One thing about education is that it has more sacred cows than McDonald’s can slaughter and serve in a week.  One of them is this card system to control, monitor, maintain, measure, I don’t know, MANAGE class behavior.  If you’re not acquainted (live under a rock), it goes like this: Students start on GREEN (for good and go).  The first infraction has them move to ORANGE (WARNING! Danger Will Robinson), then they usually go to RED (You’re in BIG trouble, MISTER!).  Some have included YELLOW (SLOW DOWN BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT!).  You get the idea.  By red, the child has a consequence of some variety.  Needless to say, I HATE this system.  OK, hate is probably too strong of a word.  I just dislike it a lot, can’t seem to get behind it, and find it unnatural.

Thing is, a management system like this DEMANDS consistency.  You have to turn cards  at the first infraction.  Kids can’t regain status back most of the time.  There’s no saving face. And honestly, everyone does something annoying or stupid on daily basis, do you need to be reprimanded on the first one?  Probably.I just think it’s too much.

As a rule, I stick to the friendly warning, give the student a chance to do what’s right, and then punish them as needed.  Generally I don’t wait out 3 warnings if it’s warranted, and I don’t punish at 3 warnings if it’s not.  Annoying is not bad.  Annoying needs to be fixed.  I’m more of a post-it queen.  I start noting annoying habits and force the student too as well.  If we can’t fix it, well, then your parents need to come discuss it with me.  However, some crimes involve do not pass go, do not collect $100, and go directly to jail.  Life is like that.  Life is not a turn at bat — 3 chances and you’re out.

I know this is blasphemy in the teaching world.  Apparently I’m all for slaughtering the sacred cows.


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