Touching on the intangible

25th July 1997 at 01:00
The letter from the PGCE student, Craig Vincent, (TES, July 11) regarding classroom discipline and control highlighted several important points, the main one being that achieving discipline and control is indeed "esoteric".

I say this as a design and technology female teacher, 5' 2" high and of slim build, yet I rarely experienced real discipline problems.

My job now is that of PGCE lecturer and I would say to Craig, and to others, that what works is to know that you are the teacher in the classroom, to go in with an air of authority, to expect that you will be listened to and that what you have to say is important. It is esoteric because no one can tell you quite how to do this. It is not just a matter of pretending that you have the authority, but really believing that you have, and acting in a way that follows this belief.

It is not that this is avoided in training students but that all teachers have their own way of achieving this authority and acting it out in the classroom.

I'm sure that Craig will one day realise that he has achieved this, and how will he then explain it to others?

G OWEN-JACKSON

PGCE lecturer Design technology Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes

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