Taking chairs away

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jen12, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Back when I was student teaching, my advisor told us that if students consistently tip their chairs to take them away and make them stand at their desks. But schools are so careful about upsetting parents, and this action, even if it is only for ten minutes, seems like ammunition for an angry parent to claim some sort of abuse.

    What do you think?
     
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  3. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    I wouldn't do it personally. I think if you do take it away, it'd probably be best if it wasn't for a set time. More of a "You can sit back down when you are ready to sit correctly". You can also have a different consequence or an incentive.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I would be wary of this approach, because I can see the student who is standing try to make him/herself more of a spectacle. Some may be embarrassed and try to be the class clown as a way to save face.
     
  5. NYTONJ

    NYTONJ Rookie

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    I used to do that with my 4th grade class, but never for 10 min. It was always for 3-5 mins tops. If parents complain explain to them that you have tried, several times, talking to their child. Remember standing for 3 mins is better than taking a trip to the emergency room because their child has banged their head hard on a table or the floor. I have seen it happen, trust me it is not a pretty picture.
     
  6. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Sometimes I feel like parents and schools really overreact! When I was a kid (and keep in mind I'm only 27 and grew up/went to school k - 12 in the school system I currently teach in) we stood in timeout all the time and as far as I know, it didn't emotionally traumatize us.

    HOWEVER, in these days and times, with people overreacting to so many things, I would say not to do it. I learned the hard way -- my first year I put a little girl in the corner to stand for 5 minutes. She started thunking her head against the wall and picking at it so it bled down her face.

    Luckily for us, her mom was not very knowledgable about school policy, but the P said that technically since I'd broken the county policy and made her stand, the Mom could sue us/the school system be held liable for "cruel and unusual punishment"
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I did it last year in my kindergarten class and it worked well. The kids tipped on the chairs CONSTANTLY and I was so worried they would fall over (they often did, actually). So, I told them that if they tipped on their chairs they would get a warning. If they did it again, they would lose their chair for 5 minutes. For most children, the warning was enough to stop. Those that lost their chairs learned that it was annoying to stand, even for 5 minutes, and they didn't do it again.

    Also, I believe I sent a letter home in advance informing parents of everything. I explained my concern for their safety.
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That happened to a boy in my class when I was in 3rd grade. He split his lip open and they had to take him to the ER. Lots of blood!
     
  9. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    I do take chairs away when they become a safety issue in my classroom. But when the students are calm again, they can have them back.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I take chairs away. I haven't this year (so far), but I did several times last year. Sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for much longer. For most of the kids it helped. Some kids it didn't, but I kept it consistent. We had a kid bust open his head a year or so back from tipping over his chair.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I don't have a problem with it personally, but I admit it's not a strategy I would try for fear that other people would think it was "abusive."
     
  12. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    I think I may try it as it is a constant problem in my room and one kid did fall last week barely missing my horseshoe table with his head. I may do it for a week or so and see if that curbs the problem.
     
  13. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Why not just have them sit straddling the chair?! That is what I do...you can't tip it that way! AND it takes more muscles to sit up straight!!!:)
     
  14. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    I just took a chair away today. This student has had MANY warnings, and I believe taking his chair away for 10 minutes was a logical consequence. It happened during silent reading time, and he did his reading sitting on the floor. If he continues tipping his chair tomorrow, I'll take his chair away for 15 minutes.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    When my son was in middle school his math teacher called and said she thought he had ADHD. I advised her that it was not her job to diagnose, but she could talk to me about his behavior. Her ONLY observation was that he rocked back in his chair. I told her to either take the chair away or let him fall. I think she was in shock, but had no other observations about my son.
    My son didnt have any disorders or learning issues. No other teacher ever spoke to me about his behavior.

    He double majored in accounting and finance in college. He's now an accountant and is working toward his MBA in accounting at a great university.

    I give students in my class the choice of keeping all four legs of the chair on the floor, or the students may stand. It's their choice, but rocking back isn't a choice.
     
  16. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    It is a safety issue, for both the student and anyone around the chair. I have taken chairs away on multiple occasions when students are unable to use them correctly. How long it was taken away all depended on the student, the situation, how many warnings, they had recieved, and how much time was left in the day.
     
  17. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I have taken chairs away. I give them warnings ahead of time, so they have a chance to change what they're doing. I don't like taking them away (they just look awkward standing there), but I've told them I would rather have them stand than have them fall and get hurt. I did have a few kids fall that year, so that's why I did it.
     
  18. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Could you lower the tables and have everyone sit on the floor? Then the chairs would be a non-issue. ;)
     
  19. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I've threatened, but never had to take it. They know I only give one warning and so far so good they stopped.
     
  20. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I usually tell them I hate the sight of blood or that blood will stain my carpet or ruin my day....sometimes I think that is pretty harsh to say but they stop.
     
  21. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I subbed for a computer teacher that had office chairs in her room. The kids wanted to spin on them. Her rule was to give them one warning. If they did it again, they would stand for the rest of computer time.

    Tipping chairs or spinning is a safety issue and is very distracting for the kid doing it and the rest of the class. I don't see why a parent should have a problem with taking the chair away. It is your responsibility to keep them safe and on task while at school. They should support you in doing that job.
     
  22. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I've threatened it, but.... I have one child that it would be a benefit. She stands up to do EVERYTHING. Cutting, coloring, gluing, even our phonics or writing.. she stands up. I don't really understand why. She didn't do it in Kinder, because I was helping in her class a lot. Maybe she thinks she can get away with it in my room...

    Back on topic: I have threatened it, I have never done so yet. I have a few that I've told them the next time I see them out of their chair without my permission or their chair tipping back, those chairs are gone.
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Sitting on the floor ALL day would be uncomfortable and cruel to the students, in my opinion. It's one thing to have them sit on a carpet for a short while or something, but sitting on the ground isn't comfortable. I remember in 5th grade my teachers used to combine both classes together and have only one of them teach us, so we'd have to sit on the floor for around 90 minutes or so at a time. I remember to this day how uncomfortable I was and how hard it was to focus on the lesson. I can't imagine making kids do it all day.
     
  24. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    This is what I do - the chair gets warning. It is suppose to keep all legs (feet) on the floor. The next time it happens the chair needs to go to time out for a few minutes. The student will then need to stand until the chair can come out of time-out. Seems to work in my class.

    The other thing I do, is if a student falls and says they are hurt but I can tell it is more scared than anything, I ignore the whole incident and the crying/upset student. My 2nd graders really don't like that.
     
  25. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    I have taken away chairs before. As long as you let the parents know this may be a punishment I think you are fine. You would probably want to even mention at an open house to cover your bases.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it's a bad idea, a sign to the kids that you're at your wit's end. It's throwing up your hands and admitting that you have no strategies to teach them how to sit correctly, so you're abdicating reasponsibility for that lesson.

    It's like trying to teach long division, realizing the kids are having difficulty, and dropping the topic in favor of something easier.

    Sooner or later they'll have to learn to sit on those chairs. Taking them away isn't going to teach them how.
     
  27. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    In extreme cases why is it bad for the students to know that you are at your wits end. I have told classes before, "I don't know what to do about it, any ideas?" (in reference to a variety of different behaviors) I will say I am not going to take extra time out of my day to teach a ten year old how to sit in a chair. I have tried some scare tactics when it comes to the chair tilting forward or backward, and with some students that helps. Others it doesn't and the quick solution for their own personal safety and mine is to remove the dangerous object from the situation.
    And when I get to the point where it is being removed, it is usually not just for a couple minutes. It could be an entire lesson, or on one or two occasions it was the rest of the day. I didn't require the student to stand the whole time when it was the rest of the day, the student could sit on the floor. But that chair was just too dangerous.
     
  28. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Sometimes when I am at college at night I will stand in the back. I tell the instructor it is because my back hurts, but it is really because I either have the wiggles because I am impatient with the pace or direction of the class or because I am trying to stay awake.

    On another note, I don't know if I would do it or not, but I find it sad that some feel taking a chair away for a few minutes is abusive. Really?
     
  29. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I have taken only a couple away in my subbing/teaching "life." I took them for only a few mins and given it back. I will tell you it does send the message that the teacher is serious the first time a child has to stand for a min or so!!!

    I always say "4 on the floor." The funny thing is other students will say it to the other "Jimmy, 4 on the floor." I think it became a kinda matra!!! LOL!!! Oh well it worked. I liked the fact that the other students would say it to each other.
     
  30. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I totally agree with the safety issue...

    I remember having to remind older & younger students that desks are not parallel bars either with they "swing" between desks!!! UGH!!! That one I just don't like at all. The only thing is to try to spread the desks out more...but I would say this is not the Olympics!!! LOL!!!
     
  31. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My first year I had a child fall backwards and required 7 stitches. SO I am strict with this rule. I will take their chair and make them sit on their knees. They hate it and it usually happens only once. I have never had a parent complain. I usually do it once or twice a year.
     
  32. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If a child may hurt him/herself, I'll remove the chair for a few minutes until I can pull the child aside to talk about the danger.
     
  33. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I am also very strict with this rule because the chairs in our classroom have legs almost like sled runners, and they slip out from under the kids pretty easily. I've only actually had a kid stand (or kneel--their choice) a couple times. I did have one very defiant student last year who would rock in his chair because he wanted me to take it away. Instead, he had to use some of his recess time to prove to me that he knew how to sit in his chair properly.
     
  34. NYTONJ

    NYTONJ Rookie

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    I think this is interesting. If a teacher calmly states the rule and consequence how does it show that they are at their "wit's end"? Also, what other strategy could you use to show a child how to sit on a chair? I don't think that you can equate sitting in a chair to learning a, sometimes difficult, skill like long division. :2cents:
     
  35. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    When I was a kid, about 6 years old, my best friend was leaning back on a chair in her bedroom. I warned her she would get hurt, but she said, "no I won't". Not a minute later she was on the ground and had bit a hole right through her tongue.... blood pouring out. Whenever I see a student fooling around on a chair I tell them that story, and how her tongue would bleed whenever she ate, and how awful the stitches were.... they get grossed out, and always stop rocking on their chairs. hahaha Once there was a second occurrence of chair rocking and I said, "Do I have to tell the story of my friend who bit her tongue?", and they were like NOOOOOOO!!! lolol It was pretty funny.
     

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