Teaching with Love and Logic
àLet’s come up with your punishment together (Teacher and Student)
This idea makes me so uncomfortable. I feel that perhaps a master teacher would be able to do this, but I am not ready to give that baton of control to my students. I don’t think it would be effective because I am sooooo uncomfortable with this idea. I think that if a teacher is comfortable and confident with a technique/idea/whatever then 90% of the time it’ll work otherwise it just won’t.
What are your thoughts?
I think your phrasing of it is a lot different than the author’s intent.
Obviously, it would depend on the age, situation, and the kind.
As I said before, I think putting the responsibility on the kid to help make things right is very powerful. I think consequences where the kid has to think about what they did and come up with a solution (that the teacher agrees is fitting) teaches them a lot more than dealing out a punishment does. Outside of school walls, they will need to know problem-solving skills and what taking responsibility for your actions means.
I know there are at least two other teachers not participating in book club because they’ve already read the book. They use this techniques. I’d love to hear their thoughts on the issue.
I haven’t read the book (couldn’t make it work this time around — my summer schedule is full-day) but I do use this technique with some kids, especially at my program where discipline is sometimes lax or almost random when left to the supervisor.
It doesn’t mean that the student is crafting their own punishment, per se. It’s, for me, just another way to get them to think about what they did, what the consequences were that were out of their hands, what the further consequences should be, etc. They think about what’s “right,” and what might rectify a situation. They also think about the scale of what they’ve done and what might be appropriate as punishment.
When I use this technique with a student I ask them, “What did you do wrong? Why do you think that was wrong?” And let’s be honest — many students tune that out and answer with a tone that is the equivalent of an eye roll. They tell you what you want to hear. But then, try saying, “Alright — what do you think should happen now?” or “What do you think you could do to make it right?”
It catches most of my students off-guard the first time. And sometimes the second time. And it tends to reduce their negative behaviors later, because it makes them really think about why what they did was wrong and what the consequences are going to be. I try to avoid ever saying “What do you think your punishment should be,” because to my students a punishment is something menial and annoying that they dislike but which has little or no connection to what they did that got them there.
(I hoped that was useful — because I’m not reading the book right now it might be completely irrelevant, but those are my two cents on the technique.)