Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday: School Discipline


How strict were teachers when you were in school? What were common methods of discipline? No recess? Writing sentences? Being sent to the principal's office? Were "pops" or "swats" allowed? Did you ever get in "big" trouble at school? If so, what was it for and what happened to you? Were you ever suspended from school? If you got in trouble at school, what happened at home? Was school lunch a pretty relaxed environment or was discipline maintained in the cafeteria as well? If you are a teacher, what have you vowed never to do as a result of your experiences growing up? 

Thought I'd jump back into the Flashback Friday posts at Mocha With Linda.  

My teachers varied in their strictness when I was in school, which is probably everyone's experience. I actually liked the teachers who were more strict, because those classes were more orderly. The most common method of discipline in the schools I attended was writing sentences. I had much experience at writing one particular sentence: I will not talk in class. One hundred times. Fully written out, not written I I I I . . . down the page, then will will will will . . . and so on. 

In junior and senior high school the most common punishment was detention. That was the most serious discipline short of suspension (which I never experienced, praise the Lord!), and my dad was adamant that if I ever got a detention I would get a spanking at home. He actually said a whipping, but nowadays it's a spanking. Anyway, my 7th-grade year I was a bit of a smart aleck in some of the classes where there was less teacher control, and this one teacher actually allowed us to do things like chew gum and eat candy in class, although that was against the rules. He didn't say we could; he just turned a blind eye to it. He must have gotten some flack for that, though, because near the end of the school year he suddenly tightened up on the rules. One day one of the girls had some candy that she shared with the rest of us. Just as we all popped the candy into our mouths, the teacher said, "Alright. Everybody who has candy in their mouth right now has a detention." Yes, this was after he'd let us eat candy all year! Of course we all protested (and I still think it was terribly unfair for our teacher to suddenly start observing the rules at the end of the year), but he wouldn't budge from our having detention. I dreaded telling my dad. I knew I had to, though. He kept his word, and that was the last spanking I got. I was 13.

Swats were allowed in some of the schools I attended. I never got any at school, although I almost did once. I did get my palm whacked with the ruler once, but I don't remember why.

As you can tell from my detention story, my parents were pretty strong on staying out of trouble in school, so if I got in even a small amount of trouble at school I was in trouble at home. My most common offense was talking too much. In first grade, my teacher wrote on my report card that "Susan is a good student, helpful to others, but she talks too much." My parents made it clear that if that message ever showed up on a report card again I would be in trouble! Can you tell my parents were the kind who didn't run down to the school to insist that their little darling had been treated unfairly?!


  1. Smiling at your last sentence -- more parents like that are needed!

    And I remember the sentences but had forgotten about doing them in columns that way to make it not quite so tedious.

  2. Oh, how tacky of that teacher. Sure didn't set a very good example of you guys. Enjoyed these questions today and brought back a lot of fun memories for me.

    Blessings to you for a wonderful week-end!

  3. I loved reading this. That teacher was awful to do that to y'all. He could have at least given y'all a warning or some notice!

    I always wrote my sentences I I I I will will will will. . . I don't know why I thought that was less monotonous!

    Too bad there aren't more folks like yours in today's families!

  4. As a teacher, I hated class discipline the most and consequently got poor evaluations in that area.
    My favorite groups to teach are adults and non-traditional college students in a community college setting--a more flexible setting and hard working students.

  5. That one teacher does seem unfair. And a detention for eating candy (even if it hadn't been considered acceptable all year long) seems a bit harsh.

    So did you manage to avoid having "talks too much" showing up on your report card after first grade?


Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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