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Terror doesn't go the distance

Paul Dix's piece "When chaos reigns, fear can be your friend" (Professional, 17 January) suggests that teachers experiencing discipline issues should make use of the "big beasts" in their schools - the ones with the "gift of fear".

I remember these "beasts" from the schools I taught in. They never seemed to have any discipline issues because they ruled through fear. Although in many respects their experience in the classroom was considerably easier than my own, I never wanted to be like that. I wanted students to respect me, not fear me.

I became a middle leader and then a headteacher. I don't think students or staff were ever frightened of me (and I never used "big beasts" as back-up, either), but I do believe that I developed positive, mutually respectful and considerate relationships, which got me further than fear would have done.

Jill Berry, Girton, Newark.

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