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Oh, my dd's first grade teacher last year had that color system for behavior, too, and I hate it! I really don't think that teachers of children that young should be so punitive. I also don't like the consequence of, 'you were talking too much today, so you don't get to go to a party in a few days.' It is way too far off for a little kid. The consequences should be immediate and logical. Something like, 'you were talking too much with Timmy today, so I am not going to let you sit near Timmy for the rest of the day.'

I'm a PITA, but I'd call the parents of the other kids who are being excluded from this party and raise a stink with the principal about the discipline style in this class. It is totally inappropriate for little kids. Maybe you can all keep your kids out and have them work on an apology note to the sub together and then have your own party (that way they are having some consequence for their poor behavior -- the note -- but still not being penalized too much like the teacher is doing). Of course, I found last year that a lot of the other parents weren't as AP as I am and thought that it was fine to whip their little kids into shape
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Beth, I appreciate your perspective and see where you are coming from. I just want to be clear that I don't let my girls behave like hellions and get away with it. I may be coming from a different spot b/c my older dd, in particular, is very, very sensitive. She doesn't need a disciplinarian in order to get her to behave. If she likes the teacher, she will do anything to please her.

Ideally, I'd like to think that most little kids still retain enough respect for authority that they can be made to behave with a softer touch. I suppose that is not always the case. For my dd, though, it is pretty much the only way. She only once had to "move a color" last year and she came home terrified of the teacher b/c the teacher had yelled at her. She was also a nervous wreck all year b/c she was hearing all day long the teacher yelling at the kids in the class. Even if it wasn't her being intimidated into behaving, she saw the intimidation taking place with other kids and was afraid.

I see it much the same as parenting by fear. You can get your kids to behave by threatening to hit them, but in the long run it is counterproductive to your relationship with them. My dd's second grade teacher this year is very soft spoken and nuturing and her class is actually much better behaved than last year's class. The kids want to do right by her b/c she is good to them. For my kid, at least, this works much, much better. She has soared emotionally and academically in this kind of environment whereas last year she was basically walking on broken glass all year afraid of getting in trouble.
 

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I honestly don't think that all public schools are crummy. I am not too pleased with our current ps, but I really think that it comes down to the administration. The principal really sets the culture at the school. Our principal is on "watch" by the district probably for good reason. That said, there are some wonderful teachers at the school and then there are some teachers who are just like the principal. It lacks consistency.

We did tour another ps last year when we were considering switching dd#1 to a different school and it had a totally different feel. I liked the school a lot probably b/c I liked the principal a lot. For a variety of reasons we were not able to make the switch at this time, but we may consider it again in the future. What I have learned from all of our searching is that I would never judge a school based primarily on test scores b/c our school has pretty good scores, but a lot of unhappy kids and some dictators for teachers (along with some warm, nuturing teachers).

It is absolutely not an indictment of all public schools, though. My observations extend only to the administration and teachers at our current school and those who employ similar tactics.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BethSLP
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."
My only experience with this type of color-coded system was last year in dd#1's class. The teacher just yelling out "change your color" was exactly what happened. I was in to volunteer about once/week and constantly observed her yelling "move your green.. move your yellow" to the kids. She also color-coded them based on ability. Red was low ability in the subject, yellow was avg and green was high -- the same colors used for behavior.

Now, in hindsight, I recognize that this was just a bad teacher and maybe not a system failure. However, since I have never seen this system used successfully, I am somewhat biased against it. My dd is bit different, so perhaps it isn't fair for me to expect the system to fit her, but she not only doesn't do better with concrete behavioral reminders, she actually does worse. She gets very nervous when she sees a color hanging on the wall next to her name. She winds up being stressed all day about the possibility of the color being changed. It makes for a nervous child in our instance, not a happy one.
 
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