. It'll take about a decade to get through, but once the maggots of the present have to raise their kids on potatoes and tap-water the next gen will shape up pdq, and buckle down to some serious study".

Yeah, that'll work, not. Give it a decade and we'll have a generation of children and parents who hate society and people like you who have treated them like shit. You think you've got discipline problems now ? Just wait until you have an under-class roaming the street who have nothing but what they fight for or steal to live.

JSA is £59 per week. Take off utility bills for electricity, gas and water and you have a person who has to live on £3 per day. You can call it living if you want. What you actually have is someone likely to rip your throat out should you suggest they are living on easy street.

Flames, 'cos that's what you're inviting.

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IT Angle

A Tech Angle

I went to supposedly one of the top few schools in the country (you would never know by the pupils though). a few memorable points:

- We were just at the age where it was cool to bring in a mamoth laptop that could run word, but that was about it (no wifi those days). I remember an English lesson where someone had recorded their voice then lowered the tone and put a lot of echo on it. The then played the music file in class, which went a little something like this:

"Tomxxxxs this is God. Stop talking Shit!"

-another fond memory of a decidedly weak substitute history teacher, and ripping up bits of carpet and throwing them when she had her back turned. 40mins later, the place looked like a warzone.

-being absolute kleptomaniacs... what is it about kids in a science room... stealing the magnesium and then setting it alight was always fun.

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@AC

Those were pretty much my points, all the stuff that replaced the cane relied on scaring/degrading/embarrassing the kid. none of which your are allowed to do anymore.

teachers can't even embarrass a disruptive child anymore as they are not allowed to say anything that might even imply a child is "a bit thick".

the points about not forcing as child to try and learn were aimed at the idiots in the government rather than the teachers. yes, every child is entitled to an education, but there's no point in forcing it on them kicking and screaming all the way.

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Bring back hanging!

That'll teach 'em. When I wur a lad we wur hanged two or three times a day - never did me no 'arm. And torture. Need more racks and twisty metal things stuck into kids.

The thing is discipline is lacking. And yes, to a large extent parents are to blame. We all knew one or two kids that were over-coddled and had parents that would never believe their darling little brats were responsible for anything - but these days it seems all parents are of this mind set.

I blame America. Why not? Everything else is their fault. But again, seriously, there does seem to be an adoption of the retarded "won't someone think of the kids" attitude.

And if copy catting US stupidity continues, this is what you have to look forward to.

My wife runs a daycare in the US. She is not allowed to let kids ride on small electronic toys - you know trains that run at a frightening 0.7 MPH and could result in a fall of up to 3 inches. She is also not allowed to use the word "punishment" - they re-direct kids these days. Sending someone to stand in the corner for thumping another kid is "cruel and unusual punishment".

Basically things are going to get a lot worse.

Of course the US answer is hard core, mind altering drugs.

As all kids are angels, and should never be punished - those that do wrong, i.e. rebel against the over-coddling, sugar sweet sickliness of condescending praise for being able to read and write a whole sentence at the age of 15 - sometimes using big words like "tree".. the kids that find Mathematics boring or like to give these perfect teachers a hard time.. they MUST be mentally ill or suffer from some sort of deficiency.

Can't be the lack of punishment and discipline. After all, good behaviour just happens naturally - we don't need to teach it early on.

So the answer to all that ails the teacher? Attention Deficit Disorder Drugs.

Of course it's well known through decades of extensive trials and case studies that delivering hardcore narcotics directly to the growing mind is far less damaging than and few swipes of the cane on the backside.

After all the drugs only do permanent damage, and probably inhibit all kinds of important growth. Where as being smacked would make them cry a bit.

Then again, if we don't hit our kids a bit, what excuse do they have when they shoot 20 people in a mall? "My parents were really, really mean!"..

What on earth do they blame their actions on, after all it must be someone's fault.. oh yeah.. "video games made me shoot everyone in my classroom"..

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Paris Hilton

@ Bring back the cane

Have you seen what some girls wear to school these days? It's wrong in so many ways.

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Paris Hilton

Decimate them!

Ill support any law change that allows teachers to execute 1 in 10 of any class that's gets out of hand.

In the long run it will save us all money in taxes as we fund them and their spawn down through the generations.

It will also reduce class sizes which is a good thing not to mention providing teaching assistants with an actual role.

After the first few "class size reductions" any kid who acts up is to dumb to be allowed to survive and on a purely Darwinian level should be included in the next decimation. Of course this treads perilously close to eugenics but i feel it important to point out that its not anything of the sort, its just murder for the good of humanity.

For those of you uncomfortable with reference to Darwin please feel free to insert your own text such as "not compatible with the holy design" or "a creature of the devil sent to corrupt the holy design". For religious schools this could see a return of the inquisition, who nobody expects, and create much needed jobs in the community. At my old school for example the role of Inquisitor was combined with executioner and PE teacher due to budget cuts that i feel were too rash, although he did a good job when he made us try and rugby tackle him for two hours straight only to ran over for two hours straight.

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Anonymous Coward

Always ammusing...

...watching new TAFE (trade college students) fresh from high school trying on the same old tricks. Unlike HS, TAFE attendance is not compulsory and the teacher just has security escort them off the premises for the rest of the day.

I honestly believe education should be a right, but not compulsory. Anyone of any age who indicates through their actions or direct statement that they don't want to learn should be excluded immediately until they decide otherwise (I don't just mean expulsion for really serious offences here, I mean ANY disruption of other's RIGHT to learn).

When I have bought the concept up in primary and high-school classes I have taught casual on, about 1/4 of the class give me a horrified look while the other 3/4 give enthusiastic nods. Let me know who to stomp on hardest too for the rest of the day!

Not that I teach anymore, I discovered unskilled factory floor work pays 75% as well, more consistently and the job stays at the punch clock when I knock off.

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The canes pointless

We had the cane. Did it work? No.

If you hadn't been caned then you weren't one of the lads. Around 30 years ago now since I was at school.

Could list page after page of the things we used to get up to. The cane was a zero deterrent.

Got out of a caning one day as the teacher was so wound up, they got the head of science to cane me and a friend in front of the class. He caned my friend, my friend turned round and said "have you done it yet", the head teacher then caned him so hard the cane broke, the result, we were rolling around on the floor laughing.

Not proud of what I used to get up to, but corporal punishment didn't work, and I had very very strict parents (and would get beaten at least once a week over my head with my mums shoe).

What I will say is that too many teachers don't know how to teach. They go to Uni, get degrees on the subject they teach but know nothing about controlling classes. At my school there were loads of teachers we could wrap around our fingers. There were others you wouldn't dare mess with. Corporal punishment had nothing to do with it. One of the oldest teachers had some of the roughest people in her class, yet she had the knack of shutting people up, making them look stupid, and not letting them disturb her lessons. She never had to get people caned or give them detentions.

The way some of the teachers treated us was totally out of order. The trouble is, we are now the parents, so when our kids get into trouble, we remember the crap teachers we had, we know how unbearable school was for us, how out of order some of the teachers were etc hence we take our kids side.

I went to school in plush old Guildford, and my school wasn't the worst one in the town either. That award goes to my wifes school. On her school trip at 15, before she was hospitalised for alcoholic poisoning, one of her teachers told her how he had a bet with another teacher that he couldn't get her into bed before the trip was over.

In comparison, the kids from the local schools round here (Norfolk) are perfectly behaved

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Mr Mills

Ah, the good old days in the mid-80s. He had a car rear-view mirror attached to the wooden frame of his blackboard, and if he spotted any misbehaviour taking place behind him, a millisecond later the perpretator collided with the blackboard rubber at a rather large velocity (Mr Mills was a science teacher). There was also a *rumour* that he dropped a kid out of the 1st floor window because he wouldn't behave. Needless to say, all the kids respected Mr Mills, and he had no trouble from them. And he was only 5' 3".

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Paris Hilton

Discipline is derived from the top,

not from some arbitrary parent or teacher in the middle of society.

Discipline should be handed down by our heads of state, government ministers and heads of major corporations etc etc. For the discipline to be accepted, those at the top of our society have to be respected. In the UK, take a look at the behaviour of the Royal Family, Blair, Brown and any number ministers and heads of industry. How many of these people really command any respect?

Those at the top of society lie, cheat, steal and behave with a total lack of morality and a total lack of fear of the consequences of their actions. For the most part they all get away with it. Nobody in government or industry is building for the next 100 years, only for the next 48 hours on the stock market.

So, when the huddled masses look upwards for discipline and guidance, what message do they receive? "Do what you like, cheat on your expenses. Hey, I do and I'm an MP!"

Paris, because she needs more discipline too.

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Alert

we need a good whipping

I'm a 14 year old student in a London Catholic boys school with a penchant for IT.

I've been "excluded from class" ie put in an Exclusion room for a period of around 3 days about 10 times and have been suspended for selling illegal substances in school. I don't really mess around in lessons, but when I do I'm never punished properly. Our school is a decent school. When I do mess around I'll be given a 45 minute detention after school, but that hardly deters me, it just gives me a place to mess around and chat with other people in detention.

Through all the times I've taken the mickey out of my English teacher and humiliated her, I've never been hit, never even shouted at. Just as I entered first form (year 7) at my secondary school, a certain senior teacher left. He was famous for severe punishments and woke me up in a maths lesson by smacking me around the head with a pencil case which bore the words "I'm Not Sleeping, I'm Testing My Eyelids For Leaks", much to the amusement of the class. No one messed with him.

Now whenever I do something, like break a window with someone I've thrown in to it, I get the soft treatment and am often sent to the "Learning Support Unit".

What I think my generation needs is a good whipping.

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Silver badge

Re: @Mark Finn by AC

"Give it a decade and we'll have a generation of children and parents who hate society and people like you who have treated them like shit."

As opposed to wasting money on them, giving them lots of TLC and they still end up hating society. Some people are just born that way and will behave as such no matter how they are treated so might as well treat them as they would treat you.

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Black Helicopters

JossA

Read a book a few years back which gave a solution to this problem (failing schools, failing cities I think). Anyway he said each county needs remedial schools. Disruptive pupils get sent there where the pupil to teacher ratio starts decreasing until for the worse offenders the pupil teacher ratio becomes 1:1 and there are no other people to play up to.

Removes the worse pupils from the standard schools and ensures the punishment is actually getting educated.

Wont happen though as it will involve money and solves the problem. Cant have any problem solving.

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Happy

Another contributary problem......

I was chatting yesterday to a retired teacher who had brought a large group of German teenagers on holiday here to Catalunia last year, and said "they all had a great time". I looked at him and he said "of course, in the area where they come from the (parential) divorce rate is under 30% so we have far fewer behavourial problems than children from areas of Germany where the divorce rate is well over 50%...."

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What's the problem?

It strikes me that we'll never improve the situation in classrooms. But that doesn't have to be such a bad thing. The classroom is a microcosm of life. Some kids will never want to learn and will continue to be disruptive in adult life. Some swats will always avoid any form of trouble and simply get on with learning, regardless of whether or not they possess any intelligence. They're the boring ones in the office who rarely engage in banter but who you can rely on to know who in HR deals with pay. And then there's a whole spectrum of all of us inbetween who occassionally get too drunk but turn up to work and then come home and play playstation with their teenage son.

Sometimes messing around in class was exactly what was needed. Is adult life all about sitting aroundly silently like a monk? Unless you are actually a monk, of course. But our world wouldn't be much fun if we were all monks...

As other comments have testified, classroom pranks often brought the kids together. 'Best times of our lives'. Learning how to make others laugh, displaying healthy levels of non-conformity. These are critical aspects of a dynamic society.

So, I say to the kids - carry on with your funny pranks (but don't physically injure anyone). And I say to all those uptight adults who can't handle kids having fun - lighten up, or I might give you a wedgie.

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Flame

Blame school, parents, society.

Blame school policies not being strictly enforced. When a student disrupts proper class atmosphere, warn. Again, suspend. Yet again, expell--to juvenile detention to finish the semester where privileges are earned by strict adherence to rules or lock-down and treated like the childish brat's they are portraying. And the parents pay a fine for each day the child is in juvie and fed and tended to by society. If the entire class wants in on the festivities, so be it. Our children must learn that freedom and liberties like driver's licenses are privileges and must be earned. Good men and women fight and die so we can enjoy them; misuse them, and loose them. This stupid acting-up is not an individual problem, it is a societal problem and parents, students, school faculty and society need to face up to it and get with the program. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure children become respectable team-members of society, and if it means treating children like childish, spoiled brats when the act out as such, then so be it. While I don't particularly care for the person who coined the phrase, it really does "take a village to raise a child." And better they get straight BEFORE they get fired from jobs, or worse not even hired because they are ignorant and stupid or become burden's on society or worse,drug dealer's, mugger's, murderer's and end up in prison or dead. And all of this rearing must begin day one, not after the train has left the station on a one-way track.

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Paris Hilton

Yeah but no but

Anyone would think the whole educational system was in rags reading some of these comments, but like all massive organisations it's full of examples of the great and appalling in equal measure.

The family environment is overwhelmingly the most important influence, and it's telling that unruly pupils who leave their family behind and join, say, the services end up achieving a measure of self-control and self-respect no-one would have thought possible, simply because they are taken out of a destructive, undermining, and chaotic family situation.

But the lack of teaching basic reading, writing and maths at primary level must run a close second as a factor hampering kids' progress. I'm all for broadening children's minds, but many children leave primary school with the reading age of a chimp. You can almost guarantee that disruptive children at secondary school have very poor literacy and numeracy skills, and disrupt because the simply can't understand what's going on in the lesson. Mind you, parents should also see it as their duty to help their kids' reading, but ... see above. And so the whole sorry cycle goes on. And on. And on.

So, more boarding schools, a long way from home, for disruptive students, preferably with strong services corps, and more vocational training. Job done. Next!

Paris, because she's a fine role model for schoolchildren everywhere.

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