Disciplining the learners

Dilruba Nasrin :
In this 21st century, living in the age of satellites, it doesn’t take long to be knowledgeable or increase knowledge level or to be informative enough on the basis of requirement. Now do we teacher yet to need to blame ourselves for not being able to discipline a child without corporal punishment? What if a teacher thinks over this matter for a while? Actually, in what situation does a teacher need to push, grab, shove or slap a pupil in the classroom? Is it for they are rowdy in behavior? Or consistently not doing their home work? Or getting distracted very quickly? Or distracting others in the classroom? A student can have hundreds of such involvements in the classroom, that’s why their status is student and with responsibility to correct them our status is teacher.
In our country, we notice practice of a quick solution of any problem or disagreement. When a few whacks of a bamboo across the head can bring the disagreement a quick close, then why spending valuable time arguing, discussing and disagreeing? But let us think a while does this practice match a relation ‘teacher-student’ by name? Never, our function is to teach and train a human being belonging to lower age level than us, who have different physical, social and emotional level, who have made different learning progress at the time of getting the lesson from us. Definitely we have to be very careful handling the overall matter. Yes, “careful”….’care’ is the term should come first to serve first. Teachers have to create a successful learning environment and develop a close rapport with their learners. They have to know “learners’ needs” as a vital step to ensure the success of their learning program. Practically, a teacher’s role is very complex and challenging-but it is very exciting and rewarding at the same time.
“Learners ‘ need’ can be referred to as the ‘gap’ between what an individual knows, understands and can do at any moment in time and what that person needs to know, understands and do to reach defined learning outcomes. As soon as the teachers identify their ” learners’ needs, they can decide which motivation technique/ techniques they will apply for their learners. Yes….’motivation’, ‘to motivate’ your learners is the next step to be followed. Anything can be considered as motivators-to give reason, incentive, enthusiasm or interest that causes a specific action or certain behavior. Motivation is present in every life function. Simple acts such as eating are motivated by hunger. Education is motivated by desire for knowledge. Motivators can be anything from reward to compulsion. We are the responsible persons to keep in our mind all the time that children come into this world helpless and unable to thrive without us. Our job is to love and nurture them and to teach them how to live.
In my teaching carrier I have seen the practice of grabbing, shoving, slapping(very rare), pushing, pinching or confining a child into a small space, taping their mouth shut, pulling by their hair, tugging at their ears, or belittling, mocking, embarrassing, cursing-though they are not every day practice, but believe me these offensive actions are nothing but robbing a child’s dignity and self-esteem. Making a child look foolish in front of his or her peers couldn’t help the development of that child – or those who are watching.
Recently in an article of Sir Frank Peters published in a local news paper, he gave a fearful picture that the psychology expert of Department of Psychology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Dhaka, said: “Children, who experienced corporal punishment have symptoms of abnormally high stress hormones, which can kill neurons in brain areas crucial for thinking and memory, and high levels of an antibody that weakens the immune system.”
“It may cause a multitude of physical and social problems like school dropouts, mood and anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity and irreparable mental damage”. According to Sir Frank— a lengthy Canadian study recently concluded that corporal punishment not only raised levels of aggression in children significantly, but also lowered their IQ levels considerably. I salute Sir Frank Peters for his kind work with Barrister Sara Hossain to abolish corporal punishment from Bangladeshi schools and Madrasas. May God give them their due rewards.
Good people engaged in different fields of works, accomplish their responsibilities. As a country of 98% Muslim population, we can relate, regarding the handling children, what the last Prophet (PBUH) was like.
There are several ways we can make children behave. Using force or fear or punishment, makes the child angry, resentful, fearful and dependent upon force. We should rather lead them to learn inner control. It is based on assumption by the teacher that children are by nature good, fair and honest and ultimately capable of responding to that, which is good, fair and honest within us. This method say says to treat the child with respect. It is treating the child as if he is as important a human-being as you are. It is treating him with the same respect with which you wish for him to treat others, you and himself.
 (Dilruba Nasrin is a School Teacher)

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