You can't silence a staffroom

3rd September 2004 at 01:00
The commissioner's reported comments on "banning" teachers from shouting at children, which she says were taken out of context, produced plenty of comment in the TES Scotland online staffroom forum:

* I would like to know who exactly is going to protect my human rights when children shout at meare rude to methrow a chair at me?

* Well,that's one of my major teaching techniques out of the window! How am I meant to be (barely) heard over all the socialising going on in my class?

* I have probably just had one of the worst weeks of my life due to rude and insolent children. If we can't shout at them, how on earth are we meant to discipline. They already respond to every sanction with the words "I don't care".

* Shouting is a cop-out . . . if I thought that shouting was the only deterrent available to me, then I would hate teaching. Being in primary, I try to use as much positive reinforcement as I can muster. I realise that this will be more difficult in secondary.

* Of course no teacher would shout unnecessarily, but the thought that you could be disciplined, or even suspended, for doing so is absurd.

* A teacher's relationship with a pupil has to consist of shades ie sometimes a soft voice and sometimes a raised voice. It can be used to reinforce points when needed and older children especially have to know when they have transgressed the line.

* Good teachers build relationships with pupils and use their voice to get across their point when required - but the pupil should still know that the teacher likes them - not just what they have done wrong.

* I have yet to hear a teacher who is really shouting because she has "lost it", actually say anything valuable while doing it, so the intention of the shouting often seems to be for effect: to frighten or intimidate another person - it is an aggressive act.

* Some ambiguity exists in what people consider to be "shouting", doesn't it?

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