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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hi,
I thought I would give an update on the school issue and a comment on some of the posts. I spoke with the principal and corresponded with the teacher through email several times. The principal said she did know about the note but had not read it. I read it to her and she said it couldhave been written better and she agreed the "three strikes" thing was not clear. She gave me the reasoning on taking privileges away and I expressed my belief that dancing in the restroom on one occasion was not a reason to miss recess, get in trouble at home, and miss a school wide function. I told her if my daughter was to mss the party I would keep her home because I do not agree with it. She then put me on hold while she paged the teacher and asked her if my daughter had earned back the privalege...the teacher said she had. So she will be allowed to participate. As for some of the comments...someone said the "well behaved children" my daughter is not bad behaved...she is outgoing and like to talk, loves to dance I do not consider that badly behaved. Another thing I do check her behavior every day, discuss it with her, and react if I feel it is deemed appropriate. My point about the office was if the behavior was sooo bad that the sub could not handle it and the children need to be punished 4 or 5 days later why was it not handle immediatly? It is not developmentally appropriate for 6 year olds to be punished several days later in my opinion and in a manner that has nothing to do with the behavior. Also they were already punished verbally and lost their recess. The other issue is that the rules and punishments were not explained to the children until after the fact. I have taught preschool for over 20 years so believe me I understand fully how hard teaching is. I strongly believe it is unprofessional to lump every parent together and insinuate that their is not parental support. I doubt the teacher has an inside view of the childrens homes. In my opinon when almost the entire class is misbehaving that is due to the teacher for the most part. MY reactionw as not based solely on this incident but from things in the past as well. After my daughter going though two years of public school now I am further convinced that the purpose is to teach children to conform and discourage creativity. My daughter has learned that learning is not fun, school is about not talking, and taking lots of tests.
 

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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
 

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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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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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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.
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.

Quote:
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.
If the class is that out of control bring the principal into the classroom and talk to the entire class about behaviour. Bringing in an authority figure that is a common face in the school can snap their behaviour into place, especially when it's the principal who gets the most attention. 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. IMO for a kid to be suspended the action must be severe not something that most kids do a few times a year from Kindergarten up until Grade 12.

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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.
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.

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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.
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.

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 told the OP that the whole class was not attending, but later says 6 kids are, 17 aren't. The 3 strikes rule is new. How new is it if she's mentioning it to the parents now? Was it in place at the beginning of school? How many days in advance is she giving the kids for them not attending things. A field trip in 10 days is a long stretch for 6yo's.

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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.
IMO it depends on how the class was being taught during the talking. Was it during instruction time? Was the class working on it's own? Was the class walking to and from another room(if you read other boards you'd see kids get in trouble for doing this)? Was it whispering? Was it loudly talking to another kid? Was it about a toy at home, or was it about school work that they were doing? Was is every kid in the class or was it 1 or 2 kids?

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.

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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. It communicates that you support the teacher, value learning, and value your child learning appropriate behavior in school.
I disagree with reward systems like this and would not carry out something at home that the school does which I do not agree with. A parent suddenly changing their style to suit a teacher does not do their child any good.

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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
Perhaps giving 5 or 6 warnings is the problem. They are testing to see how many times they can get away with it before further discipline is done.

At my dd's school they're told 1 or 2 times. If that doesn't work they're taken out of the classroom for a talking to. IF that doesn't work they're sent to the principal for her to talk to them. If that doesn't work or if the behaviour is severe a behaviour report is sent home. If you get 2 behaviour reports the parents are brought into the school to discuss the situation. Usually it is only severe behaviours that a report is sent home and rarely is there 2 or a child suspended. The behaviours listed in the OP's posts are nothing that would go beyond the principal if it even got that far.
 

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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
 

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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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Quote:

Originally Posted by chfriend
I'm just so curious. What punishments that are illegal or likely to provoke a strong parental response, yet are milder than a time out are you referring to?

Removing a child from an activity gets VERY strong parental responses, so we can't do it. Our princiapl won't allow it, b/c it often goes home as an exxagerated story. I'll give an example (similar to what was happening in my room today):

Students and teacher are doing a cooking lesson. Every student gets to take turns doing the mixing and pouring. One child is 100% out of control (which is normal for this child, and he has extensive behavior systems in place to help him). Even as he is trying his hardest to destroy the activity for all involved, I am not allowed to send him away from the table while we work. If he *wants* to he can go to the break area for a cool down time, but the break area is not a time out place, he can't be forced to go there.

So 1 child is allowed to ruin an experience for a group of kids. The activity has to be stopped numerous times.

Wouldn't it be great if there were crisis teachers in every school to come by and take the child for a walk and cool him down? Wouldn't it be great if guidance or administration would come help with the child? With a child that does this all day long, there's not a chance in the world someone will come to help. Not until he does something extremely violent.

Most classes have quite a few of children like this, as I mentioned in previous posts.

Of course, there are much less dramamtic examples of kids just not doing the right thing. How can a teacher be so flexible as to what every child wants to do at every moment (talk to a friend during the cooking lesson, bang hands on table, etc) and manage to teach anything?

As for what's illegal-- it's illegal in my city to raise your voice at a child. Of course, that's not my style anyway and I don't think it would help a class regularly. However, when you're in the middle of a dangerous situation (child throwing chairs, for example, that's an unfortunately common one here) it's VERY hard to get things safe without raising your voice at all. It's human nature to verge on yelling when you're worried someone will get killed. A very experienced teacher can find a way to calmy keep everyone safe, but it takes YEARS to learn these skills, and we are never *taught* them, we must figure them out through trial and error.

I like what Beth said about expecting perfection from people in really hard situations. I don't expect that parents are perfect, and I don't expect that etachers are perfect. If EVERYONE is trying to be better than yesterday, better than last year, then that's what's important. Great teachers take time to develop. It's an art that takes years to perfect.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BethSLP
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

 

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Originally Posted by BethSLP
Unfortunately, teachers often need to tell parents how to parent to some extent.
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
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.
 

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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.

That's not the point. If your parenting system is working well for you, then you're not in need of any help. There ARE many many parents who think it's a great idea to give a child soda and candy for breakfast before school. That REALLY affects the school day. Then there are parents who tell the child "You don't have to listen to the teacher. If she tells you to do something and you get in trouble for not doing it, just tell me and I'll take care of it." I have been physically threatened by parents more times than I'd like to share. Then you wonder why their child is beating up others.

It's really sad how many kids come from homes like this. The anti-publich school mentality (meanwhile sending your child to PS) can be really confusing for the child. I'm not saying anyone here is doing it, but it happens, and it's really hard on the kid. If a child does something wrong at school, and the parent doesn't care at home, then that's a problem. Yes, I believe it's the parent's job to insist the child try his/her best at school. That doesn't have to be through any particular parenting system/method. It just needs to be there.

There is literally no way to teach a class if students perceive that what happens at school stays at school. Do PS parents really want teachers to have no discipline? would they really rather the kids do what they want all day,and no one learns? The challenge of getting 20 kids (or more) to attend to learning at one time is a big one. we NEED parents' help, or we're screwed.

In my school we are encouraged to send letters home detailing our school discipline system, and detailing consequences/rewards that were given. That sounds like what this teacher did. We are also encouraged to mention to the parents that it's great when they can help us by asking about behavior and backing it up at home. you can REALLY tell which parents do this and which don't. When the child sees that the teacher and parent are both working together, a lot of minor problems just stop. It generally does not take long. It can take all year if the parent/teacher are on different pages.

Ideally, no school would need sticker charts/rewards or consequences. Our children would be intrinsically motivated to learn and would have been brought up knowing that education is important. Then the teacher can set a positive tone and build on it. That's not always the hand we are dealt. Even in PD schools, we need to do things to create enough order that things can get done. You cannot have 20-30 kids in one room doing as they please unless every kid is intrinsically motivated. That's not an easy task.

ETA: I think it's easy to foget when talking to AP parents that not every parent is doing what's right for their children, as you are. A lot of people really have no clue what to do as a parent. It's a horrible, sad fact... but there are a LOT of not-so-great parents. There are many things you can do to hurt/harm a child that is below the threshold of being removed for foster care. When a teacher sends a note home to everyone, she is probably targeting the parents who aren't doing ANY kind of discipline (and I don't mean TCS or GD, i mean just plain lazy larenting). But of course, you can't send out a letter just to them. So you can send a note home asking for help backing up school rules at home. If your child is doing the right thing at school, or you DO have some parenting ideas at home, then it doesn't apply to you.
 

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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.

I agree there are bad schools/districts. But they are bad for more reasons than one. There are a million reasons why entire districts start to fail.

I disagree that there are severe problems with PSs in general. I believe there is a lot of amazing work happening at PSs, and I live that great work every day, even though my school by every statistic should be a failure (Title 1 high-poverty inner city school). School systems change when parents become involved and demand changes at the district level. (Which in turn starts to draw more highly-motivated good teachers to the district. Good teachers don't stick around when they can't do their jobs.)
 

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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.
see my profile Beth. I have.

eta; sorry if you've already read this, I hope not because then it feels unfair to add on, but I'm hoping.


I think, for those of us who work in schools, it is worthwhile to recall that one school does not generalize into all schools. So it is not necessarily comparing apples to apples to say, "This is how we do things in my school" and go on to suggest that things must be exactly that way in someone else's school. I love my district. I have both loved and loathed schools I've worked in. Within those schools I've loved and loathed personnel, and I'm sure those feelings have been mutual. Not all teachers have kids best interests at heart. Not all teachers are effective. Not all people in any field are good at what they do and are in the best field to suit their skills and personality type. And while I've been at the same job for twelve years, all told, I've worked in upwards of twenty schools and now have a child in a different (public) school. Frankly, it's COMPLETELY different when it's your child, and having a child has informed my perspective. For example, I wouldn't let special ed. staff touch either of my kids with a ten foot pole, and I do it for a living. Just my experience and I've worked with some stellar special ed. providers.
And I strongly considered homeschooling (but since I'd have to be at home with my kids to do that, it was problematic) because I've seen some SHOCKING behaviors in schools on the part of staff members. I think it's right and good to ask questions of those in authority.
 

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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."
I know how a color reward system works. I know that the teachers don't do that. It's still a system I do not agree with.

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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.
The in school suspensions that were in my school were not marked against your records. IMO missing a reward is the same as being removed from the classroom or instruction, learning goes beyond academics and an event like a harvest party is instruction in other life aspects. Also, in school suspensions always included instruction.

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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.
I agree. I don't know exactly what the girls were doing other than they were told to hurry up because they were taking too long. All I know for sure is that they were told to hurry up and that my dd had gone in and left before they were told that.lol

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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.
Out of curiosity do the classes in your school have aids? I've noticed in discussions on a few boards that alot of classes don't and I think that having them can help keep misbehaving to a minimum. The classes in my dd's school all have 1 full time TA. Some have more than 1(or another that's parttime) if there is a child with special needs. The TA's can handle situations where the kids need a talking to without having to disrupt the instruction.

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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.
I agree that they should have respect for subs, I was just saying that there are subs who are "bad" in that they don't know how to get control of a class. The teachers here all have head/microphones hooked into a speaker system in case they need to get louder to get attention without having to yell. Sometimes they use them for instruction, other times they use them until all the kids are listening and then they turn them off and go back to regular voice.

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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.
IMO she can offer support without berating all of the parents. The kids who have parents who have discipline issues should either be brought in or a separate letter could have been sent with them. I know teachers have alot of work outside of school hours to do and their time is limited. Unfortunatly the parents who do believe their children can do no wrong can look at a general letter and think that the teacher is directing that at other people not them when they could have a child who has bad behaviour. IOW, it can go either way.

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For parents who do have well behaved kids, don't take a letter like that personally. It is not necessarily directed at you.
As a parent who receives a note who does not know whether all the other kids received a note too, it is very hard to know whether to take it personally, especially when the principal is agreeing that it could have been a better note.

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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.
No, I do not think it is this way but I do think that some little things which are age appropriate behaviours can be blown out of proportion. Going in with my last statement in this post, unfortunatly I think some people get impressions like this because of the horror stories of school that are out there. Our school is pretty good and from stories I hear of other people's schools I am quite thankful for that. There are policies I don't agree with of course but for the most part it is good. The grading system is one of them, but the teachers themselves don't understand why it is that way either.

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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.
That is too bad things like this happen.

I know alot of things can be blown out of proportion, on both sides of every situation and it is very plausible that anyone in this discussion or in the situation did that. Last year my dd broke down crying at school. My neighbor saw her crying and told me that Tirza had done something at school, got in trouble for it and was crying because of it. She said she walked in after my dd had been crying. Turns out one of the girls in her center activity who has behaviour issues didn't want to put the centers away when it was time to. She started screaming which scared my dd and my dd started crying because she was scared.

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Students and teacher are doing a cooking lesson. Every student gets to take turns doing the mixing and pouring. One child is 100% out of control (which is normal for this child, and he has extensive behavior systems in place to help him). Even as he is trying his hardest to destroy the activity for all involved, I am not allowed to send him away from the table while we work. If he *wants* to he can go to the break area for a cool down time, but the break area is not a time out place, he can't be forced to go there.
This sounds like the child my dd was scared of. The TA spent most of her time dealing with this child. There was a room across the hall from the class and she was often taken in there(only as physical as placing a hand on her back to guide her to the room) to calm down if they couldn't calm her in the class. She often had outbursts and threatened to call her mom(not that her mom was the type to flip out at the school, it was an idle threat that would go nowhere). If she would not calm down after 2-5minutes they'd take her to the principal's office. I don't know what went on after that.

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A very experienced teacher can find a way to calmy keep everyone safe, but it takes YEARS to learn these skills, and we are never *taught* them, we must figure them out through trial and error.
This is why the schools have brought the head/microphone systems in. I know they're not cheap, but they get grants to pay for them due to special needs kids. I think the one for the playschool was around $11,000 to get it and installed, I could be wrong it's been 4years.

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There ARE many many parents who think it's a great idea to give a child soda and candy for breakfast before school.
Yeah, I babysit one of them in the morning. Then at parent teacher interviews her mom(single mom who gives her dd everything she wants and if mom doesn't grandma does) wonders why the teacher says her dd bounces around. I avoid giving my dd chocolate. 1 piece and she could give Tigger some competition. I won't send her to school with any chocolate because she can't stop, sit still and listen when she's like that and I don't think the teachers should have to try and get her to when it's something that can be prevented.

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Then there are parents who tell the child "You don't have to listen to the teacher. If she tells you to do something and you get in trouble for not doing it, just tell me and I'll take care of it."
I agree and disagree. I tell my dd that there is often more than 1 answer to questions, that's it's okay to question the why's about a subject/answer or if she disagrees on having a wrong answer. If she does something and gets in trouble with it AND I feel it was something she should not be in trouble for I'll question the teacher. Example was when I was in Grade 11. Legally I was at an age where I did not have to go to school. My home room teacher had a rule on if you missed a day you had to bring a note. I missed a day for getting glasses or something, it was a legit reason. Mom went to work before I came downstairs in the morning and after supper I forgot to get a note and she was in bed by 9pm. After 3 days if you didn't bring a note you had to write a story. The teacher & I clashed all the time anyhow and I never liked him so I wrote a comedy story about a teacher who had this stupid rule. He didn't find it quite so funny and called my mom. Mom didn't think that i needed to send a note and ripped him up 1 side and down the other. He never called on me to answer any biology questions anymore after that. This was a teacher who about 6 years before hit a Grade 7 kid and drew blood but never got in trouble for it.

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That doesn't have to be through any particular parenting system/method. It just needs to be there.
I agree. In places where there is no parenting it is the children who end up harmed from it and become a societal issue later in life.

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In my school we are encouraged to send letters home detailing our school discipline system, and detailing consequences/rewards that were given.
Do you do this at the beginning of the year or when an incident happens? From the OP it sounds like this new system was not mentioned before. Here each kid received an Agenda and the behaviour plan(they don't mention the word discipline) are in the agenda. Each family is required to read throught the behaviour plan with their child and have both the parent and child sign it.

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I think it's easy to foget when talking to AP parents that not every parent is doing what's right for their children, as you are.
I agree, but would take it a step further and take out the AP part. There are many non-AP parents just as or more involved in their childrens school lives. At my school they love it when parents come in to help and they say they never get enough, but also that there are many parents who have never stepped foot in the school. About 6weeks ago my dd had a note in her agenda that she would write her spelling test on Monday instead of Friday with the rest of the class. When I asked my dd about that she said she was in another room doing other tests. I had no idea what was going on and went to the school Mon after school to find out what was going on. Her teacher was surprised to find out that I knew about it and that I had come in to ask what was going on. They don't normally let parents know when they're doing these tests to see what level the kid is at. Sorry but if i get a note as short as it was with no explanation on why you bet I'm coming in. However there are so many parents who would say, okay whatever IF they read the agenda at all.

There are incentives for the kids to have their parents read their agendas which I guess is like a reward system. Each agenda has a number and every day 2 or 3 (1 for each division and i think K is on their own) numbers are called and if their agenda was signed the previous day they get a pencil from the office. Each number is called once until they've gone through every child. I don't read and sign the agena for this reason, I do it because I want to know what's going on in my dd's education since she "forgets" because she's "too tired".lol
 

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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
 

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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
 

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Our school also sends home little notes and even though my child is well-behaved, I don't take get offended by them. I just read everything that comes home. Sadly, there are some parents who don't. When they send the lunch menu for the month it may have on it little tidbits about nutrition and things like that. 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. The kids were already hyped up over the trip can you imagine what he was going to be like after the trip
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Even though my child goes to a public school, I have been very impressed with administration and their hands on approach. The principal doesn't just sit behind her desk and wait for the bad kids to come to her office. She actually goes around the school every day and just observes. One day I saw the vice principal sitting in the steps talking to a child who had misbehaved. They know that some of this kids don't have the best home life and they do whatever they can to let the kids know they can talk to them.

I also really believe it really has to start from home, especially with behaviour. I've seen kids that go to private school and I would not want my child around them. I've also seen kids that go to public school and they are just as sweet and bright.
 

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Originally Posted by BethSLP
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.
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
 
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