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2 Bumps

School behavior

My son is in 1st grade. The 2 teachers have a colored card system for behavior. All kids start the day on a *green* card. If they misbehave, they have to turn their card to yellow. If they are pretty bad, it gets turned to blue, if they are very bad, it's red. My son got a *yellow* once at the very beginning of the school year for answering a question without raising his hand. Another time, for giving the wrong answer I wasn't happy with that, a yellow for a wrong answer? Whatever. We've always told him to try his best and be respectful. He even got an award for being the most respectful in the school :)
Anyway, an issue has come up two times in the past week and I'd like some opinions (but please, don't be rude). Last Friday, he told me as soon as I walked in to pick him up that he got a yellow, but that he didn't do anything wrong. The teacher said, the whole class got yellow today. Later my son told me some kids were too loud in the cafeteria and the teacher said they were 'out of control' and gave each kid a yellow. Not really fair, IMO, and my son said he wasn't even talking at lunch. Well yesterday, same thing .... I pick him up and he is almost in tears over getting another yellow at lunch. He told me that he was waiting in line to walk out and someone from behind pushed and they all fell forward. The teacher gave them all yellows again! My son questioned it, and the teacher said that *most* kids were bad at lunch. My son said, well MOST doesn't mean ALL and he is right! He was so upset that he didn't want to go to school today. I'm not saying my kid is prefect, but honestly he's a well behaved kid and is also honest and would tell me if he did something wrong. I've told him not to worry, what matters is that he knows he didn't misbehave and all that. But, this is twice in a week for something I don't think was fair.
What would you do now? Talk to the teachers, the principal? I always stand up for my kid, that goes without saying. Just curious if this color card system is common and how you'd feel about it.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:53 PM on Mar. 31, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (17)
  • Go talk to the principle. We have basically the same system and some of the kids go all the hell when they move to yellow. The teacher sounds stupid and wrong. I would go in and explain how this is affecting your son.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:54 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • My DD's preschool has the same system - teaches them to be accountable. Tho in preschool they have the chance to change their behavior and level back up to green. They're also talked to about why they got yellow or whatever, and they get warnings, so it's not like it just happens. I would definitely go talk to the teacher - your DS is right, the whole class shouldn't get punished for a few kids' behavior. Sounds like the teacher is getting a little stressed out too at this point in the year - maybe volunteer to come in a couple hours a week to help out, or do lunch duty or something?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:56 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • My son is in K, and his class uses the same system, though they start out on white, then green, yellow, blue, red. Sometimes the whole class gets punished because you can't say 'you and you and you' when it is a whole bunch of them, KWIM? I would talk to the teacher, though, because it sounds like she has them flip cards willy-nilly. Some kids gets punished if their cards get flipped (DS gets grounded from the PC if he is on blue or red), so that isn't fair that the good ones are getting in trouble if they didn't do anything wrong.
    beckie66

    Answer by beckie66 at 3:17 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • I think that doesnt sound fair at all. I think someone needs to have a talk with this teacher whether it be you, or the principal. I can see why this method might work, it teaches them to be accountable for their actions. But taking it away for something that they didnt do doesnt sound right. I think you are your childs number one advocate, and this is one time that you should say something. I know I would. Good luck to you, and good for you for being proactive.
    KristinRox

    Answer by KristinRox at 3:22 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • I would take to the teacher, with the principal. How bad for their self esteem that they get in trouble for answering a question wrong, that's sad. I would be furious over that.

    we have the same sytem in our school. My son always tells me when he pulls a card because he knows that he's faced the consequence at school for it, and if it's something serious, then he and i will talk to the teacher about, but he never usually gets cards pulled, so that's never been an issue.

    But the mentality of the 'whole class' getting punished is crap. I would be saying as the parent if the 'whole class' or even the majority is out of control for any reason, at any time, then there is a lack of supervision on the part of the adults. Let's put blame where blame is due. If she can't effectively and positively discipline and handle conflict in the classroom (or lunchroom), then she need's some help in finding ways to do handle it.
    boobarandbell

    Answer by boobarandbell at 3:26 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • Wow. I think it is a horrible system. Kids are not good or bad in elementary school. They are children who should be enjoying each other, their teacher and learning. Their teachers should assume they are good kids who are doing their best and sometimes make mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities to learn. If a child answers a question incorrectly they are bad? Really? Punishing an entire class because some kids were loud? Your son is absolutely right. His teacher is wrong. I would talk to her about it. If I didn't feel that the system was going to change, I would then talk to her principal.
    DanaL1

    Answer by DanaL1 at 3:55 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • My son is in 2nd grade with the card system, they have 3 chances: green, yellow and red. He told me his card was changed to yellow since the whole class was acting up. I did talk to the teacher and she said she knew that not all of the kids were misbehaving and she was sorry that all the cards were changed. I do understand that being a teacher is not an easy job. I just let my son know that no matter what happens as long as he knows that he was not in the wrong that everything is fine and that sometimes to get the message across everyone has to suffer the concequences. Kinda liking grounding, when one child gets grounded, we can't all go out and do something special or fun for the day. I do believe the teacher is too worried about the cards when she should be teaching everything she can while they are sponges. Good luck. They are only cards that don't mean much. As long as you know the truth that is what counts.
    Kris3232

    Answer by Kris3232 at 4:35 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • They are supposed to be able to get back on green. When he gave a wrong answer, he moved back to green when he gave the correct answer. Fine, but getting a yellow for a wrong answer just isn't right. I don't like the system either. It's almost like they are expected to misbehave because they are 6 and 7? I understand they have to be accountable for their actions. But automatically, each kid gets a set of all color cards. I'm not a teacher, I've never been responsible for 20+ kids, so I can't really say what works and what doesn't. I just know MY kid is very sensitive, maybe more so than others his age, and the 2 yellows really freaked him out. I told him also that as long as we (hubby and and him) know the truth, that's what counts.
    He's not going to the same school next year, there's only a few months left of this school year, so while I am going to talk to the teachers tomorrow, I'll probably drop it at that.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:55 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • I would talk to my son and ask him his thoughts and feelings. I would let him know I understand his feelings and respect he's having a hard time. Then I would assist him in different ways to think about coping with these sad thoughts and feelings of anger and frustration. Sure it is unfair but now what to do about it? I can be on his side without having to swoop in and save him. Teaching my son how to deal with things when he sees as unfair would be my strategy. Brainstorming how he can advocate for him and his peers. He could compose a letter to the teacher, he could remind his friends to try to not talk or push in line, and he could brush it off. I would let him know a yellow card does not reflect who he is individually and not to worry over it. Reminding him of all the good choices he makes. And talking about examples about when I have worked in groups and a few made it
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 7:59 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

  • Hard for the whole group to do well. I pick and choose my battles with the teachers and the school. This is one I would let my son work out on his own initially. I trust my child to resolve his thinking and feelings and encourage his solutions. If I need to I will step in. But this is a small thing in the big picture. Lots of days will be hard and lots of times teachers or friends may be unfair. So I would want him to learn the skills now while the risk is minimal rather than when the stakes are higher. I can support without rescue. I can teach without having to be in the middle of what is an issue between the students and the teacher at this point.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:06 PM on Mar. 31, 2011

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