Hi, recently our sqn has had issues with respect for ncos and general discipline. We’ve talked to the staff about it and they’ve told us as ncos to think of ways to raise standards. to give you some context…The cadets keep having to be reminded of rank and to listen when being talked to, they also don’t listen to ncos, phones have been out and when told to put away they do but then get them out again. Also the cadets constantly fidget when on parade and talk when not supposed to. Any ideas on how to improve would be greatly appreciated.
You could try some sort of disciplinary for E.G. Cleaning the toilets or sweeping the floor. These are just a few of many ideas.
Also found this website (I know it is a military school but some ideas could be adapted for the perpose).
This is also something worth a try.
Only had to do this with 2 cadets but I’ve explained that they aren’t supposed to be on their phones and if they are told about it again they will be taken off them. Yup they did it again! Phones were taken from them and placed on the OC’s desk incase they rang for an emergency. Parents were messaged that we took their phones off them etc. They haven’t had their phones out since so that’s something.
On the phone side of things - after a few instances of phones being used (by NCO’s too), all phones are now collected at the start of the evening, placed in a communal bucket, and left in the admin office.
All the cadets see that everyone is treated the same, and so have not had any further issues.
I think some actually quite like it, as when they pick their phones up at the end of the night, there are usually stuff to catch up on.
I personally do not like that.
IMO, if a cadet were to complain that we’d broken, used, or otherwise misused their property whilst in our care, then I have no way to prove I hadn’t.
On my sqn, phone are allowed before first parade, during break, and after final parade. If any cadets use them in lessons, they are asked to put them away. If they continue to use them, they are asked to leave the lesson. If they still use them, then I’m happy to send them home (although it’s never happened yet).
We too have the phone ‘tin’ which is actually a large plastic container. It sits in the hall and ours are used to putting their phones in there as they come in. Duty NCO brings it to the office with the register and collects after final Parade. We’ve not had any issues with this…so far! Cadets can request use of their phone for a specific purpose, but otherwise they stay there.
I can see Moist_Van_Lipwig’s point, but we have not had any issues.
What we find is that after a while, the cadets will start to leave their phones in their bags on silent.
Our cadets can ask to use their phone at break if needed, but they seem to get the idea that cadets is a ‘phone free area’.
So… the discipline thing needs to happen from the top down. Discipline and standards is the job of the Squadron Warrant Officer, what do they have to say about everything?
No point in NCO’s trying to raise standards if there is a gap and inconsistency in what happens from NCO to NCO, NCO to staff and between staff.
Previously said by others, I would start with the cadet code of conduct. I’m also with Moist_Van_Lipwig in that you can end up on dodgy ground by taking phones away. Go for a compromise and allow phones before parade, during canteen and after parade. If that gets abused then think again.
With all of the above start simple to establish a baseline of discipline and don’t try to tackle everything in one big bang. Simple stuff like standing to the shun when a cadet is talking to NCO or staff is a good start. Over a month you could raise the standards as long NCO’s and staff keep to it.
Consistency is key!
I agree all phones should be collected in and given back at the end of the evening.
If the cadets have respect for the OC then the OC should explain that when they disrespect the NCO’s they are disrespecting the OC, also instils the concept of the chain of command.
We also have a phone bucket, we don’t use it every night, only when they are going out to do sports of Fieldcraft, it’s more as a safe place rather than a confiscation.
Our lot seem to leave them in a place, but have access to them whenever. I don’t know why and it isn’t something that we enforce in any way. We don’t seem to have a problem with phones.
We have a phone tub also, the phones get handed in while subs are taken. Many of the cadets have stopped bringing phones to the squadron.
You still collect subs nightly?!
I thought the Cadet world was all direct debits now? Crikey I think I owe my Sqn months of subs from back when I were a lad
Used to have a phone tub, but stopped a while ago. Cadets can keep them, only use them at break etc, if they choose to ignore this, we take it off them for the night, and we haven’t had any problems. Also we have a CI who has done lots of Moodle quizzes for Classification studies, so they all use their phones for that, which works really well. I’d sooner make best efforts to teach / encourage them to use their tech sensibly and in an adult way than go for the nuclear option of banning them totally.
Yeah my squodron does the same. We are allowed our phone during break and before first parade then after last parade. We may be allowed our phones out during lessons for reasons such as:
-looking something up on the internet
-contacting parents for emergencys or to check if cadets can participate in out of normal hours activities.
At our squodron this works really well and if we have our phones out we are told to put them in our pockets (except on parade we aren’t allowed them) or we will be told to put them in our bags.
My sqn try to treat the cadets like ‘young adults’ as far as possible. If they behave like young adults and act maturely then we (the Cdt NCOs) will take a more relaxed approach as we can trust them. However my cadets know that if they start to take the proverbial then they will be dealt with in a harsher way which will reduce their freedoms.
Take phones as an example:
My sqn have no official ‘policy’ on phones. Cadets can bring them, not bring them, have them on them, have them in their bags, whatever. 99% of them will keep them on their person except when doing sports etc. They know the appropriate time for being on their phones and most stick to that. If someone is using it at an inappropriate time then they’ll be told to put it away. It they continue then it’ll be dealt with more seriously but it’s never got to that stage. We respect the cadets and the cadets respect us.
Can I also suggest that maybe your cadets are bored sometimes? I find that if we haven’t planned a good activity then we end up running something which isn’t as exciting resulting in cadets getting bored and going on their phones, messing about etc.
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Find a local CCF with compulsory service, and go and see how they handle things.
At worst, it’ll make you feel better about your discipline problems; but you might learn things, too.
Discipline comes down to consistency, fairness, leading by example (I can’t stress that one enough), and a clear, graduated system of reward and punishment which everyone understands and NCOs don’t try to elaborate or subvert. Underpinning it needs to be a real threat of being asked to leave the Corps, which you must mean but hopefully never actually use.
Respect is earned, as said above; I find the most effective thing is to demonstrate through your actions that everything you are doing is designed to make the experience as good as possible for the cadets under you, rather than, say, feed your ego or impress your mates.
But my NCOs aren’t perfect…