What the heck does a behavior problem look like in Pre-K? Is anyone else confused by this concept?
Coming from a CPS point of view I think of things like hitting, biting, cursing, running away and not going to school as misbehavior. With that said, a Pre-K student who is very fidgety (as most 4 year olds are) or needs to be redirected does not fit the poor behavior mold to me.
I struggle with this issue even from when I was a CPS worker. I have come across many young students who were classified as a “behavior problem” because they were very active and didn’t “listen” in class. As a result they were evaluated and end up with a diagnosis of ADHD or ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). Many are given medication to control them instead of behavioral therapy. I find it upsetting that so many children are on medication for BEHAVIOR! Behavior is learned and through working with the child consistently behavior can change.
What does this say of our education system? What does is say about us as parents? (myself included) No judgment here, all i’m saying is that we need to reflect on our actions. Actions to recommend evaluations, actions to agree to an evaluation, actions of putting our children on medications before trying some other form of correction. Every decision we make (as educators and parents) have a deep impact on our children’s lives.
Furthermore, I think teachers have a tough job. You try being in a large class with little people all day and have them all listening at the same time! But I also think that they have a responsibility to make a proper judgement call on evaluations, not base it on behavior alone. Does the behavior effect his/ her learning and the learning of others? etc.
Parents!!!! parents also have a responsibility to work with the teacher and school as a team to figure out the best fit for their child’s learning needs. Don’t be quick to judge the teacher (as easy as it may be) and listen to what they have to say about your child. Remember that teacher is with your child for most of the day and should be able to gage where your child is in terms of educational, behavioral, developmental and social needs. It is up to us as parents and caretakers to use what the teacher tells us as a foundation to what kind of help we choose for our child. DON’T ignore what the teacher says! do some research, ask questions, seek help from family, friends and even your pediatrician who will refer you to the necessary professionals. With that said remember that YOU are the expert on your child and have the final say in his or her treatment. I am not expert, just chiming in on an important issue I have come across.
Please share your ideas on this topic.