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Writing names on the board for discipline. - Page 3

post #41 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball


Hitting is a situation where I would want the child out of the room. He could still explain himself later, but I wouldn't feel comfortable if children who hit other children could stay in the classroom with just a warning. If I'm watching another child and he hits my dd, I separate them. If dd hits me or dh, she has to leave the room.

It's not only me and other non-teachers who feel that humiliating children, even if it does procude the desired result, should not be allowed. My dh is a teacher and he believes this as well. So do other teachers. And I believe it's up to the child to decide what is humiliating. I'm sure that when the schools put together their discipline policies, they do not take into consideration how the children feel.
Where would you like this child to go? Is leaving the room not humiliating? You have also now created a situation in which the child who has to leave the room cannot learn. Being excluded from class is the ultimate humiliation.

It's also far, far more disruptive to the class. If I say, "Junior, please go stand in the hallway," it is followed by, "Why? Why should I have to stand in the hallway? I don't want to! That's not fair." It's more disrespectful to the other children in the class who want to learn to create a situation in which a child can cause a scene.
post #42 of 63
I can buy the argument that a teacher doesn't have the luxury of addressing discipline issues the way a parent might. But to me, that speaks to problems with the way school is coordinated. If a child cannot be adequately respected in a school, then being in that school is not in the child's best interests -- or maybe the school needs to consider some creative changes.
post #43 of 63
It's not a school thing. It's a US educational system thing.

Just as we don't blame the pilots of the planes for what happened on 9/11, you can't blame the teachers for all the ills of the American educational system. (And believe me, teachers are very well aware of the problems.)
post #44 of 63
So how does that happen, given the current levels of staffing in schools, large class sizes, mainstreaming, the legally mandated emphasis on high stakes testing and the catastrophic situation of most school budgets? I think what some of you are looking for is utopian, and I guess that's why a lot of people at mdc hs.

I guess my priorities are completely different. While I don't especially care how my kids do on high stakes testing, I do want them to learn as much as possible in school, subject matter wise. I see a very real need for discipline in schools. If we were talking here about beating children (happened daily in the catholic school I went to) or marching them around the hallway in a duncecap, I would get upset. But writing their names on a blackboard?
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post #45 of 63
ITA with you, EFmom. Schools do not work if people can't learn. Period. People can't learn if classroom discipline is not maintained. Period. It is not possible to have 1800 separate discipline programs so each child can decide what is humiliating to them or not on any given day.

And I also totally agree about the testing crap. If you want to change something about American schools, let it be that! We spend entirely too much instructional time administering and preparing for federally and state mandated testing.
post #46 of 63
"I'm sure that when the schools put together their discipline policies, they do not take into consideration how the children feel."

Greaseball, do you mean all schools? I can assure you that any school that I know thinks very long and hard about how the children feel when they develop their discipline policies.

That is what, ultimately, the vast majority of teachers are all about. How children feel, how they learn, how best to teach them, how best to nurture them. Including their emotional needs. I don't know about AnnMarie's daughter's teacher, but I have worked with literally hundreds of teachers and don't know of many who don't think about how children feel.

You know, most teachers, certainly at elementary level, are mums themselves. They go home to look after their own children. They are painfully aware of how children feel.

My feeling is that you are being very unfair to the vast majority of teachers. I also think that to expect teachers to remember every single child, every single incident, in a day, without ever making a note is totally unrealistic. I keep a notebook in my kitchen to remember things that I have to do during the day at home - and I only deal with my own two children and dh!!

AnnMarie, maybe my information was a red herring and they are not practicing Assertive Discipline. However, I would strongly urge you to go into the school and find out what is exactly going on. Are other children as bothered by this as your dd? How bad does the misdemeanour have to be to get your name written up? What positive reinforcement for good behaviour is the teacher giving alongside this warning system? How often do names actually end up on the board?

I would restate that the idea of going in with information on discipline for the principal or teacher is a really, really bad one. Believe me, she will have read more books and articles on discipline in her time than you could muster up for her. Her response may be polite, but it would be a big mistake in forming a positive relationship with her.

Finally, something that I have been considering personally a lot recently in relation to one of my dds, who is supersensitive, is when I should be protecting her from life's challenges, and when I should be helping her to deal with them. How best can I help her emotional growth? At what point is it necessary for me to step in and protect her? How will I help her to learn to protect herself? What lessons does she need to learn from these sorts of challenges?

A quotation I like is this one:

‘Our responsibility to babies and children is clear; it is not to eliminate stress from children’s lives completely; rather it is to help shape responses to stress that will somehow permit them to live.’
Konner, 1991

Now, I am not suggesting that we allow teachers to treat children badly, and humiliate them. However, I do think that often our tendency is to leap in and assume the worst of the school and the teacher, and in doing so we fail to stand back and think about how best to help our children learn and develop from challenges.

First, our job is to find out exactly what happened, by talking to the adult about it. We need to remember that our children have interpretations that are not necessarily the whole picture. Then, we need to consider whether this is something that needs our input, or whether we can teach our child through the experience to become more resilient.

Again, to clarify, I am not suggesting that children become resilient to abuse. But I am suggesting that sometimes what we see as abuse, isn't. And that sometimes we can help our children better by finding ways for them to deal with situations that they don't like, and to learn the lessons from them.

Now, as I don't know AnnMarie's daughter, her school, or her teacher, all I am doing is putting out suggestions and possible ways to view the situation. But, AnnMarie, I have read your threads and see that you have various issues with your daughter's school at the moment, and realise that you need to tread carefully for your daughter's sake. For self-esteem, it is not good for children to see that every time they face a challenge, mum fixes it. They need strategies to deal with situations themselves, or they can get the message that they are not capable of finding solutions or being resilient, and need someone to constantly sort them out.

Finally, the best education for children is if teachers and parents mutually trust one another and work together. I strongly advise you to go to the school and talk to the teacher about all these issues, and listen to her responses. There are often some complete crossed wires between home and school, and frequently parents have a completely false picture of what is truly happening in the classroom. I say this because I spent 14 years working in education, and if I had a penny for every completely crossed wire, I'd be very happy now.
post #47 of 63
Quote:
Where would you like this child to go? Is leaving the room not humiliating? You have also now created a situation in which the child who has to leave the room cannot learn. Being excluded from class is the ultimate humiliation.
According to whom? The child? Something as serious as hitting another person (and I do think it's a big deal, not just some minor annoyance that children need to get over; I take it as seriously as adults hitting each other) means that some of the hitter's rights are temporarily suspended for as long as necessary until the one who was hit is safe. I am not above using physical force (my greater size and strength) to separate children. Perhaps in school it's not legal?

Britishmum - No, I don't mean all schools. I just get tired of adding that disclaimer to every school-related comment I make. But I do believe that children are not consulted about school policies, except in democratic schools.

I don't believe class size should be an excuse to forget students. I used to work in a mental hospital where I would be "in charge" of up to 50 people at a time. I knew all about these people - their names, what was going on for them that day, which brand of cigarette each one liked, what drugs they were allergic to, methods of treatment that worked on some of them but not others, methods that worked one day but would not work today, things I had planned to bring up with them (and it all got brought up, on time), jokes they told, things they wanted to share with me, etc. So this "large class" got all the individual attention they needed, and it was not because I'm some extraordinary person with a great memory or anything like that. I'm sure the group was as unruly and challenging as any school classroom.
post #48 of 63
Greaseball, you are misunderstanding me. At one time, I worked in a school with over 500 children and I knew every child's name, their family, and details about their learning. Every single one. I would bet you that most principals of elementary schools do the same thing, some with far greater numbers of students.

But if I taught a class, I would take notes during the day of things that I needed to remember. Who had a problem with blending letters 'sl', who seemed to be overtired, the four or five who needed additional help with a maths concept, who hadn't practiced their reading book at home all week, and so on. That is simply good practice in an elementary classroom. No human being can hold all that information in her head and not forget something by the end of the day. Period.

Forgetting a detail about a student is not the same as forgetting a student. And very few teachers forget about individual students. Trust me, I've worked with hundreds, and the numbers are very few.

Now, writing names on the board, as the OP is about, is not necessary for memory, but writing them somewhere may be. Especially if it's a discipline policy that follows a progressive system. You have to keep a note, so that you know if there is a pattern. Again, good practice.

As for this school and its policies, we don't know. As I've said, the OP needs to go into school and find out. This is all conjecture. I guess we can offer our opinions based on a negative assumption about all schools, or a positive one. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly, but to be honest, the picture that is so often painted here on the boards is very inaccurate. Most fall into the better categories, and few teachers are the mean ones that we read about here.

Unfortunately most of us recall the really bad teachers and base our assumptions upon those experiences. I can recall a few dreadful ones from my childhood. : But I've worked with so many that I can say truthfully that few fall into that category. Teachers fall on a normal curve, just like any other profession. The large majority are perfectly nice, normal human beings trying to do a good job. They care about children like the OP's daughter. They do nothing to humiliate children, and they do not 'forget' them, no matter what the class size or school size.

They go home and worry about them, they buy clothes for them, they supply food for the ones whose parents dont send good lunches. Believe me, some of us still dream about kids we knew almost 20 years ago, and wonder and worry about what became of them. Seriously.

That's why often these threads can get under our skin. And we are not the small minority. I truly believe that we are the large majority.
post #49 of 63
I personally do not have a problem with teachers writing names on the chalkboard depending on the classroom and size.
I have done it myself

Most teachers have a contract for behavior in the classroom, name on the board is a visual reminder to the child to obey the rules. maintains order -- personally I would not reccomend handing print outs on classroom discipline techinques to your childs teacher, but I would volunteer to spend a day seeing what she has to deal with first and then talk to her to sort out what is best for your child.

In a perfect world teachers would not have to do this to help maintain order or on another hand offer incentives/ rewards to behave in a positive way.

But this is not a perfect world with perfect teachers and perfect children.
post #50 of 63
AnnMarie,

I'm sorry your thread got hijacked. I'm not interested in pointless arguing here. Hope you get the answers you need!
post #51 of 63
Bravo, Sharon! Well put as usual my friend!
post #52 of 63
I am a High School English teacher. I completely agree with what the other teachers have said. (EFmom, sharonal, Britishmum) Quite frankly, I have dedicated my life to being a teacher, and I spend money on my students, worry about them, keep in touch with them....It is disheartening to feel as if it is always the teacher's fault. Did you know that one in three teachers quit before five years in the profession? Good, dedicated teachers QUIT. The reason cited is not the low pay, as one might think, but lack of support in discipline matters (and lack of resources, supplies...) Teachers want to teach. They cannot do that without order on the classroom.

One point I would like to make is that students who are behaving well are grateful when a teacher has a firm and fair discipline policy. They wish to learn and for the teacher to maintain order. In order to do that there have to be rules.

I feel as if this board often becomes "bash the teacher". I question why some people visit the board that is titled "learning at school", when they are so clearly AGAINST learning at school? Isn't there a board about home schooling? I like a debate as well as the next person, but when someone spends a long time giving solid logical reasons, such as sharon, britishmum, it seems as if those points are not even considered.
post #53 of 63
Britishmum - You are obviously a very dedicated teacher, and have helped illustrate my point: that all teachers can be just as dedicated! I just don't buy the excuse that because there are 40 kids in a classroom a teacher can't keep track of them.

This forum, from what I understand, is not only for those who have kids in ps, or who don't homeschool. It's for anyone who takes an interest in ps kids' experiences. Nor do the people who post here have to have an always-positive opinion of schools and teachers.

Although, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. (Or to just ignore my posts.)
post #54 of 63
"I just don't buy the excuse that because there are 40 kids in a classroom a teacher can't keep track of them."

I don't think that was an excuse. It was a valid point of fact. The more students one has to keep track of the more difficult the teacher's job is and the less likely that students can get the individual attention they need. It is in fact true that 40 students in one classroom would be impossible to teach and maintain order effectively, even for the most seasoned professional.

In order to have smaller class sizes, schools need to hire more teachers. In order to hire more teachers. taxes must be raised to fund them. If we are to point fingers then, I think I shall blame the taxpayer.
post #55 of 63
If anyone is to be blamed maybe it should be those in power who decide how tax dollars get spent.

I could enclose a note with my taxes each year that says "This is to go to public schools only" but it would get ignored. It's not up to the taxpayer.

Don't some schools run in an unstructured manner? Democratic or "free schools" don't have order, and they have been around for over 30 years. If they didn't work and no one learned anything, they would be shut down. I don't know why public schools can't operate unless they are orderly.

Maybe because parents would complain if their kids weren't being taught order in addition to academics? Or because teachers who get public school teaching licenses are only taught one way to teach?

Policies are made for peoples' benefit, and anything that is to benefit someone must be flexible. Clearly if a student feels humiliated, the policy needs to be modified.

I don't believe that "you can't please everyone." I have worked in organizations that had these "rules": if a new policy is to be implemented, everyone has to OK it, whether you are a new employee or have been with the company for 20 years. The meeting doesn't end until everyone is happy. This company has been in existence for over 30 years as well, and they have never had trouble reaching an agreement, changing policies when needed, and the meeting has never run overtime because someone wasn't happy.
post #56 of 63
Quote:
I am a High School English teacher. I completely agree with what the other teachers have said. (EFmom, sharonal, Britishmum) Quite frankly, I have dedicated my life to being a teacher, and I spend money on my students, worry about them, keep in touch with them....It is disheartening to feel as if it is always the teacher's fault. Did you know that one in three teachers quit before five years in the profession? Good, dedicated teachers QUIT. The reason cited is not the low pay, as one might think, but lack of support in discipline matters (and lack of resources, supplies...) Teachers want to teach. They cannot do that without order on the classroom.
Thank you for saying that. I teach high school English I to the lowest 25% (academically). It is so challenging trying to maintain teaching momentum when you are forced to continually redirect disruptive behavior. If you know better ways , PLEASE tell me. I am always looking for new strategies. Or if you can't think of any, please congratulate me on the students I do reach and the students I do move to success.
post #57 of 63
"I have worked in organizations that had these "rules": if a new policy is to be implemented, everyone has to OK it, whether you are a new employee or have been with the company for 20 years. The meeting doesn't end until everyone is happy. This company has been in existence for over 30 years as well, and they have never had trouble reaching an agreement, changing policies when needed, and the meeting has never run overtime because someone wasn't happy."

Greaseball, I think you'd find that in the majority of elementary classrooms, the rules are indeed decided by everybody. If a teacher works using Assertive Discipline, (which was my hypothesis re the OP's daughter's school) then the children decide the rules, the rewards (for following them) and the consequences for not doing so.

The first consequence is a warning, which teachers record. It then goes in stages for each repeated misdemeanour that day, up to #5, which is usually to be sent out the room. (If a child does something horrendous, they miss the stages are are sent straight out).

Now, you say about everyone agreeing policies. When you ask the children to help make the rules, invariably they make good ones, althuopgh they need help with phrasing them positively - eg walk in class, rather than 'never run in class'. When it comes to the rewards, they can be a trifle ambitious, but if you give them guidelines, they are sensible (eg an extra games time on Friday if everyone follows the rules, or free time on the computer etc etc) Now, with the consequences, the children usually come up with something far more severe than the teacher would want. It takes some real guidance to keep it reasonable.

The reason is that even at a young age, children do usually know that order is needed if they are all going to get along, play and learn together. They don't want confusion, and they don't want others messing around. They want boundaries.

The general consequences are things like - miss the first two minutes of recess, not 'miss recess', but children actually do need guidance for making consequences smaller. The good thing about the system is that it is not punitive, that children know the rules, they made them, they know the consequences because they decided them, and they know the rewards. They choose their behaviour, and they therefore choose what the consequence is for their own behaviour.

"This forum, from what I understand, is not only for those who have kids in ps, or who don't homeschool. It's for anyone who takes an interest in ps kids' experiences. Nor do the people who post here have to have an always-positive opinion of schools and teachers."

Personally, I don't have an always positive opinion of schools and teachers either. BUT I do try to come here to give some constructive advice when it is asked for (as in the OP). So, rather than jump in and assume the worst of the teacher and school, and make generalisations about all schools, I try to look at the situation objectively and help the OP to find solutions and see different sides. I try to give the beneifit of my many years working in education - not just as a teacher, but in all manner of roles. My aim is to try to help the parent find a solution that will help the child. I don't see 'support' as being merely to agree that a situation is terrible.

Maybe I"m the eternal optimist, but I have years of experience of seeing parents all up in arms coming into a Principal's office, then leaving half an hour later feelign somewhat embarrassed. A rather example - a group of parents had it on 'good authority' via their children and a teacher's 'word of mouth' that all children were going to ahve to wear a strict purple, yes, purple, school uniform starting the following September.

Hmm. We never did work out where that rumour came from, but the children insisted they'd heard it from a teacher. And the parents believed it and were all set up with a petition ready to collect signatures before the principal got wind of it and let them know that it was absolute rubbish. That's just a silly example, but believe me, very few parents' fears turn out to be what they believe, if they only go into school and get a realistic view of what is happening.
post #58 of 63
Hi all--just checking in to see where this thread has wandered off to! I do think AnnMarie got some of the feedback she wanted. The discussion has spun off a bit into a philosophical thread, which may or may not feel very supportive to her. Any feedback AnnMarie?

This forum is indeed for anyone who wants to chat about schooling outside the home. It is not for debate regarding the merits of people's choices of public schooling for those who have already made that choice. (in other words, people who homeschool shouldn't come and criticize people who choose ps or vice versa).

The questions often do run into philosophical debates and I don't think there is necessarily a problem with that, as long as everyone is behaving kindly. However, in the past, when a personal thread has turned philosophical or folks have wanted to debate public policy or educational reform, it can make a lot of sense to start a new thread. There are lots of us around who like to debate these issues, but getting off on it in the midst of someone's personal struggle often doesn't work. I tend to be a low interventionist moderator, so I don't like to close off threads, but count on people to notice when things are moving in the wrong direction.

Would someone like to start a general thread re: 'gentle discipline' in schools, or democratic decision making/redirection in schools?
post #59 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by lauren
Any feedback AnnMarie?
I appreciate everyone's response. They have all helped me come to the decision to let this one slide. If it happens again then I need to talk to the teacher because either she's not being fair or my daughter is having a behavior problem in school...probably the later. I still don't like the policy, but right now I have bigger issues with the school and I think I need to take care of those first. Pick my battles I guess.

I do want to say one thing. I keep seeing over and over again that it's not always the teacher's fault. I don't recall anyone here saying that, but I could be wrong. That's not how I feel, and I believe I made that clear.

Thank you everyone.
post #60 of 63
Ann Marie,
I don't think that you implied that it was the teachers fault. I think you came here with a valid question to get some input. i'm glad you resolved it. I do think though, that if it is upsetting you, you should certainly let the teacher know that your daugther was embarressed. Many times the teacher doesn't realize the student was so upset. (How can they if they are not told) and assume that the "writing on the board" was effective. As someone else stated, teachers do care about students feelings. They don't want them to be upset or frightened to go to school. I have often sat with students and parents when a student feels "picked on". Often, all it takes is explaining to the student that a reprimand wasn't meant to upset them, only to bring them back in focus.

For example, I have a female student who was constantly talking while I teach. I have moved her seat, I have gently touched her desk to get her to pay attention. Still the talking continued. Finally I had to say, (while trying to give directions to the class about an assignment) "Amanda, please pay attention, I am giving directions that you need to know". Well, she was soooo upset and thought I was picking on her, didn't like her. She told her mother, her mother called me saying her daughter was being picked on. I explained the situation.The mother got a different perspective. the next day, i spoke to Amanda to let her know I did in fact like her, and just wanted her to pay attention and not distract others. Since then, things have been fine. Mission accomplished, everybody happy!

My point is that sometimes a teacher doesn't know how something affects a student, unless they are told. I don't ever mind speaking with a parent to clarify a policy or an event that happened in class. I do agree that you shouldn't give her research about discipline, She knows different methods. She may try something else with your daughter if you make her aware of how upset your daughter was.

Hope that was more specific to your OP!!!!
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