Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>Tonight was Family Reading Night at dd#1's school (she's in 1st grade).  The girls were super excited about going.  It was my first time - dh took her last year - so I didn't really know what to expect.  They had various books being read by teachers in their classrooms.  The kids could listen to the story, then take an AR test on it.  In other rooms there were crafts and games.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We went first to the room where they were reading the "1st grade" book.  That teacher directed us to a room where they were making a craft.  Turns out that was in Fiona's class.  So we went in, found seats, and her teacher, Mrs. K, gave us the various pieces to color.  Once everything was colored & cut out, M  rs. K fastened them together into a math wheel that looks like a turkey.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As soon as she gave Fiona her supplies, she made a comment about how long it was going to take Fiona to finish, since she's so slow.  Then she said Fiona was the "class turtle."  We were there for maybe 15 minutes or so and she continued to periodically make comments about how slow she was.  Then she asked if my 3 y/o was done.  She said no.  The teacher took it from her anyway and Heidi said, "HELLO ... I said I wasn't done with it!"  The teacher responded that she could finish coloring after she fastened the pieces together.  Heidi said okay, and thanked the teacher when she gave it back.  Mrs. K commented about her manners, implying that she'd been rude at first but was more polite later.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Am I being ridiculous about this?  I was so angry that I didn't trust myself to speak nicely to her.  Plus, I do tend to react extra-strongly about everything when pregnant.  Fiona IS slow.  She's very smart, but super-cautious about everything and will. not. be. rushed.  Ever.  But it's not like this was some timed test.  It was a freaking CRAFT project.  The teacher was there 'til 7PM no matter HOW fast my girls colored their damn turkeys.  And it's not like we were holding up a line or anything ...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I did ask Fiona on the way home whether Mrs. K has ever called her those names or talked to her like that in class and she said no.  But I still want to confront her.  <span><img alt="Cuss.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/Cuss.gif" style="width:33px;height:36px;"></span></p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
<p>No, that's wierd. I don't think should have commented over and over about how slow your child is.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,604 Posts
<p>So she basically ragged on your daughters' slowness the entire time you were there, then when she asked your little one if she was done and was told no, still took her materials.  And SHE has the nerve to imply that your 3yo was rude at all?  Hell, I am an adult and if she had asked me and I replied no, and she still pulled what I was working on away?  she'd have gotten at least the reply your daughter gave lol.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do think I would say something... especially about her 'insults/name calling' of your dd that is in her class.  It's just not appropriate for her to label your child the 'class turtle' and start harping on about her speed *before she even has the materials to start the project?*   I don't encouraging her to work a little faster if she is going to run out of time is out of line... but geez..</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And yeah... I would have to comment that my youngest was as well mannered as expected when an adult disregarded the answer she gave to their question!<br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>heathenmom</strong> 
<p>.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As soon as she gave Fiona her supplies, she made a comment about how long it was going to take Fiona to finish, since she's so slow.  Then she said Fiona was the "class turtle."  We were there for maybe 15 minutes or so and she continued to periodically make comments about how slow she was.  Then she asked if my 3 y/o was done.  She said no.  The teacher took it from her anyway and Heidi said, "HELLO ... I said I wasn't done with it!"  The teacher responded that she could finish coloring after she fastened the pieces together.  Heidi said okay, and thanked the teacher when she gave it back.  Mrs. K commented about her manners, implying that she'd been rude at first but was more polite later.</p>
<p>  </p>
</div>
</div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
<p>Thanks, y'all.  DH was really ticked too; he's off work today and is planning to go to the school.  I'd rather do it, since I was the one who was there, but he will not be disuaded.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
<p>Since I was not there it is hard to tell. The comment to your 3 year old did not strike me as her thanking her for her manners cause she was rude first. I am a teacher and I thank students for being polite at times to help the other students to remember to be polite and appreciative. To be honest it is second nature now and I could see doing it at other times. Like I said though I was not there. Also I think the teacher is giving you important information about your child. Your child is seen as being slow. While you might not see it as a problem I know from experience that it can become one. I teacher middle school and have had students who are slow like your child about their work. While I can appreciate their effort here is the problem for me. They are rarely completing assignments which then means I have to keep them in for breaks to complete them frequently, they have hours of homework a night or they get incompletes. None of those options are really satisfactory to me. The biggest thing for me is that I am genuinely concerned about when they get to high school. They will never complete anything and then their self esteem will suffer since they are not getting the grades they want. These are students who have been this way since kindergarten. What I would do is talk to the teacher in a proactive way. Tell her that you are concerned since she frequently commented on your DD's slowness. Tell her that you are concerned since it was so fequently mentioned and the words that you are concerned about the words she used. Ask her why and if she sees this as a problem now and in the future. If it is a problem for your dd (instead of being annoying for her) try to come up with plans to help start teaching your daughter how to increase the pace of her work gradually.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,903 Posts
<p><br>
I agree with this.  I think the teacher was probably trying to tell you that your DD is a slow worker and it *may* be something that needs to be addressed.  Calling younger students 'turtles' and 'rabbits' is something quite common around here.  I would probably have a conference or meeting with the teacher to follow up on your DD's progress and see if there are other area's of concern or just the speed of work.</p>
<p>A couple other things could be going on during family night, the teacher could be thinking you may want to go do other activites and she is just trying to help you by assembling the craft so you can take the kids and visit other rooms and you can finish the crafts at home.  The teacher may have other families coming in and out and she is trying to manage the families as best she can.  Also the teacher may have other duties on Family night, yes she may be there until 7pm but her time may be split between her craft duties and something else so she may be trying to 'hurry up' the families in her room.<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mamatowill</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280432/so-upset-is-it-pregnancy-hormones-or-was-dd-s-teacher-way-out-of-line#post_16060782"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Since I was not there it is hard to tell. The comment to your 3 year old did not strike me as her thanking her for her manners cause she was rude first. I am a teacher and I thank students for being polite at times to help the other students to remember to be polite and appreciative. To be honest it is second nature now and I could see doing it at other times. Like I said though I was not there. Also I think the teacher is giving you important information about your child. Your child is seen as being slow. While you might not see it as a problem I know from experience that it can become one. I teacher middle school and have had students who are slow like your child about their work. While I can appreciate their effort here is the problem for me. They are rarely completing assignments which then means I have to keep them in for breaks to complete them frequently, they have hours of homework a night or they get incompletes. None of those options are really satisfactory to me. The biggest thing for me is that I am genuinely concerned about when they get to high school. They will never complete anything and then their self esteem will suffer since they are not getting the grades they want. These are students who have been this way since kindergarten. What I would do is talk to the teacher in a proactive way. Tell her that you are concerned since she frequently commented on your DD's slowness. Tell her that you are concerned since it was so fequently mentioned and the words that you are concerned about the words she used. Ask her why and if she sees this as a problem now and in the future. If it is a problem for your dd (instead of being annoying for her) try to come up with plans to help start teaching your daughter how to increase the pace of her work gradually.</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,405 Posts
<p>When about 9 months pregnant, I was really upset about a preschool incident my three-year-old told me about (being left alone crying in a room and calling for me), and DH and I decided together to send DH in to ask about it. I really didn't trust myself to address the situation calmly. I think it was much better that way, because DH managed to be non-confrontational but firm and got to the bottom of the story, and while DS had been entirely accurate, I felt much better about the incident having the teacher's explanation. It turned out this wasn't a common discipline method but completely against school policy and the reason he had been left was not because the teacher meant to punish him for screaming, but because his class-room had been short-staffed on the day and when he didn't calm down she needed to check on the children who were in the other classroom alone. The time he had been left had been very short, she came back immediately, was able to comfort him and took him back to the classroom. And they assured us it wouldn't happen again and that the staff shortage would be addressed. I would not have been able to end the conversation on a positive note!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I entirely agree that while it may be a concern that needs to be addressed, the teacher should not have commented on your daughter's slowness in front of her and in that manner. hope your DH has been able by now to resolve the situation to your satisfaction.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
<p>I am not sure what to think... I think what matters is how your dd felt about it (without your interpretation). I used to have a very "big sister" type of relationship with my 8-year-old students and could say things they knew were loving teasing (when I was sure the child would take it that way) while trying to make a point. I could see that if a parent had observed that, she might have been confused, not knowing me or what had been said previously. I believed in the power or playfulness but, obviously, it is not true playfulness if it is hurtful. So... I wonder if the teacher thought she was being "cute" but, rather, ended up sounding hurtful. It is not impossible that they had talked about how being a "turtle" was just as good as being a "rabbit" or something.. and about how sometimes rabbits can make mistakes because they go to fast and how turtles maybe don't need to be quite so careful about thing. So, really, I don't know... Your dd does know how she felt about it, though...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When it comes to the 3 yo, I think some teachers just cannot let go of teaching mode. I would have been annoyed, tbh. But, even then, the teacher probably meant no harm.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think I would let it go and just keep an eye on how things are going with the teacher and your older dd.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,558 Posts
<p>I was VERY sensitive and quick to anger when pregnant. After reading the other posts it seems that your interpretation of events may not have been what the teacher meant to convey.</p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
<p>at my dd1 1st grade conference last night, her teacher said dd1 gets frustrated when she doesn't have enough time to finish her work/project. I think the teachers look at working fast a skill that school kids need to learn.  not that I agree with this, but its ps after all. So I would guess that the teacher is pointing out a weakness in your daughter, so that you might help improve that skill with her.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
<p>It could be anything really. I guess it all depends on the context and the manner in which it was said.  Maybe she was trying to point out an area of concern in your daughter.  Did she say this just to you or could everyone including your daughter hear?  I also wonder, if this was so much of a concern why this was not brought to your attention before hand.  Hopefully you will be able to get to the bottom of this. To be honest from what you described if I were you I would be upset too.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,133 Posts
<p>Public school or not, there is a time and a place for everything, and if your daughter's speed at getting things done is indeed an issue she wants you to address, THIS was not the appropriate time, nor the appropriate way, to tell you. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>She could send a note home, request a meeting with you, etc.  She should not be applying negative labels to your child in front of the other children.  Having gone through public school myself, I can't tell you what wonderful fodder negative adult comments give to kids who bully other kids.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And I think she could have been kinder to your 3 yo. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think you need to address this with the teacher, and if she is unresponsive, take it higher up the chain of command.  I have no problem with a kid getting feedback about things they need to work on, but it should not be taking place in front of a group. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
<p>We had a p/t conference last month and did discuss the fact that Fiona gets distracted easily and tends to work slowly.  This was not new information to me.  I just found it highly inappropriate for her to say those things in an open classroom.  This was NOT said quietly to just me, or just Fiona.  She was speaking in a normal tone of voice and there were perhaps a dozen people at the 2 adjacent tables.  TBH, it seemed that Fiona was completely ignoring her, which is why I didn't speak up immediately.  I didn't want to embarrass her when she didn't seem bothered by it.  As I mentioned earlier, I did ask if this was normal behavior for her teacher and she said that it wasn't.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Even if it DIDN'T bother her, though ... is that really the point?  That just wasn't the time or the place. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Do people find that this tactic motivates children to work faster?  I've tried different things to help get her to work more quickly but it would never have occurred to me to stand over her and tell her repeatedly how slow she was in an effort to get her to go faster.  The thing that works the best at home is for me to mainly leave her alone, with gentle reminders to focus if I see her drifting.  I'm open to suggestions ...</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
<p>I dont have suggestions as to how to increase your daughter's speed.  I already have a problem with schools trying to get all kids to be the same and stigmatizing them should not fit the mould.  But I agree calling her out is not helpful (I mean calling out your daughter in front of everyone) in fact I would imagine that she would be more resistant.  Maybe having her practice the work being done in school might be helpful.  Or if you could find out in advance the next lesson being taught and then helping your daughter get a head start might be helpful.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Did they give you any suggestions at school about what could be done?<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>heathenmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280432/so-upset-is-it-pregnancy-hormones-or-was-dd-s-teacher-way-out-of-line#post_16062038"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We had a p/t conference last month and did discuss the fact that Fiona gets distracted easily and tends to work slowly.  This was not new information to me.  I just found it highly inappropriate for her to say those things in an open classroom.  This was NOT said quietly to just me, or just Fiona.  She was speaking in a normal tone of voice and there were perhaps a dozen people at the 2 adjacent tables.  TBH, it seemed that Fiona was completely ignoring her, which is why I didn't speak up immediately.  I didn't want to embarrass her when she didn't seem bothered by it.  As I mentioned earlier, I did ask if this was normal behavior for her teacher and she said that it wasn't.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Even if it DIDN'T bother her, though ... is that really the point?  That just wasn't the time or the place. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Do people find that this tactic motivates children to work faster?  I've tried different things to help get her to work more quickly but it would never have occurred to me to stand over her and tell her repeatedly how slow she was in an effort to get her to go faster.  The thing that works the best at home is for me to mainly leave her alone, with gentle reminders to focus if I see her drifting.  I'm open to suggestions ...</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,572 Posts
<p>i don't think it was right for the teacher to call her a "turtle" and continue pointing out that she was slower than other children while she was supposed to be enjoying a family night. i mean, how is that supposed to be motivating? it isn't boot camp, it's elementary school. i do think the teacher could have simply scheduled a conference with you and shouldn't have called your daughter out in front of other kids and families.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>heathenmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280432/so-upset-is-it-pregnancy-hormones-or-was-dd-s-teacher-way-out-of-line#post_16062038"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 This was NOT said quietly to just me, or just Fiona.  She was speaking in a normal tone of voice and there were perhaps a dozen people at the 2 adjacent tables. </div>
</div>
<p><br>
This is unprofessional. You do not discuss a child negatively in front of other people. It's a violation of their right to privacy.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>heathenmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280432/so-upset-is-it-pregnancy-hormones-or-was-dd-s-teacher-way-out-of-line#post_16057680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>As soon as she gave Fiona her supplies, she made a comment about how long it was going to take Fiona to finish, since she's so slow.  Then she said Fiona was the "class turtle."  We were there for maybe 15 minutes or so and she continued to periodically make comments about how slow she was. </p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br><p>I am pretty sensitive about labeling of children in general. Even when it is meant in a kind or teasing way, but I believe some children really take it to heart. Can't tell you how many peers I have (I am 40) who, so many years later, still remember the off-hand comment about their looks or intelligence that stung. Even things we don't think of as particularly pejorative, like "Oh, she's my shy one!," can have a negative effect. Children should be able to define themselves, and they should feel free to *change*. I urge you NOT to "confront" the teacher, but rather to have a nice chat about your deeply held belief that children should not be labeled. I think Haim Ginott's "Between Parent and Child" had a profound effect on me regarding this topic. Have you read it?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Here's a link to a discussion of how "labeling is disabling":  <a href="http://www.naturalparenting.com.au/flex/labelling-is-disabling/7956/1" target="_blank">www.naturalparenting.com.au/flex/labelling-is-disabling/7956/1</a></p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,867 Posts
<p>I think it was very inappropriate of the teacher. Those sort of comments WILL affect a child. Negative comments and labels affect people of all ages. I doubt a meeting will change what the teacher is doing,but I would atleast try it. If it was really affecting my kid I would request a change in teacher or withdraw my child from the school.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>No one has the right to talk down to me or my children-EVER.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div> This is unprofessional. You do not discuss a child negatively in front of other people. It's a violation of their right to privacy.<span style="display:none;"> </span></div>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>Exactly. If Fiona's (love that name by the way) slowness is compromising her ability to do well in school than absolutely it should be addressed. With you, in a private conference, without Fiona. While Fiona can be involved in coming up with strategies to help her complete work faster, I don't think it is fair for her to sit in on a conference where labels like "slow" will be tossed around.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Being involved in fixing an issue is very empowering for kids. Being involved in a conference where their work is labeled, not so much.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I would have been upset as well and had hubby go in. I don't do well sometimes with confrontation-I get too hot.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,362 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>heathenmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280432/so-upset-is-it-pregnancy-hormones-or-was-dd-s-teacher-way-out-of-line#post_16057680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>As soon as she gave Fiona her supplies, she made a comment about how long it was going to take Fiona to finish, since she's so slow.  Then she said Fiona was the "class turtle."  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then she asked if my 3 y/o was done.  She said no.  The teacher took it from her anyway and Heidi said, "HELLO ... I said I wasn't done with it!"  The teacher responded that she could finish coloring after she fastened the pieces together.  Heidi said okay, and thanked the teacher when she gave it back.  Mrs. K commented about her manners, implying that she'd been rude at first but was more polite later.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Am I being ridiculous about this?  I was so angry that I didn't trust myself to speak nicely to her.  Plus, I do tend to react extra-strongly about everything when pregnant.  Fiona IS slow.  She's very smart, but super-cautious about everything and will. not. be. rushed.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
I think calling her a turtle was a poor choice on the teacher's part.  I would email her calmly - saying I realize Fiona works slowly, but that I'd appreciate the teacher not calling negative attention to it.  And in our school, I've heard teachers saying to do a project "the turtle way" or "the rabbit way" depending on how much time we had - but not labeling the child specifically.  I can even see "you are being a turtle; we only have time to do this the rabbit way right now".  None of that would bother me at all - but "class turtle" isn't a good idea.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for the 3 year old, if my child said "HELLO... I said I wasn't done with it!" then she and I would be taking a walk to the car.  That isn't the response I want - even if the teacher fastened the pieces before she'd finished coloring them.  It was rude of her to say that, and less than respectful for the teacher to take it before she was done - but two wrongs don't make a right.  And I often say "thank you for your nice manners" after a child uses them without prompting.  Whether or not they'd been polite or rude previously. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think these are really very minor incidents that I would not get too worked up over.  In my email asking if the teacher would refrain from calling my older child the class turtle, I would also apologize for my three year old's comment.  I don't think this requires a call or a trip to the school at all.  That is classic parents of a firstborn.  I did it too when mine was little, and am now embarrassed at what I got worked up over.  One of the many gifts of having my third child was how mellow I got about stuff like this.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><br>
 </p>
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top