0160: The Enforcement of Punitive Silence
#education #discipline #SOSchat
This is a follow up to no. 0159
polygonal-lasso answered: How in the world do you enforce silence? And I’ve never seen broad punishments do more than make most students, even “good” ones, resentful.
coloursinaflower answered: How is the silence enforced?
First, the silence in enforced randomly. Obviously, students are going to disobey this order. It’s beyond ridiculous. As students walk from class to class, teachers monitor, under the panoptic supervision of administration. Several of the ‘monitors’ echo the rule: “we’re on silence,” they yell. Sometimes administration walks around yelling the same thing. A cognizant colleague walks past me and says: “I’d say good morning, but we’re on silence.” I still haven’t gotten around to how the silence is enforced. I’ll continue. The mechanics of how it is enforced is actually quite brilliant, but this is only by accident or plum luck (unfortunately, I don’t work for a sinister master of thought control), and there is little connection to possible negative consequences of the ‘Silence’. As I’ve said, it is enforced randomly. Students who are caught talking are pulled out of the crowd and receive one of a few punishments. Some are disappeared to In School Suspension (ISS). Others are given Saturday school. And others still might fall victim to corporal punishment. Mechanically, many students comply publically out of
fear of the punishment. Other students rebel openly. Some prefer ISS to classes. Some have to come on Saturdays for “mandatory tutoring”. These students are required to come because of test scores. Most are old enough not to fear the paddle. It hurts, but they’re a little older. But, these students are outliers. Most fall in line to avoid the punishment, and let their steam out in the classroom.
This is detrimental to the learning environment. The classroom, for many, becomes an extension of the rigid hallway rules. Students are going to get their socialization in one way or another. To manufacture a learning environment teachers have a few choices. 1) They can implement the same sort of discipline in the classroom. Disruptors are removed and disciplined. 2) The teacher can completely surrender and accept chaos. Learning is
also minimal with this option. 3) Compromise is an option. With this are an array of innovative tools that can be employed to ensure an amicable learning environment.
I hope this answered some questions. Perhaps it stimulated some more. Do share good friends.