“WHEN TEACHERS DON’T know what to do with unruly students, they sometimes look to the easiest solution they have at hand,” Jason Berkenfeld LAW ’17 said in an interview with The Politic. “Our schools have a problem with how quickly [teachers] turn to severe punishment.”
What is we can help reduce the number of unruly students needing punishment by increasing the number of students who are more likely to be engaged contributors to the class?
Joe Cirasuolo, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents and former superintendent in both the Clinton and Wallingford school districts, recently told The Politic that Engaged students learn better.
“Students who are successfully engaged in learning tend to require less discipline. When [students] engage in learning, they don’t misbehave,” he said. “They start to own their own learning, and they thrive on it.”
We agree, and the impact on the overall learning environment is huge.
One disengaged and unmotivated student can become a disruption that negatively impacts the learning experience of the entire class. Leading of course, to possible suspension of the disengaged student who only becomes further removed from the education process.
On the other hand, if that student is is engaged and truly sees his or her education as key to getting what THEY want, the positive impact on the learning experience of the entire class is no less substantial. That positive impact extends into lower suspension rates and higher student achievement scores.
Motivating students with the courage to see their dreams as valuable and worth while, and their education as a way to make those dreams come true can be a very valuable tool in effort to decrease the number of student suspensions.
About the author
Wayne Winsley is founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough to Fail Inc. which provides motivational programs and scholarships to schools. The mission is raising student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve their dreams. www.BraveEnoughToFail.org