The perception of school discipline practices appears to have parents of all ethnicities puzzled as to how to better equip their children. Many students continue to fail these expectations as schools continue to drive the emphasis of the necessity of an orderly school and orderly classrooms. Parents are at a disadvantage because they do not have first-hand witness to the interactions between their children and the teacher that results in the perception of unfair school discipline practices.
White parents do not have the same disadvantage as Black and Hispanic parents. Quality teacher-student interactions are one of the most important variables that influence both student achievement and student classroom behaviors. However, studies reveal that White students benefit more from teacher student interactions than Black and Hispanic students. This translates into the challenge that White teachers create classroom problems when they interpret culture as a limitation.
These same challenges have impacted a student that has caused concern for the students’ parent. The parent reported that the student has female teachers who nitpick at him and seem to be watching him constantly to find a fault with him. He currently has eight minor infractions (staring off into space instead of doing an assignment) and one major infraction, which is total over-policing of him (he was singled out for punishment when almost all the kids in the class were in a group chat instead of doing their computer work).
In this case, the parent must first entertain that the students receive a consequence for staring off into space instead of doing an assignment. This is important to a teacher because if a student does not do the assignment then that can impact the other students in the classroom. This type of behavior can also impact the level of achievement for the student. The associated documentation and discipline provide teachers an avenue for displacing blame from themselves.
Parents must first understand the structure of whole class instruction. Whole class instruction is direct instruction using traditional textbooks or supplemental materials with minimal differentiation in either content or assessment. It is typically provided through teacher-led direct instruction. The teacher provides the entire class with the same lesson regardless of where any student is. The lessons are typically designed to reach the average student in the classroom.
Here is the tricky part. The whole class instruction is divided into several different sessions. For example, the typical academic schedule for the students may include:
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
- World Language
Therefore, the student potentially has nine different sessions in each day. Normally, they will have five different sessions with their in-classroom teacher. This equates to four different transition times. It is the transition times that most children have challenges that led to the perception of unfair school discipline practices.
Parents can help their children with the time period that can led to unfair school discipline practice. The first step is to teach your child to play some type of age appropriate game. Play this game with your child for five minutes and then working them up to 10 minutes. Next teach your child to play a second game. Next play the first game for 10 minutes and then play the second game for 10 minutes. However, have a wait time of five minutes in between the two games. During the wait time of 5 minutes, have your child fold their hands on the top of the table. Explain to your child that when they are in school and you have finished a subject, you are to sit at the table with your hands folded and wait for additional instructions from the teacher.
When a student folds their hands and waits for instructions from the teacher, this shifts the perception that the teacher has regarding the student. Students who sit at the table with their hands folded will receive praise from this teacher. Praise is an effective reinforcement that provides encouragement to students and is a reinforcement for behavior performance improvement. Essentially, you are now teaching your child to control the behavior of the teacher.
Continue the process until you child can sit through 5 ten-minute games with four five-minute sessions of folding their hands in-between each game. The parent will eventually spend 70 minutes of their time helping their child. This is well worth the time because it will teach your child to eliminate unfair school discipline practices by controlling their teacher.
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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“Dr. Campbell did his part and now all we have to do is
run with it.”
~ Tom Coleman ~
Woodstown-Pilesgrove Public Schools Superintendent of Schools
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President