Mothering Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
I work in a public school and just wanted to offer a different perspective.

I think those of us with well behaved children should be HAPPY about a good discipline system in the school. The teachers at my school with poor classroom discipline have wild classes. The kids who are well behaved and want to learn miss out on learning due to distractions and constant discipline problems.

As far as a discipline referral to the office, some things do not warrant such a referral. I imagine you'd be pretty beside yourself if your child was sent to the principal and suspended for playing in the bathroom. Punishments like that are for larger violations.

I have many friends who react the same as you do to these disciplinary actions for rather minor infractions. You may think "playing the bathroom. what's the big deal?" Well, I'll tell you its a HUGE deal when you are trying to get 20 kids in and out of the bathroom in a reasonable time frame and back to learning in the classroom.

There is nothing wrong with expectations and consequences for when this behavior is not met. I firmly believe that children who treat a substitute badly SHOULD be punished when their teacher returns. It happened to me, and it was well deserved because we were rotten brats to a sub, but we would never do that with our teacher. I'm sure the kids are aware they did something wrong, and may think twice next time there is a sub.

It sucks for your DD since she was absent those days. Perhaps for that reason, she can be exempted and go to the festival.

I think the teacher has an excellent point about consequences at home. Everyone thinks their child is innocent, but you should really stop to think about this one. If conduct grades come home that are poor, consequences at home are appropriate. It doesn't mean beating your kid of course! But taking away priviledges is appropriate in my eyes. I do not believe we send a good message to our children if we ignore/allow bad behavior in school.

I'm not saying there's one right answer here. I just caution everyone not to automatically think a teacher is ridiculous for having rules that would seem strict in your home. My friend is an excellent 3rd grade teacher, and one of the reasons is that the kids clearly understand her expectations. They LOVE her, but they experience consequences if they do not walk in a line appropriately etc. The order that results allows them to do all kinds of experiments in the classroom and fun hands on activities because she has them working together appropriately and orderly. The sometimes "little" things are in place for a bigger reason.

First graders are old enough to know not to talk in class, play in the bathroom, and treat a sub poorly. And they do understand cause and effect enough to understand that their actions now may affect a reward later in the week.

Again, sorry for your DD who was not present for the substitute incident. I would ask the teacher about this, since she was absent.

By the way, this is the reason I am a speech pathologist and see kids in groups of 5 or less. I don't enjoy being a disciplinarian, but I admire those teachers that do it effectively and are able to provide a warm, loving and supportive learning environment for students.
XOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
The teacher is making this much ruckus over incidents like children talking in class and playing in the bathroom?????????? These are first graders?
Yes, first graders ARE capable of going to the bathroom without acting crazy. Developmentally this is a completely acceptable expectation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
"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.

By proxy, it is disrespectful/dismissive toward adults to not follow rules set forth by the adults. Of course, everyone will talk in class from time to time, and everyone also makes mistakes. But constant conduct cuts are a sign to parents that the child needs some consequences at home as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
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. It communicates that you support the teacher, value learning, and value your child learning appropriate behavior in school.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
I do not for one second believe that just a few kids setting a tone then makes the other children "feel" its right. They know its wrong. Everyone knows its bad behavior to disrespect a substitute teacher. It may feel fun to be crazy or naughty, but please don't ask me to think that a kid is confused into thinking its right because they actually feel it is. Lets not sell our kids short on personal responsibility. They can choose to take the high road and be a good example even if the whole class is acting poorly. In the case of this substitute, that would be my biggest fear. That there were a few children NOT acting up, that are getting punished due to their classmates' behavior. If I were the teacher, I would ask the teacher to write down names of all who misbehaved, rather than punish the whole class. Unless, of course they were all involved.....

Best of luck to you all. 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? Why does it have to be a "school issue" or a "home issue"? I expect my kids to follow the rules when I am not there and would be appreciative of being informed so I can assist in this process. I think its great that she is explaining the system so that communication between home and school is increased.

XOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
I did not see the letter, so I agree if it was "angry." I just think it can be done in a positive way to also explain to parents ahead of time the procedure. That way there's no complaints if a kids misses recess, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
Thanks for clarifying. I agree with much of what you said here. However, you are probably not like many of the parents we have at my school. It is not hard to see that the child has NO consequences for their actions at school. They come to school bragging about how their parents don't care, they got a new X-Box, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
I don't think its practically "a given" but I do agree that a teacher's classroom management skills come into play here. I don't think any teacher who is worth their salt EVER thinks its only because of the parents. Just that parent support makes a huge difference.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
If its "arbitrarily" or "on a whim" that defeats the whole purpose. Logical consequences make sense. To me, though, it is quite logical that there is work time and play time. If you are playing during work time, you lose out on some of the fun time. That to me is logical and fair.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LindaCl
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.
Just wanted to comment that many teachers are working very hard, and they may or may not have effective classroom management skills. This, to me, is all the more reason to work with them. Rather than think of what they have "earned." I know that teachers, in almost every respect, earn a lot more than they ever get (financially, emotionally, etc.). I watch my teachers work their hearts out every single day, only to get shit from parents, and people drop off their kids expecting them to do EVERYTHING (from teaching academics to morals to behavior). You are obviously not one of those parents, but its parents like you that can really help the teacher out.

XOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by LiamnEmma
just a comment on the color systems used in classrooms--my problem with them is that I've never seen a teacher use the system where the child is able to earn the "better" color back. I can see using it almost like a continuum--the child might have a hard morning but work really hard and make up for it in the afternoon, or even within that same morning--but when you use it only in a negative way, where the colors only go south on a kid, well, what's the use? Some kids are going to purposely come in ranting just to get the color change over with immediately...self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe you can bring that up to the teacher?
What about the kids who do well in the morning, but mess up in the afternoon? Then they go home with a bad report. I don't see people changing colors at this school for little things. Its when a kid has been given 5 or 6 verbal warnings to straighten up. There is MORE than enough chances to choose the appropriate behavior. I do not believe you should earn your way back when you had many chances to not make the choices you did, and verbal help to choose the right path.

I'm sorry but I think you are selling kids majorly short here. They are actually capable of a lot more than you seem to be expecting. Any kid who comes in ranting "just to get the color change over with" deserves a bad conduct grade. That is just a crazy idea to me, and I've NEVER seen it happen.

I have a few kids in the school with impulsivity problems and the typical system is just not appropriate for those kids. They have their own goals which may involve smaller increments of time than the whole day. Our goal is to help the kids be successful and see improvements in their behavior. So we make sure the goals aren't unrealistic if a child has actual issues interfering and cannot be under the general system.

I also find it interesting how popular it is on these boards to turn public school into the devil. Another poster talked about how our whole goal is to make kids conform and decrease creativity, etc. You can have a crummy school anywhere, even in private. I know many private schools that are MORE focused on test scores. We routinely get referrals on kids from the private schools in kinder wanting testing for learning disabilities, ADD, and handwriting. RIDICULOUS.

I just want to make a point to all those who have not yet explored public school in their area, to make sure and make their own decisions rather than believe the hype thats out there in the AP community. My friend and many others I know made decisions based on all this propaganda about "public school" but each school is different. I would take a tour and not rule anything out.

My personal feeling is that if you can afford a private school and you love it, great. But if its a matter of paying for a private school and paying for college later, really look at those options carefully. Just my thoughts obviously.

I work for Houston ISD (the biggest school district in the nation) and I tell you there are some TERRIBLE schools I have visited. There are also some AMAZING ones. Each school has a unique culture and feel. I understand the arguments against standardized testing etc, and I can't say I disagree, but I wouldnt throw the baby out with the bathwater without looking for yourself.

Best of luck to you.
XOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by CarrieMF
Personally I don't consider this type of discipline a good system. My kids would not be in a school system where a color reward system was in place. If you look around and talk to people who are in a system like this it causes way more problems than it prevents, if it prevents any at all.
I can't speak to the people you know, but it works quite well at our school. Young kids do well with concrete reminders and examples. they enjoy bringing home their "happy face" to show to mom and dad, and they actively avoid doing things that will cause a downgrade there. Again, I stress that the child is given cues to correct behavior. Its not that they are talking and the teacher yells out "change your color."

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarrieMF
Nobody said anything about being suspended but since you mention it that's(in school suspension) basically what is happening to the 17kids not being allowed at the party for something that happened 3, 4 or more days before the party.
That situation is NOTHING like in school suspension. I'm sorry, I disagree totally. Missing out on a reward is not the same as being removed from your classroom for the day, missing instruction, etc. and getting a mark on your record as a suspension. That is MUCH more serious.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarrieMF
I disagree. I"ve been at my dd's school in the office which is across from the girls bathroom. They dd's class(grade 2) were taking longer than necessary so the first class aid went in and told the girls to hurry up. That's all she said and the girls were all out of there in less than 2 minutes.
Grade 2 girls should know better than mess around in a bathroom. If it only happens once in a while, then having the aide tell them to hurry up is fine. But kids are consistently playing around, thats different. We have kids at our school who are always in the bathroom running around, messing with other kids, etc. Its dangerous even. Like someone said earlier, it doesn't take much to get a lot of kids off track. That is just not okay, and ridiculous. Our solution at our school is to have a child be assigned as bathroom monitor when their class goes to the restroom. They watch to make things are going smoothly that day in the bathroom and kids get in and out. It works pretty well, but you'll still find a few kids who like to push the limits. They deserve a conduct cut. I'm sorry, but I think its deserved.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarrieMF
Based on my experience a good sub doesn't have these problems. If they do, the teacher had the same problems with the kids when they were there.
Even if you have a "bad" sub, your kids should know how to behave. Please remember that these people get paid $70/day (and I think that our district actually pays better than some). This is another example where I feel parents have pie in the sky expectations for people who get paid close to the poverty level. Our teachers aides get paid $12,000 a year, and we'll have parents asking if they are trained in the lovaas method. GIVE ME A BREAK. Its a sorry state of affairs, and I wish taxpayers would prioritize our schools a little more, but I'd love to know how many people out there would live up to their own expectations of teachers, aides, and subs with the amount of pay and difficult situations they face daily. They are truly angels and deserve our support, not criticism. I'll be the first to tell you that we often get "bad" subs (when it comes to discipline management). Its almost impossible to be a good sub when it comes to that, cuz kids notoriously treat subs like crap. My best friend was a sub for a while, and she said she basically had to not smile, or the day was over for her. Thats pathetic. I think our kids should have respect for a teacher regardless, and parents excusing it as a "bad sub" is unacceptable to me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarrieMF
IMO the teacher has stepped way out of bounds. She is telling the parents how to parent their children. It is not her job or right to do that.
She is asking for SUPPORT. Unfortunately, teachers often need to tell parents how to parent to some extent. Many of our parents welcome this information, because quite frankly, their kids' discipline SUCKS at home and they are sick of it too. For parents who do have well behaved kids, don't take a letter like that personally. It is not necessarily directed at you. For all the offense people take at a teacher asking for help, they certainly dump a lot of unrealistic expectations on the teacher. She cannot do HER job, without your help.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarrieMF
In my dd's school the kids are allowed to talk quietly about the work, or if it they are done their work. If it gets out of hand they are shown respect when asked to stop and the kids stop.
Our school is no different. I get the feeling you guys think that its like Attila the Hun and every kid is screamed at all day. OF COURSE the kids can talk quietly during work time. But I've also seen kids break down crying because the people next to him are finished and talking and he can't get his work done. It happens that way too. Regardless, the teachers here make their expectations known. "You can talk quietly when you are finished." or "I want silence during this activity." etc. And most of the talking violations are during direct instruction time, and the same kids are the ones who then don't know where the class is, etc.

XOXOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftField
Really? Often? This is one of the reasons we are opting out of the school system when our time comes next year. I don't want someone else, possibly someone with little or no personal parenting exp, to tell me how to parent. They have no idea how I parent at home and they are certainly not a parenting expert. This just bugs me. Parenting my kid is my realm and no one else's. I wouldn't expect the school to follow my personal parenting practices, like gentle discipline, so there's no way I could be expected to start instituting punishment/reward schemes and other teacher-approved discipline systems at home.
Often in my school because we have a LOT of kids who come from crummy homes where the kids run wild. You would not believe how many 3rd graders have NO bed time. They sleep all morning at school.

You are right, we are not parenting experts. But we do have a ton of training on how to work with kids and get good results. For parents who are feeding their kids candy and cokes for breakfast, and then asking, "what can I do at home?", you're damn right we'll tell em. It sounds ignorant to someone like you who is involved in your kid's life. Unfortunately many of our parents are just kids themselves. They had their babies at 14 and their boyfriends teach the kids to wrestle and fight "because its funny" and the kid does it at school and gets in trouble. etc etc etc. It goes on and on. See my point? These parents need a heads up. What they are doing is a major problem.

XOXOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by hopeland
Unfortunately if you do not have enough money to pay for private school and you end up in a "bad" school district you are stick with it. Perhaps there are some great public schools but there are also some severe problems with public school in general.
Sorry to hear that mama
Does your school have transfers? We have magnet transfers, minority to majority transfers, etc. that allow people to choose a school they are not zoned too. We also have gifted programs etc at certain schools that kids can get in that way. As long as behavior and absences is not an issue, they can stay at the school even though it is not their homeschool. They don't have to re-apply each year.

XOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dar
Hmmm... as one of "these people", I just wanted to point out that I get paid $95 a day, with a $500 bonus after working 50 days and 100 days. That's in Kansas... in California, I got $105, for subbing in a tiny farm community. Los Angeles and Oakland start at around $150, I believe. In the district where I sub now, every sub is required to have gone through a teacher-training program - we're all currently or formerly credentialed teachers who choose to sub.

Our paraeducators (every district I've worked for since 1999 has referred to them as para-professionals or para-educators, para for short... never "aide") make between $10 and $12.50 an hour, and the district pays for lots of training, on inservice days and during the summer. If the lovaas method were being used with a child here, the para would have training in it.

So no, I don't think it's wrong to expect a sub to know what she's doing, and I actually smile a lot... I like subbing. In classrooms where teachers know what they're doing and leave me with enough information to carry on, things usually go very smoothly. By this point in the school year, kids in well-run classrooms know the expectations and generally follow through with them.

Dar
WOW! that is impressive Dar. Just more evidence how far behind we are in Texas. I think its wonderful that the pay and support is so great where you are. JEALOUS!!!

XOXO
Beth
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1xmom
I went on my dd's field trip and could not believe some of the lunches kids were brought. One kid had a can of MOUNTAIN DEW
, and this is Kindergarten.
I can top this one sadly. I went with our Kinders on a field trip, and most of the class had sugary drinks. However, one child in particular had a soda, a lunchable (all fat and sodium), a bag of cheetos, a bag of M & Ms, and TWO adult size candy bars. It was CRAZY.

This child took off his school button later in the day and was stabbing his pumpkin with it.

His mom asks the teacher "what can I do at home?" DO WE REALLY NEED TO ANSWER THIS?! Its like "how about not sending him to school on crack?"

XOXO
Beth
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top