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Recruit parents to stop discipline disintegrating over the holidays

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Although teachers should be enjoying their time off work, the new school year lingers on the periphery, along with the inevitable annual offensive of schooling students, for the umpteenth time, in “the rules”.

Rather than waiting until hordes of students arrive next term, mischief sparkling in their eyes, you may want to consider preparing now to avoid having to fight it out in September.

Tobias Fish, an English teacher at a Cambridgeshire secondary school, has a solution: “If we recruit and train the brave individuals manning the home front – the parents – then the start of the autumn term needn’t be such a battle.”

Fish provides seven key ways to help parents with this noble task. Here's a taster.

  1. Rouse your child early from Day 1 of the holidays
    One lesson that children enjoy being taught by their parents on a daily basis is the value of routine. Contrary to what they lead parents to believe, they actually relish getting out of bed ridiculously early, especially during the school holidays. True, a child might express some surprise at being woken at daybreak. But deep down, he or she knows it is detrimental to good health to sleep beyond 6.30am.
  2. Enforce the rules
    Of course, misdemeanours may arise during the holidays, which is why the shadow of discipline should loom large. Unless you live in a bungalow, there will be no shortage of naughty steps on which to deposit a miscreant. But should the crime merit a harsher sanction, the loss of a lunchbreak or a detention at the end of the day – however irksome it might seem – is completely warranted.
  3. Breaktimes are key
    Remember that you should also allow your child respite during the day. A short break in the morning and a leisurely half-hour lunch at midday – under your ever-watchful eye, of course. Do be vigilant in case he or she attempts to scale any fences during periods away from closer supervision. An enthusiastic blow on a whistle should result in a child standing with marble-like stillness, thus enabling you to issue warnings and reprimands or cause enough of a distraction to allow time for a swift and decisive rugby tackle to the ground. 

For the remaining key tactics, get the 17 July edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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