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Behavior and Seating


Date: Fri Sep 10 2004 - 09:17:04 PDT

In a message dated 09/10/2004 10:01:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
One other thing – when I have a particularly difficult child whose behavior
warrants it, I give them their own desk, usually in a place where they cannot
be a disturbance. After that 1st class, I talk to the child and tell them that
they will not be punished but praised if they make the choice to sit by
themselves without my having to put them there.
Let me preface my response by saying that if it works for you, and you feel
comfortable, than do it. I don't have a problem changing seats, but I do have
a problem with separating a child from the rest of the class. I find that if
I label that child by segregating him/her it becomes "The Self-Fullfilling
Prophecy". The child more and more fits the label and the mold. Sometimes that
behavior is for attention-negative attention. So, that "special seat" away
from the class is playing into the negative attention the child is desperately

 In general, I find that most of my students with behavior issues respond to
some kind of positive reinforcement. Very often, that student is great in
the role of my assistant. They like to help. One example is one of my third
grader with lots of "issues" (don't you just love that professional terminology
for "all screwed up"?). I asked him to sit next to an ADD student because (I
told him) I know he is a kind soul and I need his assistance, if he could
just help this other student with the goals of the lesson. Actually, he really
does have a "nice" side to him, just that the other teachers find it hard to
find. I realize the good quality(ties) and let them know I see it. So,
playing up the positive quality in the child and utilizing it, is often the key.
BTW, don't think that I am not quick to call home and get the parent on board,
as well, if necessary!
Susan on Long Island