Right from the start, it’s ideal to establish classroom policies and expectations with students and their families. As educators, we all expect that if we catch a student cheating or plagiarizing, there will be consequences. A drunk or drugged student at a school-sponsored function? A child bullying or hitting another? There is no question consequences should follow, and with strong support from admin.
For International Educators, however, enforcing rules, expectations, and consequences may result in a very different experience than back home. School boards, administrative school owners, influential parents and wealthy students may wield far more power and control over discipline than most Western educators have experienced in their careers.
Simply assigning a “time out” to an unruly primary child may cost you your job. Dare to fail a student’s work because he/she plagiarized straight from the Internet and you could find yourself facing the Board of Directors to explain why you think little so-and-so could ever do such a thing, followed by “if you were a better teacher he wouldn’t need to copy…..”
Sometimes our tried-and-true discipline procedures are completely out of sync with our new culture and community, especially when students and parents may look at us as just another nanny or driver in a long line of servants.
We invite the ISR community to share their impressions of classroom discipline in international schools. With the new academic year about to get under way, now is the time to support each other in this, often delicate, area.