My First Teacher Note This Year

Mrs. B,

Thank you for your notes in the Communication Folder. I am glad some reading, counting, and art skills were demonstrated in the three chaotic hours you were given to herd cats… er, educate and get to know your kindergarten students today. In response to the note that he screamed a lot in protest and hit you when transitioning from play time to work time, let me say:

WHAT IN THE WORLD?! Here you get a new room and student list the week before school and are gearing up for all the usual issues, adding on students with learning difficulties?!  You come in ready to change the world one mind at a time by believing in these little underdogs and leading them to be their best selves… and you get screamed at and maimed?! You aren’t a zoo keeper in charge of the  honey badger exhibit! Worse- MY KID was the culprit.

For the LOVE! You’ll be sitting with your husband tonight at dinner (hopefully take out) and casually say, ‘Hey! I was screamed at all day and only got hit a few times by a few kids, but at least no one barfed or tried to pee on the 5th grade lockers!’…and you will probably actually think it is a good thing. I know this because you smiled and said, “I’m USED to it” and “it’s new for him”. Then you said he is actually very smart and sweet!

Okay. You are a teacher. Your options for discipline are limited. Personal safety, comfort and sanity are limited– more so in your class! Detention, extra laps, extra homework, suspension… these aren’t plausible options for the kindergarten kids with extra challenges.THANK YOU for not being the teacher who crosses her arms and declares that if we don’t get our act together he will end up in prison. (Like…most of the the Apostles, MLK,  Nelson Mandala…etc.)

As for the consequences…I literally dragged him home wrapped around my leg. I did this trying to push a stroller, walking behind a mom who was trying to ignore us,  with a perfectly dressed daughter who was joyfully telling her all about the day. Example modeling! Except he didn’t notice the example of the Student of the Year.   I firmly explained it is unacceptable and reminded him of good ways to calm down. I made the ‘good behavior= rewards’ chart, hugged him and told him we would try again tomorrow, and then reminded myself that tomorrow is another day.

I wish the hard moments could be a montage that goes into the time where he is greatly succeeding and blowing expectations out of the water… but until then THANK YOU for doing the hard work of teaching, redirecting, and meeting our kids in their icky places. It’s life-changing. Until then, expect more encouragement and back-up while we do the hard work of raising up a generation of great kids.

Tomorrow is another day. I believe in you.

-The Mom of the Kid Who Had a Rough First Day

 

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One thought on “My First Teacher Note This Year

  1. It’s SO good to see you blogging again.
    I’m so sorry that Jonathan’s first day was a struggle, but it really is early days and he may have been feeling very overwhelmed with it all. I know that you don’t need me to tell you this, but his brother’s illness combined with your frequent moves (all out of your control) have given him a very different early years experience to many of his classmates. I understand from your blog that he also has some challenges due to hypoxia at birth but that he’s recently made fantastic progress.
    I periodically remind my children’s schools that my children are ‘traumatised and grieving’. I would never expect ‘bad behaviour’ to be tolerated or excused, but I expect a compassionate response and a willingness to work with us to find appropriate ways to support our children through the challenges that they face as a consequence of their sisters’ illness and death from blood cancer.
    I’m so pleased that Jonathan has a teacher who sounds so positive and so caring in her approach as this will make all the difference. Our children’s schools have also been very caring and compassionate.
    Two of our four children suffer significantly with anxiety, one of them since long before her sibling became unwell. Transitioning was a really big issue for my eldest, both at school and at home. She’s now 22 years old and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – she’s absolutely amazing! 😊
    We are still in the trenches with parenting one of our other children and it is incredibly stressful at times.
    I will be praying for you and your little ones. ❤️

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