Education A to Z: D for Discipline

I have discussed in some previous blogs: attendance, behavior and cooperation. Today I want to discuss another important topic when it comes to education: discipline.

Maybe because most of my days spent teaching dealt with discipline and behaviors, after all, I was a teacher of behavior disordered students for the majority of my career, but discipline policies are near and dear to my heart. Discipline was important throughout the day and just a plain old fact of life in my teaching.

Discipline is so essential for running a school smoothly. Without discipline or a discipline policy in place, a school will not run well. Students need to know from day one just what will happen to them should they break a rule. Besides knowing this, it is unbelievably important for each and every staff member to follow through with the consequences, as rules are broken.

Trust me when I say, if there are staff members in a school that allow children to get away with breaking the rules and others who do not allow for rule breaking, children will know when they can act up and break rules and when they can’t. They will also be able to explain to their parents that one teacher doesn’t care if you do this but another teacher does. What message is a school sending to a child in allowing a discipline policy to not be enforced by everyone in the school? It is a confusing message to say the least. It may also cause some concerns among parents who want to know why one teacher allows something when one does not.

It is best for schools to keep a consistent discipline policy and to train the entire staff in that policy. What is also important is that schools need to make sure every staff member is following through with this disciplining and if not, that the staff member is told what is expected and what will happen should she continue to not follow the policy.

Schools can’t run well without discipline. What kind of policies does your school expect your child to follow? Do you see all the teachers following this policy and enforcing it? If not, how do you feel that school is running with this mixed-up policy enforcement?