My name is David Weaver. I teach 5th grade at Fourth Street Elementary School. I have taught for the last 15 years. The thing I enjoy most about my job is the thrill of knowing that the kids actually learn something. I try to make the classroom work interesting, and think the kids have a good time while they are learning. The thing I hate most about my job is the child who refuses to do his/her work, is disruptive, or disrespectful. Because of that, I decided 3 years ago to quit and work at the Ford Plant in the next town. But, the schoolboard decided that year to bring back discipline into the classroom. I think the board, and 90% of the parents were in favor of that decision. Parents sign an agreement at the beginning of the year, to allow corporal punishment of their children. They can choose to be notified, or not (works out to about 50-50). If the parent will not sign the form, their child is transferred to the county system, and the city pays tuition. We will also accept County children on a one for one basis, so neither system has to pay tuition. So far, there is a waiting list from the County, to get into our system.
Fifth graders are a wonderful group of kids. They are right at the turning point of their lives. Still pre-puberty (for the most part), and yet over the "baby" actions that plague younger kids.
As I said, I really enjoy teaching them. However, with the advent of discipline, I let the kids know, on the first day, that if they mess up, or break the rules, they can expect to take a trip with me that evening across the hall to the cloak room. I have a 15 inch maple paddle, with a 10 inch handle, and 13 holes drilled in it. It hangs on a hook next to the door, so the kids see it every time they enter or leave the room.
The kids who take "the walk" will receive an equal number of strokes as their age. First timers receive this fully clothed. Second timers receive it on their underpants/panties, and Third timers and above receive it on their bare behinds. There is no appeal, all the kids know in advance what will happen. In the course of a year, with 22 students, I will normally paddle about 10 of them. With 3 or 4 being 2nd timers, and one or two 3rd timers. I have only had one 4th timer.
In the cloakroom, I keep a low, heavy, wooden armless chair. I have the kids come in, and lecture them as to why they are there, and them have them disrobe, if required, and climb over the seat of the chair. I then proceed to paddle them, usually giving about 30 seconds between swats, to let them sink in. The kids are warned to stay put, and keep their hands in front of them. If they stand up, or grab their butts, the stroke is repeated. This usually only happens once. Once the punisment session is done, I give the kid a kleenix, have them go to the bathroom to wash their face, and send them home.
I'll write about some of the punishments, if you would like to hear more.
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