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'. 

Unlike many others, my first day in a school as a teacher didn't match to that level of excitement & expectation. It was a mixed bag of confusing & joyous moments.


Punitive measures aren’t always the best way to discipline students in class, despite what teachers are taught. 

Discipline is necessary for children, but we need to teach them to self-discipline, not bribe them to be good.




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