Torey Hayden’s One Child examines space of special education classroom for childrenwith severe behavior impairments—like childhood schizophrenia, neurological impairment,autism, and vision loss—and focuses on Sheila, a troubled six-year-old who has tied a threeyear-old boy to a tree and critically burned him. Each technique Hayden used to respond toSheila and her other students’ problem behaviors were categorized according to Fritz Redl’stheory on managing behavior problems. Redl identified five strategies educators can use tohandle their students’ behavior problems: changing, managing, tolerating, preventing, andaccommodating. Hayden is portrayed through Redl’s strategies as a teacher who relies onmanaging without consequences and changing techniques.
Hayden’s role of caring relationshipsand student empowerment became model of classroom management. Hayden’s style ofclassroom management was examined by first listing each techniques she used to respond toproblem behaviros, second categorizing each of the techniques according to Fritz Redl’s theoryon managing behavior problems. The techniques classified under changing try to modify theattitudes, values, motives, beliefs, self-concepts, and expectations so they will not have to behavein the same inappropriate manner. In this case was Hayden helping Sheila to overcome her fearand avoidance of adults. Managing refers to techniques that modify a situation enough to make itless likely a student will exhibit a behavior problem. Managing techniques are not designed tochange a student; rather their effect is to help the students exert more self-control over theirbehavior until changing techniques can do their job. In the case of Sheila, Hayden certainlywants to change her fear of adults but until she can do this, she manages the situation by!2Yiacknowledging feelings, assuring her she will receive the support she needs, and correcting hermisunderstandings regarding relationships.
Tolerating means to accept a problem behaviortemporarily. This strategy is appropriate when students cannot control all their behaviors all thetime, when it will take time for educators and others to eliminate the cause of the problem, orwhen management techniques won’t do the job. They tolerate the behavior only temporarily,until they can manage it or until changing techniques affect the students so they no longermisbehave. Preventing means to prevent students from doing things that will harm them orothers or infringe on the rights of others. Preventing students from harming themselves,disrupting the class, destroying other people’s property by removing them from the area, orplacing yourself between the students and their intended victim, and so on does not change whatis causing the problem. But when an educator’s managing techniques do not work, prevention iscertainly a necessary strategy while trying to deal with the causes.
I was extremely touched by the fact the Torey apologized to Sheila when she believed heract to take Shelia’s privilege of going to the field trip was wrong to act on her hurt feelings. Ithink this apology only could have been delivered under horizontal education style. Unlike theU.S, South Korea’s vertical relationship is viewed as negative approach when it comes toformally making apologies and accepting mistakes. Unlike South Korea’s vertical relationship ineducation that rarely admits teachers to apologize to students for their mistakes, they seldom donot even recognize that what they are doing is wrong. As teachers are leaders who can empowerand help grow roots of individuals for future generations, vertical relationship allows this tohinder since they do not know what the problem to fix the issue. As Torey realized that if we door say something that is wrong, a sincere apology is usually gratefully accepted and a brief!3Yiexplanation is genuinely appreciated. But Torey herself realized this was not easy to learn sinceeducators believe themselves as people who are not allowed to make mistakes—verticalrelationship.
Although respecting adults through vertical relationship is important, one mustadmit and apologize for the mistake as everyone—young or old and educated or uneducated—can and, do, make mistakes.I once taught a group of Spanish students who needed basic math skills. I, unlike theteachers who always tell the students what to do, gave a little freedom since it was on one on oneand tried to build a horizontal relationship rather than a vertical one since I did not want to givethem too much pressure on the material as well as who I was. But as I did this, I tried to showthem that our relationship was not a vertical one by throwing some Spanish words I knew. Asthey realized that I am not so fluent in Spanish they opened up a little bit more closely since theybelieved I was relatable to them—like I was a student just as they are—a learning process ofSpanish, although a completely different topic—but this allowed them to gain more confidencesince they knew something more than I did.
So, when they felt like they were stuck at something,I threw couple of Spanish words that they could help me remember just like I did to them onmath. Through this process, they were able to grasp and memorize multiplication tables in threeweeks that they could not have mastered for a year with a vertical relationship teacher. Therefore,I think apologizing and accepting what I have done wrong or showing weakness to someone atsome point can give strength to the other party that would help build a horizontal relationshipwhere both parties can come together strongly for a better good.