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Punishing as a group - not sure I'm happy

(48 Posts)
LingDiLong Sat 29-Sep-12 20:06:13

DD has just gone into Y3. After being a split class throughout infants they've all come back together so the size has gone from around 25 to 38. They have a lot of TAs in there though.

DD is generally a well behaved little girl, she's rarely got into trouble in school (to be honest I hardly ever have to tell her off myself). So far this year DD keeps coming home with tales of how they've lost playtime that day. Every time it seems to be because of very minor infractions made by other children in the class or on her table but the whole class gets punished e.g. her table didn't tidy up quickly enough after an activity so they lost 5 minutes, other children were talking when lining up to go outside so the whole class lost 5 minutes. Furthermore, when they lose this playtime they all have to stand by a wall in silence and, according to DD, they end up having time added on if anyone talks or cries which they invariably do.

Now, DD doesn't seem particularly bothered and is happy at school but it's starting to annoy me. The school has always been robust about discipline with high expectations and firm but clear boundaries and consequences - I like that. But this all seems too harsh, doesn't it?! Or am I being PFB? I'm considering having a chat with the teacher about this and another issue (not enough reading books being sent home). I never speak to the teacher about stuff like this but I'm starting to feel (particularly where reading books are concerned) that my chilled out 'not wanting to bother the teacher' attitude doesn't actually do my kids any favours.

HecateHarshPants Sat 29-Sep-12 20:07:43

punish the class = get the class to turn on the ones who are getting them into trouble.

Bit mean, really.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 20:09:56

Sometimes you just have to take it for the team. That's the point. The team.

WofflingOn Sat 29-Sep-12 20:12:48

Go and talk to the teacher about what is happening. Get both sides of the story and then you can challenge it if necessary.

LingDiLong Sat 29-Sep-12 20:15:17

Hecate yes, that's not great is it? They have a couple of kids in the class with some behavioural issues and I don't suppose punishing everyone for their behaviour is going to help them to be integrated with everybody.

Growlithe, I'm not sure I agree that punishing everyone will help them all pull together as a team. But maybe the teacher will convince me otherwise - maybe she's had success with this approach in the past.

LingDiLong Sat 29-Sep-12 20:16:26

Sorry Woffling, cross post. Oh yes, I certainly don't intend to march in and challenge her without working out what's really going on first.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 20:23:47

Ling it gives the class collective responsibility for behaviour. Everyone will have a vested interest in getting the ones committing the minor infractions to try harder. Wouldn't you think twice about doing something if you knew a classful of peers were going to be pissed off with you?

cleoowen Sat 29-Sep-12 20:24:04

I am a teacher and this is common practice as it's meant to get the children to work as a team and make the disruptive ones feel pressure from the others to sort themselves out. A lot of teachers,are very firm at the beginning of term to set boundaries then ease off.

However a balance should be set if all children end up missing play everyday I think that's a bit much. I personally tend to take whole class treats off.

HecateHarshPants Sat 29-Sep-12 20:25:33

No. It just causes resentment and can affect friendships. I suppose the idea is to make the children police each other in some way, or make them afraid to play up because the other children will be cross/dislike them. But it's just too mean for my liking. [big softy emoticon]

HecateHarshPants Sat 29-Sep-12 20:26:01

x-post. That was to Ling.

LemarchandsBox Sat 29-Sep-12 20:28:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pointythings Sat 29-Sep-12 20:35:12

This kind of punishment just teaches well behaved children that there is no point in behaving well and working hard, because they will be punished anyway when someone else acts up.

And it's nothing to do with building team spirit, it's a lazy teacher's way of not tackling the individuals who are causing the trouble because they are afraid of confronting them and their parents.

No good teacher will do this except if they have been very severely provoked, and they will certainly not to it as per routine. My DD's primary is very good on behaviour, and they do not use this tactic. Ever.

LemarchandsBox Sat 29-Sep-12 20:37:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LingDiLong Sat 29-Sep-12 20:37:45

Growlithe I would but I'm 36 grin, I suppose I'm unconvinced 7 year olds will think like that.

Cleo, I did wonder if the teacher was going in hard as it's such a big class and she's worried about keeping them in line. I hope it does ease off over time, DD has always loved school and I would hate this to ruin it for her.

Hecate and Lemarch, that's my worry. And from a purely selfish point of view - why should my well behaved child lose out on playtime because of the behaviour of others? Where is the incentive for her to carry on behaving herself if she's going to get punished regardless?

LemarchandsBox Sat 29-Sep-12 20:40:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 20:44:47

I have to say my DD is in year 4 and this has only happened to her twice since reception. So not a regular thing.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 20:47:10

Ling I would think a 7 year old would be much more bothered about what their peers thought of them than a 36 year old.

tethersend Sat 29-Sep-12 20:53:59

I am a teacher, and this is lazy practice which is actually ineffective at best and harmful at worst. It's completely counter-productive.

" Wouldn't you think twice about doing something if you knew a classful of peers were going to be pissed off with you?"

Alienating a child from their peers in such a divisive way is far, far more likely to result in an increase in disruptive behaviour.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 21:07:09

If bad behaviour was to escalate though, surely the teacher would stop using this tactic? The OP did mention it was for minor stuff. It is the start of the school year. Setting boundaries.

pointythings Sat 29-Sep-12 21:14:02

Growlithe if the teacher does this for minor things what's she going to do for major things? confused.

There are better ways of setting boundaries, and as tethers says, it's lazy and ineffective at best. If you want to be utterly pedantic about it, there's actually a rule in the Geneva Convention which bans collective punishment. Which this is.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 21:25:55

But hopefully the teacher wouldn't do this or major stuff. To me, and I'm no expert, just a parent, it could be a way of cracking down early on of the low level disruptive stuff.

My DD has never been in trouble at school. Sometimes I don't think a walk on the wild side does much harm grin

pointythings Sat 29-Sep-12 21:37:19

The teacher should not be doing this at all. There are also better ways of cracking down on low level disruptive stuff - such as coming down on those actually being disruptive. There are no excuses for using this method. This issue has been discussed on MN before, and the majority of teachers who post here do not accept this as a valid way of maintaining discipline - and I'm going to go with them, since they're the experts.

Growlithe Sat 29-Sep-12 21:49:48

Oh please get a grip. They are missing 15 minutes playtime, not getting flogged.

pointythings Sat 29-Sep-12 21:54:56

That isn't the point though, is it? The point is about effectiveness. And if the majority of teachers on here believe that this form of punishment isn't effective, then the likes of you and me as parents have to accept that. I do not understand why you have a problem with that. If teachers came on here saying 'actually, this really works, I've seen the improvement in behaviour' I'd accept that. I don't see why you can't search for other threads on this topic, do the homework and accept the conclusions of people who know better than you and I do. We're all wrong about things sometimes.

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Sat 29-Sep-12 22:10:10

I agree with tethersend, I think it is very lazy of the teacher. It irritates me a lot.

A teacher tried this with my DS when he was 16 but made the mistake of telling him that she knew he had not misbehaved. My DS is extremely respectful and quiet but he couldn't help pointing out to the teacher how ridiculous and unfair it was to punish him and how her punishment didn't comply with the schools discipline policy. I know this sounds cheeky of him but over the years he has had to endure numerous class punishments. The teacher wasn't that happy about it but she let him leave the class.

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