Part of outlining the rules of the classroom with my students today was agreeing on consequences for breaking them and explaining that I, unlike my fellow teachers, will not be using corporal punishment. I didn’t think that this conversation would be quite so revolutionary until I saw my coworkers behavior today. I had to witness through a window in my classroom a teacher pushing down and kicking a grade 5 students and the fourth grade teacher literally carried a whip (almost like a riding crop) while another teacher had a section of old hose to use.
This is obviously something that I would love to address in my school and it is going to be difficult not broaching it as a topic until I am more settled. I need to show that my classes can be controlled without corporal punishment and feel out my relationships with my fellow teachers before I can talk about this with them, but in the meantime this is going to be very difficult to watch.