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Protecting teachers from student abuse

Monday, January 21, 2013    

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Dear Editor,

One of the woes of our teachers over the years has been managing student behaviour in classrooms.

Courses such as 'Understanding the Learner' and 'Principles of Teaching and Learning' have done little to prepare our teachers to deal with delinquent students in the classroom. Teachers try to understand their students and to use the rules implemented by the school to curb unruly behaviour. However, there is no official document which protects our teachers from abuse by students in our overcrowded classrooms.

We need a standardised system to protect our teachers from harm and abuse by students and this must not be left up to the individual schools to decide. Minister Ronald Thwaites, I implore you to develop a standardised contract for students islandwide outlining the expected behaviour at school and in the classroom.

Breach of this contract should attract certain penalties which will deter students from committing an offence.

If this initiative is successful, the teacher can focus more on the academic and social needs of the students, which should be at the forefront of the education process, and not on a tug-of-war with students who do not respect authority, which may be due to a lack of proper parenting.

As teachers, our desire is to help secure our nation's future by offering quality education to our students. We will work together to achieve the 100 per cent literacy and 85 per cent numeracy set out for 2013. It is my belief that 'Every Child Can Learn'. They must.

Rookie teacher

abuckle@yahoo.com

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