Originally Posted by velochic
Kathy, you're right. After re-reading the OP, the child didn't ask where the fountain was, and the teacher didn't realize that she needed help finding it because they had had a picnic under the fountain earlier. I was wrong to state it that way. But the teacher didn't keep this info from the child to make her life miserable - all the kids were shown once where the water fountain was. If one of them needed to be shown again, they can ask, not just complain about it after the fact.
It was actually her first day in a new school after having pneumonia and the kids were shown where the fountain and bathrooms were on the first day, this was the third day. She didn't know her way around and she didn't think the teacher would let her get a drink if she asked because in her other school the kids had to use their water bottles and fill them up at recess. Her teacher had misplaced her water bottle (I brought it with her supplies a day before and it was put somewhere else). I wrote about that because my dd needs to stay hydrated as her body works to heal from the pneumonia. I didn't even actually complain about it, I just asked the teacher to show her where the fountain was again. I wasn't as worried about that as I was about the teacher assuming a seven year old was trying to intimidate her when she has only known that seven year old for a few hours. Kids this age often have a lot of imagination.
Her teacher has written back and said that things went much better on Thursday (no school on Fridays). She said a lot of positive things about my dd and her behavior. She also said that things had been chaotic with two new kids joining and that she needed to make some tweaks in her classroom management to help calm that chaos. She was very reflective and I really like that. We had a hideous experience last year so I was very worried but it seems like this was different.
I don't think that my dd's comments were meant the way some adults would take them. She does understand that dragons are pretend but she doesn't understand that death is a serious thing. She was baffled by me taking it so seriously and by how seriously her teacher took it. Death isn't forever or even that serious to her yet, it is what happens in the movies and things always turn out just fine. Her spy comments came from a movie we just watched, The Spy Next Door. She loves that movie and wants to be a detective and a spy. She says she is going to spy on lots of people. She is seven and doesn't understand that spying is a serious thing. Many of you as adults do know what spies, but as a child she isn't at that point. I would hope that any teacher working with my dd would understand how a child views these things.
If my child is trying to intimidate her teacher I do want to know about it, but you can't make that determination in the first week. I think that what her teacher wrote was not intended to be taken as harshly as I took it (she even said she wasn't being the best communicator this week) and that this is a situation we can move past.
I am also not fond of kids names being on the board as a public shaming device. Her teacher did say she gave her a warning, and I understand needing to be very quick with consequences during the first week because that is when you are establishing the routines and rules to make the classroom run smoothly. The name stays up all week I think, unless the teacher forgot to erase it. My dd was really proud that she worked on her behavior on Thursday and didn't get any check marks though. I think it may help her to have a visual reminder to stay on track, I just wish there was a way to keep it more private.
I also think kids should be able to talk during certain activities. She has never been in a classroom where there was no talking allowed during some activities. Our schools tend to encourage group processing and there are standards regarding how kids get along in a group in most content areas for our district. This is a charter school though and they follow a different curriculum. It will take some time to get used to the rules and I think it was hard for my dd to come into a classroom on the third day when rules were starting to be established and then to be treated as though she had been there for a couple days and knew the rules. I don't think irreparable harm will be done by not being able to talk during activities, but I think it is silly to put kids in a group at tables then tell them not to talk during coloring time. When you put kids in a group at a table you expect talking. I think it is her teachers classroom and she will decide what works for her though. I didn't actually complain about the name on the board or the the no talking, but I do think it is silly.
As I said, the thing that bothered me most was her deciding my dd was trying to intimidate her without knowing her or looking at the big picture of what a crappy day she was having. It sounds like the teacher also had a bad day though and that they are going to move past this.