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#31 of 45 Old 08-27-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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That's because you teach in a Montessori school
No I don't.

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#32 of 45 Old 08-27-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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No I don't.

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Really? I thought that's what you base all your posts in the Montessori forum on. I always enjoy your posts. I just think that you're off base here. What sort of environment do you teach in?

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#33 of 45 Old 08-27-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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If I wrote teacher with a list of concerns and got a long list of complaints back, I would not feel very heard. It would also seem like the teacher was keeping score.

This is the OP's DD first day of school - or first day at a new school. It probably isn't the teachers first day and moreover she is an adult and has training. It is not unusual for kids to be lost the first day of school, and I would expect teachers to give a little - and not write complaint notes home over chatting, dragon fantasies or wanting to spy on the teacher.
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#34 of 45 Old 08-27-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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Really? I thought that's what you base all your posts in the Montessori forum on. I always enjoy your posts. I just think that you're off base here. What sort of environment do you teach in?
It is me. Just not going to move to a different country right now to work in another Montessori school.

I work in EFL classes here in Taiwan. Regular after school classes kids go to.

If you want to talk about classrooms that are rooted in rewards, punishments, etc. Taiwan is the place to look. It takes time, but every class I have had with kids has been successful, mostly because I remove those things entirely and slowly over time.

Kids learn for the pure enjoyment of learning and forget about those things entirely.

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#35 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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If you want to talk about classrooms that are rooted in rewards, punishments, etc. Taiwan is the place to look. It takes time, but every class I have had with kids has been successful, mostly because I remove those things entirely and slowly over time.
What is the size of your classrooms? Just curious because in the US, where the public schools are overcrowded, you have one teacher and 30 - 35 kids, all with various discipline methods being used at home. From day one order needs to be established in these large classrooms. The teacher can't be a gentle disciplining mother to that many kids. It'd be great if they could, but it's just physically impossible.

I think it's important to point out that the OP's dd *was* asked if she needed to know where the water fountain was, but refused the help... then complained that she didn't know where the fountain was. I don't think the teacher was "complaining back" or "keeping score", but rather explaining why she thought the dd had a rough first day. She was also explaining that it was (from what it sounds) of her (the dd's) own doing, not that the teacher was doing anything wrong or out of the ordinary. I certainly think the teacher has a right to say, "Hang on here... this is what happened at school from my perspective. Don't blame me. Talk to your dd." I think it's important that the parents get the teacher's perspective and not just the child's.

I know at MDC, it's the norm to take the member's side, but in this case, I'm just thinking that the teacher is in the right in this circumstance based on the info being provided. Just an opinion. Of course I don't expect everyone to agree.
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#36 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 08:16 AM
 
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It sounds like your daughter was not in the best of shape for a new stressful experience, like the first day of school and things deteriorated from there. Hopefully, both parties can get the relationship back on a positive note.

OP, I am going to suggest the following as gently as possible, so I hope no offense taken...Perhaps the teacher responded as she did because she was surprsied to get a list of complaints on Day 1? I know that I would have been taken aback by such an email. Maybe an email with some concerns at the end of the first week, seeking clarification, but not a list of issues the first day. That said, it certainly does not excuse the tone of the teacher's response either, which came across as very negative (though that may not have been the intention, just just an explanation of how the day went). The first day can be stressful for everybody and allowances should be made all around for things being imperfect, so it is too bad that it ended in an exchange of negative emails.

OP does not say what grade her DD is in but since there was time for coloring, I am assuing Kindy or first. I am surprised though that the first day of lower elementary school was so very serious that the teacher had to write any child's name on the board for an infraction. Aside from the part that I think that is unnecessary at any age, I would expect the first day to be about getting to know eachother, setting out expectations verbally and having a bit of fun. I understand what some posters are saying about the importance of laying down the rules from Day One, but I just think that setting a negative tone on Day One will not help create an environment where kids are excited about learning, from which good behavior will eventually follow. Bored and intimated kids are more likely to act out on purpose (versus forgetting the rules, which young kids can do in the midst of excitement).

And I am in complete disagreement that lunch and recess are "enough" time for socializing at that age. Sitting quiet for hours at a time would be extremely difficult for many kids that age - that, in itself, is a learning process that needs to be conducted in a positive way, not through draconian silence rules. There is more than one way to establish rules and in lower elementary I would expect that if a kid talks out of turn, they would be gently (or at least matter-of-factly) reminded, not yelled at or shamed. If a particular kids turns out to be a "problem" in that respect, it would be a subject of a parent-teacher conference to decide on an approach or discuss consequences. There is never an excuse for naming and shaming.

Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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#37 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post

I think it's important to point out that the OP's dd *was* asked if she needed to know where the water fountain was, but refused the help... then complained that she didn't know where the fountain was.

I read the OP posts twice and did not see this.

I know at MDC, it's the norm to take the member's side, but in this case, I'm just thinking that the teacher is in the right in this circumstance based on the info being provided. Just an opinion. Of course I don't expect everyone to agree.
I think we all bring our baggage to any discussion on teachers. The OP has not written much, I think it is very hard to make the call on who is in "the right".

I will say I had a similar experience 3 years ago when my son was in grade 6. I was genuinely concerned about the math curriculum (he is gifted in math) so I schedueled an appointment. I went in to state my concerns, and she dismissed with with a literal wave of the hand and said he was "fine at math". She then went on and on about how disorganised he was and showed lack of initiative. The meeting ending poorly and no progress was made. I think we both chalked each other up as unapproachable and avoided each other when possible. The person who lost the most, though, was my son. Both the teacher and I were right - he did need math differentiation (I do not think he learned a thing all year long) and he did need organisational tools. Partly because the teacher and I did not see eye to eye he did not get what he needed.

Parents and teachers need to work together to solve issues - an attitude of "she seems to be having a rough time...how can we solve this?" (as opposed to laundry lists) from both parties is the tactic to take.
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#38 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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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.

I agree that compiling lists of complaints on day one from both sides is not conducive to resolving the issues. However, if you are going to send a child to public school, where there are A LOT of kids, seriously outnumbering the teachers, you have to give the teacher some leeway. They have to have authority in the classroom and that might mean that your child stumbles with the rules and the teacher stumbles establishing them in the beginning. I just think that teachers cannot allow even the tiniest bit of latitude with a new class. As she learns the personalities of the kids and the kids learn about her, then it may not be so "strict" later. But the teacher doesn't know every student like those students' parents know them. Those first days, yep, the kids are probably going to have some bad times... still no excuse to wish death upon the teachers and threaten to spy on them.
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#39 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#40 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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I know that I would have been taken aback by such an email. Maybe an email with some concerns at the end of the first week, seeking clarification, but not a list of issues the first day.
I can't speak for the OP or anyone else, but personally there is no way I would wait a week before making sure my child knew where the drinking water was. Especially after a serious illness.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#41 of 45 Old 08-28-2010, 07:30 PM
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it looks to me like it worked out well.

yesterday, i wrote (but was unable to post) that i felt the jury was still out on this one--that there is likely a lot of stress on both sides, and communication issues (between children and adults, between the adults, etc), and that it would probably work itself out by the end of the week.

looks like it has, and of course, i would hope that the teacher would understand the developmental age of the children in her room, and that they wouldn't necessarily understand spying, death, and so on.
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#42 of 45 Old 08-29-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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Sounds like you figured out where your dd was getting the ideas for these comments, after all. Hope things keep getting better for her.
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#43 of 45 Old 08-29-2010, 10:21 AM
 
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OP, glad to hear that things are getting on a more positive track. Those first days are stressful for everyone andit is good that both parties recognize that and move forward.

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I can't speak for the OP or anyone else, but personally there is no way I would wait a week before making sure my child knew where the drinking water was. Especially after a serious illness.
I did not mean to suggest waiting a week on the water issue - that was, indeed, an immediate health issue to bring up in a short and gentle email. The OP mentioned in her first post that she wrote to the teacher to ask about "some of the complaints" from her DD, so I understood that it went beyond the immediate water issue, which is what I was commenting on (though I recognize that I was not clear). In any case, it sounds like everything has been smoothed over to the benefit of the child.

Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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#44 of 45 Old 08-29-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like you figured out where your dd was getting the ideas for these comments, after all. Hope things keep getting better for her.
Yes I did thankfully! When I first got the e-mail I was stunned and I took it a little more like an adult would take it. It took me a discussion with dd and some input from one of my co-workers (who definitely isn't what I would call a GD follower) and a few hours to process things so I could look at the whole picture from dd's pov and bring that gently to her teachers attention.

amma_mama: One of her complaints was that a girl had purposely pulled her off of her scooter thing (not a real scooter but a square with wheels). It caused her hand to get scraped up and quite a bit of her toenail came off. That was serious enough that I wanted to know if it was something that happened on purpose. Her teacher said she would talk to the PE teacher to see. I have been laid back about bullying in the past thinking it was age appropriate and would end quickly and it turned out poorly. Now I am very proactive about it and make sure I follow up on each intentional or possibly intentional incident. It works better then bringing a laundry list one time. My dd had many complaints that day though so I only brought up the ones that I though were serious (water, outside time, and how she got injured).
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#45 of 45 Old 08-30-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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Yes I did thankfully! When I first got the e-mail I was stunned and I took it a little more like an adult would take it. It took me a discussion with dd and some input from one of my co-workers (who definitely isn't what I would call a GD follower) and a few hours to process things so I could look at the whole picture from dd's pov and bring that gently to her teachers attention.

amma_mama: One of her complaints was that a girl had purposely pulled her off of her scooter thing (not a real scooter but a square with wheels). It caused her hand to get scraped up and quite a bit of her toenail came off. That was serious enough that I wanted to know if it was something that happened on purpose. Her teacher said she would talk to the PE teacher to see. I have been laid back about bullying in the past thinking it was age appropriate and would end quickly and it turned out poorly. Now I am very proactive about it and make sure I follow up on each intentional or possibly intentional incident. It works better then bringing a laundry list one time. My dd had many complaints that day though so I only brought up the ones that I though were serious (water, outside time, and how she got injured).
One_Girl: I did not realize from your previous post that the injury took place at school, nor that it was a result of bullying. Yikes, that definitely is more than worthy of an email or phone call to the teacher, first day or not! I am so sorry that your DD had such a hard time on her first day and I hope that you are able to work together with the teacher to turn things around.

Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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