Teaching

Student-Motivation Methods to Avoid

By Anthony Rebora — November 19, 2012 1 min read

From the Associated Press:

A teacher in the southern Idaho town of Declo is being criticized after she had her fourth-grade students use permanent markers to draw on the faces of children who failed to meet reading goals.

Apparently, the teacher, who is known for her “creative” methods, had allowed the students to choose what the consequences would be for not meeting the reading goal—a questionable strategy right from the start. The slow readers had their faces drawn on in the morning, and, to enhance the stigma, were instructed to leave markings on for the rest of the school day.

Some parents, not without reason, regarded the punishment as an act of bullying or public shaming.

The grandfather of two of the students whose faces were marked had perhaps the wisest censure of the teacher: “I think children should feel safe at school and know the adults there will protect them.”

The school district is said to be investigating the incident. It is unclear whether the teacher has faced any formal disciplinary action, but she was reportedly absent from school for several days.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.