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June 22nd, 2010, 07:01 AM
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TheMrs TheMrs is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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As a teacher I disagree, in general. Rewards and punishments have always worked in my classroom. I have kindergartners so that may be part of it. I know as children get older rewards become more difficult. I think kindergartners are the perfect age for this because they are able to account themselves for their actions, yet are still excited by small (inexpensive) rewards. I taught 1st grade before kindergarten and it did not work as well. I am very consistent though. There have been years or even time of the year when I wasn't consistent and everything went to poo.
Admittedly, most students follow expectations most of the time, but I usually have one student that the reward/punishment system doesn't fully work for in which cases I have gotten the parents on board. Some how knowing their parents and teacher are in communication daily is all it takes. There was only one student this didn't work for, however the student was a severe behavior case and is now seeing outsides sources for behavior management.

I know consistency and high expectations are key. However I also think the age has something to do with it. I also do my best to always give students the benefit of the doubt. Rather than just assuming they are doing wrong when it appears they are I implement a set of questions first. "What are you doing?" "Why are you ______?" "What should you be doing?" Many times this shows the student was actually not doing wrong or at least there was a valid (at least to a5/6 year old) reason for what they were doing wrong and allows for more discussion. A child care center I worked at did this and I continued it when I began teaching in my own classroom. The only down side is I get irritated when other teachers jump down a kid's neck. Usually there is an explanation. This creates respect rather than fear which is another reason I feel my classes tend to have fewer behavior problems.
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