Excessive Punishment: Tardiness Earns One Student Push-ups, One Teacher A Court Date
An English teacher at Delta High School in Summit County, Colorado is facing charges of child abuse after he punished a student for being late by forcing him to do push-ups and allowing the other students to punch him when he failed to complete the exercise. Police say Brian Havel, 22, demanded the student, who is 15 or 16 years of age, to do a certain amount of push-ups or sit-ups within a time limit when he entered the classroom late. Allegedly a classmate suggested hitting the late student as a further punishment, which Havel allowed. The teacher now faces charges and will appear in court next month.
Discipline is an important part of the classroom, but it's often difficult for inexperienced teachers to determine fair punishments. Here are some tips for teachers to deal with tardiness in the classroom.
1. As Little Interruption as Possible
It is crucial that you deal with interruptions immediately and with as little interruption of your class as possible. If you stop the momentum of your lesson to deal with a disruption, then you create the possibility of losing the attention and interest of the other students.
2. On Time Quizzes
This is an efficient and fair way of punishing students who show up late to class. Give your students a quiz as soon as the bell rings. Students who are tardy should receive a zero. Make the quizzes short if you choose to have them daily.
3. Detention for Tardy Students
This is the classic option and still an effective one. The fairest way of assessing this is by giving your students a chance (1-3 or something like that) before instituting this.
4. Locking The Door
This is an effective, but possibly problematic way to deal with tardiness. Locking your door or even just shutting it prevents students from sneaking into your class a few minutes after the bell (if you deal with large classes). However, as the teacher, you're liable for a students' safety even outside of the classroom is the student is supposed to attending your class.
By Spencer McCall