I need your opinion as an educator

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by 2ndinTexas, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. 2ndinTexas

    2ndinTexas Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2013

    Hi, all,

    I really need some perspective here.

    Sometimes dealing with kids and their parents can be really challenging. I'm not sure even the teachers at my school agree on what constitutes bad behavior. So I'd like to ask for opinions.

    To me, there are certain misbehaviors that I believe are just normal for a 7-8 year old: they hit each other sometimes if they get into a heated argument. They play rough outside, and sometimes don't always watch out when they play. They are going to lie about it if you catch them in a misbehavior because they don't want to be in trouble. They are going to annoy each other. They are going to "save face" when being confronted, even if that means not speaking when the teacher asks "what happened?".

    To me, these are normal behaviors. They are undesirable, but I don't think they are earth shattering. To me, these behaviors are expected, and we simply put out the fires, try to teach alternate ways of behaving, and move on.

    I just don't think these kinds of behaviors are a "big deal". However, some teachers at my school do not agree with me. They send students to the office for hitting or lying. And there have been kids in the office who get In School Suspension for hitting or lying. My thought is always, "if I sent kids to the office every time they lied or hit, half my class would be in the office everyday!"

    So am I wrong not to send my kids to the office? Is it a big deal, and I'm wrong for thinking that it isn't?

    I would love some input and thoughts.

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 7, 2013

    I would be a little more strict on hitting and lying. You don't have to send the students to the office, but you do need to document the behavior and contact the parents. It's important to take these matters seriously so that the students see that this is not allowed at this level so it doesn't become more serious in older grades.
     
  4. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Mar 7, 2013

    Hitting is never allowed and lying is definitely frowned upon and not at all allowed toward the teacher. A child who hits, no matter the age, if he is hitting another person's child...well, you need to document and report it to both that child's parent and the parent whose child was hit. All it takes os ONE parent marching to your school demanding to know why students in your classroom are allowed to hit each other and not facing consequences like students in the rest of the school. The reason your kids are hitting each other to the point that you say you would have to be sending them to the office all day if you followed this policy, well...don't you think it's because they have learned from you that hitting is okay? as is lying? Please teach them that it's not ok because it isn't. Not in this society where things can quickly go bad.
     
  5. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2013

    I see your point on the not being a "big deal," but the hitting should not be allowed. Depending on the situation, handling it within the classroom, and documenting it is an option. Hitting should be dealt with, though, not just brushed off. Lying is a case-by-case issue: definitely not directly to the teacher, and situational, but always frowned upon. I do agree with the teaching of new ways to deal with problems, but there does need to be some kind of consequence for behaviors (positive consequences for positive behavior, and negative for negative). In my opinion, by 7/8, they (should) know better than to hit to solve problems, and there should be consequences for it. -severity would determine if it's office worthy for me though.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 8, 2013

    Agree with the hitting not being allowed. I understand that certain behaviors are normal, but hitting is not ok, and lying can lead to other problems. Also by being more lenient than the rest of the teachers, the kids might see you as a teacher who lets them do whatever they want and they might give you problems in other areas.

    There are several ways of handling hitting, lying, etc, it doesn't have to be sending them to the office, but it should work to help stop the behavior.
     
  7. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2013

    I also agree with hitting not being allowed. When it has happened in my class, I make a huge deal about it. They see that it isn't appropriate behavior and they usually don't do it again. I send them to the office if I see them hit again. I've sent kids to the office less than 5 times total in the 6 years I've taught, so this usually isn't necessary when I make a big deal about it in class. I think if you do nothing, you could have a huge problem from the parent of the child that got hit.
     
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Mar 9, 2013

    The "boys will be boys" attitude is a stereotype. It doesn't say much about good parents who have spent hours modeling and training appropriate social skills. It can trigger rationalizing instead of improving discipline skills which prevent these behaviors in the first place.

    I worked with a principal who, much like you feel, took the "boys will be boys" stance. Things started with shoving, name calling, cheating and lying. These were not (to her) big problems. By mid-year these "normal" behaviors escalated into fights, bullying, racial slurs, defacing school property and a teacher being knocked down and suffering a broken hip.

    Small problems left unchecked almost always lead to big problems. If students are using inappropriate physical contact, have difficult distinguishing fact from fiction etc. these should be red flags something is amiss. Instead of putting majority of energy into what to do after the fact - office, suspension - how about putting heads together and coming up with a plan to prevent the behaviors in the first place?
     
  9. 2ndinTexas

    2ndinTexas Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2013

    Thank you so much for all of your responses! :)

    I do want to clear up a couple of things - first of all, I was exaggerating about the "half my class would be in the office everyday"....but my kids do get into heated arguments that can get ugly often. So I definitely know I have some work to do there. My kids have actually been pretty mild-mannered all year, but spring fever has set in, and some of my boys seem to have shorter fuse.

    Also, I may have given the impression that I allow these things to happen, and that my kiddos receive no consequences. They definitely do! I take away privileges, parents are contacted, and I do my best to intervene as I can and take a proactive approach to handling the situation.

    My reasons for asking (and yes, it looks like everyone who has responded has answered my question), is the teacher's emotional/mental reaction to these things - not the consequences. What I mean is that I take these kinds of behaviors in stride and I deal with them, having the expectation that kids will do these things normally. Whereas some of the teachers are SO appalled by this behavior, they make it SO huge, talking a blue streak about it, and consider it abnormal behavior. And of course they blame the parents for it, and in some cases, yes, this is true, but I still think it's in the "normal" range. However, some expect the kids to be pulled into the office and suspended asap. I think there are other ways to handle it rather than sending them straight to the office - that's all.

    Not sure anyone who responded to this thread will read this, and it may not even make a difference... :) I just thought I make things a little clearer.

    Thanks again, for your opinions! :)
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 11, 2013

    Every child has a right to not be hit. If my child were hit at school and the hitter didn't receive some sort of consequence, I would be livid and I'd be having a talk with the teacher and the principal. I'm not saying that a second grader should be expelled for hitting someone, but I do believe that there should be a serious consequence for that. I also expect the teacher to do his or her best to establish a classroom atmosphere where hitting is neither permitted nor tolerated.
     
  11. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2013

    I think I understand what you're trying to say...that it'll happen sometimes, but I still think it needs to come across to the child that hitting is a big deal. Our grade level team sometimes purposely exaggerates our emotions when we need to bring a kid over to talk about something physical that happened. ("Mrs. Soandso, Johnny told me that Bobby hit him on the playground today!" (hugely disappointed voice) "Oh no! I bet that really hurt Johnny. That is so sad that it happened. Johnny is probably feeling really sad about that too.) Then we problem solve, talk about how to make it better, and give the consequence, but the offending student hears from the tone of our voices that we think it's a big deal and not just "something that happens".

    Also, I think the degree to which teachers are offended by it comes from their prior experiences...if teachers come from schools where students are extremely well-behaved, they will think it's very abnormal (and make a bigger deal out if it when telling other teachers) than teachers who come from schools where kids are swearing, hitting staff members, destroying classrooms, running off school grounds, etc.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2013

    Hitting is unacceptable, period. I never hit other students as a child and I never was hit as a child. It was flat out not okay. But the general understanding that children are in fact children and we're here to help guide them as they mature is "appreciated". :)
     
  13. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2013

    I think I understand where the OP is coming from. It is frustrating to me to see students written up for things that could so easily be handled in class. It is my policy that students are only sent to the office for extreme behaviors. Everything else I handle in class. Why send a student to the office because they hit their friend in the heat of the moment, when I can give a consequence that is just as effective in ending the behavior? To me, sending students to the office is sending them the message "I can't handle you. I need help."
     
  14. 2ndinTexas

    2ndinTexas Rookie

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    Mar 20, 2013

    Thank you, sjnkate, yes, those were my thoughts exactly, and I really appreciate knowing that there are other teachers who feel the way I do. Someone once told me that if you send a kid to the office, it's taking away my power. Now, of course, there are definitely situations that warrant it, but for the most part, I try to deal with it in the classroom myself.
     
  15. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Mar 23, 2013

    Hitting is definitely a big deal because it could lead to fighting.
     
  16. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Mar 23, 2013

    :agreed:

    And then it is documented when I submit a log entry in power school. Both the P & the Dean of Students get a copy of it. If it's a repeat offender they may get sent to the office. Hitting is not allowed, but most of the time I deal with it in my classroom. With kinders telling them that you are disappointed or sad works, most of the time. Now, if it turns into a fight, both (or all) are sent to the office.

    With the kinders I have found that sometimes walking them to the office & telling them that this is what will happen if the behavior continues also works. Sometimes the P, Dean or even one of the Secretaries will have a brief 1 min. conversation to reiterate what I've said.
     
  17. queldorei

    queldorei Rookie

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    Jun 4, 2013

    Dont kick yourself too much. Other parents understand in todays world the need to keep your children close by and in sight.
    On the other hand though, 11 is a good age to start having some small separations. He will want to start spending the night out soon and stuff. But you have to be ready and comfortable to let that happen. Plus you had a lot on your mind and didnt have much time to make a decision.
    If you feel ok with it, you could approach the coach sometime and thank him again for his offer of help and tell him that you may take him up on his offer soon.
    If you just want to let it go, thats ok too. Its not a huge deal in the big scheme of things and the feelings will pass.
    Parenting is the thoghest job and even harder dealing with anxiety. Take care
     

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