TEACHING BY MY RULES; HOW TEACHERS SHOULD TEACH SCHOOL!

Today, I was reflecting on my original teaching methodology, and wrote this for what it is worth:

Personally, I am a retired American public school teacher; I became a teacher, primarily because I was personally harassed by 2 different sadistic teachers in my 12 years of public education; it taught me at an early age, not to trust all adults. And, I vowed to change education, the world, and teachers, for the benefit of the students; and I failed.


SOCRATES

However, I personally succeeded to a degree; I never punished a student while teaching, and if any of my students failed becoming decent human beings, and informed citizens, I blamed myself. Further, I have always been convinced THERE IS NO PLACE IN SCHOOL FOR PUNISHMENT. AND, HERE IS WHY?

On my first day of teaching school, I told my students, “You have to be here every day and I have to be here every day, at the same time. I propose you and I agree to enjoy our hour together, perhaps learn something important, but look forward to being here together, every school day.

“We must have rules, of course; so to make it easy, we will have only one rule; everyone in here, including me, must respect every other person in this classroom. I will behave as you do. And if someone breaks that rule, whether student or teacher, the others will remind that person of our one rule.”


JESUS

In all probability, the students thought that “As a teacher, I was insane, however it was an opportunity to spend at least one hour of public school each school day, without fear, boredom, or hassle.” The rest was up to me to abide our rule, me the teacher!

As a teacher, it was my responsibility to teach students “what they needed to know” about the subject and what was acceptable behavior in our society. (Correspondence schools, and computerized classes do not work in this regard.)

One instance, I do remember so well, in my senior Government Class, one young man kept talking to another student, interrupting class and I deliberately ignored it, thinking he would shut up. Finally, other students started telling the kid to “shut up, you are disturbing the class”! He didn’t.

So, I ask him to come outside our door with me, and told him there, “Look, this is not punishment,” I said intentionally, “but you are disturbing class for all of the rest of us; and so, you stand out here until our class is over.” He did, we did, and he never interrupted class again. To me that is effective teaching and I did not consider my part, punishing him.

Teachers are not to train students to be good employees, trained in a job, or indoctrinated in any religious or political concepts. Public school students are in school to learn how to succeed in life and become good citizens in American democracy, regardless of what their future holds for them.

In the first year of college, in the first psychology class, a college student (prospective teacher) learns that the best way to teach behavior is by being a good role model; and, this is by far, the hardest part of teaching for me! However I behaved in the classroom, the students were allowed behave in the same way; however I treated the students, they were OK to treat others the same way.

Psychology teaches, that use of punishment teaches children other things too, other than acceptable behavior; for example it teaches that a person’s use of punishment, persons making judgement of other people, and acts of punishment are acceptable behavior in our society. And, I do not think so!


JOHN DEWEY

Teachers are not meant to be policemen, judges, or parents to students.

Though teachers are by law expected to be “in loco parentis”, translated it means the teacher will protect and cherish the student as if they are the student’s parent, in the absence of the actual parent!

“In loco parentis” DOES NOT mean teachers are expected to spank or punish students like some parents do!

If a teacher is expected to teach students the value of schooling and learning, why in the world would a teacher keep a student after school as “punishment”!

A teacher who does not “love their neighbor” nor “love their enemies” should NOT be in the teaching business; this means that every teacher should have some compassion for all living beings, including those they are expected to teach.

Every student of mine was treated equally; normal adults tend to believe that any and all adults, are superior to children (including adolescents); this is not true. All children are born with all the brains they will ever have and all children are born with the ability to think and learn! A child’s intelligence may “exceed or be less than that of an adult”!

Obviously, some of my students were of superior intelligence than me and I acknowledge the fact, and some of my students had less intelligence than me; however, I interacted equally to all students. We live in a democracy!

My mother had taught me as a child that all living creatures were equal under God and the U.S. Constitution. I agree; and my mom said, “God counts each sparrow’s fall”, and she did not particularly care for sparrows!


BHUDDA

Unfortunately, not many teachers during my teaching career agreed with my concept of teaching; pity!

And, I taught student teachers in the university for four years; I taught those student teachers just like I taught in the public school classroom. Now, I have mixed feelings of my influence?

For several years I was an administrator in a public school and was required to supervise and evaluate teachers assigned to me; I evaluated those teachers based on my concept of “acceptable teaching”. Now, I have mixed feelings of my influence?

However personally, I believe in my teaching methods!

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