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DrivingPigeon DrivingPigeon is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2010
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DrivingPigeon
 
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 749
Senior Member
What to say to other teachers?
Old 09-15-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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This is my first year using the RCA. So far I have introduced almost everything (morning meeting, closing circle, take a break chair, class rules), and we've been in school 10 days. I think the kids are doing pretty well. It's kindergarten, so they take a little bit longer to get into the swing of things, but I'm using a lot of modeling and praise, and I'm impressed with their progress so far.

The past few years I used individual rewards, table rewards, and whole-class rewards. It was costly and time-consuming, and kids would expect rewards for everything. Another teacher who spends some time in my classroom came in this morning to talk to me about doing rewards. Her daughter goes to our school, and her teacher uses individual rewards. In her daughter's classroom, each child has a pocket on a poster. If they are caught doing expected behaviors, they receive a piece of green paper for their pocket. When they earn 5 papers they get a prize (a small toy). The teacher who was telling me about this system thought it might be good for me to use, because she thinks I have a lot of kids who would benefit from using it.

I explained to her that I was trying not to do rewards, and then I told her a little bit about the RCA, and how I wanted kids to do things for the right reasons, not so they would get a prize. I must admit, though, it really ruined my morning...I know she only meant well, but I felt like someone was saying, "Your kids are out of control" when I think that they are really doing well. I also feel like I was very defensive when I was talking to her, but I felt offended! She kept giving me suggestions for how I could incorporate rewards, and I kept shooting them all down.

No one in my school uses the RCA, and I don't think anyone has even heard of it. I just don't know how to explain what I'm doing without sounding defensive and getting upset. This is difficult to do in a school filled with rewards. Any advice?

Also, do you guys think it would be appropriate for me to do a whole-class reward? During closing circle we could reflect on our day as a community, and then move a space on a game board (or something like that) to work towards a pajama day or something? I did this in past years, but I struggled with judging how the "whole" class did. Some kids are always doing what they're supposed to be, so that isn't fair. Ugh, I'm so frustrated!


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