Okay, we've finally broken out the big guns. Despite being in school for nearly, what -- eight months now? -- these kids are still acting like second graders on crack. And I use that metaphor because the school counselor has even been to all of the classrooms to read them the very entertaining bedtime story, The House That Crack Built. What's that? You didn't read that as a child? Well, neither did I, but just FYI it's out there.
Anyway, it seems like Mrs. Educator and I (not to mention the other third-grade teachers) have tried just about every course of action that we can think of to keep these kids' behaviors in line. When they don't do their homework, they get a zero and they lose their recess -- most of them don't seem to care. When they get into a fight, they get suspended -- most of them don't seem to care. And the other kids, who have just witnessed these kids being suspended, don't even stop to think that maybe THEY shouldn't get into a fight. BRILLIANT!!
So it's that time of year, the time when teachers parade out the biggest incentives they can. That's right, my friends -- we've started to take away field trips. (Gasp of horror)
After the big math test next week, our third-grade has no less than three, count 'em, THREE field trips planned. We finally decided that the time was right to start holding them over our kids' heads, and see if we've hit upon something that they actually do care about. So far, we seem to have enjoyed pretty good success. We set a rule that not doing a homework counts as a strike against them, and with three strikes they lose the right to go to the Science Place (our first field trip). I've given two homeworks since then, and I've only had to dole out three strikes -- thankfully, not all to the same child.
Of course, now the trick will be not to get to the day of the first field trip and find that the group consists of seven teachers and four students.