|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

No Recess as Punishment?

Education Expert Advice from Barbara Callaghan

Q: As a teacher, I believe that recess privileges give children a needed break and a chance to interact socially. But I support the use of "staying in at recess" for behavioral problems. I know that some teachers use this to teach responsibility for forgetting a paper from home, forgetting a parent's signature, etc. Can you think of alternative ideas for teaching responsibility, or is "no recess" the most effective?

A: For a child with behavior problems, going outside for recess is especially important. The fresh air and time away from the classroom often helps her focus in the classroom. However, restricting the student by having her stand by the building or stay by the side of the teacher on duty is a good option for punishment, because it gives her a time-out to reflect on her bad behavior and the ensuing consequences.

If the child's problem is forgetting papers at home or failing to get a parent's signature on something, then you could have her write a letter to her parents and ask for help remembering things and getting organized. If forgetting things is a recurring problem and poor work habits are the issue, you could make a schedule with the student. The schedule could include details on where to put completed homework, where the backpack goes each night, and any other helpful information.

Our job as teachers is not to punish children, but rather to help them be successful. Sometimes, we have to go to extraordinary measures to help them learn life skills like organization, but it's worth it if they become responsible adults.

More on: Expert Advice

After teaching in California for nearly ten years, Barbara Callaghan moved to New Hampshire in 1985 and became a principal. After 10 years as a principal, she returned to teaching, her first love and true vocation.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!