|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Fair Rules in the Classroom

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: I need help determining what is fair and appropriate discipline by a teacher. My sixth-grade son came home yesterday and was upset. During a science test he realized his numbers and answers were out of alignment. In his panic, he said aloud, "Oh no, I messed this up!" The teacher took his test and gave him a zero for talking during the test. I fully understand the need for such a rule but a ZERO? I want my children to respect their teachers, but when the punishment so far exceeds the crime, I'm baffled as to how to respond.

A: Don't respond. Let it go. If the class rule is talking during a test will result in a zero for the talker, then your son suffered the consequences of breaking a rule even though it was probably an accident. Imagine how disruptive it would be for the test takers if many of their classmates voiced their dismay whenever they had a problem on a test. In this case, you need to be more supportive of the teacher's action even though it was a very steep penalty.

Your son has learned a lesson. He is not likely to talk during a test again no matter what the situation is. More importantly, he has also learned that if he breaks a test rule, there will be a penalty. It is a good lesson to learn before grades truly become important.

Few people enjoy tests, and many, like your son, panic when anything goes wrong during a test. You can teach your son techniques to avoid alignment problems in the future. Suggest that he place the test over the answer sheet so the space for the next answer is always at the top of the sheet. Also, tell him to check that his answers are aligned properly every ten questions. Some students keep their answers properly aligned with the questions by simply answering every question and never leaving a blank space. They should circle a question when they are unsure of the answer so that they can go back and change their answer if they have time.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks