I want to preface this post with that I know I know that the majority of teachers became teachers because we love children and want what is best for them. In that regard, I have no doubt.
In fact, when I first started to teach, this is why I did. I loved working with kids and helping them learn. However, having my own children has led me down an interesting path of learning and reflecting. Most of my recent posts have been along the lines of community, listening and wondering how do we retain our children in school.
Today I just happen to be in a school and as I look around I see the wonderful signs we all post about everyone matters, you’re not alone, we are a community, the character is everything, etc. And yet I also see posted in the office the late policy.
5 lates and it is a call home, 10 latest you have detention and 15 you are suspended. Now I am the first to advocate that all students need to be in school and that school is very important to your future success but I do wonder this. When we make these policies are we really worried about the child or more about the funding that goes with them.
If we truly care about the student, why are we suspending them instead of figuring out why they are late?
As Shanker says, there is always a reason for behaviour. There us no bad children.
Every child has a story even in Highschool. I understand that we are trying to teach them the harsh reality of work that if they do not show up they will be fired but there has to be a better way then a suspension? What is that teaching them?
I recently posted a post about listening to students. I have learned so much from them this year. The fact that they could distinguish truly listening and being put off was amazing. They know when someone cares about them.
If we really mean the signs we put up in our schools then I think we have to rethink our policies. Is there a better way? How do we build trust, understanding and help students be in school?
Love to hear your thoughts.