Thursday, March 26, 2015


When you were little and were acting up, did your parents used to say "1.2. Don't let me count to 3"? And if they got to 3, it would be he end of the world? Well, my dad used too, especially to my younger sister, in which she would repeat the numbers back to my dad, which would get her into even more trouble. Or have you ever seen a parent or teacher go about a different way to discipline their children or students that you didn't really like? I have seen that too. I work with a little boy who has disabilities and his mom invited me to go to a seminar all about ways to control a child's behavior, at home and at school, called 1-2-3 Magic! I immediately said I would go because what better way to learn about a good way to control students when I am a teacher? It was perfect!

1-2-3 Magic is "a simple, precise and effective way of managing children's behavior," created by Thomas Phelan. He has made this technique specifically for children between the ages of 2-12 and works well for kids who have minimal behavior problems, as well as more severe. Basically, it is easy to do. If a child is acting up or behaving in a way you don't tolerate, you say to them "that's 1". You will wait 5 seconds and if they are still doing it, say "that's 2". After waiting another 5 seconds and they are still behaving that way, you say "that's 3" and the child will be told to have "break time" (which is just a better way to explain time-out). These are called stop behaviors. If the kid does not cooperate with the break time, they might have something taken away from them or an additional chore.  On the other hand, there are start behaviors. These behaviors are good and positive actions, in which a teacher or parent notices the good behaviors and praises them, but not gives them a reward. This is to let the child know that you are aware of the good behaviors, not just the bad. However, during this whole process, the teacher/parent must remain calm and show no emotions due to the kids being manipulative and love to test. This whole method was created to give teachers/parents a "better" way to discipline bad behavior and so the students learn how to act. 

  • During this event, all I could think about was Delpit's codes of power. This author created a method and was forcing it too parents and teachers. He explained that this was the correct way to teach your children and this was the way it should be done. Then the parents and teachers have the power to treat their kids in this way, which I know they have the power to do so, but that is power in itself. This is now the "code of power" for how the students and children are supposed to act and the way they have to follow it. The lady who was giving the presentation described students and children as "wild animals, who we need to train". I was so shocked by this statement! In basically sums up that teachers and parents have the power to train the kids, and this is the way we do it. We are training them to be the appropriate people in society, who are accepted. As parents and teachers, they have the power to do so.  Although there is 1-2-3 Magic, there are other ways that teach their students or children how to behave, and it doesn't make the adults seem so powerful, just as parents or teachers. 
  • Surprisingly, I related this presentation to Aria's Rodriguez. For Rodriguez, nuns came into his house and forced his parents to start speaking english with Rodriguez so he learns the right way. It was wrong of them to do that because they changed Rodriguez's life. In the case of 1-2-3 Magic, I saw some of the similarities. Teachers, or Phelan even, "Demanded" this to create kids that are perfect and who will act int he right way so that they are successful. In Richard's case, the nuns said that he needed to speak English to be accepted, and like that, this guy created a method to make acceptable kids, who behavior the right way. I understand that we, of course, want students and children to behave the correct way, but this was just another method forced. Basically, instead of using language, we put in numbers, but it works the same way.
  • I also related this to Johnson's Privilege, Power, and Difference. This was the first article we read about the differences relating to gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. However, when I was reading this article, I realized that Johnson missed a whole group who are different as well; people and children with special needs and disabilities. We understand that there are differences and how we act is what is different. I went to this event to get a better understanding of how to act with students with disabilities who are mis-behaving. I got little-to-no information about this group of students, which I was really upset about that. The mother I went with is apart of a group of women who have children with disabilities, and they come to these events to learn as well. I knew that they were upset as well. The presentation barely went over the students or children with special needs and when she did, she only brought up autistic children. She said that it works with them, but that's only if the child is higher functioning. She completely disregarded the children who have down syndrome, or higher levels of autism, and on. The author, Thomas Phelan, didn't even write a book based on those students, besides one for students or children who have ADD. (Important too, I know.) I just felt that, like Johnson, they failed to realize that there is a difference in behavior between kids with disabilities and "regular-ed" kids. I agree that if works with some special needs children, but obviously not all of them. The main thing is that you can't really put a special needs child in "time-out", because most likely they don't understand between right and wrong. Some students, who are older, have the intellectual age of a little child. So, as a teacher of a student with special needs, you must know the disability and what comes along with it. There are better ways to deal with children who have special needs, in my opinion. 

As I was listening to this, I thought of our service learning projects. If you are having trouble dealing with a student who's not behaving, this could be a technique that might work. I know its kind of later on, so it might be too late now, but for future classes or even when you're a teacher! One thing that it had in common with the SL, is that as a teacher, you NEVER give a gift or a present as a reward if they have good behavior. In our schools specifically, you never know what a gift may be to a student, and the same with this method. A reward is just a praise or a high five, something nice, but never a gift. 

To be honest, I was expecting a presentation that I was going to be blown away by. I thought that it was going to be so informational and it would be a good experience. Although I thought it was good, I didn't think it was great. I learned about a method to work to control behaviors of students and children, but there are other methods that I think are just as successful. This could be a great method, as a teacher and as a parent, but I wasn't that impressed. But maybe you guys thought it was cool, which is great! If you ever get a chance to read some of the books, watch the dvds, or even heard about it, what are your opinions?! I think that when I'm a teacher, I'll try a different approach, maybe this might be a last resort, but that's just how I feel! I found some reviews of the books; here's what others have to say.

I found a Ted Talk video all about education. It is about an hour long, but I watched a good portion of it and it was interesting! So if you have a few minutes here and there and really bored, watch it! 

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