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#1 of 42 Old 09-01-2007, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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3 days of school so far, 1st grade. Met the teacher, very nice, liked her, heard she's the best in the school. But she's rewarding the dc with candy, a few pieces a day, for doing work like writing the letter "s". I'm fuming! I think children should be expected to do those things without rewarding them. Praise or even stickers is one thing, but candy! What do you all think about this? I'm not sure how to handle this. I need help with the right words that this is wrong, if I go to the principle or the teacher about this. We just moved to this area and I was hoping to make friends, not enemies. I also thought I should give it another week of school to see if she continues this rewarding. Any thoughts on this??
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#2 of 42 Old 09-01-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I taught first a while back...

Candy/treats were something that was reserved for Halloween, winter break party, maybe a little at valentines day.

we'd sometimes play a math game with m$m's or something but NEVER on a daily basis once or twice a year, that's what makes it special. I would politely and respectfully bring this up with the teacher at a time that is super-duper convenient to her (we teachers hate being interrupted with class going on).

I have no trouble with rewarding with stickers or pencils or time to go play on their own, which they loved most!

teachers today are under so much pressure to produce...have some mercy...
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#3 of 42 Old 09-01-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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maybe give her a copy of Punished By Rewards by Kohn?
Maybe simply tell her you don't like the idea of rewarding your child with an unhealthy food item?
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#4 of 42 Old 09-01-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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I taught first a while back...

Candy/treats were something that was reserved for Halloween, winter break party, maybe a little at valentines day.

we'd sometimes play a math game with m$m's or something but NEVER on a daily basis once or twice a year, that's what makes it special. I would politely and respectfully bring this up with the teacher at a time that is super-duper convenient to her (we teachers hate being interrupted with class going on).

I have no trouble with rewarding with stickers or pencils or time to go play on their own, which they loved most!

teachers today are under so much pressure to produce...have some mercy...
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#5 of 42 Old 09-02-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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Wow, the school here are not allowed to give out candy or heavily sugared snacks.

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#6 of 42 Old 09-02-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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Well my first response to the PP is that every school culture is different and different parts of the country do things, well, differently...

When I first started teaching at my previous school they did Halloween parades, they sang xmas carols (gasp!), and did freaking easter egg hunts (double gasp!)! I had no interest in doing ANY of that extra curricular craziness but it was part of the culture of the school and I tried to make it less bad (candy/sugar wise).

As long as there are no allergy issues or similar problems, candy is something I like once in a while and sharing it with the kids for some special activity is fun and exciting. But I am talking 3-4 times a year at the most, if that much.

Everyday...not so good...
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#7 of 42 Old 09-02-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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Consider sending a note or email, asking her if candy is standard issue. Be very polite, and when she responds back, you can tell her your concerns, and give her your stance on candy in your home and for your child. I've offered to help provide stickers, non-candy foods, small trinkets, etc. for my son's classrooms to help the teachers have non-candy rewards, and they always take me up on it. Candy is just easy, and it seems to motivate all the kids, that's probably why they use it so much.

I ask my 1st grade son to bring home any candy he gets from school, so he doesn't eat it on the bus or at lunchtime, and so far, he's still following that rule.
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#8 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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I would just tell the teacher. She will stop for your child if you want her to. Honestly as bad as it sounds, sometimes rewarding with candy is the easiest way to motivate students. Teachers have so many objectives to cover these days it is rediculous. When you have a class of thirty to work with......
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#9 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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ack. i'm finding it so sad... actually, i'm a bit flabberghasted.... that there is so much consensus about "well it's just easiest." WHAT???!!!?? seriously? It is just so wrong on soooo many levels. what about kids learning to take pride in their work? isn't that a lesson that is important enough to learn, that easy or not, teachers should try to teach it????
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#10 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2crazykids View Post
I taught first a while back...

I have no trouble with rewarding with stickers or pencils or time to go play on their own, which they loved most!

teachers today are under so much pressure to produce...have some mercy...
:

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Originally Posted by elizabeth rose View Post
maybe give her a copy of Punished By Rewards by Kohn?
Maybe simply tell her you don't like the idea of rewarding your child with an unhealthy food item?
I think a nice, friendly note explaining your feelings and asking her to exclude your child would be ok. (As long as it wouldn't make your child feel left out).

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Originally Posted by momz3 View Post
Wow, the school here are not allowed to give out candy or heavily sugared snacks.
Yeah, that's how most schools are, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camprunner View Post
I would just tell the teacher. She will stop for your child if you want her to. Honestly as bad as it sounds, sometimes rewarding with candy is the easiest way to motivate students. Teachers have so many objectives to cover these days it is rediculous. When you have a class of thirty to work with......
:

When I was a kid, I loved when the teachers handed out candy, snacks, or other types of food. I came from a low-income household and I was usually very hungry when I went to school, so food was a welcome treat.

Also, maybe the teacher is just thinking of boosting the children's energy and therefore attention spans with a snack. Maybe you could ask if cracker, fruit, cheese etc could be given instead.
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#11 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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Im a teacher....

I teach special ed and have been in districts with absolutely NO parent support to the tune of "WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME??

This year I am blessed to start again in a district with more support and resources and you bet your bippy Ill have my treat jar on my desk with jolly ranchers and starburst. The kids love it. We can talk about how kids should have intrinsic motivation and many don't. But Johnny who is usually a stinker or just has tried really hard - he is gonna dig his juicy jolly rancher - its tangible etc etc

At this point, I am in middle school. But even when I taught elementary -my students earned on the spot tickets and 5 tickets got a treasure box item. They always chose candy.

Candy is cheap. I buy everything in my room, pencils, kleenex, paper, glue, crayons, books, erasers, markers for my board, overhead film etc. Heck - I came home yesterday from the grocery store after buying food for my family and bounced the check because I spent so much at the teacher store and staples the past few days (thanks Dh for your birthday money to cover it)

Teachers are so stressed - we teach, we console, we parent, sheeesh - I even bill health insurance providers for my caseload - where did they tell me I would be doing that in teacher school?

Please dont stress on the candy - ask her to not do it with your child or send her in something else. Give your teacher a pat on the back and tell her thank you. She is loving and guiding your baby all day long. She does this with 30 other kids too and if she is unlucky like most - she has an administrator asking her to do more all day long.

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#12 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Michelle Renee View Post
Im a teacher....

I teach special ed and have been in districts with absolutely NO parent support to the tune of "WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME??

This year I am blessed to start again in a district with more support and resources and you bet your bippy Ill have my treat jar on my desk with jolly ranchers and starburst. The kids love it. We can talk about how kids should have intrinsic motivation and many don't. But Johnny who is usually a stinker or just has tried really hard - he is gonna dig his juicy jolly rancher - its tangible etc etc

At this point, I am in middle school. But even when I taught elementary -my students earned on the spot tickets and 5 tickets got a treasure box item. They always chose candy.

Candy is cheap. I buy everything in my room, pencils, kleenex, paper, glue, crayons, books, erasers, markers for my board, overhead film etc. Heck - I came home yesterday from the grocery store after buying food for my family and bounced the check because I spent so much at the teacher store and staples the past few days (thanks Dh for your birthday money to cover it)

Teachers are so stressed - we teach, we console, we parent, sheeesh - I even bill health insurance providers for my caseload - where did they tell me I would be doing that in teacher school?

Please dont stress on the candy - ask her to not do it with your child or send her in something else. Give your teacher a pat on the back and tell her thank you. She is loving and guiding your baby all day long. She does this with 30 other kids too and if she is unlucky like most - she has an administrator asking her to do more all day long.
Good post!

I think you make good points. There are so many challenges teachers face, and often pay for class room items with their own money (which isn't enough because we don't pay teachers enough, IMO!).

I think a teacher would welcome a parents input, and would be open to working with the parent to make sure their child is not given anything, candy or otherwise, the parent doesn't agree with.

But, like you said, there are kids there who don't have internal motivation, haven't had that fostered at home, and could be disruptive to the rest of the class...so why not give them a treat if it prevents other problems and makes things run more smoothly?

I like what you said in your post!
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#13 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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I agree with the motivation factor, which is especially important with special ed kids with severe emotional disorders, etc. Candy is tangible and a quick reward and some school cultures really rely on that for "success".

I worked in the same sort of inner-city, low-income, high special-ed zones and candy was really BIG TIME. But over time I changed the reward system slowly to include extra recess, playing board games, and other special treats.

I know it takes extra time (which teachers DO NOT have thanks to NCLB) out of the academic day, but these sort of "rewards" are more meaningful and enriching than candy. The sacrifice of academic time is worth the fun and excitement of learnning how to play scrabble or having a class game of kickball...

I miss teaching....:

Talk to your child's teacher in an open and caring way and come to her with an understanding that she's (hopefully) doing the best she can with what she has...

let us know what happens.
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#14 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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Weird considering how many children these days have allergies.

Our school district has a new wellness policy. I think it goes TOO far. They won't even let you bring food (of any kind) in for birthdays.

Michelle Renee, I like your post.

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#15 of 42 Old 09-04-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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What happened to sticker charts and getting a star for good behavior and a job well done? :

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#16 of 42 Old 09-04-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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LoL...as I hit "reply"; I realized that my response really doesn't help, huh?

I don't think I'd go to the principal. I'm not sure I'd put her on the spot either. I think I'd write a letter for her to read at her convenience. Might go something like this...

Dear Mrs. Teacher,

You must be a good teacher, as your reputation preceeds you. (<-- I think that's the saying, but fix it if it's not) I am honored that Child has a teacher as kind and wonderful as you are.

I'm writing because I'm having trouble understanding one of your methods, and was wondering if you'd mind helping me with it? I'm not sure why you reward the kids with candy (as opposed to the traditional sticker chart). I'd appreciate if you could explain your views to me so we're on the same page.

Thanks,
Mrs. Mommy

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#17 of 42 Old 09-05-2007, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all your helpful advice. I was reminded how hard teachers work for our dc. Yesterday the teacher offered skittles or animal crackers as a reward, and wouldn't you know it, my dd refused her reward. I think she over heard dh and I discussing the issue and took it upon herself to do the duty. However, I told her to take her reward and thank the teacher and bring it home if she didn't want it then.

I've decided not to say anything right now about the issue. I believe my dd can handle the candy, she eats healthy foods at home and brushes great. And the candy is motivating for sure. I dont want her to feel excluded from the rest of the group receiving rewards.

So, instead, I'm fixing a care package for the teacher of craft supplies, a nice note, and perhaps a list of ideas of alternative rewards.
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#18 of 42 Old 09-07-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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Wow, the school here are not allowed to give out candy or heavily sugared snacks.
Our elementary school teachers talk more to the kids about bringing healthy snacks in and would never give out candy as daily treats, especially to such young ones. They are even strict about no excessive sugar treats at holiday/class parties.

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#19 of 42 Old 09-08-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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I was pretty disturbed by the thoughts of teachers giving out candy as rewards before my kids were in school.

Honestly, it doesn't bother me in the least. It is amazing to me how motivating a very occasional single starburst is for my 10 year old. You could give this kid stickers, stars, praise or harassment until the cows come home and she would be totally unresponsive.
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#20 of 42 Old 09-08-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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So, instead, I'm fixing a care package for the teacher of craft supplies, a nice note, and perhaps a list of ideas of alternative rewards.
THAT is incredibly wise! More flies w/honey, etc. I agree w/the PP about it not being that big of a deal whereas motivation IS a big deal. And, yeah, Jolly Ranchers are a heck of a lot cheaper than fun alternatives. So, yeah, send some alternatives in! And, yeah, the kids are usually starving by lunch or end of the day, so something milder like animal crackers may work.
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#21 of 42 Old 09-09-2007, 12:13 AM
 
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So, instead, I'm fixing a care package for the teacher of craft supplies, a nice note, and perhaps a list of ideas of alternative rewards.
I think I love you. I currently teach in a wonderful school with amazing parent support, but I have been in other not-so-great schools where a kind gesture like that would have just blown me away.

I very rarely give my students candy. Mostly because I know that if it's in the room I'll eat it all myself, but I just don't want to start the habit and create an expectation of sweets. Of course we all wish students were intrinsically motivated, but the stakes are so high in public education these days, there doesn't seem to be time for developing that. So teachers are often stuck with resorting to quick rewards in hopes that a kid will remember her times tables before the state assessment rolls around.
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#22 of 42 Old 09-09-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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I very rarely give my students candy. Mostly because I know that if it's in the room I'll eat it all myself, but I just don't want to start the habit and create an expectation of sweets.


So teachers are often stuck with resorting to quick rewards in hopes that a kid will remember her times tables before the state assessment rolls around.

OMG YES my teaching partner has a giant bag of snickers and I HATE her.
And, yeah, we all teach to NCLB ya know
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#23 of 42 Old 09-09-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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I love the teacher care package idea!

The teachers at Michael's school give out candy, and I am planning on writing a note asking that he be excluded, and sending in an alternate treat he can have (I forget what they are called, but they have xylitol and no sugar). His teeth are a mess and we just can't let him have sugary sweets that sit on them. The orchestra teacher gives out Jolly Ranchers, and I get why--I was a teacher before kids--but I really don't want to have to deal with any more cavities than genetics has already sent us.

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#24 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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I understand what teachers are faced with these days and that is a whole other discussion in itself. My mother is a teacher and I saw it firsthand.
But that is not a good enough reason for this in my opinion.

The food these kids eat at lunch is bad enough let alone what the teachers are giving them. WHy are we as parents not aloud to bring anything in for bdays but teachers are aloud to bring in candy to bribe kids with? Obesity is just out of control with this age group and its OK to give them candy without even consulting parents.
My dd has no self limits when it comes to candy and cookies and I just wouldn't want to add to it.

I like all the suggestions about talking to the teacher. I wouldn't want to exclude my child from treATS but I would bring in things she could have so the teacher didn't have to buy anything herself.

I haven't decided if I will be sending dc to school yet or not but this is an issue for me, it is a big thing in the schools here.
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#25 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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My dd has no self limits when it comes to candy and cookies and I just wouldn't want to add to it.
In my experience, the teachers who do this hand out, on average, maybe one Starbust every week or two. They aren't giving them out by the bucketfull.
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#26 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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This is really one of those "choose your battles" things in your child's education. Mention your concern to the teacher, offer to buy alternative rewards as most teacher pay lots of these little things out of their own pockets. After this, let it drop. You really don't want to make an enemy of your child's teacher.
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#27 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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It's is interesting to hear the other side. My first thought was- say something quick. I still think you should say something, but I can understand that the teacher is probably doing the best she can. I think it might be a good idea to send other options toos though. She may not know what else to do besides give candy. Good luck!
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#28 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This issue also made me wonder about homeschooling my dd. Last week the candy turned into pretzels and crackers. I don't think it going to be an everyday thing. And at the most it will only be 1-2 pieces of candy. Like I said my dd eats healthy at home and I also pack her lunch at school. So instead of creating a tough relationship with the teacher, I'll send in trinkets as I find them for her to use as rewards. However, Ive decided not to homeschool. She loves her friends and the interaction too much. We talk about the candy though and how it's not really that good for you. she understands.
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#29 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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This is really one of those "choose your battles" things in your child's education. .
I guess this is one of the battles I would indeed choose. It's as much about the candy (yuck) as about the extrinsic reward system. Nope. I don't buy it, and I feel that kids learning to value their work is one of the PRIMARY fundamental lessons they should be learning in the early years.
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#30 of 42 Old 09-10-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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ack. i'm finding it so sad... actually, i'm a bit flabberghasted.... that there is so much consensus about "well it's just easiest." WHAT???!!!?? seriously? It is just so wrong on soooo many levels. what about kids learning to take pride in their work? isn't that a lesson that is important enough to learn, that easy or not, teachers should try to teach it????
Wow, I agree. I am flabbergasted right here with ya. I'd be *livid* if my child's teacher were doing giving out candy rewards for writing the letter 's', for example. It is a teacher's *job* to motivate kids. Using candy to do it is a big cop-out IMO and I would definitely let the teacher know that I have a problem with it.

All this, "I had candy at school as a kid and I turned out fine" is just rationalizing. It's a whole new world out there now. School-sanctioned candy rewards is a big no-no, end of story.
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