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amazing grace
 
 
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help with stoplights vs. RC approach
Old 10-15-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I'm going to be teaching in a school where the majority of the teachers use the stoplight behavior system however, I will not be. I plan on implementing the RC approach and focusing on the "take a break" & thinking time techniques instead of "move your clip." My new principal is okay with my "going against the flow" or so to speak. I feel the stoplight system focuses too much on the negative and not enough on what the children should be doing instead. My problem is I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts to write out a good explanation of 1.) the RC approach to discipline and 2.) why I don't agree with the stoplight system. I would like to write this out so I can more easily talk about these things with parents and co-workers (and possibly have a hand out of facts for families.)

Can someone help me with this? TIA!


 

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AddieJ AddieJ is offline
 
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some thoughts
Old 10-17-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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If you want to write something to share with other teachers and/or parents, I would make sure it's written in a respectful, matter-of-fact way that doesn't just bash someone else's system but gives the important facts and your personal reasons for choosing the RC approach. I think if you shared all the good things about RC, you wouldn't even need to mention the stoplight system, because RC really sells itself.

Here's some thoughts I had on the subject: One reason I don't like the stoplight system is that it has all the children's names displayed and where they are - behavior-wise - for anyone coming into the classroom to see. That kind of visual lets people immediately label the "trouble makers" in the classroom without giving them a fair chance to prove otherwise. I don't personally think the teacher needs a visual to remind himself/herself who has a warning and who hasn't. I've never had a problem with knowing where my students are at with their behavior. Maybe some people will argue that but then I would say to just use a clipboard which is more discreet and respectable to the student because it's something that is not displayed for everyone to see. The RC approach is always respectable to the students. (And I don't think the students need a visual for their behavior either - everyone knows where they are and how they've been acting in class.)

I would also discuss the fact that RC introduces the take a break and thinking time as positive things used for the purpose of helping a student regain their ability to participate in an acceptable way. Plus, it's more logical for a student to sit away from a group when that child chooses to disrupt the group or break classroom rules. It is not logical for a student to miss minutes at recess for incidents that have nothing to do with recess. I don't like having to delay any consequences. If a child loses minutes at 9 am but has to wait until 11 am for recess, it doesn't make any sense to me. (btw - Losing recess is the main consequence I've seen with teachers who use the stoplight system - it may not be what everyone does but I've seen it a lot.) Consequences need to be relevant & realistic.

Those are some thoughts I had - hope that helps!
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:11 AM
 
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You can tell them that discipline in RC focuses on teaching and supporting positive behaviors. When children misbehave you stop the specific misbehavior quickly and respectfully with a redirection, by relocating the child or narrowing the child's choices, or by having the child take a brief break. (No "thinking time" please. Thinking about our misbehavior doesn't usually help us do better) Under this approach children spend most of their time practicing positive behavior. When you use warning systems or delayed "consequences" children spend more time misbehaving and the message is that misbehavior is both tolerated to some extent and that they will be labeled as a bad kid rather than simply redirected back to positive behavior.
 
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thanks
Old 10-29-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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thanks for the responses. padent - do you just call your time out "time out?" I know a lot of teachers who call it thinking time but they tell their students to think about how to act differently when they return to the group - focusing on positive rather than negative.

thanks again for your help
 
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I call mine...
Old 11-29-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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the "Chill Out Chair." When I see students starting to make poor choices that are going to lead to later trouble, I try to give them a reminder. If their behavior continues I say to them, "I think you need to visit the Chill Out Chair until you are ready to join us and make better choices." They don't really throw a fit because they don't think of it as a negative thing like "Time Out."

The chair sits about 10 feet away from my carpet area, facing instruction so they don't miss out on the lesson. Some students that visit more frequently usually decide when they are ready to rejoin us and ask permission to come back to the carpet or activity. If they are still sitting there at the end of the lesson when I dismiss students to their workspaces, I walk over to them and have a conversation about what choices they made and how they could do better next time.

My school has been implementing a program that is based on RC for the last two years. All teachers love the morning meetings! Many of them are really having a hard time doing away with the color system and relying on logical consequences. I am on the resource team and try so hard to convince them that really works well for most students if you implement it correctly. We all know that NO ONE program is perfect and they won't fix those really tough kids....


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Old 11-29-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Thanks AddieJ & mssmith105 for your help. I did get something written out that is very factually and explains the RC approach. I didn't really say anything about the stoplight system and I plan on asking parents if they have any questions about it at P/T conferences.
What system are you using, mssmith105? Usually if teachers go to the RC trainings, that will "hook" them into the whole philosophy of the approach. The trainers are really good at answering the hard questions. Problem is the workshops are expensive.
No system is perfect but we can't "fix" children either. Our job is to teach kids (even the tough ones) how to react in the correct ways in all circumstances, get along with others, and be productive members of society (besides teaching them the required subjects of reading, math, etc.) That's quite a large task to take on! I think I need a raise...j/k!
 

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