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Entries in children and shame (1)


How "classroom management" [control] has stripped your kids of dignity.

If you've read my posts long enough, you know that I have little tolerance for leaders that shame or control people under their care...especially when children are the victims. 

Here's an excerpt from an article touting the right of teachers to get their classrooms under control - and in my opinion, at the expense of the very kids whose care they are charged with.


Here's the article excerpt:

Freshly minted teachers have passed every test but one: how to control their classrooms.

Pat Wingert, Newsweek correspondent.  March 5, 2010

Back in the '60s, when I attended the Queen of the Rosary school in suburban Chicago, classroom management was not an issue. We had more than 35 kids in a class, but even first graders knew you sat with your hands folded, eyes on the board, and mouth shut. If you got out of line, you might be sent to the corner. One nun had an amazing pitching arm. She would spin away from the blackboard and bean a slacker with a fully loaded eraser. It didn't hurt. But it was effective.

Now when you talk to new teachers—which I do regularly as an education reporter—their biggest complaint is that no one teaches them how to control a classroom...The solution is probably not to encourage teachers to bean kids with erasers. But something is needed.


Notice the point of the article was to find a way to get kids under control; not to connect with them, not to understand them or love or respect them; but to manage them.  People, especially kids, were never meant to be managed.  We ought to manage things, or processes, but not people; and especially not kids.


You can have order without control.
While order is often necessary in the classroom, control is not.  In one classroom I observed that thankfully understood the difference, the teacher brought about order by whispering; not by yelling, harsh reprimands or other shaming tactics. 


Would you treat a colleague, or even a pet this way?
Contrast this with one mother's lament I read, stating that her child's teacher used "one-size-fits-all" accusations where the teacher scolds the entire classroom for the poor behavior of a few. As that mom pointed out, class-wide shaming holds the view: "Blame everyone no matter who did it."

I also heard another mom tell the story of her daughter's teacher, who in front of the classroom, threw out her daughter's papers in the trash because they had too many eraser marks on it.  On another occasion, the teacher had put the student in time-out simply because she used the pencil sharpener while the teacher happened to be on the phone.

Control delivers shame, because it gives the person in authority the self-justifying smugness to bring a child under rigid compliance while stripping them of their dignity.  Control says, "I have the right to use power over you in this way because you are lesser than me.

Some dogs get kinder treatmen
My guess is that under this disparaging view of children, a classroom pet would get better treatment than a kid.  Obedience Training is for dogs, not children.