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Cancelling whole class christmas activities if "usual suspects" don't behave - this can't be fair?

19 replies

Polgara2 · 26/11/2007 19:14

DD2 came home today unhappy because her teacher has made a chart with the Christmas 'fun' activities on it and said that if she has to put 4 crosses against a certain activity because some of the children (same ones that misbehave a lot) are naughty then they will be cancelled for the whole class. I feel very strongly that this is just wrong - why should dd be punished for others misdemeanours? What sort of message is this sending? Teacher seems to be falling back on this whole class punishment idea just lately and it obviously isn't working.
So the question is - how do I approach her teacher to express my concerns. I don't want to antagonise her but I feel very sorry for dd2 and cannot just let it lie.

OP posts:
SmileSam · 26/11/2007 20:04

I'm a teacher and would get loads of complaints if I did this! I have parents in every day fussing over really minor things and generally, it doesn't bother me because I've got two children of my own and know parents only come in because they care (i.e. unlike the ones who never come in, even when invited!) Do go in, as this really isn't fair. Surely keeping the fun activities for those who are behaving is a worse punishment - who wants to see others going off to have fun when they can't? If you get no luck with the teacher, I'd go and see the Head!

littlerach · 26/11/2007 20:07

Dd1 came home worried today because they have to get 100 marbles ot get the christma spartyu and a few of the boys have been told off today so haven't got marbles.
I guess that is a mor epositive thing though.

I ma sure that dd1's class wil get a party though.

hildegard · 26/11/2007 20:09

I don't agree with this at all. It is not on to punish the whole class for the bad behaviour of a few. It will not work as a behaviour mangagement strategy either. I would go and see the teacher about it. I am a teacher too btw.

Polgara2 · 26/11/2007 20:49

Thank you - it is good to see I am not just being over sensitive it. As teachers how do you think I would be best phrasing this in order to get the best result?

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Blandmum · 26/11/2007 20:52

The first thing I would do is to ask her if she would really cancel christmas. Do you not think that she might be putting a little leverage on the 'usual suspects'?

She might well be 'generous' with positives to make sure that the festival happens, whilst goading the less well behaved into toeing the line a little

LIZS · 26/11/2007 20:59

How old is she ? We're suddenly getting whole class reward/punishments, sometimes for seemingly disproportionate things.

Desiderata · 26/11/2007 21:04

Ah, that's not good, surely? Some kids will misbehave .. according to our strictures .. but there was a thread on here just today which said that boys in particular are being emasculated in modern society by the constant desire to 'toe the line.'

They're just wee kids. So yes, go to the teacher and express your concerns.

twinsetandpearls · 26/11/2007 21:04

But as a teacher mb ( and a parent) you should not make promises you can't or don't want to keep.

Blandmum · 26/11/2007 21:07

No, I wouldn't do it either.

But I have been known to say to certain sets, 'You all need to pass the test to have X, Y, Z' this motivates them to put in some effort.

I then make sure that I set the test at a level where they can all pass the test.

isn't a sort of a subtle carrot and phatasmagorical stick I suppose

Polgara2 · 26/11/2007 21:13

It's yr 3 so they're 7 and 8 year olds. I'm just not sure whether she will go through with it or not - and as you say twinset she shouldn't make threats or promises she won't keep. Thing is she has done this before and just today she deprived the whole class of some sort of treat because some of them had misbehaved so the treats were sent to Yr4 instead - cue most indignant moans from dd2!

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idlingabout · 27/11/2007 09:16

I've said this before on other similar threads - it is just lazy and cowardly on the teachers part. If your dd knows who are the usual culprits than the teacher will too so she should punish them and them only. It is outrageous that well behaved children like your dd have to suffer because of the selfish actions of the trouble-makers and the inadequate response by the teacher. Complain big time, your dd will thank you.

AngharadGoldenhand · 27/11/2007 10:05

I hate whole class punishments. Unfair and they don't work at primary level because the quiet kids aren't the sort to put peer pressure on the louder ones.

It's particularly unfair on those, like my dd, who are worriers and would get very upset about this.

I don't think Ofsted agree with this sort of punishment - at primary anyway.

GooseyLoosey · 27/11/2007 10:21

I would hate this, not least because I will own up to having a child who is not the best behaved child in the world. He tries really hard but cannot restrain himself from answering questions put to other children and when he perceives something is unjust he will act upon it. He is only 4 so I have some hope but I would regard an action like this as demonising my child and potentially alienating his peers in a way which would be damaging for him.

It sounds like she really might enforce this and I think it is unfair as it is effectively shifting the role of disciplinarian on to the rest of the class and hoping they will force the "usual suspects" to behave well.

Polgara2 · 27/11/2007 12:58

Right so the general consensus is that I should go in and have a word! Oh gawd I hate confrontations but am quite on dd's behalf.
If she just says well that's the way it is should I go to the head do you think (who is approachable and an excellent head btw)?

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GooseyLoosey · 27/11/2007 13:24

Yes as I can't see it achieving anything positive for either good or bad children. Concept of collective responsibility is a little beyond 7 year olds IMO.

SmileSam · 27/11/2007 21:46

I won't def go and see the teacher. Go in friendly, rather than confrontational. You could say that your daughter and other 'good' kids might also become switched off if they keep getting punished for nothing.

SmileSam · 29/11/2007 09:06

Sorry, I meant I would def go and see the teacher.

potoftea · 29/11/2007 09:24

This issue has been driving me mad since my dc started school 14 years ago. 3 schools that we were in did this for PE class too, ie. if someone is naughty the class don't do PE. When I complained the teachers always said the idea is to get the rest of the class to put pressure on the naughty child to behave. But if the trained teacher can't get him to behave how are a group of 6 or 7 years olds?

There is also no incentive on the good children to continue to be good if they are getting punished anyway. Surely it would be more of a punishment if the one misbehaver had to see all his classmates having fun while he sat it out.

Agh.....I am all cross now and wound up about this. It brings back memories of trying to comfort my child when they missed out on something because of one or two children.

hotcrossbunny · 29/11/2007 09:47

Good children should not be punished for bad behaviour. Period.
I had an inspiring teacher who had no problems with discipline or standards. One thing he did was said he would have a mohican if we all passed a test. Cue lots and lots of revision and other pupils' coaching of thickoesstruggling children. All bar one of us passed so teacher compromised by having stripes shaved into his head We knew if this teacher said something would happen, it did

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