Listening to German radio on the drive to and from work is not only amusing, but also gives me some great ideas with how to deal with problem students. Just today there was a news report about how two separate German kindergarten teachers dealt with their most troublesome students.

The most sever, and frankly, not my style, of punishment was to take her most “un-orderly” student (remember this is a kindergartner), put a collar on him, and walk him into the class room on a leash. Like a dog. I did not hear how the kindergartner reacted, but I am sure the parents did not like hearing about that later. I am also fairly certain she is out of a job.

The less insane punishment was done after a teacher had attempted everything she could think of that was within the books. First of all, she had three kindergartners that were a “constant disturbance” and used “swear words”. She punished them according to the schools regulations, to no avail. She contacted each student’s parents, again with no positive change. She then turned to her colleagues. They decided to punish the students in an amusing way- tape their mouths shut. She had her three trouble students stand in front of the class and then had the rest of the class help in taping their mouths shut.

While I think that it is completely inappropriate for either of these teacher’s to act upon these punishments, I do think that a good “parent-friendly” way to punish trouble- students is important.  I have a number of students in various classes who just do not ever stop being a distraction. I have tried up and down to keep them distracted from distracting the class. It is wearisome. I always wonder how they are with other teachers and their parents.

If any teachers have a good way to deal with distracting students or a good way to get pouty students involved, please let me know!

* I am going to go ahead and disclaim that the title is facetious and not meant in any seriousness or meant to actually accurately represent the German teaching style.

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