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Problem on Discipline
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I started teaching in the medical school 7 years ago when my first son turned two.It started out as a trial then it turned out to be passion. I found happiness in it that I told myself this is gonna be for the rest of my life. My husband, being supportive in my decisions, allowed me to take more time in teaching as I slowly deviated my attention from my medical practice. I only allow myself 3 hours per day in my clinic.

It is my first time this year to teach in the Nursing course. It is a three-hour lecture on Saturday mornings and a four-hour laboratory period on Saturday afternoons. I used to believe that I would not have difficulty in handling my students just like how I do in the medical course. But I was proven wrong - the younger ones are harder to discipline.

My number 1 problem is punctuality. While growing up ,I was trained by my Dad to be punctual wherever I go. He was like a military man knocking at my door every morning just so I won't be late for school. There was no "Filipino time" in our house. That practice sunk into my system and up till now I see to it that I always arrive way ahead of time.

I know that I should be flexible with my students. That I shouldn't be too strict with them regarding punctuality. But I feel the need to discipline them.

Lecture time is 8 AM. I asked everyone to be present by 8:15. It was already 8:30 and there were only 10 people around. Only 10 out of 46! This is my second Saturday since school opening and I didn't want to rant. Patience, I told myself. I started with the lecture and my students were coming one by one like raindrops.

I didn't want to be disturbed. I continued with my lecture as if I didn't notice them. The classroom was full by 9 AM. The quiz result after the lecture that morning was low. Before we ended I again warned them to be punctual next time.

It was my fourth Saturday and nothing has changed. I was forced to lock the door by 8:30. All those who arrived after this time were marked absent. Of course they know that this is going to happen because I told them beforehand.

Yes, I pity them but I also need to be firm. This is the only way I know I can discipline this class. They are a group of repeaters, shifters, and transferee s. The majority are repeaters. Sometimes I am tempted to say that the reason why they fail from their subjects is because they lack self-discipline. But of course, I never say that.

I hope I'm not being harsh to my students. I only want the best from them - that is, to be able to learn and do their best out of the hard-earned money coming from their parents. Repeating a subject is loss of time and money. What if they repeat again next time?

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 7:25 AM  
  • At 10:36 AM, Blogger julie said…

    Way to go Doc! :)

    How can they be good nurses if they can't even manage to be punctual?


  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger Ami Dasig Salazar said…

    i think you being fair enough. They already have a grace period of 15 minutes. Besides, this is not just an issue of discipline. It's more of an issue of responsibility. They're college students not pre-schoolers! They should start being responsible and part of that is to accept the consequences of their actions.
    Good job, doc

  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger Christianne said…

    I agree with Julie. You've given them plenty of chances, now's the time to drive home the point that they need to learn to be punctual and responsible.

  • At 5:00 PM, Blogger Amelyn R. Rafael,MD said…

    I agree with all of you, that it is not only an issue of discipline but also of having a sense of responsibility.
    I think that their previous teacher failed to set a good example. She must have been very lenient to them allowing them to come whenever they please.

    I can feel that this is going to be tough. But I know i will win. Thanks!

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About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
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