Mrs. Rodriguez loves teaching preschool at Morningside Elementary School and takes great pride in her classroom. In addition to establishing her own classroom rules, she uses her school’s approach to behavior management, a color-coded system that she implements to visually indicate how each child is behaving on any given day. Each child begins the day with his or her clothespin on “green.” When a child engages in inappropriate behavior, the clothespin is moved one space to “yellow.” If the behavior continues, the clothespin is moved to “red.”
Over the years, however, she’s noticed some shortcomings in the system. For one thing, parents tend to focus on what color their child ends the day on, rather than on how their child’s day was. For another, she feels like she spends more time warning the kids she is going to “move a clothespin” than actually teaching. Additionally, children who get to “red” often get upset and either cry or have a tantrum and have difficulty recovering for the rest of the day. Today, she even heard one child tell another not to play with Jerry because, “He’s a bad kid. He’s always on red.”
She wonders whether something has to change. But what?
Here’s your Challenge:
(Opinion) Do you think Mrs. Rodriguez’s current behavior management system is working? Explain.
How can teachers help young children learn expected behaviors?
How can teachers encourage and reinforce expected behaviors?