27 November 2012

Excessive talking

A former student of mine was given lunch detention by a substitute for "excessive talking."  Our school policy is if a referral is written you get detention or some other punishment depending on the "crime."

But maybe we are looking at this all wrong.  Maybe we should tap into the skills of the kid instead of punishing the behavior for lack of obedience.

What if...
  • the excessive talker was put on the debate or forensics team?
  • the kid who drew graffiti in the bathroom was asked to design a mural for that same bathroom?
  • the kid who cut class to smoke outside was asked to be part of the leadership team for the REBEL anti-smoking club?
  • the student who hacks the school firewall is hired as an IT person to design safer Internet protocols for the school?
  • the kid who is always tipping in his chair (or worse, breaking furniture), works with the administration to find furniture that is more comfortable and suits the students' physical needs?
  • the student who cuts school is found an internship to give him meaningful work to do during the day?
Obviously, there are indiscretions that require actual negative consequences.  However, what these students must do as "punishment" should not just eliminate the problem, but should create better people in the end.

Just my thoughts.