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    Hi guys, I was wondering if I could get some feedback on this practice essay that I did under exam conditions. Thanks so much in advance!

    What disciplinary sanctions should teachers be allowed to use? [704 WORDS]

    Working within the field of education, whether as a teacher, professor or instructor, is often regarded as an underrated occupation. A high level of patience and compassion is required when asked to teach. Our parents tell us that their teachers threatened them with, and sometimes used, canes, blackboard erasers and the like, favouring order and physical discipline when their patience was tested or exhausted. Such practices are now viewed as outdated and teachers are no longer allowed to inflict a physical disciplinary sanction upon a student who steps out of line. Doing so may cost them their job, or in some cases, their licence to teach. Instead, the protocol in most educational institutions is to give a detention in which the student may reflect upon their wrongdoings. Concern, however, has risen in more recent times with the growing issue of misbehaving or abusive students. Reports have escalated of students ridiculing and undermining teachers or continuously disrupting the classroom environment. Some suggest that perhaps it is time to reconsider the traditional customs of the past and use more rigid measures as punishment. However, for the reasons I have enumerated below, it is important to look forward to new solutions instead of resorting to a trial-and-error scheme with the former.

    Traditional methods of discipline, as mentioned previously, may involve a cane or classroom object being used to hit a student as a disciplinary sanction. Some teachers employ sanctions ranging from a leather belt to a simple slap on the wrist. These methods were deemed effective due to the fact that they stem from an old-fashioned belief about the role of teachers. They were believed to have a similar level of accountability as a parent or guardian, influencing a child’s behaviour and psychology. It was part of their responsibility, therefore, to ensure that the child understands the consequences of their actions in the hours that they spend away from their parents. The principle behind physical discipline is simple. It is positive punishment. When a student, more specifically a younger student, misbehaves or fails to adhere to the regiment of the classroom, a teacher will inflict temporary physical pain upon him or her. This creates an association between the pain and the stimulus. It tells the child not to do it again. Once this is repeated several times, children are later trained to abstain from breaching the rules of the classroom. In theory, it seems simple and effective.

    The difficulty, however, lays in its practical application. If teachers were permitted to employ such sanctions, safeguards would subsequently need to be implemented for the safety of the students. These safeguards would prove too difficult to delineate and define. The level of force to be exerted, for example, or the particular instances in which it is appropriate to use physical discipline are too abstract to be condensed into a set of standardised rules used by teachers throughout all schools. A fine, arbitrary line lays between physical discipline and abuse, making such a scheme nearly impossible to supervise and regulate. It is, on a practical level, seemingly ineffective as a disciplinary sanction.

    An alternative could be to gradually shift the impetus towards positive reinforcement, not punishment, without completely sacrificing the disciplinary aspect of current sanctions. For example, students may be praised or rewarded for continued positive participation. This instils confidence in the student, while encouraging others to do the same. Current sanctions, such as detentions, may be more effective if they were maximised to the extent that allows feelings of understanding rather than feelings of bitterness and resentment permeating in the sessions. Relying heavily on a child’s introspection to understand the gravity of their wrongdoing does not ensure they learn the value of doing the right thing. Perhaps teachers are forgetting to teach students in detention the invaluable lessons of forgiveness, reconciliation and the act of saying sorry. It is these skills that students will need in their journey to adulthood. They need not be afraid of the cane that might be around the corner. Instead, they should be confident in their abilities but understanding of their shortcomings. After all, the primary job of a teacher is not a disciplinarian – it is to mould and foster the citizens of the future.
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    This essay is of very high standard imo, you are a very good writer. Your argument is coherent and you consider the question from a variety of different perspectives.

    One thing I noticed is that in the second paragraph you went from present to past tense, which confused me slightly.

    "Some teachers employ sanctions ranging from a leather belt to a simple slap on the wrist. These methods were deemed effective due to the fact that they stem from an old-fashioned belief about the role of teachers. They were believed to have a similar level of accountability as a parent or guardian, influencing a child’s behaviour and psychology."

    Just make sure you leave some time to proofread, but otherwise I think this is an excellent essay.
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    (Original post by mjustliving)
    This essay is of very high standard imo, you are a very good writer. Your argument is coherent and you consider the question from a variety of different perspectives.

    One thing I noticed is that in the second paragraph you went from present to past tense, which confused me slightly.

    "Some teachers employ sanctions ranging from a leather belt to a simple slap on the wrist. These methods were deemed effective due to the fact that they stem from an old-fashioned belief about the role of teachers. They were believed to have a similar level of accountability as a parent or guardian, influencing a child’s behaviour and psychology."

    Just make sure you leave some time to proofread, but otherwise I think this is an excellent essay.
    Thank you so so much for your feedback! And thank you for spotting those errors in the second paragraph. I'll definitely take that into account!
 
 
 
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