Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

The Behaviour Question: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

The Behaviour Question: News

Article excerpt

On two occasions, the tactic of letting students earn the right to have their detention cancelled has been recommended to me. For example, if I give Charlie a detention for bad behaviour, and then he's good and completes an agreed amount of work for the rest of the lesson, he should "earn" the right to have his detention cancelled. The reason given is that some children will just see the rest of the lesson as pointless since they already have a detention and will have little motivation to follow the teacher's instructions after that moment. Do you allow your students to do this? If not, how do you deal with those who don't follow instructions after detentions are given? How can you get them to complete a good amount of work?

What you said


No, I don't let them earn it off. Yes, some children give up - but then they get a heavier sanction. The only time I have reduced a sanction is when I have felt that perhaps with hindsight I misjudged a situation (or misheard something). It happens rarely, perhaps twice a year.


I don't. I don't like the message it can send out that it is OK to break the rules in the first 10 minutes of the lesson (crucial settling time as it is) and then behave better for the rest of it. …

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