Question for 2nd grade teachers

jojocoSeptember 16, 2007

My son's teacher instituted a behavior form that comes home everyday. She does this for every child. On it are 7 different areas with a blank by each. Ie, in the classroom, at specials, walking down the hall, in the lunch room, during reading...In each blank, the teacher writes the number of times she had to talk to the child and then below offers a child's perspective. It may say "My teacher had to talk to me _____ times today during quiet work. The blank is filled in and below it says something like:

I was quiet almost all of the time

I disturbed my peers too much

I made it very hard for everyone to work...

Not verbatim, but fairly close.

Anyway, her class is a very easy class with 20 easy going kids. I am fairly certain that we don't even have any kids with behavioral issues (small town, same kids year after year). For the most part, my son has been bringing home these papers with zeros in each blank. But, on occasion, he gets a one in a category or two. I don't mind, he is 7 and is learning the rules. But he minds and has come home upset by it, despite my saying it is okay, still early in the year etc. But my thoughts are that this is a daily report card and makes every day a chance to succeed or fail for these kids. It seems like a lot of pressure to be perfect. As soon as he gets a mark, he feels like he failed. Am I overthinking this and is this system a good thing? Also, seems she must spend an awful lot of time each day keeping track and handing out the sheets. I am not planning on doing anything, I just want some professional input.

Thanks. Oh, and for all who say I really don't know how easy going these kids are, you are of course right. I am not in her class, but I coach many of these kids in soccer and ice hockey and know almost all of them on a casual level. She has a gentle group.


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At our school each teacher has their own method that is basically keeping track of behavior. One second grade teacher sends home a paper each day with either a green, yellow or red stamp on it. Very similar to your son's teacher. Some use a bulletin board in the room where the entire class either receives or loses points based on individual behavior and behavior as a class. Some teachers use marbles or blocks. They all use something like this. Most of the kids are good kids. There are some kids who do have behavioral problems that are mainstreamed, but the teachers do not subtract points for their behavior (the feeling it would be unfair to the other children since they cannot control their behavior). I have never thought it was a bad thing. My son is in high school now, and yes, even though every one of his teachers would tell me he is a joy to have in class, even he lost the occasional point. We would just sit down and talk about what happened. Once he understood that the teacher was not angry at him he was fine with it. A friend of mine had more problems getting her son to relax about it, but he brought home a lot of red stamps early in the year before he started to settle down.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 9:14PM
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My thoughts yours, if it's a gentle group, why spend the time on this? That takes a lot of time!!!! Brother. Concentrate on her good qualities and get through the year. Tell you son all of the ways he is perfect!! I hate to hear stuff like this.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:18PM
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I find it disturbing that the teacher spends her day keeping tally on her students behavior. She must walk around with a note pad in her pocket with a list of her students names and the behavior catagorys. It is sad that your child gets a note sent home stating how naughty he/she was. How often do the student get a note stating "Susie had a great day?" This would really bother me and i would confront the teacher about this and bring it up at the next PTA/PTO meeting. If these kids were in kindergarten then i would think differently. But the kids are in the 2nd grade. The teacher needs to spend more time teaching and less time tallying.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:57PM
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Kids respond much better to acknowledgement of appropriate behavior than criticism for inappropriate behavior.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 8:53PM
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One word: Ridiculous. A few more words - where does she get the time to fill out those forms? She could be using that end-of-the-day time to sing some old-fashioned songs with the children, or play a word guessing-game, or do so many other happy-making things.

I taught in elementary school and my mother was a 30-year veteran in the Chicago public school system. And we would agree on one thing. In a fairly quiet district such as yours, a teacher needs one primary thing to help maintain class decorum: a strong principal. Not a bad-tempered meanie, just someone who exudes cheerful but firm authority. With that back-up, the teacher csn concentrate on what teachers do best - teach.

If you ever decide to do anything, follow the chain of command. First speak to her, then the principal, and then the PTA.

This is terrible pressure to put on a second-grader, IMO. School should be a happy place. A child should not have to worry about either behaving like a silent robot or getting "talked to" and having that go home with him every day.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:39PM
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my sons teacher uses the green- yellow- red method.. that i think is much more simple than what you describe.. I would really talk to the teacher about switching to something like this instead.... They do get green (good) for the positive behavior aspect. If its yellow or red then the teacher just has to write a little quick note on why.
and if most kids in the class are good then it should be alot easier for the teacher too......

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 1:07PM
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