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Discussion Starter #1
<p>How would you handle this?  Gentle, sensitive, and historically very cooperative DS, 5, is getting in trouble in kindergarten as of late for being goofy.  He seems to be testing out the impact his silly behavior has on his peers, such as by deliberately blurting out the wrong answer during carpet time.  How can we encourage him to avoid being a clown?  The teacher thinks he is imitating some other kids in the class who also try this brand of humor.</p>
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<p>I certainly want to encourage DS to avoid disrupting the class (teacher's words) in this way, but I don't want to...completely squelch him, you know?  Thanks in advance for advice.</p>
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<p>If this is going on with several students, and not just your DS, it seems like a classroom culture problem and not an individual issue.  It doesn't seem like something you can address with out knowing a bit more about what got the excess levity started.  Is this veteran teacher or isshe new?</p>
 

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<p>My dd tends to test boundaries a lot during the first few weeks then she is very well behaved the rest of the year.  I remind her of the expectations if her teacher tells me she isn't behaving and we talk about acceptable school behavior versus acceptable home behavior.  I do think that it is mostly a teacher's job to redirect behavior, but I also think that it is fine to reinforce that bey telling a child that you expect certain things from them even if other kids aren't living up to the expectations.  I don't think you need to have consequences at home at this point since it isn't really a big problem caused only by him.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<p>Hi--thanks for the replies.  As for the the teacher, he is a seasoned veteran with about 30 years of experience--but his father passed away about a month ago and I think it's possible he's suffering and perhaps less able to stay on top of everything.  He has the tough charge of a large class for all-day kinder, and it's dual immersion, which, at least at the very beginning of the year, seemed understandably daunting for kids new to the second language (DS had some exposure in pre-school and all seems well for him in that department, so we can't really "blame" the second language for his antics).</p>
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<p>That said--we're not thrilled with his green/yellow/red system.  You know--each kiddo has a little slot where a colored bar is placed, green if all's well, yellow for a warning, red for undesirable behavior.  This was a bad week with lots of reds, and long story short, we have the impression that he is only punitive and not giving the kids much info about what TO do, only what not to do.  </p>
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<p>So--we are emphasizing to DS that he must follow the rules at school, and we talk about why, but if the problem is actually an issue of classroom management or lack thereof, then what? </p>
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<p>BTW, it seems to be an issue with the boys.  I don't mean to rankle anyone; I detest those stereotypes as much as anyone else, but I think that could be figuring into DS's behavior.  Interestingly, his pre-school was almost all girls, only 4 boys in his group (and not every day, at that).  Maybe I am saying that the teacher has an issue with the boys, or with their behavior.  Similar to what someone pointed out, if nearly all the boys are getting in trouble, maybe it's a matter of adjusting expectations.  They are 5 and 6, after all, and they need to learn how to behave--not just be called out when they don't.</p>
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<p>Whew, there are a lot of ideas involved in this now.  Thanks for any responses!</p>
 

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<p>As for the 'color' system--- it a common tool used in todays classes, it is not the most desirable or best, but the visual reminder is something that works for K-2 kids. A teacher with a large class simply does not have the time/space to do a more discrete system since most kids that age do not have desktops (many work at rotating tables). </p>
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<p>As for the 'boy' dynamic. Some groups are just *more* active than others and feed off each other, it is not a gender thing- rather a mix of kids. I would request that your DS be seated away from other kids that may be displaying these behaviors. I have seen groups of girls be just as 'goofy'. It totally depends on the group dynamics. Sometimes a group of fairly good kids get together and as a group they misbehave. As a teacher, I will tell you that some classes are just more 'active' than others and a challenge to develop a positive class culture- given any teaching style!</p>
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<p>If you truly think that it is a poor teacher/child fit than you can request he be moved to another classroom. BUT if this is a veteran teacher, it is more likely just a challenging combination of kids in this particular class. It may also be a 'rough' week...keep an eye on it and see if it gets better in the next few weeks.</p>
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<p>I would also potentially speak to your DS daily after school as make him aware that you 'know' what is going on at schools. That alone may curb some of it. You may want to put consequnces in place if he comes home on 'red'. You can not control how other parents handle their childrens behavior and other homes may or may not have the same expectations. But you can make sure your DC knows that you are concerned about how he is doing in school.</p>
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<p>I would also see if you can 'volunteer' in class and see if your presence may help connect home with school.</p>
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<p>I dont think you will squelch him at all. If he is sensitive, he may also be concerned on how to fit in with other kids. If he knows that said behavior is not acceptable he is more likely to stop doing it when he finds out it leads to negative consequences. Maybe encourage or set up playdates with kids that may be less of a negative influcence on him?</p>
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<p>The other though is is he bored? Is he struggling? Either one can cause 'silly' behaviors since it is a way to cope with boredom and/or a way to amuse themselves if they are not able to follow along.</p>
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<p>Hugs to the teacher--what a hard thing to go through right now. K kids are a high need group, his personal life may indeed be impacting his ability to handle an already 'high maintenance' class.</p>
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<p>Hopfully it is just a phase!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Hi, thanks for the comments and suggestions.</p>
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<p>I'm a teacher myself, so I certainly understand the need for the crowd control and the green/yellow/red system--I'm just not sure that issuing so many reds is effective; it seems to take away the "power" of the red, and if so many students are receiving them, it seems to me that some positive reinforcement or modeling needs to be done. </p>
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<p>Perhaps the teacher is in need of some additional support, either because of this particular class and its dynamic, the emotional toll of the loss of his father, a randomly tough week, or a combination of the above.  My husband has decided to volunteer when he has time--he was there for about three hours today--and I will do the same in an upcoming week when I am off but DS is still in session.</p>
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<p>I just realized that there was another event that I didn't describe: DS was taken to the Pre-K room because of his "silly behavior."  This kind of shaming is not our style at all.  I guess we are all, DS included, trying to make an adjustment from a small, private, crunchy pre-school to a large public school, and attempting to make sense of the systems and respect the rules, but we are also wondering why what we perceive as typical 5- and 6-yo behavior--maybe not desirable, but not unexpected or developmentally inappropriate--is warranting such an extreme response.</p>
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<p>Some teachers are harsher than others and there really isn't a lot that can be done about it unless the school environment is one that tries to weed out teachers like that.  Since he is getting a lot of info on what not to do at school but no specific feedback on what to do I think you should talk to him about what to do instead or appropriate times to do the things he is getting in trouble for in class.  If he is getting on red a lot I think you should ask the teacher for specific reasons why and trying to address those with conversations with your child.  I am not a fan of that system or punitive teachers, but I am also not a fan of making a child deal with consequences that are very harsh without trying to talk them through what can help alleviate the problem.  I had a lot of success telling my dd's teacher that I was concerned about dd being on the wrong strip every day because she was sad about school and I was not happy to see her doing badly.  I then went on to ask if there was something specific that was causing this to happen that I could talk to her about at home so I could help her brainstorm ways to succeed in the class and be happy at school. I think the card system being there really changes how active you should be in addressing this situation because your child is probably losing a whole lot of recess or experiencing some other very harsh consequence because of it, especially with a teacher who is fine with humiliating a child.</p>
 
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