March 23, 2007,
K.R. asks from Lakeside, CA on March 20, 2007
"HELP" I Think Me Sons Teacher dislikes(Hates) Him.
My son is 6 and in the first grade. He is one of the youngest kids in his class and as his teacher says very Immature. So far she has lied to my son and us once. Ok so everyone understands. My son is hyper and has no interest in sitting and doing work which is supposed to be because of his age. He just wants to play. So as a result of his very short attention span he plays in class. There for getting very little of his class work done. His teacher started to tell me that he was very disruptive to others. She began moving him to his own table. At his school they use the stoplight system. GREEN = Good YELLOW = 1 Infraction and RED = 2 Infractions. Now my son was bringing home red after red for class disruption. Then out of the blue GREEN every day for a week. We were praising him for his hard work. Then on that Friday when I met with her she began to say how HORRABLE his behavior had become. There was the Lie I spoke of earlier. Now I am not sure I can trust her or anything she says. Now no matter how hard he try’s he gets yellows. Today was a red and I am not sure how to handle this. He told me that another student was copying off his paper and he told this child several times to stop each time getting a little bit louder. The teacher came over and told him to change his card to yellow for being loud. When he tried to explain himself at this time she told him to turn it again from yellow to red. A note was sent home today saying that he was rude and disrespectful after being asked to change his card. I have tried to have him switched to another class but they are all full. We are also in the midst of having him tested for ADHD. What would you do?
So What Happened?™
Sorry it took me so long We ended up not having the meeting ne of the people who was supposed to be there got very ill and was hospitalized for 3 days but on the 25 of april we are going to have another meeting. I will keep you all posted thank you again so much. K. R
K.M. answers from Los Angeles on March 21, 2007
I would refuse to take him back to school until they put him in another class. They can always make roon for 1 more in a classroom. I have had many problems with my childrens school even to the point where they put my daughters in ESL classes when the only language they do speak is English. I wnet to the school week after week trying to get them out of the ESL program and they refused. I pulled my kids out of school and have been homeschooling them for 3 years. They are now 2 years ahead of there peers. My 14 yr old attends the local community college as well as homeschools. There are options
L.A. answers from San Francisco on March 21, 2007
Oh boy have I been here... Only it was when my oldest was in kindergarten. And it wasn't for being disruptive but slow in her work and difficulty focusing -- the other type of A.D.D. The teacher became so mean-spirited... I guess so much pressure was placed on her by the principal that she turned it around on the kids, demanding so much of them, and not acknowledging that all kids develop in their own way, at their own rate. Love helps them bloom, not cruelty.
From my experiences with my daughter I would say, volunteer in the classroom so you can see first hand what is going on. The teacher will treat your child better (some really are small-minded enough to think a child with such a helpful parent can't be all bad) and you will be better able to zero in on exactly what your son needs help with. And on what things set him off in class. And you'll see her in action with the kids. (My daughter's teacher also used to pick on this poor little Indian boy, just because he didn't know much English and so didn't follow directions as well as she liked. Actually treated him like a Bad Person.)
Secondly I liked the suggestion to document what goes one, what your son complains about, and be willing to meet with the principal. If this doesn't get results, consider talking to the district management.
And by all means look into special ed. By the time I finally realized that my daughter had a developmental challenge she was in SIXTH GRADE and was so beaten down from all the frustrations of her school experience that we just decided to homeschool for a couple years. Just to let her decompress. Now she attends an alternative high school where she attends once a week and does the rest at home on independent study. Which has made it possible for her to also take classes at the community college and etc., in subjects that interest her (like science and advanced art).
Her earlier experiences in school had convinced her she was stupid (we knew she wasn't, but a few mean teachers and not getting work done fast in class had told her otherwise). So she has been thrilled and stunned to find out she is at the top of her class in the college marine biology course, and was picked as an art scholarship finalist in a statewide highschool art competition.
What we have all learned is to be open to alternative schooling. Kids need to have attention given to their strengths -- not just their weaknesses. Too much criticism, especially for things they will just outgrow, tears them down and gives them really low self-esteem and depression.
Don't let that stinky teacher get away with it! Your son is too precious.
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R.V. answers from Portland on March 20, 2007
When my son was in kinder he went to a private school here in Hollister. He was in trouble everyday. His sef-esteem was in the basement. I was so upset. His teacher was certain he was ADHD. He didnt want to go to school and would cling to my leg. He had no friends, he was the bad kid. I took him to Kaiser, his dad and I filled out questionaires, as did his teacher and his former preschool teacher. The results showed that compared to kids his age across the nation that he was within range of normal! Only in aggresiveness was he borderline high. The doctor then asked where he went to school and suggested that maybe the private school and or the teacher was the problem. I switched him to public school and he thrived!!! He made friends and is outgoing and on honor roll.
I was advised by a wise teacher that if my young child had a personality conflict with a teacher to get him out of that class -- ASAP. It is suce a fragile age we must be careful not to turn kids off to school. Of course there will be personality conflicts when they are older, but young elemtary school age kids dont understand.
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R.G. answers from Sacramento on March 21, 2007
Have a long talk with your son and even at 6 they can understand that the choices they make will always effect how they ar treated, if he is disruptive alot in class (From experience because I use to teach) it becomes almost automatic to tell them to stop and usually the child has to talk back so you learn to just say do what I said. I am not saying it is right but it happens. I would do a reward system for green cards, I actually did this with my son in 1st grade. if he got yellow card he lost tv and activities for the day he had to read a book or clean, if he got a orange card he was grounded for 3 days to a week and he lost privledges to EVERYTHING> If he got a red card he was not only grounded for sure for a week but I got rid of one of his favorite toys, to this day we have discussions about how his behavior effects other people and how other people treat him, he does very well now, he still has bad days but nothing like it was. Be sure not to so much defend but help your child understand why it is happening and what choices (personal) he can make to change it, believe me when I say if you are having a problem with the teacher because he is being disruptive now if he does not understand what part he is playing you will be trying to change his teacher every year after and also it does not teach your child anything to switch classes other than mom can fix it for me.
S.B. answers from Los Angeles on March 21, 2007
I went through this myself with my daughter's teacher in the 4th grade. Have you thought about changing schools? The level of expectation in the public school system is incredibly high. They are teaching kindergarteners what 10 years ago would have been expected of second graders. Stress can affect children's behavior dramatically. Maybe he is not ready for the rigors of a first grade class. This does not reflect his intelligence in any way. If kids are allowed to learn in a non pressured developmental environment at an early age, it actually better prepares them for the pressures of higher education. There are a couple of amazing schools in Orange county that have this developmental philosophy, The Waldorf School in Costa Mesa and The Farm School at UCI. Subjects like math and science are taught hands on through cooking and gardening. It really is amazing! Also there is a co-op nursery school for ages 2-6 in Huntington Beach called North Huntington Beach Community Nursery School that uses these methods as well. We were part of the co-op for 4 years and I highly recommend it. Good luck!
A.C. answers from Los Angeles on March 23, 2007
Go to the school and sit in his class and observe what is going on. That way you will be able to judge for yourself what is going on and see what the relationship is between your son and his teacher. And, if your son's school has a school psychologist, have him observed. As a parent, I can tell you that you want everyone to be nice to your child all the time. as a teacher, I can tell you that hyperactive children are difficult to deal with when you are trying to teach 20- 30 other kids, and it can be easy to lose patience. That doesn't mean your son's teacher doesn't like him, just that she is overwhelmed by all the activity. My sincere advice to you is to go to his classroom and observe what's going on.
E.T. answers from Los Angeles on March 21, 2007
First of all never (under any circumstances) allow your son to see that you don't think his teacher deserves his respect. Even if you don't like the way she does things she is his teacher and he needs to be taught that while he is in her class he must follow her rules. Pardon me if this comes across as rude but it sounds to me as if you are excusing his poor behavior and blaming it on his age or potential ADHD. In either event you need to find a parenting style that is effective with him and undermining his teachers efforts to get him to stay on task is not helping matters at all. I would tell him in no uncertain terms that he is expected to sit in his chair and follow the rules in his class ALL THE TIME. It really just sounds to me like he has figured out you don't think he is capable of behaving so he is not holding himself accountable. The fact that you are at odds with his teacher does not escape him either. He knows and uses it to his advantage. He may have ADHD (though only a simple brain scan can give you an absolute answer about that)but regardless of the cause the answer is behavioral. Even children with ADHD can be parented in a way that helps them manage their issues. That said - if your childs teacher is not honest you need to confront her - out of earshot of your child. Ask her why she would give you misleading clues about his conduct by sending him home on green for so many days only to tell you that is not what he earned. Tell her you want to help him achieve appropriate behavior in class but you need her to give you honest information in order for you to achieve that. I think it goes without saying that any day he is not meeting his goals in class there needs to be a consequence at home. You may also have him apologize to his teacher everyday he doesn't come home with green. If it continues you could require him to apologize to his entire class for disrupting their learning time. Of course if in the end you are convinced that it is really his teachers fault and not his you could always pull him out of public school and home school him and see how that goes. Good luck - and hang in there.
K.V. answers from San Francisco on March 21, 2007
We also have a 6 year old son who is very active but is in K this year. After our parent/teacher conference in the Fall, which wasn't too positive, we were also worried that one of his two teachers didn't like him but, luckily, have since changed our minds. I do not doubt your concern over the teacher's feelings for your son & worry about the effect it will have on him. As we all know, kids are very intuitive, much more so that we give them credit. Since you mentioned asking to switch classes, I assume you've spoken to the teacher or the principal about your concerns. I would also assume, based on your comments, that the teacher probably didn't fess up to not liking your son. I would suggest keeping a list of all the things your son comes home complaining about & then put it in writing to the principal & request to have a meeting about the issues w/o the teacher present once the letter has been read. Be sure to bring your list of concerns to the meeting so you can go in armed w/support for your claims. I used to work as a teacher's aide in the SF school system for many years & had a problem w/one of the teachers I worked with. It got to be very unbearable so, at my husband's suggestion (he's been in HR for years which was a big help!)I started documenting any issues & then wrote a letter of complaint including all the documentation, to the principal. My last sentence said something to the affect 'If you can't help me w/this, please give me the name of someone who can.' Well, that got her shakin' in her boots! No one likes when you to go over their head (or threaten to) to the next level of management! She very quickly spoke w/the teacher & then arranged a meeting between the three of us. Unfortunately, the problem wasn't ever really solved but things got a bit better in the classroom. Hope this helps you some.
R.C. answers from San Diego on March 20, 2007
My child is 5 and in kindergarten she too is one of the youngest in her class. Her school also does red yellow and green cards. I'm also having problems with my child being able to pay attention. If it were me I would have a meeting with the teacher and principle explain to them how you are feeling about the fairness your child is getting, ask them if there is anything you can do to help and request that you be able to sit in during some of the day, if your schedual allows. You need to be able to see this behavior for yourself teachers and children are not always honest. When you get the results of your sons test you then might be able to understand more of what is happening. I wish you luck this is a very hard thing to go through do you trust your child or the teacher?