I have some concerns about my own child (I am of course a teacher too). She is in Kindergarten and got in trouble for playing in line and pinching a student (not aggressivey). She should be reprimanded, but my concern is how she was reprimanded. She had to miss her whole lunch recess standing on the fence watching the other children play. This recess lasts approx. 25 minutes and she did not get to play at all. She was heart broken and crying and it just killed my. Is there anywhere that I can find some information about recess and consequences and missing recess. I would like to go talk with the principal (of course my boss too), but don't want to come across as an out of sorts parent about their child. I did not know that they were making all the students that had "time out" miss the whole recess. I feel that my daughter should have gotten 5-10 minutes of time out and then should have had time to play. Am I wrong and what can I use to back myself up with. Sorry for the length.
I think it is important that you talk directly to the teacher first ( You may have already done this). I don't think losing one 25 min. recess is something to get too upset about. However, I might think there is a problem if it happened several times. Do the Kindergarten teachers take away all recess for all behavior or is it somehow tiered? Pinching whether it is aggressive or not seems like it would be a more severe consequence. I am sure your daughter will think next time before she does this because of the consequence she received.
Playing in line MAY require time out for recess. I usually just send the rest of the students out with the para and then say to the "offender", "When you are ready to stand still and listen, you may go out, too." This usually stops them cold.
HOWEVER, if a student does something intentionally to hurt another child, then I would have no problem keeping that student out of recess. I probably would actually send that student to talk with the principal at that time instead.
I agree, 25 mins is too long for a kindergarten student to have time out. I've always believed in 1 minute for each year of their age for primary kids. I think the consequence was fine, but 5 minutes probably would have served the purpose. Of course if this is a behaviour that happens often, then something else needs to be done.
I do not disagree that my child should have a consequence for her actions. Although the pinching was a play pinch with laughing. It was not to hurt the other child. None the less she was playing in line and was not supposed to be. I just don't think that any 5 year old gets much from time out for 20-25 minutes. I always thought that it was a minute per age. If it was felt by the teacher to be a more aggressive behaior then maybe she should have contacted the principal. The kind. teachers do not actually give their students a 20-25 minute time out. It was my understanding that the Teachers Aid at the recess time doesn't feel that she has the time or ability to know which students have the 5 min. time out and the 10 min. timeout or so on. "It is too difficult to keep up with." There are at least 2 other aids out there at that time. I was thinking that one aid could monitor the 5 min. students, one the 10 min. students and so on. It is standard for any student's offense in need of a timeout at recess consequence that they miss the whole time. There are poor little ones that are in trouble daily that stand on that fence almost everyday and those are the ones that need that time!
This is a standard thing to lose your whole recess because the recess duty teacher aid does not want to monitor the time spent on the fence so it is generalized into the whole recess. I feel that, that is wrong. It is too much for a 5 year old.
I believe that the whole recess time may have been too long. We have a tiered plan, one offence is a warning then up to 5 then 10 before they lose all of recess. However, we do have a rule that hands and feet should always be kept to yourself. Sometimes this will result in losing some playtime without a warning. But I would just take away 5 - 10 mins to start, unless the child attempted to argue or talk back when being reprimanded.
"Playful pinching" may be understood as just playing to you and maybe the teacher understood that too, but then it may look like it is okay for the other kids to pinch as well, playful or not. I have a few students who like to hug each other, seems innocent, but a few squeeze to hard and cause the others to whine or cry claiming they are being hurt. The hugger meant no harm, but it still could cause a minor prob. Especially if the hurt child complains to home. You would feel that a child who harmed yours should be reprimanded as well.
The policy at our school sounds just like this, but it is explained as a logical consequence. If you hurt other children, you may not be near other children. It is very simple and a message that kinder students can grasp very quickly. This may be the same approach that your daughter's teacher may be following.
Talk to her first before you go to the principal. I know it can be hard and you don't want to come across as one of those pushy moms that you may know so well.
BTW, both my girls go to my school and I have had to handle situations with their teachers that I thought might be out of hand. After speaking with the teachers I've always felt better about the consequences.
This is pretty much the same consequence I use in my classroom. If children misbehave, they have to stand against the wall for the entire recess.
I agree with the consequence the teacher gave........ Where I may not agree is this... Did your daughter know that losing recess would be the consequence of her actions??? Has the teacher made the specifically clear in her everyday "goings-on"??? ............. And was your daughter warned????
I feel any consequence should only be given after a warning.... And I am trying to teach myself to breathe before handing out any consequences so that they are not just an emotional reaction..
I agree that it may have been to long. I would talk to the teacher. It is important that your child sees you working with her teacher. I have made contact with several children who because of their parents past conflicts with teachers believe that they don't have to listen to their teacher. She needs to see you talk with this teacher in a respectful manner. Whether you disagree with her consequence or not, it isn't abusive to deny a child recess for pinching another student. As long as your child was able to use the restroom, drink from the water fountain, and eat . . . Try to understand that the teacher has many kids. If she allowed this type of behavior her classroom would be in chaos. It is not easy working with large groups of children. It is especially difficult when parents are not willing to back up their child's teacher especially when the child was obviously wrong. I can understand being embarassed about your child's behavior. Teach her that she needs to keep her hands to herself. It might save you a lot of grief in the future.
I think that some feel that I was angered or upset about my child getting a consequence. I feel that she should have gotten one. My only concern was the length of the consequenc and also a concern for other children who will also have this consequence. I am not angry with her teacher and I always try to back the teacher up. I am a teacher myself. I just feel that no child should have to miss a whole recess unless there is a real behavior problem and if there is maybe the principal should get involved. I did talk with the teacher and she said that the teacher usually don't make them miss the whole recess but the aid outside at duty doesn't think that it is worth monitoring who has how much time on the fence. I am not at all angry about any of this just concerned that the right thing is being done or if there is a better way of handling it.
Perhaps the aid needs to be inside and the teacher out monitoring the students???
At my school, the teachers take the students out while the aids either stay behind with the misbehaviors or come out as well. (That way they CAN monitor the clock.) Or the teacher keep the students inside and do the same.
I use a 4 color system:
green: you're doing great, no consequences
yellow: you lose 5 minutes
blue: you lose 10
orange: you lose it all
I give 1 warning before moving colors. Some offenses require a direct move from green to orange. (Destruction of school property, physical violence, etc) Pinching would not cause a student to go from green to orange though UNLESS I know the student to be a repeat offender that I am trying to get under control OR if a mark was left.
You've talked with the teacher, she doesn't act like she can do anything about your concern. You may have to explain to your daughter to keep hands off other children in the future. If she has to sit again for the whole time for line talking or the like, then I would visit the principal as a parent. (I've had to do this myself for my own kids) It's not right to make Ks sit for so long when their behavior has been OK, not awful.
I believe the real issue here is the act of humiliation. By forcing a young child to stand at the fence in front of everyone else is horrifying. I can't believe we are accepting of this as a way to treat our children.
For crying out loud say something and don't ever let this happen to your child again. You are right Carol, and please act now. Your child depends on you to protect her.
I completely see your concern! I would be concerned, too. As a kindergarten teacher, it would be developmentally inappropriate to sit a child out for such a long time. That time could have been better used by talking about what happened (why did she pinch?), working out a better solution (for next time) and then fixing the problem (your daughter could take the child into the room and put water on the place that was pinched, then apologize, rub their back, shake hands, etc.). If "timeout" (I would like to see it called something a little bit more positive...time to think, cool down, thinking chair...or thinking fence needs to occur, then timeout needs to happen right then. Unless they were going outside to play and that's when the incident happened, otherwise, if problem occurred earlier (such as in centers), it should have been taken care of earlier. There is tons of research about not punishing kids during playtime. Outside play is not a reward to be taken away. It is a kindergartners "work." Basically, your child sat out 25 minutes, which she should have been learning.
I don't know what happend with reply #13. I did not reply to myself, but I don't know how that happened. I appreciate everyone's response to my dilemma. I am cooled down and my child has not been in trouble since. I still have concerns when I look out my classroom window and I see some of those little ones standing on the fence. Some are there at least 3 times a week. I need to do something, but I am not an assertive person. I am just going to have to find some assertivness in my body and go and just talk with the principal.
We have a " no tolerance" policy when it involves harming another child. Although parents think that their child did not intend to hurt another student, they have no way of knowing that except what their child tells them. This incident would have warrented a referral to the AP, regardless of the grade level. It doesn't always happen. I have seen kindergarten students suspended from 1-3 days, depending on the severity of the physical contact. There is a contract that students and parents receive and sign at the beginning of every school year. One of the major rules in every classroom is " keeping hands and feet to yourselves." The reason is because an innocent pinch could lead to more physical contact. It is far better to have them standing on the fench at school until they learn proper behavior than not dealing with it. Very often children are warned, but many don't listen. Too often parents don't take seriously the trouble that their child is causing and try to help them insteadof blaming the teacher for depriving them of playtime. In case one might think that these kindergarten students are poor little innocent children, I would be glad to dispel that myth.
I am a K teacher and I would NEVER EVER have one of my precious "babies" lose 25 minutes of recess. As a parent, I think you have every right to be upset. First off, I feel like taking away a child's exercise, gross motor building, and free play with peers, is sending a very confusing and dangerous message. This play time is important WORK time and developmentally a very rich time for growth. Children that young need time to internalize their behavior and how consequences effect them. This was a non violent and child like act that could have been used as a teaching moment if anything. The teacher could have pulled her aside and explained to her that she is not following directions and needs to keep her hands to herself. Two important rules of K that I teach all year! I would not go right to the principal. I would explain to the teacher that you feel strongly your daughter needs recess to be healthy and that you would rather she be punished some other way. Tell the teacher that you understand that she needs to follow directions and that you are more than willing to be consistent at home with her and help in some other way. I really think you are fair to think that her punishment was outrageous. Also, to have your daughter that be upset about it, is awful.
I am astounded at the disproportionate number of responses from elementary teachers here advocating for kindergarten children to lose recess time as a consequence for inappropriate behavior. I think I counted only two teachers who recognized the value of recess play as the child's work! I have noticed since I recently began performing recess duty that we have kindergarten children (usually boys, in our case) standing 'on the wall' every day. Many times they are the same children day after day. Clearly, this consequence is not working. Who is processing the behavior and motivation with this child? How can he or she be expected to go inside and 'get to work' without the release and exercise that comes with recess? I also have concerns that in a climate like this, where inappropriate behavior is met with an inappropriate response, no one asks the question, "What was it about the situation that allowed or motivated the student to misbehave?" Clearly, pinching is never okay. But perhaps training 5-year-olds to stand in line ought not be one of our main objectives for sucess in kindergarten. And what about making amends? Why not explore better ways to teach children conflict resolution and even forgiveness, rather than simple punishments that, at least in our school, repeatedly punish the same students with no evidence that the punishments are making an impact?
How do you know the pinch was meant playfully? I assume your child told you... Pinching hurts and it may start out playfully and end up with someone screaming. This sounds like a typical response from "parents" who can't stand hearing that their precious child actually did something wrong and then was made to take responsibility for it with a consequence. What about when you discipline one of your students?
Also you suggest the teacher should contact the principal. The teacher is quite able to handle the issue with the consequence given. There is no need to 'call the principal' everytime. If you did that you have no ground to stand on with any kind of class management. They'll just wait for the principal. Do you call the principal everytime someone does something you deem to be aggressive? You seem to be overly concerned about what the Teacher's Aid did or did not do and not what your child did. You should spend more time talking to your child about NOT pinching others and following expectations which will equal no loss of recess time.