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Friday, April 23, 2010

Discipline and the Eleven Plus

There may be a faint chance, every now and again; that one or two of our eleven plus children may be exposed to a child who does not really fit in with the rest of the class. At times the poor school teacher may have to put up with disorderly behaviour. The education of our eleven plus candidate may be affected.

Teachers and schools must have had discipline problems since the beginning of time. In one school of around two hundred and fifty pupils, back in 1928, there were 328 floggings in one week. This gave an average of 65 beatings a day in the school.

Parents will probably all recall the story of the teacher who whipped every boy in the room on the first day of term. Teachers used to tie children to their seats, use sarcasm and soap in the mouth to try to maintain the peace.

Even back in 1950 teachers still used outmoded methods of maintaining control. The climate of opinion was, in some schools, that children needed to be policed and controlled. We are remarkably fortunate today that teachers recognise that there is often a cause behind poor behaviour. This understanding does not, however, always help the would be academic candidate who simply wants to get on with his or her work.

We can all probably remember stories about enlightened teachers who waved a caring wand at mischief makers and helped to turn their lives around. It is possible that one or two of us may have been regarded, on occasions, as being nuisances in the classroom. We may be able to think back to how words of wisdom changed our lives.

No amount of looking back, however, can help the bright and academically gifted child from sometimes being treated unfairly at school. Some might be bullied, others may be mocked for knowing all the answers and some may feel put down (sometimes inadvertently) by the culture towards the able in the school.

What can parents do to help their child?

Of course parents will try to help their child to talk about their experiences and problems.

Some parents may need to be vigilant and responsive to mood changes and alterations in behaviour patters.

The school needs to know and to listen. You and your child can only hope that action takes place. After all you simply want an atmosphere of study and endeavour in the lead up to the examinations.

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