Good day fine ladies/gentlemen: Need some serious guidance on a situation I've only recently had to deal with.
My son is 5 and attending Kindergarten. This kid is, IMHO, exceptionally smart. Was reading the first week of school, adding, subtracting and multiplying by the 2nd month. He is (by his teachers comments) excelled beyond his classmates. He is also a very good kid. Albeit, the "only child syndrome" rears its head from time to time he's very well behaved, enthusiastic, and well-mannered.
After the history of my child let me get into the situation: For the past few weeks I've been getting and exceptional amount of phone calls from school about my child acting up. I understood at first in large part because it is very out of character of him to act the way his teachers are telling me. I understand the cause for alarm. I believe (no medical training just from reading and my own experiences w/ him) he is acting out in large part due to the drastic changes he's had in his life recently. He went 4 months without seeing his dad AT ALL. No phone calls, no visits, no contact what so ever. He missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other things as well. Then one day he asked about his dad and said he missed him. I'm not one to hurt my child in any way. I felt he was better off but I knew it was hurting him not seeing him. So I called dad's mom and arranged for dad to see son. It was rocky at first, but now dad and I have a parenting plan worked out so he will start seeing son on a more regular basis. I think my son is going through an adjustment period and is acting out to keep dad's attention and in fears of losing dad again.
Okay, with my opinion aside. I explained our situation to the teacher, and am understanding my son shouldn't treat his teacher(s) in such a manner. My problem is she KEEPS CALLING ME! Every little out burst. To the point where I'm thinking "You're the teacher you shouldn't call me at every little *sigh*!" "Regain control in YOUR classroom, instead of running and crying to the parents." To me it's like the little sister tattling on the older brother. I understood the first few times, and I have been addressing the situation to my son and his father. I just don't see the need to call me at the drop of a hat and stress me out beyond belief. I mean it's her classroom shouldn't she be the one enforcing her rules? Or do I have to go to school and put my boy in a time out anytime he acts out?
Sorry for the length, but am really irritated by the sitation and would love some feed back. I felt the back story was important to the revelance to my frustrations. Thank you for reading and hope to hear from any commentors!
Single Momma to my wonderful (mostly ornery) little man:
J.Andrews: July 24
Express your frustrations to the teacher. Set up a time where the two of you can talk and discuss the entire situation. Explain to her how you have addressed the situation at home, what methods work best for keeping your son on task, and then ask her what her rules are and what her methods for keeping him on task are. If you are all in agreement, then ask her why she feels she can't implement these methods? If you bring it to her attention and let her know she's capable, perhaps she will feel more confident in taking control of her classroom.
Life is an adventure, I share every day with my two beautiful children.
I'm a teacher and a mom. Have you had a formal conference with her? Have you contacted the guidance counselor?
Perhaps she's trying to make you aware of every instance b/c she thinks you want to know. Perhaps she thinks she's helping.
I'd recommend that you first schedule a conference with her and with the counselor, together. At that meeting, ask what the discipline plan is in her classroom - rules, consequences. Maybe on the third offense, the consequence is a phone call home, and that's why you're getting the calls. Go to the meeting prepared with suggestions - maybe she could send home a daily note with a sentence or 2 about his day. Maybe it could be a piece of paper (green for a good day, yellow for a warning, red for trouble, whatever) to let you know what's going on. Ask the counselor what type of behavior modification program they can use.
The BIG thing here is what's going on with curriculum. If he's as smart as you say he is - and I have a highly gifted child who was promoted to 1st grade by October of Kindergarten and was still completely bored - he's beyond bored with a traditional Kindergarten program. Find out what they are doing for him. A bored little boy IS going to act out. Push for an accelerated curriculum. Ask what they are doing to enrich his lessons.
Hi! I also taught elementary school before I had my kiddos, and let me second what some of the others are saying: chances are your son is really bright and not being challenged by the curriculum. There are so many practical solutions to this situation. Do you get the feeling that the teacher would be willing to work with you to find an agreeable solution? If so, would a daily behavior checklist work better for you than a daily phone call? I know that when I have had to implement those before, they usually ended up being temporary...the parents then had more information and it kept communication open, so difficulties could usually be repaired!
Also, there are so many options for enriching the curriculum for your son. When I taught, I was constantly borrowing materials from higher grade levels to use with high-achieving students, and even those who sometimes acted out in class would usually work quietly and independently if they were challenged by the material! It's something many teachers don't think twice about doing for underperforming students, but sometimes don't think about doing for bright kids. Is there a computer lab at the school? She could even tie the behavior and enrichment together by allowing him time to work on the computer as a reward for good behavior (our school has a site they use, Qwizzy's World, that can be used pretty much independently for skill practice once you get the hang of it, so it wouldn't take much direction from her).
Good luck to you. I can imagine that this is sort of a sticky situation, and I completely understand where you are coming from!!!
Thank you all for the replies and suggestions. We ended up having a conference with the 2 teachers, guidance counselor and my childs counselor (I put him in counseling after the ordeal with his father to help him open up about his feelings, etc...). We were all in aggreement that he was above and beyond bright and was suggested he be bumped up a grade. However, seeing he's one of the youngest in the class, I felt emotionally he was still very much a kindergartener and that the teachers would work out a curriculum for him. It was a fine rest of the school year. I felt bad because I felt this may have hampered his love for school. Turns out the teacher is around the retirement age and has been wanting to for some time now, but feels she cannot because she is raising her 2 young grandchildren.
Fast forward: He's in 1st grade now... loves his new teacher, but is having the same problems of being advanced (thus bored). We'll see how this goes.
Thank you all again =) I sure do appreciate it
Last edited by lonesomesmomma; 10-19-2010 at 05:35 PM. Reason: typos... too much coffee today
Single Momma to my wonderful (mostly ornery) little man:
J.Andrews: July 24