Terror doesn't go the distance

24th January 2014 at 00:00

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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