M.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL on March 15, 2010
Negative First Grade Teacher
My son is in first grade and in a self contained LD class. Every day he brings home a journal that I am to write notes to teacher and the teacher writes notes about his day. We feel that so many of the comments made in the journal are so negative, very rarely do we get a positive comment for the day. So, I decided to call her and ask if she could tell us one positive comment about our son every day. I explained that I felt that we really want to focus on the positive things he does throughout the day to raise his self esteem and motivation at school. Today was the first day, she wrote that our son was a good listener in Library today. I was very upset since I know that Library is a special, and she is not even with him at that time!! Basically, I felt as though she could not think of one positive thing that SHE saw with my son today. I feel like my son is very sweet and has so many great qualities about him. I feel as though all she sees is a kid who is easily distracted and has a poor attention span. We realize these things about our son, but this is why he is in the self contained class!!! What should I do to help her see what we see in our son, a great kid who loves to learn! I realize that he can be a handful at times, but how can all this be helpful to my son?? Unfortunatly, this is the only LD class in the district. My son will be in her class next year too!
A.S. answers from Boca Raton on March 16, 2010
Would you consider homeschooling?
I never thought I would have the time or patience to homeschool but, for us (two boys), it is 1000% better than traditional school.
Schools have become very boy-hostile imho (and we were paying for private school!).
C.S. answers from Chicago on March 16, 2010
Kimmie G. -Get a grip. I'm sure you have not had a child at every public school in the entire United States and therefore cannot rightly make the statements you did about female teachers. It was very offensive. I am a former public school teacher where the school was run by the most caring people I have ever met in my life.
2 moms found this helpful
A.F. answers from St. Cloud on March 16, 2010
Oh my word. Let me just say that I homeschool my kids and DO NOT share the same opinions as Kimmie G. I know several teachers and they are the kindest and compassionate people I know!!! What a terrible assumption to make!
And on to your question......Since you have already talked to the teacher, I would go to the principle. There is ALWAYS something positive to be said about kids. Even if they are a handful! People make a choice to see something positive or not. Make it clear that you are concerned whether or not she will be fair with your son when she cannot find something positive to say.
Some people are routinely negative and they need to be held accountable to see the positive, especially when they work around kids!!!
2 moms found this helpful
M.S. answers from Columbus on March 16, 2010
First of all, have you spent any time in your son's class? I volunteered for two straight years in both son's 1st grade classes. O.M.G. It's a madhouse. The teacher was great and a very positive, christian person. (I know this because we ended up becoming friends after she left to have a baby) Anyway, 1st grade is a very hard grade to teach. I personally think teachers should get paid about 5 times more money than they do, for what they put up with. Take the most energetic, hyperactive kid and multiply it by 15. Once one or two get going, they all feed off of each other. I'm not saying 1st grade kids are bad, I'm just saying they are almost all very hyper at that age. You already know your son has a short attention span and is easily distracted. You know that because you see him do it at home? In a much more controlled environment? What do you think it's like at school with all the other kids doing the same thing? I agree with you, that the teacher should really say as many positive things about a student as negative (unless there's really a behavior issue there, or the student has a particularly bad day-hitting another child, etc.) But, at the end of the day, when the teacher is probably doing these notes in the notebooks...try to imagine her being able to say really positive things as her brain is trying to shut-down form the stimulation overload. LOL! I'd give it more time, to see if she can come up with stuff in the weeks to come. It could also have been that the librarian made a comment to her about how well your son listened and she wanted you to know that.
1 mom found this helpful
V.C. answers from Dallas on March 15, 2010
If your intuition says this is bad for your son, listen to it. My son had the very best kindergarten teacher. Then his first grade teacher made his life miserable that year. I had so much guilt for not having him moved to another class. Of course, he is ok, but there was absolutely no reason for us to have spent a year being stressed out.
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on March 16, 2010
I would give it another week and check the additional journal comments.
A great teacher can make such a difference. My son's kinder teacher was "over it" and I feel, ready to retire...no or bad communication skills with parents, unorganized, cold. Happily, my son's 1st grade teacher is awesome! What a difference.
I think you did thew right thing by pointing out that all of the comments were negative. Keep explaining that you need to reinforce the positive and acknowledge the negative with your child and that you appreciate BOTH types of feedback.
And you can continue to include positive comments about your son's evening behavior as well. That's a good thing.
M.. answers from Orlando on March 15, 2010
Last year my oldest son was in first and his teacher was real nice at open house but after school started she was NASTY to the whole class and she was rude to them and my son would come home telling me how he did not want to go back to school again and that his teacher made a few kids cry in class.
We had to do the same thing with the folder and notes back and forth and they got graded on a color scale everyday.
Blue ment GREAT.
Green ment YOU HAD A WARNING.
Yellow ment YOU ARE IN TROUBLE AND A NOTE WILL GO HOME.
Red ment YOU HAD TO GO SEE THE PRINCIPAL AND THAT THEY WERE CALLING HOME.
When the teacher was nasty to my son and he would tell us and I would call her right away and I would say that _______ is very upset and he told us how class went today and we need to sit down tomorrow morning before school starts and have a parent/teacher conf. I also made it clear that my husband and I would be there together.
In the meeting she would try to make our son look like a big trouble maker and we knew that was not true.
We made it clear that he is to be treated well, with kindness and respect. We said to her that she would not allow him to talk to her without being respectful and that is how he needs to be treated.
It took THREE parent/teacher conf.'s for her to finally understand that she needed to lay off of my son.
My son would tell us that she still treats the whole class bad but she would not treat him bad.
Needless to say, last year was a rough year for us with that teacher.
This year, we are homeschooling. = )
I wish you the best of luck with this and thank God the school year is almost over.
B.C. answers from Dallas on March 15, 2010
I am SOOOO with you on this one! My daughter is in the 3rd grade. She had the same teacher for 1st and 2nd grade and she did great! She loved her teacher and so did I! This year though, she is not doing so well and I completely think that it has alot to do with the way her teacher interacts with her.
My daughter also has attention/daydreaming issues and I think some teachers just don't have the time or patience to deal with it. It's an unfortunate side-effect of having to send them to public school. Most teachers are wonderful, and unappreciated, but some are just not meant for that role.
If his teacher can't handle the situation and understand your concers, I would speak to the priciple and see if some understanding can be found there. He's so young to be told nothing but negative all the time!
J.C. answers from Chicago on March 18, 2010
I would write in your sons journal, for the next day, for the teacher to see it. Don't allow her to bully your son around.