Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Naughty language. =(

I'm interested in hearing how you handle bad language in your class.  I teach PreK and still have one that obviously heard a BAD word... we're talking more than the "stupid" word... the F bomb with extra added on to it!!  My little one has said it quite a few times and just now saying it in my own classroom.  Said it while coloring with her classmates..not even in anger, but while playing.  This just makes me so sad.

One part of me says send to the principal right away (which is what the parents want) and another part of me says she learned it from someone.  She is seeking the attention she is receiving from this so if I choose to ignore it or make her punishment away from the other students (sitting away as we talk low and offer better choices of words) to minimize the attention.  Anything to make it not worth it to say it.

What is your best advice on this?  This is a 4-5 year old.


  1. Depends what the function of the behavior is...I am a SPED teacher and I have a student in my class who says similar words all day long...in 20 minutes he said 80 swear words. It is HARD.
    But we IGNORE the behavior. it is very hard but everyone has to be on the same page. It is very difficult but the swearing has decreased!!

    Take data on it! We take lots and lots of data. Record the times and everything. You can do a time sampling. (record yes/no whether or not the student swore from 7-7:10 7:10-7:20 7:20-7:30
    setting a timer may even help you...
    Or you can record the # of times the student swears during a lesson/station/hour etc...
    Is the student trying to escape a task? get attention?

    If the student is doing the behavior for attention....by totally ignoring the swearing--you are not reinforcing the students behavior. If anyone responds to the student swearing then the student is getting a response/the attention that he or she wants!!! so by responding/saying "no swearing"/ "no bad words" you are reinforcing the behaviors...
    instead point out when the student is doing GOOD things
    "I love the way you are walking quietly in the hall way..." "You are working on your ______ task ......." be specific with the positive reinforcements!
    ...unfortunately it sounds like the student is hearing the swear words at home.....

    point out what the other students are doing well too try and see if focusing on that helps.

    hope this helps!! i know its hard!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for your comment!! I don't feel as bad now by NOT bringing a lot of attention to her. Kind of a hard fence to balance, but I'd much rather praise her for her good than knock her for her not-so-good!

  3. I also ignore it in my class. With one child, when it continued, I openly praised the students sitting nearby for how well they ignored inappropriate language and then quickly moved on to another topic, engaging with other students for positive behaviour. However the moment the student did something positive I poured on the praise and attention right away, to reinforce to him that good things get my attention!
    Isn't it amazing that we have to know so much child psychology in teaching? That, along with management techniques should really be the majority of student teaching! :-)
    Love this blog - it's so cute!