Teaching Behavioral Modifications

He Said

One of the reasons (among many) that you and I didn’t date in high school was because you thought I was a hooligan. Well, I was…and I wasn’t. I did enjoy the occasional prank. I did enjoy questioning my teachers if I thought they were wrong. And I did enjoy my occasional nap while in the classroom. If that makes me a hooligan, then I am guilty as charged.

All of this leads me to the behavioral modifications of yesteryear and today’s conduct rules. When you come home from school and tell me some of the behavior problems you encounter, it sounds far more serious than the trivial shenanigans that I use to pull in school. I got sent home for three days suspension because I wouldn’t comb my hair to the teacher’s liking. I told her that if she would comb out that bun on top of her head, then I would stop wearing my hair like the Beatles. Back to the office I went.

If a student throws a chair at another student in your class, he/she may get in-school suspension. I got into a fight one time and the principal spanked me with a paddle. Then when I got home, I got spanked by my father, my mother, and probably my sister. Today, the punishment would be less severe. None of this is your fault of course because of the guidelines you have to follow, but when I hear stories like this, I think that if I was a teacher, the students wouldn’t get away with so much. THEY WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE WRATH OF MR. OLDHAM. One visit with me and they would behave all year long.


She Said

Aretha Franklin, where are you?  R E S P E C T !!! The major ingredient missing in the classroom today that was alive and well in your day is respect. Many of the students who misbehave today haven’t been taught to respect their parents or themselves, so why should they respect their teachers or the rules set before them?

You used to be a teachers’ worst nightmare because you were so defiant and it’s ironic today when you explain to me exactly why students are so belligerent and what makes them tick. You should know. The principal had a paddle with your name on it. The paddle even had holes in it so he could swing harder and faster. Teachers would end up in court today for abuse.

Freedom of speech is a whole new ball game in today’s climate. A large majority of students don’t see anything wrong with talking back to teachers because they are allowed to get away with it at home. They don’t do homework simply because they don’t want to, but in our day, we were afraid NOT to do our homework. (Maybe I should speak for myself).

I’ve heard you say that if you taught school today, you wouldn’t have any behavior problems because you would calmly “discuss their options” and give them a choice. WELL, BRING IT ON!! You’d probably end up in ISS yourself for abandoning school rules in favor of your own.