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Thread: My Journey from Sugar Burner to Fat Burner - jenn26point2's Primal Journal page 216

  1. #2151
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    Would writing down (bullet points, or what you wrote here) what you want to say to the teacher help? I am not good at voicing those kinds of concerns (not confrontational, that's not not productive, but...forcefully, shall we say?) either, but writing them down helps me, because I can just say, I wrote some things down that I'm concerned about, and either read directly from the list or my passage, or just mention the topics and see where it goes from there.
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  2. #2152
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    naiadknight is online now Senior Member
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    I know my middle sister was akin to Brady, and my parents didn't try anywhere near as much with her. It honestly sounds like the teacher is much too strict for Pre-K. That said, I think your e-mail is a great jump point. Start with "We've tried all this. [insert things you've tried.] We already know what of this works and doesn't. We're also aware that Brady has caused problems before when he's not challenged enough. What do you suggest to challenge him more? We know that coloring does nothing to challenge him, it needs to be mentally challenging." If the teacher has no ideas, go in armed with some ideas of your own. If she brings up how he's "failing the color system," that's an excellent time to point out to her what you have here: some of his infractions are ridiculous, others are part and parcel of being a kid. Yes, certain things should be immediately caught and pointed out so the kid doesn't do that again. The color system seems to harming Brady more than helping him, though. (aside: is there another teacher he can be transferred to?) Maybe go in armed with adaptations to the color system to suggest.
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  3. #2153
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    All of the kindergarten teachers use the same color coding system.

    I really think the problem in the classroom is lack of mental challenge. He's bored. Plain and simple. When he's bored at home, he acts out. When he's bored at Grandma's, he acts out. The latchkey and the daycare apparently kept him more active or challenged. Sure, he's probably got a bit of a distraction issue - if he's getting dressed in the morning and the tv is on, he'll zone out to the tv and forget what he's supposed to be doing. I do the same thing.

    Sure, she's got 30 years of experience whereas I have 6 years of experience... that doesn't mean her methods are superior. I think the problem is that she's old and bitchy. She taught Brad when he was in Kindergarten, so she's at least in her 50's. The other teachers in the kindergarden program are in thier 30's. She's probably still using techniques that worked when parents were allowed to beat their kids. I don't know what to do about it anymore. Part of me wants to say "fuck it", let's ride the year out, and move on to 1st grade and put this behind us. But... if he isn't concentrating on his work now or goofing off in class, it's likely not going to be better next year.

    But this color system is definitely hurting his self-esteem. and I don't know what to do about it.
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  4. #2154
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    I think you're right about him being bored. Tell the teacher. I'm not sure she'd be willing to do it, bu there was a method my parents used in conjunction with the teachers to keep us (all 3 of us were bored in school) occupied. Each day, we were given a secondary assignment. Mine was always a book or chapter to read and be ready to talk over with Mom and Dad at dinner. Cassie's was to learn something new or be able to explain why on something. I think Pat's was something to do with checkers or chess. Do something similar with Brady, if the teacher will work with you. Once he finishes the work, have the teacher hand him something else. A picture book on dinosaurs, a picture book with a few words on this that or the other. Some crayons, so he can figure out what colors make up what other colors. Ask him about it over dinner. Keep him involved in it.
    If the teacher won't go for it, screw her. Give him the books or quiet things to learn when he's done. If she bitches, ask her how him quietly learning is disruptive. If she insists on marking him down in color for that, let me know. I have a few kids stories on useful insubordination that will throw her color system out the window rattling around in my head.
    "No fate but what we make"- Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
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  5. #2155
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenn26point2 View Post
    All of the kindergarten teachers use the same color coding system.

    I really think the problem in the classroom is lack of mental challenge. He's bored. Plain and simple. When he's bored at home, he acts out. When he's bored at Grandma's, he acts out. The latchkey and the daycare apparently kept him more active or challenged. Sure, he's probably got a bit of a distraction issue - if he's getting dressed in the morning and the tv is on, he'll zone out to the tv and forget what he's supposed to be doing. I do the same thing.

    Sure, she's got 30 years of experience whereas I have 6 years of experience... that doesn't mean her methods are superior. I think the problem is that she's old and bitchy. She taught Brad when he was in Kindergarten, so she's at least in her 50's. The other teachers in the kindergarden program are in thier 30's. She's probably still using techniques that worked when parents were allowed to beat their kids. I don't know what to do about it anymore. Part of me wants to say "fuck it", let's ride the year out, and move on to 1st grade and put this behind us. But... if he isn't concentrating on his work now or goofing off in class, it's likely not going to be better next year.

    But this color system is definitely hurting his self-esteem. and I don't know what to do about it.
    Color system's are ridiculous. They absolutely can destroy a child's self esteem. More than likely the problems exist within the teacher's classroom management skills, on top of him being bored like you said. Children tend to act out most when they are bored. If actually could even extend a little bit further than just being bored and that he just isn't being challenged? Does he tend to be brighter than his peers? Do you have behavioral problems with him at home? If not more than likely the teacher is to blame.

    Does his school have an "open door" policy? Meaning that you can go in at any time without having to make it known? I would suggest (if your schedule allows) to randomly show up and watch how he is in the classroom, sit off in a corner (so that your not distracting him from school) and just document the things that you see. Once you get your own view of how your child is in the classroom and the teacher's management skills you may be able to see some patterns that can be correctable.

    But if the problem lies only within the teacher's management skills, its hard for a parent to correct that. If your son is coming home saying that he is a bad child, more than likely the teacher is berating him in front of his peers. And if that doesn't stop quick your son will become what I call the "scapegoat" child. What is the scapegoat child? The scapegoat child is the child that gets blamed for doing things by his classmates when he actually didn't do anything. Better yet kids get so used to doing this that they will say your son did something wrong on a day when he isn't even at school.

  6. #2156
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    He's a very bright boy. He can count to 100 by 1's and by 10's, yet the teacher is teaching him the numbers 15-17 right now. In preschool, while the rest of the class was writing the numbers 1-12, he wrote all the way to 41 before he asked if he could stop. He knows his alphabet and reads at a level 1 (the level 1 books you buy at Barnes & Noble are more difficult than the ones he's reading in school). He is adding numbers already. He is very good at memorization. He may not know how to physically add yet, but he knows 12 and 12 make 24, and 100 and 200 made 300. He's very imaginative too. He wrote a freaking book the other day. Sure, the book only had 3 pages and each page had only one sentence, but he wrote it. It went something like this "I like race cars. Trucks and trailers pull race cars. My favorite race cars are modifieds, 4 cylinders, and late models". And he drew a picture for each page. Sure, it was racing, which he has been around his whole life, and he had to ask for spellings for the bigger words, but he wrote it, which is not something I would expect from a newly turned 6 year old (he just turned 6 on the 10th). He's a VERY bright child.

    I've been reading a lot about how behavior problems are signs of being gifted. And I want to approach her with this information, but I'm not sure how to do it without sounding like the "my kid is the best, smartest kid in your class and you're the bad one". I don't want to sound unduly conceited, ya know? I was in the Talented and Gifted program in junior high, but b/c I lacked the motivation to apply myself (still have that problem), I was removed from the program. Brady might fall in the same category, but I'd at least like to see if maybe he's too far advanced for her teaching style.

    I will admit that he does have a problem with talking back and arguing. He is very challenging in that regard, but he comes by it honestly. Both his dad and I are the same way, me probably worse than Brad. And he does it worse when you don't give him a chance to speak his peace before interjecting your own comments. I try to be sure to let him speak - to show him that his words are worth something and that I respect him, and I'm not sure his teacher does the same.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
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  7. #2157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal Betty View Post
    But if the problem lies only within the teacher's management skills, its hard for a parent to correct that. If your son is coming home saying that he is a bad child, more than likely the teacher is berating him in front of his peers. And if that doesn't stop quick your son will become what I call the "scapegoat" child. What is the scapegoat child? The scapegoat child is the child that gets blamed for doing things by his classmates when he actually didn't do anything. Better yet kids get so used to doing this that they will say your son did something wrong on a day when he isn't even at school.
    He has mentioned from time to time that he didn't do whatever she told him to change his color for or that someone else was told to change their color and not him, but she changed his color on paper when he didn't change it on the board. The other day he said he only had to change his color from yellow to green, but she wrote down blue. Of course, I have to go by what color is on his calendar and not what he told me he actually got. It's very frustrating.
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  8. #2158
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    Oh, it sucks that you got a bad night's sleep after the email from the teacher.

    I think the letter is generally good and should be sent so that the teacher knows your talking points and that you have tried to make changes at home. I would remove or reword the parts that are more personal and question her teaching ability. You may not want to go in there with her already feeling that you plan to attack her. I know you wrote it in the heat of the moment. I often have to tone down my original letters after I calm down. PS my son's teacher uses the same color code plan. I don't love it either.

    Here's what I might drop/change. (Hope you don't mind.)

    Paragraph 2-end after the word age. Add the "additionally" sentence from paragraph 3 to paragraph 2. You state that the pre school had no trouble with him then in the next paragraph explain how he caused trouble out of boredom. I would leave the second sentence of para 3 out.

    I would add to paragraph 4 defending the new eating program by adding the changes you have seen in general, because that is what she attacked with her quotes.

    I hope you can get some rest tonight.

  9. #2159
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    Yeah it really sounds like he isn't being challenged, but then again how can he be challenged when he is able to count to 100 and the other kids can only get to 12? I mean thats crazy! When getting ready for kindergarten kids are not expected to know how to add, the biggest thing is being able to recognize numbers (certainly not up to 100), recognize upper/lowercase letters, be able to write their name, know the names of shapes, know their address, and their parent's telephone numbers (with cell phones though, it makes this a little challenging) Preschool is mainly about developing social skills, and developing the skills listed above.

    I'm surprised actually that the preschool is utilizing a color system, kids don't become "concrete thinkers" until around age 7, I would try to make a claim that the color system is not developmentally appropriate for the age of the children involved, and that they are doing a disservice to the children under there care. Being that preschoolers are not concrete thinkers they aren't going to understand what they did wrong, let alone what it was that they did in the first place. If you ask me, this is very damaging and if their goal is educating and nurturing the young child then they need to develop developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom.

  10. #2160
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    I'm just so ready for this school year to be over. Brad and I have already decided that we're going to request a different teacher for when Makenna starts kindergarten. She's stubborn and bullheaded too.

    It seems to me that Mrs. Riggs wants kids that will mind her every word and not contest her in any way. I'd like to see what colors other kids are coming home with on a daily basis - to see if other kids are causing problems too or if she's singling my boy out. Brady said the other day that he was the only kid whose color got changed.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
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