Wednesday, 23 July 2014

My two pen'orth - rewards for doing what is expected.

It has been in the news recently about a girl who missed out on a 100% attendance trip as she had a day off to attend her mother's funeral.  Even minor celebrities were up in arms.

And yes it was a shame that she had to miss out.

But instead of blaming the school which just seems to me to be following the (current) rules, maybe we should wonder why we started rewarding pupils for doing what was just expected of them?

I know it has been a few years since I left school, but back then you were punished for not attending, unless you had a very good reason and a note from a parent or guardian - clearly the poor child in the news DID have a very good reason for being absent.  We certainly didn't get taken out for meals just because we had managed to tear ourselves out of bed and stagger out to the car to be driven to and from the classroom every day.  

I had to walk the near mile to and from junior school, secondary school was a bus ride away, unless they were on strike in which case it was a 2 mile walk each way.  And I still managed to get there every day.  Even when I didn't want to.  Because that was what you had to do.

Assemblies seem to be a major event these days too, we had one every morning and parents did not attend.

Good behaviour seems to be rewarded too these days, years ago you would not dare misbehave because you would be punished.  My secondary school even still had the slipper and the cane.  Teachers would throw chalk or boardrubbers if they thought someone wasn't paying attention to them.

When did it all start going wrong?

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