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The teacher is making this much ruckus over incidents like children talking in class and playing in the bathroom?????????? These are first graders?

If students this age are disrepectful or dismissive toward adults, then it might be a parent problem.

But if students are simply talking too much in class and goof off in the bathroom, it's a teacher/school problem.

A parent can only help this situation by conveying the idea that they are on the same page as the teacher, and support the teacher. But realistically, they can't do much more, not with first graders, if they're not there in the school where and when the trouble is going on.

The reason an entire class is disruptive is because it feels right to the students to be so. This dynamic can start with just one or two children who may have a tendency act up, setting a stronger 'tone' about how to behave in the class than the 'tone' the teacher is setting.

And if the teacher is convinced this is a problem that only parents can fix by punishing their children at home, the problem probably won't get fixed. I wonder if her poor classroom management might be creating the problem she feels coming from parents--that they don't follow through at home. Duh-teacher! If all you do is hand out stupid rewards and punishments for stuff like this, no wonder the parents don't take the problem seriously with their children at home too. (Does this colored card system really work anywhere? And if it isn't working, as it sounds in this case, why stick with it?)

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this! It's awful. But I don't think it would be constructive to give your daughter a special treat Friday...even though the teacher may not deserve deference, it isn't constructive to undermine her either. I can understand disagreeing with the punishment, but I don't think it's cool to try and undo a poor punishment with a reward either.

Just my opinion, but you either have to find a way to support the teacher, or your child shouldn't be her class. It's not healthy for first graders to get the idea the teacher's say-so is optional or discretionary when it isn't. That might work in a democratic school, but that will cause a child a lot of long-term conflict in schools that aren't designed to operate that way.

Linda
 

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Quote:
Yes, first graders ARE capable of going to the bathroom without acting crazy. Developmentally this is a completely acceptable expectation.
Yes of course. And it is a completely acceptible expectation that a teacher can handle this level of discipline all by herself, without angry letters to parents about how it's all their fault first graders are horsing around when they're not supposed to at school.

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"Simply" is exactly my point. It is NOT a small thing. If all the children talk in class, goof off, etc. they miss instruction, they cause others to miss instruction, and its the same kids who are up to the teacher with "I don't understand, what page are we on, etc." and their parents then give the teacher grief if a child is behind academically. Even for those who are excelling, they owe their classmates a quiet learning environment. I'm not sure why anyone would disagree with teaching a child good manners.
I think you misunderstand my point. I do believe students should be expected to learn good manners and follow the rules. I disagree that it's the parents' attitude at home that results in the majority of the class talking in school. It sounds more like a teacher who doesn't have strong classroom management or discipline skills--and that's not something a teacher can dismiss, pretending that first graders are expected to already be conditioned to behave perfectly all the time.

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It is very easily carried over at home. If you come home with good conduct, you earn X, Y, and Z. If you have poor conduct, you lose X, Y, and Z.
As a parent of four, I promise you. You can have consequences at home and at school, and your kid can still talk in school........it's practically a given if 16 other kids in the class are talking. Why? Because this isn't as effective as it sounds in theory. Just because students act up in school, no teacher should conclude from this alone that it's because of parents.

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I just wish to show you that a teacher REALLY does need your support and help carrying out consequences and rewards. We reward our kids all the time for having good grades.....why not the reverse if there is bad conduct?
Actually, that's probably part of the disagreement here. Rewards and punishments are not always considered the "normal" way to discipline anymore. I don't think much of them myself--I think they don't work more than they do, and they make discipline look a little too much like dog training, to me. Clearly laid out logical consequences are much more effective in helping a teacher to 'earn' his or her authority. Children these days tend to disrespect authority more when the authority is perceived to be like some lordly figure with the unwarranted power to dole out arbitrarily determined punishments and rewards on a whim.

So I completely agree that parents have to support the teacher. But that really puts the parent in a tough spot when the teacher hasn't really earned it.

I wish teachers were given more useful classroom management tools and techniques. Programs like Positive Discipline in Classroom are really good. Years ago I worked with one of the authors, Stephen Glenn, who was giving somewhat related workshops for teachers into 'developing capable students', which focused on how to better instill self-discipline in young people. He was fantastic, but I don't know if his work is continued now--he passed away a few years ago, I understand.

Linda
 

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Public schools get a lot of criticism because they're *ours*, the public pays for them and generally expects their children to be well-served there, and so people feel with this ownership and expectation comes the entitlement to complain. In theory, anyway, the public schools are supposed to serve us, not the other way around, but obviously the reality is much more complicated than that.

In private schools this is very different. I don't feel I have much right to complain about Catholic schools or whatever because they have the right to run their school the way they wish, it's their business. Parents can choose it, or not.

But the public schools do belong to all of us, even those of us who don't have children. The bad and the good do sometimes get lumped together unfairly, the same goes for teachers.

Linda
 
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