In response to posts on dress codes, a reader writes:
“I have to agree with Sean about establishing a safe and productive learning environment being the baseline determination for addressing such “trivial” matters as dress code, hallway loitering, questionable language, a laxed monitoring of cell phone / I-pod / computer usage, and late homework policies.
We may think paying attention to these issues distracts us from the real goal of student performance. We may declare it is taking too much of our time. In reality, the lack of control which comes from not being consistent with the established policies before today is now demanding more that time be re-invested. Behavioral psychologists will tell you, “It is much easier to be stern at first and work into a trusting relationship than trying to gain control once you have lost it by being too tolerant in the beginning.”
A little time invested in stating the policy, being consistent with its implementation, and focusing on the human goals of success and achievement instead of letting other things become the priority means more time will be spent on instruction and learning.
Discipline does not have to be the whipping boy. It can be the ally to productive learning environments, establishing a culture and climate of individual and team success, and most of all, an opportunity to show faculty and students alike that you care enough to pay attention to details that you believe are important to be outstanding students and leaders.”
Excellent argument and one that I agree with, point by point. Here is the issue that a lot of leaders (especially the new ones) often have. They will ask, “Who am I to decide what is right and what is important?”
To which I respond, “You are the leader, if you don’t decide, no one else will. That’s why you get paid the medium sized bucks.”
Think. Work. Achieve.