Revamping Education Part III — Discipline | Beaufort County Now | In previous columns I discussed the revamping of Public Schools from K to 12 and the necessity to change the culture on the College and University level.

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Revamping Education Part III — Discipline

    In previous columns I discussed the revamping of Public Schools from K to 12 and the necessity to change the culture on the College and University level. This column will address how discipline must be revamped for students and Teachers/ Administrators.

    Although State law requires equal educational opportunities for all, it does not give a student the right to deprive other students of their education based on their individual behaviors. The final piece of the K to 12 Program would be ensuring equal access. Students that misbehave and are disruptive to others need to have those behaviors addressed for the good of all. Several methods are possible.

    Since we do not wish to deny that student his/her education if possible, alternatives must be available until the student can again function in a regular environment. One option is to requires the parent to accompany the student to classes until he learns to behave properly and is no longer a danger or disruptive toward others. Another would be a special program with select staff to both offer the necessary courses to complete the semester and to offer some form of behavior mod. There are several programs that allow districts to take computer courses and tailor them to the select work required by state curriculum in particular core subjects. A student could be with one or two teachers all day, get the required work on line, and receive some behavior mod training. Another option would be to offer this program on a modified schedule. Class could start at noon or later and go beyond the regular school day.

    To improve discipline programs must be put into place that recognizes the variety of individual talents that each student has and how to best utilize that talent. If students value what is being taught and have the ability to show their God given talents discipline issues will decrease greatly. In general everyone learns one of three ways. They are by seeing, by hearing or by doing. It is not uncommon to have a primary and a secondary learning style. Staff must be trained to offer lessons in a way that each modality is offered in a lesson so understanding increases. Too many of our courses are taught by blackboard and or/ reading assignments. That does not address the needs of students that learn best through audio or by doing. In addition partnerships between academic and no academic classes would help with learning and indirectly discipline. What is wrong by teaching measurement or fractions in conjunction with a shop or Home Careers class where students get to apply the theory and by doing so not only learn but demonstrate to others some of their individual talents. Discipline would improve when students feel they can contribute, understand and earn the respect of classmates and staff.

    Finally there may be a few students that have no disabilities but have issues that are so disruptive that they are effecting others learning. If alternatives do not work they need to be removed from the class environment for the good of all others.

    While some of this may be applicable to higher education, the reality is that universities need to remove disruptive students that oppose divergent thought and actively block others access to it. Depending on the circumstances they need to be suspended from campus for a semester and if that does not work expelled.

    Finally the issue is what to do with bad or disruptive teachers. Please understand tenure was designed to protect staff from being let go because their salaries were too expensive and the Board could hire two new teachers for the cost of a senior one. The other reason for tenure was to protect teacher from being let go because a Board member, Politician or Administrator had a friend or relative that needed a job. This was fairly common in the early days of education.

    Unions would tell you tenure is just a way to ensure due process. I am all for every teacher/ administrator getting their proper hearings to decide if they have a job. I am against doing whatever necessary to keep poor teachers. Poor teachers have a negative effect on students that over a year or two cause's losses in their education that may not be able to be caught up. In addition a poor teacher must not like a job where he/she gets no satisfaction from being in a classroom but feels trapped due to the salary. Give the staff member their due process, ensure they are not being railroaded but if not get that person away from the classroom for the good of the students and the staff that will be forced to play catch up with that student in later years. If possible, find a way to help them into another career.

    In short Education did not get this way overnight. It is going to take a concerted effort at all levels to begin the process of changing what and how we teach to develop critical thinkers with an understanding of their heritage as well as an understanding we are not perfect. An understanding this nation has strived over hundreds of years to correct its shortcomings. When should we start this overhaul at all levels? NOW!!! Vote and get involved!!!!


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