Tuesday, December 07, 2004
It really is a conundrum, isn’t it? Knowing that a particular parent’s discipline style could be described as… well, painful, and having to decide whether or not to report their kid to them for misbehavior.
These parents who kind of smack their kids (I am being kind here by saying "kind of"—I know some of them really smack the hell out of them with a belt) tend to have a lot of (short term) control over their kid’s behavior. When I report these students, they come back to school the next day with tears in their eyes and apologize profusely. The good behavior doesn’t usually last—with the exception of one of my students whose mother told me she was going to "tan her hide" about a month ago and now said student only requires a look from me to shut her up good—but it’s a relief even if only for a few days.
I would have to admit, as well, that I derive a certain guilty pleasure from knowing that some of these kids are being made to regret some of the decisions they make. I, personally, don’t believe in spanking kids. I think that they can be made to behave in other ways. But when a kid has gone out of his/her way to make my life miserable for several weeks, I can’t say I am very sorry when they get "whupped and good" by their folks at home.
Today I reported one of my students for bad behavior. I took him out in the hall and whipped out my cell phone. By the look on his face, I could tell that he was scared. So I made the call. When we got back to class, he flopped down on his desk with a pained look on his face.
Ten minutes later, a banging on my classroom door. I opened it to find a red-faced man in a baseball cap asking, "Is Shane in there? What did he do?" I explained that Shane had been a little rude, kind of downplaying it a little because the dad looked so mean and angry. "Send him out." He told me.
I sent Shane out and he was crying before he hit the door. When he came back, he was beet red and didn’t even bother to look tough anymore. His dad told me that he could guarantee that Shane "gonna feel bad about what he done before the night is through".
Now I feel terrible. That boy is getting beaten tonight. It makes me question if his constant talking, strutting around, and being rude to me is worth that punishment. I never feel completely sure that I am doing the right thing in this job.
¶ 1:30 PM