Online learning is presenting new challenges for educators everywhere, but thankfully, our nation’s endlessly creative and resourceful teachers have found some awesome ways to work around every obstacle they’ve run into. For those who need some more inspiration for how to make their online classrooms feel just as supportive and educational as the real thing, here are eight creative ways teachers can still punish misbehaving children during remote learning!
1. Put them in time out by making them peruse the Black and Decker website for deals on food processors while the rest of the class plays a math game
During remote learning, dealing with a chatty student can be as easy as asking him to mute his microphone, but some teachers have gone above and beyond to find a way to really simulate the time-out experience: they isolate misbehaving kids by sending them to the Products section of the Black and Decker website and asking them to find the best price-to-specs deal they can! Having to comb through countless blender attachments looking for the cheapest one with the sharpest blades while the rest of the class gets to enjoy a fun math review game gives the problem student the sense that they are really missing out. That’s one seriously smart solution — never underestimate the power of teachers!
2. Give them detention by having them sit silently in front of their computer for an hour after school
You can’t exactly keep kids after school when school takes place in their own homes. That is, unless you use this awesome hack that one creative reading teacher posted about on Facebook: have students who get in trouble during class sit silently in front of their empty Zoom call for a full hour once school is done. One fifth grade instructor in Texas even said she enlisted a student’s sibling to dress as a school janitor and sweep around the student’s feet while he sat there, all to better simulate the depressing feeling of staying in the school building after the bell has rung. Talk about dedication. These teachers are amazing!
3. Have their mailman dress up like you and hit them with a flyswatter
Teachers can’t give their students effective in-person talkings-to during quarantine, but that isn’t stopping them from creating effective face-to-face discipline. One easy way to do just that is to have a student’s mailman dress up like you and hit your student with a flyswatter! Just give their mailman an item of your clothing or a mask that looks like you, and pay them $30 or so to walk into the house of the misbehaving child and hit them over the head with a flyswatter while shouting “BAD!” It might not be quite the same as calling them up to your desk for a stern chat, but it’s a pretty amazing workaround that will have your pupils feeling as if they’re getting all the one-on-one attention they’d be getting during a normal school year!
4. Ask their parents to mark an X in goat’s blood on their front door to demarcate their home as the house of a misbehaving child
Students with chronically poor behavior sometimes need a little extra motivation to do better, especially when they’ve been isolated from their peers for months. Here’s an idea: Try enlisting their parents for help by having them slaughter a goat in full view of the neighborhood, then mark their door with an X drawn in blood. This bloody X on the doorway is an age-old symbol suggesting the child living within as one who is troublesome in the eyes of God and the community. Anyone who drives past the student’s house and sees the cross of goat’s blood will shake their heads and click their tongues, knowing that a naughty student lives there. Some teachers in underserved areas have even gone through the extra effort to provide a goat for slaughter to families who have not had access to one. Teachers just continue to exceed our expectations every day! It’s going to take more than a pandemic to keep them down!
5. Send them a handmade drawing with the words “STOP IT” written in calligraphy
Sometimes, kids who misbehave are looking for attention. So, why not send them a gorgeous, hand-lettered note telling them to stop what they’re doing and pay attention? This is an awesome substitute for the feeling a child gets when you walk over to their desk and kneel down by their side to yell at them to quit tossing erasers at their friends in the middle of a reading lesson It’s the little things like these that really make remote learning bearable for young, impressionable children, and we are so amazed at the teachers who have come up with these innovative discipline ideas. Keep on keeping on, teachers — we appreciate you!