Originally Posted by supervee
Thank you for the reminder of the OP. It does seem that teachers are implementing the card system differently. I bet it can be used in a very controlling and unhelpful manner.
When I worked with student and new teachers, we taught them to use a similar system. But the emphasis was on using it for a while, to get the right positive attitudes in the classroom and the experience as a teacher to be able to do without
this sort of controlling method.
The fact is, natural, good teachers didn't really use it. They paid lip-service, but their kids rarely moved beyond one warning, (the system we used gave warnings then consequences). After a few months, if you went in their classroom, there was a great atmosphere and no real evidence of rewards or consequences being used. Any difficulties with a child were dealt with sensitively and appropriately.
Some teachers, however, relied on using these systems for ever. Some of them did so because they were just the personality who likes and needs a 'system'. Honestly, their kids weren't shamed by it, and I don't think it did harm. It served a purpose, and the atmosphere in those classes was good.
A few teachers, however, relied heavily on the system and misused it because they really didn't have good relationships with the kids nor did they have good classroom management skills. If a child is coming home frequently with cards, the system is not working. The teacher is not teaching or disciplining effectively.
I recall the end of one semester where I met with a (struggling) teacher and tried to counsel her out of teaching as a profession. We added the number of cards that she had issued, and her total was in the hundreds. The next highest score by a fellow teacher was in the upper teens. Unfortunately she just didn't get it, insisting that her students were just 'more difficult' than anyone else's. (In fact, we'd moved most of the troublesome students into different classes, but new troublesome students kept springing up to take their place.) No matter how hard I worked with some teachers, they just did not have the skills to teach without a behavioural system. And a few still didn't have the skills to teach, even with one.
So, if my kids went to school, I'd have no problem with the system, but I would have a problem if the teacher relied on it.
As for being 'tough' to begin with, for a kindergarten teacher this is way out of line, imo. A kindergarten teacher needs to be sympathetic and kind and loving from day one. More so on day one, if anything, than at the end of the year. The idea that a K teacher needs to 'assert' herself at the beginning is highly inappropriate, imo.