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Home : 2005 : Jan : 10

    Teaching vs. Parenting
    By Sarah D.

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    I don't teach in public school, and I may not be of much help, but, here is how my classroom runs. I teach in a private learning center, I get Kindergarteners in the afternoon from 11:30- 3:30 and then I get all my school age kids at 3:30. When I took over the room, there was fist fighting, and unruley behavior you wouldn't believe. At first I was lost. But as I learned about each child I began to figure out a system that would work..and work it does! On any child's first "offence" they get a verbal warning..yes, I call them out if front of the class. On "offence" #2 they get their name on the board, this equals 2 min. holding my hand or sitting on the play groung durning recess. #3 is 2 more minutes and number 4 is 2 more minutes. They can get up to 6 min either holding my hand or sitting outside at recess. They hate this!! Also, if it's a matter of disrespect, they use their free center time to write either an apology letter explaining how to respect others, or a classroom list of rules. These get posted. My class is called, "the little army" because they are so well behaved. Not because of this, but because I have high expectations for their behavior and treatment of myself and others. There have been no fist fights since I took the room over, and I haven't used the 2min board since October. We also have "family meetings" where we get together just to talk. I'll start by asking, "Is there anything anyone wants to talk about" and usually someone comes up with something. Also, in order to insure that my centers get put away correctly, I do 5 min inspections. They get five minutes to make sure everything is where it belongs and then I go through and do inspections, anything that's not in the correct place gets taken off the shelf,.....the HATE this. So usually after the five minutes, I don't have much worries. Sometimes, I switch it up and have an inspector. I'll assign one child to be the inspector and they love this job!! When I'm through inspecting, they have another 5 min. for a second try. I do this by surprise, maybe once a week, sometimes I don't do it for about 3 weeks. I've found that sending them to the office, or calling parents doesn't work,'s more of a reward. I used "chores" for small incidences. Like, say, Sally chooses to throw a book, in order to remind her how I expect my books to be treated, I'll take one whole shelf of books off and have her put them back in alphabetical order.....I've ONLY HAD TO DO THIS ONCE!! Thing like that get their attention. Maybe it sounds harsh, but I have none of the problems that you speak of. I hope things get better for you! Good luck!

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