I was in a school today to address self esteem, bullying, respect and tolerance and came away exhausted, disillusioned and despairing.
The children were only 10 yet the atmosphere of lack of respect for the teacher, visitor, and each other was apparent.
I am a very experienced teacher of 25 years and was a Deputy Head so I know first hand about kids “testing” new people out. I also know about low expectations, low aspirations and low morale in schools as I see a great deal of it now in my new role as a Parenting Coach and through running my “ Beat Bullying – Confidence Classes for Kids!” Workshops in schools around London and Surrey.
It saddened me to feel that the majority of the class weren’t experiencing the fun, laughter or getting the benefits and opportunities of doing my empowering and positive exercises or learning my NLP techniques.
The small minority were hijacking the atmosphere and weren’t allowing the other children the positive opportunity to explore the topic of self esteem. I became exasperated being constantly interrupted and became fed up having the morning hijacked as I had to keep stopping to wait for them to stop throwing pencils, rubbers, getting out books and comics, fiddling with their trays and generally disrupting what has usually been described as wonderfully positive experience by other schools and kids.
I went home disillusioned and saddened and Tweeted about it in the community where I feel respected, listened to you and engaged.
The difference was stark.
But where does this leave society and schools? Of course not all schools are like this – I see examples of wonderful practice in many schools but I just wondered:
” Have we become a society that is letting young people dictate what actions the adults take?”
Are we allowing children’s bad behaviour because it’s just easier than constantly expecting them to behave, because as we all know, it takes much more energy making sure that they do!
But low expectations of behaviour is crippling learning in schools – it’s about parents & schools surely working together !
But surely respect, good manners, the ability to concentrate and control oneself starts in the home.
I’ve been told I need to come off the fence to get on the telly ….. well maybe, just maybe I have !
Kids NEED discipline and boundaries – because from your positive, firm, fair and consistent discipline they eventually learn self discipine and if you don’t put it in the school, society, the social services or the police will.
But after today it didn’t look like the school was winning !
What are your thoughts ?
Here’s a wonderful blog from a fellow Twitterer “The Heads Office” addressing my experience !
I am on BBC Radio Sheffield in the morning at 8.20am talking about kids running amok in pubs while their parents do nothing…… seems like I may have something to say about that don’t you ! ?
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About the author
Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.
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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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