Punishing errant students is part and parcel of a teacher’s job. Academically-inclined students always follow their teachers’ instructions but it doesn’t mean that they are like angels all the time. There are times where they also fail to submit their homework and make a disappearing act for the reasons known only to themselves.

Actually, I hate to punish my teenage students as they might retaliate against me. A friend of mine got his brand new car scratched after he had caned a boy who skipped his Mathematics class last year. I did also cane my undisciplined students in order to teach them a lesson. Thank God, so far none of them has sabotaged my property.

Last month, a bunch of students in the first class in Form 5 did not hand in their essays despite being given ample time. I was tired of meting out the same punishment to them. So I thought of asking them to wrap my books in the study room. I managed to find 18 books and then took them to school to be given to those students. In the end, all of those books were carefully wrapped by them. But this sort of punishment is carried out to the girls only as the boys preferred a few strokes of rattan instead!

In a nutshell, be careful with the types of punishment that you wish to mete out to your students.