Monday, 4 January 2010

On discipline - A perspective from 1910

The following advice to teachers was published to the Masters of Berkhamsted School in 1910 when Dr Fry was Headmaster.
  • Find out how to get your influence; without it you cannot teach.
  • Do not shout.
  • Do not be glued to your chair.
  • Air your room: it takes trouble to do aright.
  • Make your boys respect their books.
  • If your arrival in a room does not secure serene respectful silence, you have no grip on your form.
  • Maintain your discipline with as few words as possible.
  • Force is not discipline, nor is temper.
  • Boys prefer order and the man who can keep it.
  • Cultivate the power of glances and silences: be a bit of an actor.
  • The best power is undemonstrative.
  • Do not seem to expect anything but order.
  • If one word secures attention, you are probable a disciplinarian.
  • Watch against allowing temptations to do wrong.
  • Do not scold. Enlist the class on your side.
  • Always acknowledge an unintentional injustice.
  • The less “black book,” the better discipline.
  • Be ambitious never to retort, except for serious moral offences.
  • Never goad into resistance.
  • Do not have too long a memory. Make a little allowance.
  • Do not mistake success for virtue.
  • The stupid often plod and fail. Remember how failure deters.
  • Be punctual.
  • Do not forget dignity altogether. Show sympathy.
  • Distinguish character in your own mind.
  • Don’t be funny, if you cannot easily control results.
  • Compel a tidy room.
  • Dismiss quite quietly.
  • Think over your failures to influence, and their cause.
  • The root of discipline is boys’ high respect for you.
  • No imposition that is not seriously examined can fail to demoralise.

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