I am not linking my blog to an article today. I am linking it to a story a teacher told my E 322 class last Friday. She was telling us a former student was student teaching in Mexico, and lots of students have disciplinary problems and has a punishment they have to write essays. That got me thinking of something a different professor told me my freshman year of college when I was majoring in Health Sciences. Bare with me- my blog has a point, I swear.
My health wellness class was talking of ways to get kids into shape and we got on the topic of how instructors of sports teams make you run for punishment. My health teacher said it was unfair that the kids that got in trouble had to run. All of the class was dumbfounded. Running is a punishment and nobody wants to have to run. “That is the problem!” my teacher said. He went on to explain that EVERYBODY should WANT to run because it is a form of exercise and keeps you healthy. It is not fair if the troubled students are getting exercise and the students that are not in trouble have to watch the troubled students. He said that it should be reversed; the good students should have (and want) to run.
Now, I know that seems silly. Nobody WANTS to exercise. But if our brains worked that way- it would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?
Back to my English point; the students wrote essays as punishments. But we should be wanting to write all the time to get better at it. So point one, writing essays as punishment does not seem fair, (especially since in this case they get graded on them and it raises their gpa- different part of the story) and point two, we should be giving more writing as a reward.
I know it sounds weird and it truly would never happen because we have been taught to see certain positives (exercise, writing, reading, etc.) as punishment, but those two comments from two completely different teachers made me start thinking of ways to ‘punish’ students for bad behavior. Is it too late to alter minds and turn the positive punishments for negative behavior into negative punishments for negative behavior.
Sit on that one.