Damn that last post of mine was somber! I think Crabmommy is officially LOSING HER MIND, my peeps. Maybe it's the endless chill of the Pac-NW; maybe it's the stress of our almost-about-to-be-maybe-probably-lost incomes-that-are-already-paltry to begin with...but the Crabmom clearly needs some major time on the tire swing. Seriously, when did I get to be so serious?
Don't know. Let's hope it doesn't last.
Thanks those of you who commented on the play deprivation/role of recess post. Elsewhere on the web where the thoughts of the Crabmom appear, I had a teacher remind me that the No Child Left Behind Act has put loads of pressure on teachers to get kids performing their little tushies off...and in many cases this has forced a shortening of recess. So sad, so counterproductive. Another teacher also mentioned that it can be hard to come up with alternative punishments that work to get troublesome kids to behave. In her experience nothing was more effective than depriving kids of recess because she said she had tried everything she could think of, and plum nothing else worked.
And I thought about this teacher and tried to put myself in her shoes. I imagine it must be quite tricky to discipline kids in the classroom these days, especially as even when kids' parents ARE involved and interested, few of these kids are properly disciplined by their indulgent "pussyfoot-around-my-darling's-self-esteem" parents. Really, how do you run a classroom effectively when few kids are taught any sort of real respect for their elders? So let's just say you're presented with a naughty, impish grade-school tyke who is really hampering your ability to teach. I guess if you're going to be PC and fit into our culture in mainstream America, you as the teacher must beg the child to behave (using lots of pleases and thank yous, as we do to kids nowadays) and offer positive incentives for every negative behavior. But what if the little troll is still awful and rude and won't listen even after you've dangled prizes and packs of smiley face stickers in his face? What then?
Really, what are teachers to do to effectively discipline kids who don't behave properly? Add more homework? Keep kids after school? (Most stay after school anyway, don't they?) I think we need to put our heads together and figure out alternative punishment systems for kids who would otherwise be denied recess.
Here are mine:
- force girls to wear an Amish bonnet during recess (thereby humiliating them around their friends while still preserving all-important playtime)
- force boys to play clapping games with the girls during recess (see above)
- force macho boys to build a Waldorf-y fairy nest using twigs and acorns (ditto)
- force girly girls to engage in extensive pirate battles complete with rambunctious stabbing noises and duels with sticks (you get it)
- force boys and girls to do hard, manual, outside work during recess--weeding of school garden, scrubbing of walls, mowing of school lawn (that's if the free play punishments don't work)
What do you think teachers should do to punish kids for bad behavior? Any teachers out there? What really works for you? Positive reinforcement stuff or punitive stuff?