THE WALL

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by crackpot, Jan 26, 2007.

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  1. crackpot

    crackpot New Member

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    I am having some issues with my third grader's teacher regarding punishment. My daughter has been punished four times this year by being put "on the wall." That means she has to stand by a wall for part or all of recess. This was twice a consequence of forgetting to bring home and do assignments, once for failing to put her name on a paper, and once for failing to bring back a paper. My daughter was absent on the day the class was told to return the paper. But evidently that is no excuse. I did not know that students are punished on the third grade level for lapses of mindfulness. I thought punishment was mostly reserved for behavioral issues. I have complained to the principal. He did not think the punishment was unreasonable. I emailed the superintendant. He did not reply.

    So my question is this: Am I a crackpot? Am I way out in left field? Is third grade forgetfulness a good reason to be put on the wall?
     
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  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I think I'm on your side.
     
  4. crackpot

    crackpot New Member

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    I told the principal that I thought taking points off her grade was a more logical consequence. He said that was too harsh because it would affect her "permanent record." !?
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Umm.....I don't know enough to be a good judge for this, but I would think that by 3rd grade they should be more accountable. The absence (unless she was notified later or had the chance to find out) should have been an excuse. The name thing may be a generally repetitive problem in the class and she may be coming down hard on them to make a point. Would I pick this tactic. Umm..maybe not, but then again, I'm in 1st grade, not 3rd.

    P.S. Taking off a few points wouldn't affect 3rd graders in terms of making an impact. They don't care enough about those 5-10 points yet.
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Hahaha! Permanent record! They just love using that ridiculous reason!
     
  7. Miz_Sanders

    Miz_Sanders Rookie

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    I have to agree with the principal. It is done at my school even in 1st grade. The reason being to teach children there are consequences for not following directions, and putting names on papers and returning papers are not an unreasonable request. I know I can give my students praise and incentives all day long for bringing back papers or returning things and about 1/4 of my class couldn't care less. If they know they will miss recess if they don't bring it back, it helps. After missing recess it's a miracle the things that get returned you never would have seen otherwise. I am however not so sure about being put on the wall if it was told to be returned when the child was absent. Maybe there is more to this story.
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aha! Tell us the 'REAL' story, please.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    5th graders and middle school kids go to study hall at recess for work not returned or completed. When the work is done, they can go outside. Standing by a wall seems cruel to me.
     
  10. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    Standing by THE WALL is not a good consequence of not turning in homework. I disagree that 3rd graders don't care about getting points off of their paper. My 2nd graders look right away to see what they got. The consequence should be tied to what was done incorrectly......natural consequences! Maybe the teacher should be keeping the child inside to do the work during recess instead of just having her stand outside. That doesn't teach anyone anything.

    We do use THE WALL at my school during recess but only for recess behaviors or "forgetting" the correct outerwear.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That's why all of this is subjective because I personally feel "forgetting your outerwear" to be an incorrect punishment for standing by the wall because if you forget your hats/gloves and are standing still by the wall you are FREEZING compared to if you were out playing or even inside the classroom (like your suggestion for the poster). I do agree using it for recess behaviors would be a logical correlation.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If kids are not playing nicely at recess, they go stand at the fence for a little bit. Repeat offenders get a bit more time.

    If they didn't put their name on their paper, they do the paper again during lunch detention.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We don't have lunch detention. That's also why different schools handle it different ways.
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I would think there would be a better way to teach a child to remember to put their name on their paper. What are some better ways to teach a child to remember this? I'm with Daisy on this one. What's with the standing by the wall? I can see it as punishment for playground misbehavior, but not forgetting to hand in a paper. When my Preschoolers forget to sign their names on their work, I remind them and it works well.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I certainly agree that there could be a better consequence. I just think that different people have different ideas of consequences and this isn't one that is wrong or unreasonable, just maybe not the best or the most agreed upon approach.
     
  16. crackpot

    crackpot New Member

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    "The wall" seems to involve some humiliation too. The other students at recess get to look at you while you are standing there. The instructors at the community college I attend must bend over backward to avoid humiliating or violating a students privacy, for fear of lawsuits. But we don't think twice about shaming children.

    Teacher's within the same school have wildly different standards regarding discipline. Other than the rule against corporal punishment, there seem to be few guidelines. Between parents and teachers, and other teachers, a kid must get pretty confused.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I even just remind 5th graders about names on papers.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    This is just for observation purposes and cuz I like telling stories...

    Colleges sometimes engage in humilation too especially when something is new and different and they don't understand it. I know a guy who was going blind didn't ask for help in college because the one semester that he asked, the professor looked at the accomodation papers and said that he didn't know who "xzy" was but he was not changing anything for anyone in his class. This might not be the norm, but it isn't rare. One semester, for example, a black teacher teaching cultural sensitivity was stating that all languages are spoken (I had 2 sign language interpreters in my class). When asked about that, she said they were just spoken languages modeled on the hands. This is a common misconception. I showed her research articles later including stuff about it being a full language. She still kept saying it. Other students asked and she kept saying it wasn't a "real" language. I kept wanting to hide a little bit because I was in front with 2 interpreters already broadcasting who I am in a class of 500 students and my language isn't real. So humiliation is everywhere and mine wasn't a consequence for my own action. Do I think humilation should be a part of it? Theoretically no. But what CAN you do that isn't humiliation to a student in some way either in front of the teacher, the peers or the parent.

    P.S. I wouldn't have done the wall thing for that either because I would have sat them down during recess to work on their homework. I would have done something else for the name on the paper. I was just pointing out that I wouldn't have been upset to see that because we all make decisions on consequences and nobody agrees on all of them EVER. Those aren't horrible, just not necessarily logical.
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I think they are horrible. I still remember similar instances happening to me way back in second grade on up and it made me hate school and most teachers.
     
  20. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I personally don't see anything wrong with it......but then again, I'm a mean cold-hearted teacher!
     
  21. TXTeacher4

    TXTeacher4 Companion

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    My grade level team decided (before I was hired) that they would dicipline by using "the wall". I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. I do think that a child needs to accept responsibility and third grade seems to be where that starts. I don't like to allow the "forgetters" to complete homework during recess, because then they start to think they can skip homework at night and just do it during recess. In my class, I have repeat offenders. We also make them stand there if the homework book was not signed. I guess we are mean too!
     
  22. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Since I teach third I'll chime in. We are trying to teach your child to be more responsible. Because if not us then who? Your child is in the last grade they will be babied and they MUST learn responsibility. There is no such thing as Lunch detention, study hall or the ability to keep kids in at recess. If I want my kids to have recess I must take them out.So any punishment that I would give those for must be served on the fence. Work incomplete- fence till its done. Cronic name forgetter - fence (not a once or twice thing. I have kids that never put their name on the paper and could care less about thier grade) Forgetting to bring home assignments- fence (Its not like I don't harp the whole 20 minutes we pack up and wait on the busses to remember to pack their such and so and bring it back the next day) Papers they must have returned and forget- typicaly fence (if the form was given out the day they were absent, they must bring it back the next day; if they were given the form before they were absent, they must bring it back the day they return.)

    Truth is the fence is harsh but concequences need to be consistant. Children catch on if not everyone has the same consequence. And points of your daughters paper but fence for Johny just doesn't sit well with the kids. Points off on the papers makes no difference to many of mine. Besides I can't fail kids anyway so the typical child to recieve points off doesn't matter anyway.
     
  23. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our school uses the fence (actually the fence hasn't been up there for years, but kids lose recess as part of our school discipline plan). If a child leaves their name off their paper they lose a point and write for me, 25 times "My name is...." not fun, but not harsh. They seldom do it more than once. Our school doesn't have a detention room, so our options for punishment are limited. I choose not to take free time away in class because, honestly we get very little of it. As for punishment for talking and giggling, obviously losing recess wouldn't be the first step, but if it were a continuous problem, then it would progress to that. I view it like someone above said, they are taking my teaching time with their behavior. I tell them that they chose to take X amount of time to talk, play, visit, etc, that meant they had chosen to take that much of their recess early, so they get a "reduced" recess. Because of all the lawsuits, complaints, etc, we are rapidly running out of options to punish children in school. I don't think there is anything terribly wrong with a child losing at least part of recess because of their actions. They have got to learn that there are consequences, and those consequences need to be consistent. I tell mine early on that they get to learn Newton's 3rd law early - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: take class time, lose recess time, etc. We get all that out of the way at the beginning of the year. The kids know the rules, and they know the consequences. They know their boundaries. That makes them feel secure to just get down the to business of being students.
     
  24. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    To be honest... I am sure that your child is not being forced to go on the wall to embarrass and humiliate them- it is more to get them to remember that if you do not do something, there is a negative consequence. I do agree that the absence/paper issue was wrong, but other than that I personally see nothing wrong. They are not having to run laps, or push-ups.

    Perhaps you should look at it from the teachers perspective. They are trying to instill responsibility in your child. I would appreciate that. Hopefully after having to stand at the wall once or twice, they will not want to get that consequence again.
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Well, I guess I really am in a little bubble. I think Grammy is in it, too. This all sounds so harsh to me. We don't even use the word 'punishment'. And I am considered the toughest teacher at my school!

    If it really works that well, then you don't have to use it very often, right? Or, does it work well to motivate individual students and then other students are the ones punished?

    We use natural consequences yet we do treat each child individually. Every 5th - 8th grader who fails to complete homework does go to study hall for lunch and recess, yes. And we are very consistent. But we don't use study hall for behavioral issues.

    This is possible because it is a very small school, I realize that. I admire those of you who work so well with large classes. It's just the philosophy of them that is not really for me.
     
  26. katydid205

    katydid205 Companion

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    I would think standing on the wall would get your daughter to start thinking about responsibility. Third grade is the grade that that they HAVE to start being accountable for their own work. I am assuming that your daughter has been reminded many times to put her name on her paper. I don't think a teacher would make her stand on the wall for it only happening one time. I don't think standing on the wall is unreasonable.
     
  27. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    I think that her being absent should have been an excuse for that assignment. How is she to know if she isn't there? The name thing-I know in 2nd grade (which I used to teach)-we would give them a warning or make them turn a card after a certain amount of time (and by this, I mean after a few months of school) if they didnt put their name on their paper. I wouldn't make them stand on the "wall" or "walk laps." Some parents have also asked about why we do this about names, but it is all about learning to be responsible. Usually they get they get the picture pretty soon. As for turning in assignments, I would probably make them sit out and do the assignment (or at least be working on it) until they finished when we go out for recess. If it was a repeat offense (as in it happened all the time, not just once or twice), I can see why the teacher would make a student stand on "the wall." But I don't think your child's teacher should have made her do that for just twice. However, I don't think it's a big enough issue to take it to the principal (yet) and certainly not the superintendent. Have you tried talking to the teacher yet? I, as a teacher, don't like it when I see parents go to the principal first (for any class) and have not even bothered to talk to the teacher about the issue (however, there are obvious big issues that are exceptions). But this doesn't seem to be an issue that warrants the principal. Usually there's something that can be worked out, or in some cases, a misunderstanding.
     
  28. mhcooley

    mhcooley Companion

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    At my school the kids get a 30 min. special each day. This is the only break teachers have all day. This is considered our planning period. We have to make copies, conference with parents, etc. during this 30 min. We eat with our kids so there is no break there. We consider recess another break time. It is 15 min. long. If we keep kids in our room for punishment to do homework, classwork or what ever it may be, we lose our 15 min. break. Taking away recess is also in our school behavior plan. They lose 5 minutes if they have a B in conduct and they lose the whole 15 min. if they have a C. If they make it to an F they either get suspended, detention or corpal punishement. Yes at my school we use corpal punishment. It is still legal in my state. I teach second grade and I have children daily forget to put names on their paper. I remind them constantly but they still forget. I think in third grade at my school they throw the paper away and the child gets a 0. I don't think they forget very often.
     
  29. peyton1

    peyton1 Rookie

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    A Mom

    You are not a crackpot just a mom! As mothers, we love our kids and know what is best for them. Ha Ha! Just my opinion, but teachers have to be a "mom" to at least 20 kids in her/his room and we try to pick a consequence that will work for most of our kids. Maybe it is not the best one for your child, but the point is she is not making a good choice plain and simple. Whether that choice is from forgetfulness or upsetting the classroom, it is a behavior issue. By the way I am a Mom of two daughters and a teacher of 18 and trying to balance the two daily.
     
  30. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I think I'll stay in my "bubble." I like the feeling I get from the way I teach and discipline. Maybe it's because I remember being shamed in front of my peers and it didn't teach me a thing. It left a bitter taste in my mouth and made me hate those teachers who lacked empathy for me. I do remember the ones who talked to me and explained to me...and what a good impact they made in my young life.
     
  31. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Certianly something to keep in mind.
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I hear you, Grammy.
     
  33. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    We don't use the word punishment either. Children and adults for that matter need to see what that what happens to them is a CONSEQUENCE of their behavior. I tell my students that it's a bummer they didn't do their homework because they made the choice to stay inside and do it then.

    As for students wanting to stay inside for recess so they won't do their homework.....that was something we also considered and recess is now a time that students really hate to miss....boys, girls, all grades. It's about making the time appealing by providing many things to do during that time. I'm willing to give more details if anyone is interested.
     
  34. peyton1

    peyton1 Rookie

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    Look at everything

    I agree with Grammy. My earlier post just wanted us to look at all sides. Luckily, I had teachers like Grammy when I was a kid who let me call my mom when I forgot things or talked to me about my forgetfulness. I think that is why I don't put kids on the wall for forgetfulness like most of my colleagues do. (no-names, papers, homework)

    By the way, the waiter chased my husband and I out last night. Seems I had forgot my purse. Maybe I need to put myself on the wall. Ha!
     
  35. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Funny about forgetting your purse! I have one forgetful son and one very forgetful husband. They have always struggled to be organized and to remember things. It's just the way they are and they do the best they can. If I get any more organized, they will have to put me away. I think that's what they call a type A personality(not sure,) but I can't stand not being organized and I remember waaaaaaay to many details about everything. It is not a good way to live.
     
  36. crackpot

    crackpot New Member

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    mindfulness

    My kid is really motivated. She loves learning. She seeks adult approval. She cares about her grades. She reviews her papers to see what the teacher has taken points off for. She brings all her work home and shows it to me. She likes reading to me. She requests my assistance to study math facts and spelling words.

    When she realized that she had forgotten her assignment book, she was quite upset. She made the excuse that they didn't have enough time at dismissal. I did not accept her excuse. I expressed my disappointment. The next day when I took her to school, she was still upset. She didn't want to get out of the car because she said she was "in trouble." I didn't remember what happened the last time she forgot her homework, or I would have taken her in early, and sat with her before the bell rang while she did her homework. You bet if it happens again, that is what I will do.

    I'm sure there are plenty of kids who don't care about their grades, who don't care about losing a few points. I think many of them just take it in stride if they are put on the wall or punished in any way. Maybe they are used to it. Perhaps those kids are routinely punished at home. Perhaps those are the kids who make teachers feel it is so necessary to shock responsibility into children. Perhaps if my kid gets a few more teachers like the one she has now, she will become like like one of those kids.

    Here's another thing. It has been thirty-six years since I was in third grade. But I can remember a few things about my thinking back then. If I was put on the wall, I wouldn't have spent the 45 minutes thinking of ways to avoid forgetting my homework in future. I would have been fuming about how unfair it was and what a rotten teacher I had.

    I wonder if there is a way to study this, an experiment that would measure whether punishment really increases mindfulness. It seems logical at first, because everyone wishes to avoid negative consequences. But is that how the mind works in third grade? How do you remember everything you need when you go out the door? My powers of concentration are not always so good even now. If I am distracted by something, it makes me forgetful. While I have been stewing over this wall thing, I have been quite absentminded. Does fear keep you on track? Does it help you remember things? Is that a good way to remember? Is there a better way?

    What can I do to help my daughter remember? On Monday I will drop her off at daycare before school. When I hug her goodbye, I will suggest that every time the dismissal bell rings, she take a deep breath and hesitate just a few seconds to take a mental inventory of her bookbag. Will it help? I don't know. But I bet my @** it is more effective than 45 minutes on the wall.
     
  37. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sometimes teachers get caught up in their ultimate power over the kids. I don't appreciate a teacher who brags about being "mean." If you are truly a mean teacher, it's time to step back and make some changes. This whole thing that you have experienced with your daughter just makes me feel bad that a teacher ends up being that way. I agree that you reminding your daughter and talking with her is the best choice. I hope that all of you teachers out there can be kind and good to your students.
     
  38. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    No discipline issue is ever going to please every parent or teacher. Any single discipline technique is not going to be effective for every student. Maybe it isn't the most effective technique she could have used, but likely she had issues with the class in general not stepping up to accountability and it is a technique she has either seen or used in the past that has seemed to work for her. If it really bothers you, certainly bring it up to her. In the long run though, she has to do what SHE thinks is right for the class in general even if it isn't the latest or the best technique she could be using.

    By the way, I agree with most of the points you are making. I just know that sometimes you have to try whatever you can to regain control of a class.
     
  39. katydid205

    katydid205 Companion

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    Jan 28, 2007

    i definitely think 45 minutes on the wall is VERY harsh for forgetting something.
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    45 min? What?! I missed that part. First off, they are LUCKY to get 45 min of recess. WOW! 45 min is a bit too long for forgetting something unless it is habitual (ie, student seems to make no effort to increase responsibility).
     
  41. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jan 28, 2007

    45 minutes was too long for something as trivial as forgetting to put one's name on the paper, etc. Ten minutes would have been enough.

    As for the "humiliation" thing. . . . remember the stockades, back in the days of the Puritans? When someone broke the law, they paid the consequences, and the visual inspired others to behave themselves and follow the rules. Back in the days of the lawless west, they used to hang horse thieves, and the motto was something like "We hang horse thieves not only for stealing horses, but that other horses might not be stolen."

    Of course, there is a vast difference between 'humiliation' and 'embarrassment,' but in the secondary school I had to deal with students who had never been made to bear the consequences of their own actions, and it wasn't much fun to have to be the bad guy all the time by requiring them to buck up and show some spunk by obeying the few rules we had in the classroom and taking it on the chin when they messed up or forgot.

    I was a naughty child and lived to stretch every boundary to the limits, but when I got caught, I wasn't mad at the teacher. I was mad at myself for screwing up. My parents weren't mad at the teacher, either; they knew who the screwup was; it was me. (My parents were angry with the teachers who were unfair and truly mean, but most teachers, while none of us is perfect, aren't really unfair or mean. A few, sure, but not most.)

    Ten minutes by the wall, in full view of his/her peers, might make that child, and all the other children, think twice about forgetting or disobeying or whatever, again. But 45 minutes was too long. After 45 minutes, I'd be mad, too. After 10 minutes, I'd just be all that more resolved not to screw up again.

    Ten minutes for the FIRST time. Five minutes added each time for repeat performances.
     
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