Punishment (is this the best we can do?)

If a child does not know how to read….

….we teach.

If a child does not know how to swim…

…We teach.

If a child does not know how to drive…

…We teach.

If a child does not know how to multiply…

…We teach.

If a child does not know how to behave…

…We teach?….We punish.

Punishment only works for kids who do not need punishment. What I mean by this is that we need to shift our views of punishment and consequences. For your good student who occasionally breaks the rules, punishment will work. They realize what they have done wrong, know the correct behavior and learn from the punishment. These students do not need punishment. On the other hand, the students who cause the most problems get punished the most. If punishment worked, after a few times their behaviors would change. I am not saying we do not need to hold students accountable for their behavior, we do. Before we do, however, we need to teach them the right behavior, give them a pro-social plan. Teach them the correct behaviors and responses and then the “punishment” will work but you may find you do not need it anymore.

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