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Already got a call from my son's Kindergarten teacher :(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My son Sam, who turned 5 on August 27th, just started Kindergarten last Wednesday and his teacher has already had to call me. I wasn't available so it went to voicemail but basically the gist is that he is having trouble "keeping his body to himself". Now Sam is a VERY high energy little boy, has been since day 1 and is a total extrovert. Put him in a room full of kids, especially new children, and he goes bonkers, running around and absolutely cannot focus on any sort of instruction. Playdates can be difficult, haha. Not sure how to talk to him about this to get him to understand that he needs to be in control of his body. Does anyone have any experience/suggestions for me? I would be eternally grateful. Thanks, Moms!

post #2 of 10

I would return the call, and ask what ideas the teacher has for your ds.  He's very young, and this is very early, so I would wonder if this is purely an informational call, or is it to start thinking about how to help him be in the classroom, and with the other kids.  Usually the first week or two, in any grade, is a big time of reconnection, getting used to new routines, etc.

 

Sometimes, guidance counselors have curriculums for little ones that focus on personal space, being in control, letting other kids know how you're feeling.  They can also brainstorm with you and the teacher, if there are any issues, on how to manage the space, and the day.

post #3 of 10

Hmmm, I would view what she means.  As in stop by and watch.  Then you have an idea of exactly what is happening.  I had to do this.  I kept getting phone calls and notes about DD1 in kinder.  She had what her DP called Happy hands when she was little.  As in she couldn't stop moving.  The idea of sitting in one spot.  Holy rough!  So get an idea.  Is it all day, is it during instruction, or is it happening when the kids are in transition from one thing to the next.

post #4 of 10

 

I agree with pp, you'll have to follow up with the teacher to find out what exactly she's concerned about. "Trouble keeping his body to himself" could mean lots of things, from inadvertent contact to deliberate pushing and shoving. Likely if it was deliberate, she'd be more straightforward about it, but perhaps she hasn't seen it for herself, is relying on other students' complaints and is giving him the benefit of the doubt at the start of the year.

 

You'll be more effective helping him if you understand the problem. If he doesn't understand the concept of personal space, you can talk about respecting people's workspace. In Montessori, each student places their work on an individual floor mat, about a third to half the size of a yoga mat. They learn that they must not trespass on each other's workspace or interfere with the other students' works and the visual cue of the mat helps reinforce the lesson. Perhaps you can try something similar at home with him using a piece of carpetiing or old baby blanket.

 

 

post #5 of 10

I have a high energy little girl, and even though she was in daycare before Kindy, she had a tough time adjusting to the larger class/less teachers/schedule.  What finally helped get her on track was making a big poster and hanging it on her bedroom door.  It said

 

Kindergarten Rules

-I keep my hands and feet to myself!

-If I have a problem, I go to the teacher.  (She was inserting herself in everyone's drama)

-I go to school to learn.  I sit quietly and do my work!  (She kept getting in trouble for talking)

 

 

All of these things are so basic...but she actually LOVED stopping in front of her door every morning and saying it out loud with me.  Definitely talk to the teacher and see if she can be more specific.  This list didn't come about til about November, when I could see recurring themes of "problem behavior" from her teacher's notes and phone calls.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone! Well I received some feedback from the teacher the next day as to what happened. She said a few of the children were having trouble standing in line, waiting to go to the cafeteria for lunch, and they were bumping into each other just because they thought it was silly and funny. The teacher told them to stop and they didn't so there were moved to "orange" on the behavior chart (it goes from good to unsatisfactory behavior - purple, blue, green (green is where they start out every day), yellow, orange, red. Orange gets a call home to the parents, red gets a visit to the principal's office. Anyway, the punishment for being in orange, in addition to calling home, is to put their heads down on their desk for 20 seconds. My son said when he put his head up, his table was wet. When I asked him why he said because he was crying. This broke my heart, to know he was embarrassed in front of all the other kids. Maybe I'm just too sensitive because he's my little boy but to me, bumping each other playfully in line is pretty normal and not a "bad" thing. This is his (and most of the other students in his class), first time in a school-setting so they're all trying to learn lots of new rules and I think it's very overwhelming. But I also see the teacher's point in that she needs to lay down the law right away or it would be a madhouse of nineteen 5-year olds. Now I hold my breath everyday for a phone call from his teacher, just hope he's following all the rules. Thanks for listening!

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmorin01 View Post

 Maybe I'm just too sensitive because he's my little boy but to me, bumping each other playfully in line is pretty normal and not a "bad" thing. 


About a dozen years ago (maybe longer, I'm getting old, lol!) , many school districts tried to establish tough anti-bullying and anti-violence programs along with zero tolerance policies even in kindergarten and early primary grades. Some of it was an over-reaction, but you probably understand the reasoning. A little nudging and bumping can quickly escalate to outright pushing and shoving, and suddenly it isn't fun anymore. The teacher may be fielding calls from parents of children who don't enjoy physical contact and who were intimidated by that kind of rough play in line. Also, if bumping in fun is accepted, it's harder to police if someone isn't just bumping a little and isn't doing it in fun.

 

Those phone calls are hard to get. It's even harder when your little one has had a tough day and is unhappy. Hopefully, he's finding some good things to enjoy about school too, and this little incident will be quickly forgotten. Teachers understand that there's an adjustment period for new students. 

 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




many school districts tried to establish tough anti-bullying and anti-violence programs along with zero tolerance policies even in kindergarten and early primary grades. Some of it was an over-reaction, but you probably understand the reasoning. A little nudging and bumping can quickly escalate to outright pushing and shoving, and suddenly it isn't fun anymore. The teacher may be fielding calls from parents of children who don't enjoy physical contact and who were intimidated by that kind of rough play in line. Also, if bumping in fun is accepted, it's harder to police if someone isn't just bumping a little and isn't doing it in fun.

 

Those phone calls are hard to get. It's even harder when your little one has had a tough day and is unhappy. Hopefully, he's finding some good things to enjoy about school too, and this little incident will be quickly forgotten. Teachers understand that there's an adjustment period for new students. 

 

 

 

I agree here. I have an almost 6 yr old in 1st grade. She HATES to have people touching her expectantly. She would see it in a very negative view. My other DD (same age/grade) is more physical and likely to touch others in line, but she is small- 37lbs. A 50 lb child that gives her a 'nudge' could easily knock her over. It has taken a lot of 'pretending' and play acting at home with them to help DD1 not to freak out when people bump into her and DD2 to keep her hands to herself. But, with practice- they both have gotten better and also have built up a view on 'why' it may bother other kids to touch them.

 

Expectations in K/1st are set fairly high, but it is not unreasonable for a 5 yr old to learn personal boundries (including touching other people) and to respect the likes/dislikes of others. Also for kids this age, as PP said. It is very hard for kids to see a spectrum of OK or NOT OK. It is either acceptable or not = there should be no subjective degree to how hard you can push/touch/nudge someone, it is just too much of a grey area for little ones to gauge their own strength and the size of peers.

 

K is different than preschool. It is much more 'hands-off' and it takes some kids some time to get into a rhythm. It is normal for kids to push/touchin line, but it also a behavior that needs to be extinguished as soon as possible in order to maintain peace in the classroom.

 

 

At home, I would review the rules at school with him to help remind him of what is expected. The first few weeks are overwhelming, but needed to maintain order in the classroom for the rest of the year. 

 

I HATE the color behavior system by the way, I wish the schools could find something else- but do know it is very very common.

 

I hope he has a  better day today!
 

 

post #9 of 10

DD's had the stoplight behavior system last year, and I hated it.  She spent a lot of time on yellow and had a tough time getting to green.  This year the teacher gives them each a wallet, and they earn play money every time they are kind.  So, for example, my DD picked up something that another child dropped and gave it to them, and she got a monopoly dollar for kindness.  Certain amounts buy rewards.  The ultimate reward is getting "lunch bunch" with the teacher and principal.   I like this much better so far, she is really motivated to do good and be kind.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post

DD's had the stoplight behavior system last year, and I hated it.  She spent a lot of time on yellow and had a tough time getting to green.  This year the teacher gives them each a wallet, and they earn play money every time they are kind.  So, for example, my DD picked up something that another child dropped and gave it to them, and she got a monopoly dollar for kindness.  Certain amounts buy rewards.  The ultimate reward is getting "lunch bunch" with the teacher and principal.   I like this much better so far, she is really motivated to do good and be kind.

 

We still have the "stop light" for the younger children, but the older children had DPS (demerit points), though this year a positive point system was added.
 

 

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