Starting soft in discipline

By Kevin Coleman

The methods a professional chooses to use are normally left up to the individual, since they are regarded as an expert in their field. Why then, are teachers exempt from this social standard and disciplined for their deviance at Walled Lake Central?

In general, there are two methods used by teachers to begin a class period; a soft start and a hard start. A hard start is when class begins immediately with intense academics while a soft start is the laidback method of easing the class into the lesson. The pros and cons of each method are easily measurable, leaving the choice of method up to the teacher.

The soft start method may greatly reduce student stress, but often becomes the target of school officials’ authority.  Increasingly, teaching is an occupation that requires routine supervision to maintain a generalized curriculum without bias. In such a climate, the independent style of the teacher is lost in an effort to fill a mold passed down by superiors.

With a hard start, more class time is dedicated to education, potentially increasing test scores. However, the majority of students walk into class with a million other things on their minds, so a careful easing into the day’s lesson better corrals their fleeting attention spans. That is why the hard start method is often ineffective because students usually do not come to class ready to take in more information.

The school is justified in imposing a guided curriculum, but stepping even further to declare how the curriculum is to be taught robs the teacher’s style that has been perfected for years. Defending the soft start method may seem like a no brainer for a student who benefits from it, but even teachers testify to the benefits of a smooth transition into the learning.

Despite which method for starting class you find to be more beneficial, the preference should be up to the teacher and should be met with respect, not discipline. This prevents the desperately needed variety for our dwindling education.

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