Tammy at Forever in First has become one of my very favorite go-to blogs because I love how thoughtful she is about how she teaches and treats her students. She is the teacher I would want for each of my own four, very different, children. Tammy has again demonstrated her respect for her students with her current post about why she doesn't use behavior charts in her classroom. Tammy says that when she makes classroom decisions (either academic or behavioral) she keeps in mind how she would feel, as an adult, if those decisions were made for her. What a simple way that is to evaluate our choices...a version of the Golden Rule. I think that so many of our actions would be better if we routinely asked ourselves "how would I feel if this was done (or said) to me?." Tammy's post was inspired by a very articulate post by Nikki at Teaching in Progress titled Why I Will Never Use A Behavior Chart Again." Nikki suggests a "Take a Break" Center where children can go if they need to take a breather or think about making different choices. This sounds like a wonderful idea.
I wrote a post several months ago about my concerns with Clip Charts and what I had tried in my kindergarten class. You can read that post here. As I describe in that post, I liked the easy positive systems created by Angela Watson from The Cornerstone and Sally from Fairy Dust Teaching.
|The Cornerstone's Simple Token System|
I feel very strongly that one of the most important things I can do as an educator of young children is to make sure that they are excited about going to school and that they feel confident about their ability to learn. I think that this should be an overarching goal of all primary teachers (perhaps all teachers:) It has always been my experience that children who want to learn will learn and I fear that any system that relies on publicly degrading (and evaluating) children will interfere with a child's intrinsic excitement about learning.