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What is your opinion of "behavior" charts in classrooms?

 
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 03:20 pm
@djjd62,
I've seen both here in the US schools.

You know the funny part - my niece who I was referring to that has not gotten much help here in the US, was living in Canada before - she had an even worse experience in the Canadian school system.

I think alot depends on the teacher. My friend has been very fortunate, her child's teacher has been wonderful and extremely helpful. Her young child is really working well with his selective mutism in great part to the of his teacher and how she handles it in the classroom.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 03:27 pm
@boomerang,
Yeah - I can see how that could really cause problems - the "bad" label.

It has to be frustrating for the poor little guy. I don't see why or why you would want to post for all to a chart like that - to me that would cause more problems and teasing than any sort of benefit.

Has the school ever explained what sort of benefit the kids get from that?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 03:46 pm
They did it in first grade and I could kind of understand that since the kids were all new to school.

Then he hasn't had a teacher who did it until this year. I just found out about it. Nothing bad has happened, Mo's had green cards every day.

I'm just bothered by the fact that a teacher would use this with 9-10 year old kids. Peer pressure is really starting to play a role in their lives and this seems like peer pressure to me.

I'm having a meeting this week with the "whole gang" at school so I intend to ask about this. I asked here first because I know some of my ideas about school are a little quirky.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 04:15 pm
@hawkeye10,
I know what I meant.

I was shooting down your strawman that parents expect kids to conform to adult expectations.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 04:48 pm
Has anyone commenting here taught at an elementary/middle school?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 04:50 pm
@littlek,
Doesn't matter. I'd love to hear your comments even if you disagree with me, other teachers or anyone else. Dissenting opinions welcome.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 04:50 pm
@boomerang,
I never heard of such a thing - duh, has to do with not having had my own children in school. We only got a "comportment" mark on our report cards, which didn't come out very often, probably once a month, and was obviously private.. I can see a need for more timely communication on behavior, more along the lines of what Engineer was talking about.

Making it public seems too invasive to contemplate, along with promoting goodygoodyness and being seemingly taunting and derisive re the children not doing so well. Course, back then the nuns whacked the miscreants with rulers across the knuckles, which is another whole bag of worms. I think it was only one of the nuns, though, and not a whole school full of them flocking with rulers. I don't really like the publishing of anyone's grades either, except that back at university in the huge classes, you'd find your name on a list of 200 others.. so it goes.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 04:53 pm
I think class size makes a difference. The larger the class size the more unmanageable it is going to be.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 05:06 pm
@boomerang,
Actually, to me it does. I'm trying to better understand the angst expressed here and was trying to glean some background knowledge.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 05:09 pm
@littlek,
Sorry. I misinterpreted your question. I thought as a teacher maybe you could fill us in on something we were missing.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  3  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 05:33 pm
People seem to hit the basic points. This is pretty hard to explain well to someone who hasn't spent much time in a classroom (as an adult).

The problem:
When you have 20 kids in a room and you are trying to give directions, teach a lesson, or explain something complicated things can quite difficult if even one student is speaking out, talking to a neighbor, etc. Generally, teachers don't speak for very long at one time in the lower grades. But, when they are speaking for those few minutes, it's pretty important that students are listening. If not, they have to answer individual questions from many students who missed something. Or, they may lose their train of thought after being interrupted.

The behavior:
Students have a hard time sitting still, again in particular in lower grades. Some kids have a harder time than others. Most kids can sit and listen to the teacher speaking for 5-10 minutes, but maybe 4-5 out of 20 will have a hard time doing so.

Behavior modification systems:
The kids who make noise need to be able to listen to their teachers. And the kids who don't need to be able to hear their teachers when they are trying to listen. So:
We ask the whole class for quiet before we start to explain.
We ask that the whole class hold off on questions until we're done explaining.
We stand near kids who will likely have trouble staying focused.
We tap the desk while we're talking when that student starts to get restless.
We give that child a task when possible (ex: handing papers out).
We remind the student that they need to listen until we're done.
We remind that student again.

After that, what do we do? All or some of this entire series can happen over 10 minutes. This is the part that parents don't see or hear about.

After these steps, and others, we move on to more obvious measures. Those are the ones that parents hear about and react to.

I have no real idea about what discipline system you were originally referring to. It's never a great idea to publicly discipline someone. Some teachers have cards that they just place on a student's desk which might be color coded with a message like, "first warning" or have a picture of a face saying shush. Often teachers try to prevent this type of thing by understanding the early stages of a student's rising 'itch'.

Eh... I'm going to stop there. I'm too tired to get into it any deeper.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 12:32 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I was a badass too! It was like a badge of honor. Secretly I hated it but publicly it made me kinda cool.

Conversely, publicly my parents hated it but secretly they kind of liked my "stick-it-to-the-man"ness.

That's probably why I have trouble understanding school now.

Thank you! Now I can blame my parents!
I can 't blame my parents; thay never did any harm,
but I understand the "stick-it-to-the-man"ness.

Let 's take a step back, for perspective here.
The purpose of running a public school
is to deliver information to younger members
of the public (who r less likely to know those data) and to facilitate
their intellectual digestion thereof by competent, articulate explanation.

It is NOT the purpose of the public schools
to DELIGHT the public employees; let them go to Disneyland
or to a local tavern. The teachers r there to serve the public
who sit in those chairs.


There is NO REASON that any citizen shoud take pride
in pleasing his employees or in jumping thru hoops of their invention.
I have no reason to brag of what a good impression I made
on a stern clerk at the Motor Vehicle Bureau.

WE created government to serve US;
it shoud serve US; we shoud not serve IT.
Let 's keep sight of these priorities.


Bearing in mind that the teacher is working for the public in front of him,
THAY, his employers and his customers, shoud be discussing posting
signs about how well he has pleased THEM, how satisfactory HIS services r,
not the other way around.

Maybe the students shoud vote on his salary or any bonuses,
and on his fringe benefits and send the results to the School Board,
(elected by the students). If a teacher has been so injudicious as to be rude
to the citizens he is educating (I have seen that happen),
the class shoud vote on an appropriate penalty,
e.g., having him write on the blackboard 100 times:
" I will be polite to my employers. "





David
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 07:35 am
@littlek,
My last post was only a general statement of political theory.

I wrote it before reading your post, K.

Nothing personal was intended.





David
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 07:38 am
@littlek,
Thanks littlek.

I do hear about those measures, the reminding, etc.

I think what the teachers don't get is that most of the kids aren't doing it to be naughty, they do it because they can't help it.

Here's an example:

When Mo gets stressed out he makes these noises. (I work with him a lot on this at home.) I'll ask him to stop. He'll look at me surprised and say "I'm not making any noises". I'll insist he was, we get back on task, he starts making noises, I ask him to stop, he'll say "I'm trying", we get back on task, he starts making noises, I ask him to stop, he says "I CAN'T HELP IT!", he melts down, we get back on task.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

At school, some kid will get annoyed by the noises (I understand, believe me) and tell the teacher (and thereby the whole class) "Mo is making noises." Mo is told to stop. Mo CAN'T stop. Mo gets in trouble. Mo comes home and BOOM

I don't want Mo to disturb the class. Mo doesn't want to disturb the class. He doesn't even know he's doing it.

Anyway.

I think teachers underestimate parents. I often get the "message" that they've seen it all and know it all and I have no idea about children's behavior, even my own child's behavior. I'm sure other people get this message too.

I don't know what teachers should do next. Maybe they need to fill the parents in on "what they don't see and hear". Explain it isn't working. Ask the parent what works at home.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 07:49 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I want teachers to be delighted. Especially Mo's teachers.

I don't blame teachers for the mess that education has become.

Case in point:

The teacher Mo had last year has taught at this school for more than 30 years. Nearly every teenager and young adult in this neighborhood had her as a teacher or knew her as a teacher. For years and years she lived in the house next door to the house I live in now so all the adults in the neighborhood know her too.

By ALL accounts she was one of the most amazing teachers/people ever. A real force of nature.

These days she apologizes to all her students for what she has to teach them and for all the time they waste on test taking.

She's retiring next year. The world is losing a great teacher because her hands were tied to the point that she no longer felt like she was even teaching.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 08:39 am
@littlek,
That sounds reasonable to me - I also think it is important for children to learn to behave for other reasons than you state. I mean they are going to have to live in society aren't they? I would think most would benefit greatly from learning some self-control - such as not interrupting others. That is not to say that they should be little robots, but they do need to learn basic respect and appropriate behavior to function well in general.
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 08:58 am
@boomerang,
I am wondering about schools in Oregon, boomer.

We never have had "behavior charts" here, not in elementary, middle school
and now that Jane is in high school it would be funny.

Having said that, Jane was always a chatter box and her kindergarten and first grade teachers knew how to occupy her properly. Her second grade teacher
was shortly before retirement and had difficulties with Jane. She called me and
we had a nice private meeting where we came up with a solution to help Jane.
The days her behavior was good, she got a smiley sticker to show me, and she
proudly did. On days she did not receive a sticker, we talked about it why and
tried to either correct it or sometimes, I agreed with Jane and thought the teacher was way to strict on her. So Jane and I kept it as a "secret" that I approved of some of the things she did while the teacher disapproved.

When you have a lively child, you always will run into problems and as a parent you have to weigh what's acceptable and what's not.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 09:30 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I want teachers to be delighted. Especially Mo's teachers.
Yeah, its good for EVERYONE to be happy.
My spirit of rebellion kind of blurted out.

If I had read the whole thread b4 posting,
I 'd have written it differently.



boomerang wrote:
I don't blame teachers for the mess that education has become.

Case in point:

The teacher Mo had last year has taught at this school for more than 30 years. Nearly every teenager and young adult in this neighborhood had her as a teacher or knew her as a teacher. For years and years she lived in the house next door to the house I live in now so all the adults in the neighborhood know her too.

By ALL accounts she was one of the most amazing teachers/people ever. A real force of nature.

These days she apologizes to all her students for what she has to teach them and for all the time they waste on test taking.

She's retiring next year. The world is losing a great teacher because her hands were tied to the point that she no longer felt like she was even teaching.
Understood.

U may need to have Mo examined for Tourette's Syndrome, boomer; probably sooner rather than later.
I don 't know much about it, but maybe it coud be possible
that there is a convenient treatment available.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 09:40 am
@boomerang,
Someone close to me once got a moderate head injury in a car accident, and for a long time after the accident this person would repeat phrases over and over again. It was like a skipping record. Constantly.

Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse.... for hours.

But it was soothing and calming to this person, so we endured it. To outsiders it must have seemed bizarre.

But this happened most frequently after a lot of verbal input. Lectures and such. The cognitive therapist called it verbal overload. Since part of the damage was to the language center, the brain was having to work extra hard to process all of the input.


My point is that these noises must be some kind of self-soothing mechanism, and that maybe when this happens, Mo needs a few minutes in a quiet place to decompress.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2010 09:46 am
@Linkat,
I can assure you that it sometimes isn't a self control issue and that you can't "teach" it out of kids.

Society needs to learn to live with people on it's outskirts, too.
 

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