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What to do when they (almost) all misbehave?

Mimi’s students did something wrong — no one will clearly explain what — but she’s not happy about the consequences:

So you can imagine how PISSED I was the other day when the adults on recess duty informed me that my children were going to lose recess for the next week. (Seriously, a WEEK??!? I mean, like they’re going to remember what they did wrong a week after it happened…And really? EVERY child? EVERYONE needs to get punished? Because really…when they don’t get recess…you’re punishing ME too. How do you expect them to sit and listen ALL DAY without any time to blow off some steam??? I’m not saying that they don’t misbehave, but COME ON!!! You squeeze 80 kids in a tiny gym with nothing to do and only two adults? What did you think was going to happen?)

And it gets better. During the WEEK that they/we are all being punished, they have to bring books with them. So they can read. As punishment. Reading as punishment.

I’ve seen the same approach in other schools, over similar complaints from teachers. It tends to alienate the students who did the right thing, but sometimes when a majority of students are involved, trying to figure out which students to let off the hook can be tricky. Many educators prefer to err on the side of consequences for all over the chance of letting someone go who was involved, which can also alienate students.

Teachers, when a large group of students misbehaves in class or at lunch or recess, does your school have an effective way to handle it? Parents, what would you like to see if something like this happens in your child’s class?

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