« Coping with Stress |
| How Much is a Field Trip Worth? »
If you teach preschool, you have most likely heard this before: "My Mom told me, if somebody hits you, hit them back." As
a teacher, my first response is, "We are at school and we have to
follow school rules." This will work most of the time, but this has not
helped the student who did the hitting learn not to hit. So we
conference and usually work it out, at least for that day.
Posted at 08:30 AM in "Circle Time" Questions | Permalink
circle-time, discipline, pre-k, preschool
Geez, John/Jonah - Do you really want me to comment on EVERYTHING I COULD about this topic?? : ) Ben, with autism, fully included in the 4th Grade regular ed class fulltime (no pull-out), with appropriate supports that not only benefit him, but the rest of the class (his aide facilitates small group learning, supports the classroom teacher in SO many ways, creates study guides - using Kidspiration 3 - for Ben that can be used by the whole class, etc.)... the way Ben has become a learning experience to his class, teachers, and school, is your case in point for not only accepting, but celebrating and exploring the needs and learning potential in all students. Criss Cross Applesauce should be just ONE of the menu choices in a classroom of hungry learners. : )
Kim Kredich |
April 12, 2009 at 02:38 PM
Great question: who do our rules serve? I really try to make sure my rules makes sense to students and to the situation. Rules should really be there to ensure the safety of all students and justice in the classroom. Sometimes rules are there to save time, and are more procedures than rules. But maybe we should be taking more time with kids to determine the value of the procedure. I teach middle school, and students can be as good at creating or improving procedures as they are at rebelling against them! I think the challenge is finding the right balance between giving students a voice in creating classroom culture and policy, and having enough structure and firm limits so that students feel safe and cared for.
Ariel Sacks |
April 12, 2009 at 03:01 PM
At our school we let the victim of hitting tell the hitter whether or not it was liked, partly as a way to teach the victim to take some power and partly as a way for the hitter to see how it affected the other person. Sometimes, it turns out that it's part of some game, and it's ok. Then we step back. If it's not a game we work with the hitter to see some of the consequences (such as, no one wants to play with him, or he didn't get what he wanted after all because an adult intervened). We give him or her words to use to get what's wanted in a more appropriate manner. If necessary we sit with that person awhile until they think they are ready to play without hitting. The rule, essentially, is "no hurting," not "no hitting." Hurting doesn't have to be physical, either.
And at our school I don't think I've ever heard anyone but subs use "criss cross applesauce" for the reasons you state. If someone's paying attention let them be in whatever body shape helps them. If they aren't paying attention but not being disruptive, is it that important? Some part of that little brain is attending, believe me. We do make it clear that disruption is not permitted, but I always let kids who don't want to join circle play quietly or have a squishy ball or book to hold while the rest of us are a group. Even if they aren't with us they're hearing what's going on. Usually those kids who are across the room during circle are the ones who can tell you exactly what stories and fingerplays we did or what we talked about.
April 13, 2009 at 03:59 PM
Patti, Thanks for your comment. I teach a 4-5 year old Head Start class in the inner city. I have 19 children with myself and my assistant. I think your point about students who are away from the "action" can sometimes learn more than those in the thick of it is part of my question? Who does it serve for us have rules and consequences?
Ariel, Thanks for your comment, especially this one " I think the challenge is finding the right balance between giving students a voice in creating classroom culture and policy, and having enough structure and firm limits so that students feel safe and cared for."
That feeling safe and cared for is a huge issue for me about why I am struggling with issues like consequences in my classroom. I can see that for 3 year old to feel safe they need to feel like they can walk across the room and find something else to do but, i also think many of my at-risk students want to know that I won't let them get away with misbehavior. The caring is in saying no instead of not saying anything.
Kim, Great to hear from you. I totally see your point about supporting all learners. I remember Ben and his ways well. He was always able to appreciate and participate in whatever we did while we were cheering on your triathlon moms. I think we can and should use "appropriate supports that not only benefit him, but the rest of the class."
To me this a struggle between the normative functions of school (teaching participation in our society) and the nurturing functions of school (allowing everyone to be who they are in their own way.) But, there is a caveat to the second part, that is "as long as they are learning." If supports for students actually detract from their learning should we continue to use them?
J.M. Holland |
April 16, 2009 at 01:41 PM
Your post reminds me very much of Alfie Kohn's philosophy in Unconditional Parenting. It's much harder to ask ourselves these questions, but in the end, so worth it.
Karen Dahl |
April 20, 2009 at 03:08 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.
Subscribe to RSS headline updates from: Powered by FeedBurner