discipline

Aditi Mutatkar and Akash Lugun

 

Jagannatha Rao

 During my visits to elementary schools across Karnataka, in my various capacities, I used to ask school children quite a standard question: ‘What would you like to become, when you grow up?’ The children would give me various types of answers – doctor, engineer, pilot, etc. But in cases, where the children said that they would like to become a teacher, it would come as a pleasant surprise to me. It told me many things about the school itself –

Introduction

Chandra Shekhar Balachandran

14 On Friday, 3 December 1971, Pakistani air force incursion into Indian air space triggered a full-scale war between India and Pakistan. On Saturday, 4 December, Mr. Narasanna, social studies teacher for 8th ‘B’, National High School, Bangalore, walked into the class, 1st period, early morning.

Introduction

Disciplining works if it is not over the top and children understand the point of it. What children disagreed with were the strategies that were used by their parents.

The moment the word 'discipline' is mentioned in a gathering of teachers or educational functionaries (or even parents or community members), it acquires a special meaning, as in 'children have to be kept in discipline'. Here, the quintessential role of the teacher is that of the 'shepherd' (with stick and all), and children are seen as unruly sheep that have no mind of their own and need 'order' in their lives. I hope this sounds as dated in the reading as it does in the writing!

Most teachers will never encounter confrontational students. Confrontational students are a rarity. The majority of teachers will never have any problems with one. Teaching is a relatively safe profession. But for upper grades, there is always the risk. The students are bigger and have different wants and needs. Teachers should be prepared to confront a student who is raising the stakes in the classroom.

No I am not a teacher. Teaching is one of the requirement of being a Fellow. It was not such a big surprise that the 'hidden' fear of being punished by their regular teacher could also be a reason why the students request for my classes. To test this hypothesis that the fear is the reason why they are 'avoiding' their regular teacher, I narrated a story (retold by Prof Krishna Kumar) 'Elephants in the Sky'. 

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