I need advice....(pre-K issue, shy child) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Today was the first day of her school...(a private Pre-K program) Last year and the year before she was in the preschool classes. Madeline is VERY, VERY, VERY shy. Like her Father. It's something we work on, read about and pray about a lot. I feel that this is the way she is and we love and respect her as she is, and she will eventually come out of it and it may take time, but that is what I am here for. I do not feel it is right to punish a child or force them to be outgoing. Nor tell them that how they are is "wrong" This is very hard for me to accept being a very outgoing person who was/is involved in many social activities, but I respect her and respect the diversity of people and her and I. Anyhow today at school, the children are made to ask to be excused from the table after snack time. Madeline clammed up into a shell and did not talk, she turned her head away from the teacher and did not speak. I am positive it is not that she did not want to be polite and say it, but that it was her shyness, this is a practice we do at home when finishing a meal as well, so I know she is not rude in the manner. The teacher made her remain at the table for the rest of the day for not asking, alienated from the other children while they played and read stories etc.
I just feel this was a bit extreme. I do not feel that she should be allowed to get away with being rude and not asking permission to leave the table, but I don"t really like how it was handled, not the fact that she was more or less confined until she conformed (which she never did). Am I making too much of this? I think if it did not actually bother her I would not care, but she left excited and came home scared and not wanting to go back ever! I did not say anything to anyone yet at the school. I feel I should go to the teacher first to remedy the problem, not the adminstrator first, unless she refuses to handle the problem.
I know thus probably belongs in the education forum, but this place is much busier and I need many opinions fast.
Thanks!
Summie

P.S. i should add that around extended family and our immediate family and close friends my dd is a talkative as any other child.
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#2 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 02:25 PM
 
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Did your DD tell you this happened, or was it related from the teacher or someone else? I'm not making light of it, but "She made me sit there for the rest of the day!" could really be that she sat there for a couple of minutes until the power struggle was over with the teacher...it could've seemed like an eternity to a little one though.

If it turns out she was "punished" and did sit there the rest of the day, then yes, I'd say that's extreme for a pre-k aged child. If anything, the teacher could have got down to her level and asked her if something was wrong or inquired further.

We had "problems" with my son's K teacher. She labeled him as behind the other kids, "slow" if you will, because he wouldn't answer things in class or for her. He was extremely shy AND had a speech impediment that he was concious about so he knew the material, just wouldn't answer her when they worked on it in class.

He grew out of it by the next year, and ended first grade at the top of his class. He's still a quiet, manneristic boy at school, but has lots of friends and does what is needed. (And is totally opposite at home!)
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#3 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alkenny
Did your DD tell you this happened, or was it related from the teacher or someone else? I'm not making light of it, but "She made me sit there for the rest of the day!" could really be that she sat there for a couple of minutes until the power struggle was over with the teacher...it could've seemed like an eternity to a little one though.

If it turns out she was "punished" and did sit there the rest of the day, then yes, I'd say that's extreme for a pre-k aged child. If anything, the teacher could have got down to her level and asked her if something was wrong or inquired further.

We had "problems" with my son's K teacher. She labeled him as behind the other kids, "slow" if you will, because he wouldn't answer things in class or for her. He was extremely shy AND had a speech impediment that he was concious about so he knew the material, just wouldn't answer her when they worked on it in class.

He grew out of it by the next year, and ended first grade at the top of his class. He's still a quiet, manneristic boy at school, but has lots of friends and does what is needed. (And is totally opposite at home!)

When i picked her up I asked the teacher how she did and if she talked...she said no, but she will. ANd I smiled and kind of gave a oh yes and how look and she said they have to ask to be excused then the teacher told me what happened. I asked my daughter about it in the car and she burst into tears. Later I apporached it with her and she said she sat there through free play time, art and story. probably close to 50 mins or so.
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#4 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by summiebee
When i picked her up I asked the teacher how she did and if she talked...she said no, but she will. ANd I smiled and kind of gave a oh yes and how look and she said they have to ask to be excused then the teacher told me what happened. I asked my daughter about it in the car and she burst into tears. Later I apporached it with her and she said she sat there through free play time, art and story. probably close to 50 mins or so.
Oh, no!
I definately would say something about how you don't think that was appropriate.
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#5 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 03:03 PM
 
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I would not allow my child to remain in that situation. 50 minutes is too much for time out at that age NO MATTER what the child did. If she was to be punished longer than her age in years (4 minutes?) you should have been called to pick her up.

That said, I really don't know about a solution. Do you think it would be fair for your daughter to not have to say "excuse me" or whatever, when everyone else does? How would you explain that to the other children? It seems rather extreme to me to punish a child for 50 MINUTES on the very first day though.

If your DD really likes it and you are *positive* you want to stick with this facility, I would consider picking her up each day after snack. If she wants to stay and participate, then she would need to ask to be excused. Of course, she might decide that has been quite enough, lol.

What does your DD say? Does she even want to go back? Did she have a good time when not being punished?

2 That just really sucks!

 

 

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#6 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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Completely UNACCEPTABLE! Geez louise, how about the punishment fitting the crime? How dare that woman humiliate your child like that?

A little compassion would go a long way - how about the teacher say to your child, "would you like to be excused?" instead of ineffectively pressuring her.

I think I would hand that woman her head.

(Can you tell I'm a little passionate about this? )
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#7 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 05:31 PM
 
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A little compassion would go a long way - how about the teacher say to your child, "would you like to be excused?" instead of ineffectively pressuring her.
Yeah, good idea!

Some of my experiences from preschool - I was also the shy child who would never speak up. They put me in 1st grade when I was 5 and I would finish my work before everyone else, but we were to raise our hands when we were done and I didn't want to call attention to myself so I would just sit there. Everyone assumed I just was not able to finish my work.

Also in preschool we were bussed there and there was this rule that the driver would call our names and then we would get off the bus. One day we had a substitute driver who didn't know the rule and he just let everyone off the bus. Except me, because the rule was that he was supposed to call our name and then we were to get off the bus! He didn't call my name, so I couldn't get off the bus! So I just sat there in the back. He didn't see me so he got all the way to the bus garage before he knew I was there. :LOL

Gee, I don't know what my point was...I guess there are so many different ways of going about these rules and routines. I don't think the words are so important - for example, if you just want to teach politeness, there are more ways to be polite than to say "May I please be excused?" I think this teacher could work on how a shy child could demonstrate politeness. I don't think it's reasonable to expect all children to act in the same way. As long as they aren't hurting anyone, why not just let them get up from the table without saying anything if they want? Maybe the rule could be "we get up quietly and put our things away" rather than "we all say this contrived sentence or you have to sit there all day."

I think that instead of making all children conform to the school, the school should conform to the needs of all individual children. In the grand scheme of things, if this one child wants to get up from the table without saying anything, what will it hurt?
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#8 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 05:52 PM
 
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my dd1 is very shy, too, so i can relate. i would be livid if that happened to her. she's not in any kind of preschool now (she's 3.5), but we're considering it for next year. first off, i really don't believe in "making" children say anything so i would have a lot of trouble with that from the get go. i'm sure my dd1 would have said "no" or "i'm sleeping" or "i don't have a name" (one of her current favorites). she's very talkative at home and actually loves to be in a crowd like at the mall or something, but if somebody she doesn't know well tries to talk to her, much less get her to say some phrase they want her to say they're lucky if all they get is a "no".

i wouldn't send my child back to that school unless there were some other really good reasons i wanted that school for my dd.

hth

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#9 of 13 Old 09-08-2004, 06:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by summiebee
Am I making too much of this? I think if it did not actually bother her I would not care, but she left excited and came home scared and not wanting to go back ever!
No you are not making too much of this. This was not right. What was the teacher thinking would happen? What was her goal doing that to your child. Before I left my child there for even a minute, I would have a nice long talk with the teacher about how we can better approach things like this. The teacher made it into a power struggle.

I hope your daughter recovers from this incident and comes to love school. And I so don't blame her fro not wanting to go back.. Maybe once you resolve things with the teacher you can explain to your daughter that that won't ever happen again.

Doreen
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#10 of 13 Old 09-09-2004, 02:34 AM
 
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Summiebee, your poor little girl!

My first ds is EXTREMELY shy also, so shy that I doubt I could have coaxed him into a classroom. It was for this reason that we decided to homeschool. That may not be a solution to your problem but it's what we did.

Christie

Vegan, homeschooling mom to my 3 boys and my girl, missing Matthew born still at 34 weeks
 

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#11 of 13 Old 09-09-2004, 02:42 AM
 
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I would be livid! I mean, seriously, she had to sit for the rest of the day because she was did not say "excuse me?" On the first day of class? I am all for respecting rules etc etc but this seems a little extreme to me. I think the teacher took a hard line when she did not need to and it would concern me that she took such a tactic without knowing the child, trying other methods etc.

I would have a chat about the situation (if my dd still wanted to attend.) You have been working really hard on this and your dd does not need some inconsiderate teacher undoing her efforts in this area. One would think a teacher would have some experience with shy kids on the first day of classes!
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#12 of 13 Old 09-09-2004, 01:53 PM
 
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I understand that they want to teach the kids a routine, including manners, but please? That strict - on the first day? Wrong IMO. Work towards it. Explain the expectation, comment when someone rises to that expectation, let the rest go. Make an allowance and have a little understanding for the painfully shy child. A teacher who gets into that kind of power struggle with a child (this is not a safety issue!) is not a very appropriate teacher IMO! A good teacher would handle it differently.
The main reason I send my children to preschool is to learn to love school! I can teach ABCs and 123s and colors at home - but I want them to have a fun transition into the world of formal schooling. If my child is loving school then I am happy with that program/teacher. Having her sit for 50 minutes for being too shy to ask to be excused from the table is not going to leave her excited to go back... Not to incite a flaming but I just have to ask if this is a Montessori school - the ones I've seen are quite strict with rules like these so I just wondered.
Hope your dd is over it. How have the last couple of days gone?
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#13 of 13 Old 09-09-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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Shyness is often a nice way of describing "social anxiety disorder." The teacher's behavior is likely to make her shyness worse, not better. My niece developed a disorder called "selective mutism," which it sounds like your dd might be at risk for.

Here' s a link with FAQ's about it at www.selectivemutism.org.

http://www.selectivemutism.org/FAQ.htm

Here's another little blurb about it:

http://www.anxietynetwork.com/spsm.html


There is no way I'd send my kid back.
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