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A Message from our Principal


          What a fast month January was. It’s always nice when it’s in the rear view mirror as January’s passing brings us closer to nicer weather and longer days. Certainly the winter doldrums are not lost on our students. Much like myself they appear to be a little more lethargic and tired during this time. However, it’s important that they still get outside as much as possible for much necessary recharge time via running or playing active games with their friends. We try to honor this as best we can at Barrowtown by having choice days when the weather is less than desirable. I always admire those 11 or so students that choose to brave the elements with me (although they’re far braver than I as I’m huddled under my umbrella). Choice days, although rare, are great examples of student self-regulation. Those individuals that recognize that they personally need to go outside and burn off steam do so while others that like to have a little quieter time to read or play board games do so without prompting. I often wonder if perhaps the adults try to structure child’s play more than necessary? After all, as parents and educators we do feel the need to be in control, at times, too much. Over structuring of time and activities can hinder children’s imaginations and creativity. We must be cognizant of this when our children say they’re bored. Instead of telling them what to do so they aren’t bored, we must sit back and let them figure out their next move. After all, boredom spawns creativity; creativity is the beginning of inquiry.

As with my previous posts I’ve chosen to write about important educational content. This month I’d like to quickly discuss difficult behavior. Difficult behavior or children that are perceived as being "defiant" is not necessarily a choice made by the child. Most children want to do the right thing and want to gain affirmation from their parents and teachers. In other words, children inherently want to do the right thing. When we find ourselves in a situation where a child is being argumentative and not doing as we ask, instead of escalating the situation by enforcing our presence on them, we need to step back and ask ourselves (as the adult) why is my child behaving like this? Dr. Ross Greene states that "challenging behavior occurs as a result of demands and expectations that are placed on the child which outstrip the skills he/she has to respond adaptively". In other words, sometimes our expectations of the child to complete the task are too much for their ability at the time. The ensuing interaction is usually an argument or fight in which there is no winner. We have unintentionally set the child up for failure in that particular instance. However, when it is our own child that we are arguing with, it is quite common to be arguing out of emotion. Nevertheless, it is important to take a step back and ask ourselves, "am I asking too much of my child at this point?"




Tyler Baruta


Barrowtown Elementary  

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