Under New (Behavior) Management?

November 15, 2014

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So, I let the elder offspring give this letter to her teacher:

teacherletter (2)

Parents, teachers, and friends, I need you to tell me what you think of that move.

Here’s the background:

I have the feeling that my kid has been put in the ‘rough’ class several times now, probably because she can fend for herself academically and assertively.  Talking to parents whose children are in other classes in my daughter’s grade has confirmed it: They’re having a lot more fun. There’s always a ‘rough’ class. How do you know if your kid has landed there this year? Count the rings under her teacher’s eyes. 

But it’s a teacher conflict too. We all have a story about that teacher, who seemed miserable and possibly scared the #$%@ out of us in grade school. Mine had a foot-shaped hole in the tile floor where it was rumored she had screamed and stomped her foot so hard that it Broke. The. Floor. She supposedly left it that way as a grim reminder to future students that things could get UGLY. 

The elder offspring’s 2nd grade teacher has decided that whole-class punishment is her classroom management tactic. Several times now, all the kids have missed recess as punishment for bad behavior. Yes, like when we were in school. Although for me, that was the 80’s and I don’t remember much of this happening. 

Although I (empty) threaten individual students with this consequence sometimes (actually quite effective), I disagree with this policy on several levels:

1. Though occasionally necessary, regularly punishing the whole group is unfair and bad for morale.

2. These are 7 year-olds. They need recess. If you make the mistake of keeping 7 year-olds from running outside and being crazy, you might as well feed Gremlins after midnight, because that’s what you’re gonna get. 

5

Cute before you make a giant mistake. Just like 2nd graders. It will be a loooong afternoon.

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