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Kids choosing who is in their class?
Wrong or not?

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#1 Duechristmasday

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

Just interested.

My son in Prep was asked to write down 2 names of kids he would like to be in class with next year and also had to write 2 names of kids that he did not want to be in class with next year.

He told me who he wrote for the 2 he wanted and said that he cant remember who he wrote for the ones he didn't.  I asked him why and he said that he didn't dislike anyone, and he then said "but I had to put down two names".

What are others opinions about this?  I feel it is a little inappropriate.

#2 bakesgirls

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

I agree with you. It seems unfair to me to ask kids to pick their 2 favorite people and their 2 least favourite. I feel sorry for the kids that had no one put down their name at all. I think kids should be encouraged to try to find a way to get along, and accept everyone, not point out who they like least.

ETA- I know it doesn't always work out like that. I know some kids just don't get along for whatever reason. I still don't like the idea of naming people you don't want to be in class with. I think if there is an issue between kids, the teachers most likely know about it, or parents can make a request if being in a certain class with another child will be to their childs detriment.

There's also the fact that sometimes children are not very discreet. Its one thing for an adult to say they don't wish to work with someone. Chances are they won't go around letting everyone know. That would hardly be professional. Kids on the other hand, well, I can see some of them telling who they want and who they don't want. Discussing it with their friends. Choosing whatever friend is the flavour of the week. Being mean about it. Saying 'I don't want you in my class and I'm going to tell everyone to say they don't want you either' or words to that effect. How hurtful to that child.

Edited by bakesgirls, 17 November 2012 - 12:54 PM.

#3 Dowager fancie

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

There is no guarantee that whoever he has listed in the want or don't want will actually eventuate.  

I think it is quite an interesting strategy though.

Some children work well with some other children and some children don't work well together personality wise.

#4 Lyra

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

Teachers have a fairly good idea of who should go with whom the following year and an exercise such as this is good for confirming that your hunch is on the mark. Or wrong LOL

However, when I do things like this I would state: you don't have to write down a name if you don't want to

edited to clarify: each year it would be preferable that each child has at least one friend in the class they are going into. For PP other students don't get to see who chose whom IYKWIM  And, if a student doesn't have anybody choose them that is actually good for the teacher as it means that you might need to work a bit with that child on his/her social skills and keep an eye on them in the yard to see how they are interacting

Edited by Lyra, 17 November 2012 - 12:45 PM.

#5 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:43 PM

Why is it inappropriate? I think asking kids how they feel is respectful and desirable.

#6 jenbi

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:43 PM

My DS school always does this - but it is worded as who do feel you work best with rather than who do you like. It is quite surprising who they come up with - and its not always the best friends either!

I would imagine the Teachers wouldn't base the decision solely on the childs request so I don't really have a problem with it.

I do agree thought that having to name 2 kids you don't want to work with is not really necessary.

#7 *Lib*

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

What a logistical nightmare!

#8 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

QUOTE (jenbi @ 17/11/2012, 12:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do agree thought that having to name 2 kids you don't want to work with is not really necessary.

Why? Why do we have a fear of kids telling us who they don't like? Why do we want to shut that voice down?

Sure, it might not be possible to accommodate, but giving kids a voice about it isn't wrong.

#9 Lyra

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 17/11/2012, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why? Why do we have a fear of kids telling us who they don't like? Why do we want to shut that voice down?

Sure, it might not be possible to accommodate, but giving kids a voice about it isn't wrong.

I agree with this! I have worked with many adults that I would rather not work with and have requested that I don't work with a staff member again due to differences. Why should children also not have the same respect?

#10 Propaganda

Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

I think it's quite horrible to be honest. Forcing children to consider which students they dislike the most in their class can hardly be a positive thing.

There would be children who would benefit from not having certain children in their class due to ongoing issues, but I imagine most of time the teachers would know who these children are, or at least the parents could go in and request that their child not be put in the same class.

I just don't think fingerpointing who you don't really like when you don't actually have strong feelings that way against anyone, is encouraging the wrong kind of thinking.

#11 Oriental lily

Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

I agree it's horrible to pick this way.
What if a child has three favorites?
What if the children discuss who they chose?
Imagine if one child found out that a large percentage of kids picked them as not being wanted in the class.

Don't underestimate how much children would talk about ths. In theory it seems like a good practice if done anonymously.

Seems like it could result in all sorts of confrontations and feelings of rejection.

I imagine my dd who suffers anxiety would find it very difficult and confronting.

I don't mind the idea of a child picking five kids they like playing with and would like in their class. This gives the people planning classes gt the chance to make sure t least every child has one friend.

But the rigid two dislike and like is not something I am comfortable with.

#12 ~She~

Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

Our school does the same except they can list 5 kids they wish to be with next year and are guaranteed one. We don't have the option of writing who we don't want though, I almost wish we did wink.gif

I think it's a great idea to encourage the kids continuing friendships, but I can't imagine it makes the schools job any easier.

#13 Julie3Girls

Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

Our school does this.
Option of writing down 3 names of friends they would like to be in with.
They also have the option of writing down names of people who they don't want to be in a class with.

Both are OPTIONAL.

I have no problem with either. The kids know that it isn't a guarantee, although the school do their best to match them with at least ONE person on their list.

The names of people you don't want to be with .. I have no problem with this either. There are often social problems going on that the teachers aren't aware of . There might be a child that teases them a lot. Or simply someone that they find disruptive.
Again, no guarantees, but it's helpful information for the teachers when planning classes.

#14 Guest_zeus359_*

Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 17/11/2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why? Why do we have a fear of kids telling us who they don't like? Why do we want to shut that voice down?

Sure, it might not be possible to accommodate, but giving kids a voice about it isn't wrong.

er because kids change who they dislike and like hourly. Because kids as indicated in the OP, may just put down anyone that they don't play with at lunchtime for the kids they "dislike".  The OP's son is in prep,  hasn't even been in school for long enough to blink, let alone form deep and meaningful friendships.

#15 pencil

Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

Ours do it, six they want to be with though, and no 'don't want to be withs'.

One of mine is already well aware that she will be separated from a certain child, but wrote down her name anyway! I look forward to a (hopefully) calmer year next!

#16 Alina0210

Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

I have been the the deputy principal and requested a child to be with my DD, and also i have requested a child not be... already at 4yrs old she is a girl that all the girls want to be with and they talk about her constantly yet this girl is very much like a "Mean Girl"... argh at 4!!!....

#17 kpingitquiet

Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

I think it's silly to ask young children because best friends and enemies can change with the wind. This week "I hate Tommy!" "Why?" "He took my crayon!" Next week, "Can Tommy come to my party??" "Are you sure?" "Yeah, he's my beeessst frieeend!"

Adults tend to be, though not without exceptions, a bit more solid in their judgement and rarely shift so quickly, in the case of co-workers etc.

#18 *Lib*

Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:15 PM

I know I have written to the school about requesting that my DD not be with 2 certain children, but I think giving children the power to decide who is with who is giving them way too much responsibility and power. What happened to turning up to school and finding out your class, and just dealing with it??? (Provided there is no issues with children) Children are given WAY too much responsibility since I was a kid.

#19 *Ker*

Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:27 PM

We have it at our school (with no limits on names for the yes and No's) but the parents fill it out. I do ask my kids who they would like to be in class with. DS wanted to be with his best mate, but I put him on the No list because they muck around too much.

#20 CallMeFeral

Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

I did have teachers do this to me, as a child, for who we'd like to sit next to in class, which was a bit more reasonable. Unfortunately the most annoying girl in the class refused to put down 3 names as requested, and just put ME (and obviously nobody put her), so I was stuck with here all year sad.gif

#21 0zeKid

Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

Wow, my DD gets to write down three of her friends and they try and place the group together. Never been asked about the ones she doesn't like though!

I remember in school getting to write down names too. I recall in the 8th grade we managed to coordinate so that a group of 8 of us ended up in one class for the year - it was a great year original.gif

#22 brazen

Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:04 PM

i wish the school would send the names home for comment - this year 2 of my kids were placed in classes with no friends. when i questioned it i was told that they'd put X & Y on their lists and that's who they were with - but X & Y were kids that they were sometimes friends with, sometimes not, and had never had a playdate with etc etc!!! with emelia she hasn't been friends at all with X and with ryan we have had a year of being good friends with Y and then not wanting anything to do with him sad.gif

so while i like the idea in theory i think there should be more looking into it than just taking the child's word...

#23 liveworkplay

Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

Our kids get to choose 5 people they would like to be in class with and are guaranteed one. I have no problem with the system and if they had to put who they would least like to be with  then so be it.

Edited by liveworkplay, 17 November 2012 - 07:22 PM.

#24 QueenIanthe

Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

They've always done this at my kid's school. They know that it may not happen but I think it is nice they consider the kids in the decision.

#25 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:18 PM

PPs are making it out to be more than it is. It's done at DD's school and causes no issues.

I think it's a good thing. It took my DD half the year before she settled into grade 2. She had no friends in her class and found the transition very difficult. She was so unhappy that she was refusing to go to school. She wrote a story in class about how much she hated school and was going to run away so mummy wouldn't make her go.  sad.gif

DD's teacher said she feels it's important that students have at least one friend in their new class. With some kids (like my DD), the reassurance of a good friend in your class can really help with transtion.

I have had several meetings with the teacher this term about next year. The teacher feels that it's really important DD have a good friend with her and principle also agrees. I asked that she be put with child she loves with from another class and they have agreed. I am so relived because DD is going to so happy to be with S and she won't be so anxious when school starts.

So I struggle to see how it's a bad thing. And at DD's school they put down 5 names but the teachers know who is friends with who, what kids are a good mix and those that should be separated.

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