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Published on May 5th, 2017 | by Ferran Gonzalez

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My personal experience with school discipline

As a European student who has spent most of his life in the Spanish educational system and only just moved to the U.S. last year, there isn’t one day in which I leave school indifferent. Ever since I got here, my educational experience has been utterly positive. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some criticisms. I hope that by sharing my thoughts, you all will consider the points I list down below.

  1. The credibility of a teacher is sometimes ignored and forgotten by students.

If we go deep into history, educators have always been savvy people who decided to transfer their knowledge to younger generations. In contemporary times, most teachers are sufficiently skilled to deal with any kind of class pace. Having said this, I feel we often underestimate and sometimes even over-scrutinize our teachers’ job. Nowadays, teachers need to complete a Bachelor’s Degree and Teacher Preparation Program. State requirements vary but generally, teachers must complete a major in the subject area they intend to teach with a minor in education or with concurrent enrollment in a teacher preparation program. In contrast with the credentials needed to become a teacher some decades ago, it has strongly improved. Therefore, we can rely on the preparation of our teachers. If we believe teachers are experts, we shouldn’t question all they do. A good example would be when we go to the hospital in seek of help because we are in deep pain. It would be silly to question the ability of a doctor by asking him superfluous questions about the way he is doing his job.

In countries like Norway or Sweden, which are known for their quality of education, teachers have a more impactful role in society.the government knows the importance of education and as a result both countries spend over 7 percent of their budget on teaching. The citizens of these countries, due to the way education is handled, acquire a sense of responsibility at a very young age.

Being critical on such a crucial aspect that directly affects all of us contributes to the development of our educational system, which is beneficial, although relying on the preparation of our educators also gives them more confidence in themselves.

  1. More respect towards educators

Even if we dislike our teachers, it is still our obligation to respect them and pay attention to what they have to say. In other words, watching students using their phones, listening to music, or even talking while the teacher is doing their job vexes me. I’m tired of seeing this happening in the majority of my classes this year. Students sitting in front of their teachers with their earphones on while the teacher is explaining something or a classmate is giving a speech. Every time I see it, I can’t understand why these people don’t realize what a lack of manners they have. Having said so, is such disobedient behavior occurring as a result of the education they have received at home, or is it the teacher’s fault for not cracking down on their students? Whether is one or the other, a teenager is mature enough to be conscious of his actions and contribute to the benefit of the class.

  1. Teachers running their classes

The way a class is run has a lot to do with someone’s personality. A school educator obviously cannot run his class the way he educates his children at home. A good example I have in mind for this topic is my experience last year with one of my strictest teachers. Discipline was always present in class while the teacher was there. It undoubtedly helped our working and learning rate; the material I was taught will definitely remain in my mind longer than other content I learned from different teachers. The success of that class was that the teacher maintained a close relationship with every single one of us to develop a strong working relationship.  

In conclusion, all teachers have their own ways of running their classes but there’s no doubts that keeping a high disciplined environment as well as a constant connection with students is beneficial for both educators and learners.

  1. Formal clothing

I have defended school uniforms as far back as I can remember. It is definitely a controversial topic since one of the arguments people use to fight against such idea is: “I want to feel free to wear whatever I want.” However, the counterargument that comes to my mind is the fact that wearing a uniform avoids social class issues, dodges possible clothing-based bullying, aids in identifying students, and can be financially beneficial among many other things. In addition, it contributes to school formality, which, in fact, is related with the previous topic: respect. And on top of all that, it promotes school spirit.

Nevertheless, I understand the idea is not too appealing to a lot of teenagers given that it interferes with creativity and self-expression. Furthermore, it would be difficult to even imagine implementing it at a place like Samo because of how diverse our campus is.

In Europe, on the other hand, our dress code is stricter. It is partially because we relate formality with reliability which often leads to stereotypes and prejudice. Not being judged by the way someone looks and the freedom of being yourself is something I truly adore here. Although being free to wear whatever we want has its benefits, I must say we often surpass the line of what’s considered “too much.” I remember that the school I used to attend my teachers wouldn’t take me seriously if I had gone to class with pajamas, an inadequate hat, or even worse, with a hood. It is seen as a huge lack of respect whereas here it is pretty normal in the majority of my classes. It was undoubtedly one of the most shocking things to me since in my last school it was prohibited.  

Neither the European, or American approaches are impeccable. An intermediate point between keeping formality present while keeping our identity in our clothing is what’s closer to perfection.
After nearly two school years at Samo and looking back at all I have learned and experienced during this time, I don’t regret moving to California. Unlike Spain, where I wasn’t as academically motivated as I am here, the competitiveness among American students has made me far more competent, even though the casual environment can be irksome sometimes.


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