Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My first grader is not happy

Some of you may remember my post about my sweet Joe. I actually wasn't planning on posting anything right now, but I am worried about Joe's day to day experience in first grade. I need to talk to somebody so I know you guys are always ready to listen :)

Last year, he would come home and excitedly share stories from his day in kindergarten. This year, he comes home looking tired and withdrawn. Other mothers are saying the same things about their children in this class.

I hear that the teacher runs the class almost in a military fashion. She has very high expectations and likes to run a tight ship. I think the kids are a bit shell shocked from the sweet, playtime of kindergarten as they deal with her very structured classroom. I'm worried that Joe is not having a nice time each day. I also heard that she is strict about bathroom times and snack. You know they are six. She can relax her rules a bit, don't you think?

I'm going to try and find out more today. I'll keep you guys posted.

Just needed to spill out my worries to my blogging buddies :) Thanks for being here.

34 comments:

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

Just remind Joe that he's only got 16 to 20 more years of schooling and then he's done. See, it's not so bad!

shiny mamaof6 said...

I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that your Sweet Joe has a soft place to come home to. Where he knows that he is loved and honored. On the other hand, if you feel that his teacher is doing anything that may be damaging to his little spirit then you have every right to step up and say so. Good luck to you. I have been where you are and it is hard.

Mari said...

I like the look!
It seems to me that teachers are expecting more and more from kids, even from such young kids. I know they need to learn to be responsible and all, but can't they be kids too!

T Rex Mom said...

If anyone can solve this one, I know it's you! Keep us posted and know we have every confidence in you!

Lois Lane II said...

My first grade teacher was like that, but I adapted well. =) Hopefully, Joe will adust well!

kisatrtle said...

hopefully you will get some more first hand information. I hope everything works out.

blueviolet said...

Usually those teachers that are really uptight and rule bound in the beginning do relax once they're sure everyone's playing by the rules. I hope it's true in your case!

Sabrina said...

Two thoughts.
One, you're right about the transition from K to 1st....from gentle to gettin' stuff done! Both my older kids came home and KEE-RASHED on the couch, falling asleep, their brains mush after all that learning, for about two weeks. ;) So maybe give it time?
Two, even if the teacher isn't your dream 1st grade teacher, even if she could stand to chill a bit, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to model respect to authority even when we aren't super wild about their style...we all know that happens a lot in life! We've all had the Michael Scott boss or mean prof! I know you'll navigate that beautifully. :)

Sabrina said...

One good way is to gather info by volunteering in her classroom...or even better...in the classroom NEXT to hers so you can hear her tone and style...you can get a good idea that way too.

Peach said...

well i'm not a mother, but i work in education and i know there are some teachers that are just too strict. i'm sorry, but learning should also be fun, not military camp. i work with inner-city young adults and i'm not even so strict...good luck to you and your little one! i can sympathize as school was always traumatic for me...
also, thanks for you word of encouragement!

Caroline said...

Oh sweetie...so sorry to hear that! It is a big jump from kinder to first..so it to be expected that he is tired. Also, it's hard just being back in school again. I would talk to his teacher...hand over the olive branch. I always try not to listen to negative things about a teacher until I have had a change to see for myself. Much of the same was said about my child's 1st grade teacher last year. And you know what, I loved her! Teachers need to run a tight ship to keep the kids focused. Like anything, there is a lot of changes for everyone. I bet in a few weeks it will be great. But don't hesitate to try and make friends with the teacher...it really does make a difference!

Dani said...

That is no fun. I hope he can tell you what is bothering him. Make sure he feels supported and secure at home, and that he knows you are there for him. My mother had a hard time with my brother in school early on- in his case, he didn't recover all year long and she just kept expecting it to either get better or that he would just deal with it. She says now that she should have withdrawn him from class that year he was so drastically different. Just keep digging and listening to his concerns. You'll find out the best path to take for him.

tokemise said...

Hi, I hope everything works out. It's very difficult to deal with things like that. It might make you feel better to know that you won my Cleopatra's Daughter giveaway! Just send me your mailing address and Michelle will send out your prize. The earrings too!

Corrie Howe said...

Great to see that you have all this encouragement! I don't know that I can add anything. Looks like everyone said it all.

::She Poet:: said...

I would suggest you and him have a private talk just to see what his thoughts are and how he is handling the 1st grade. Unfortunately he is going to have more teachers like this and probably worse (hope not) as he becomes older. The kids will adjust to the new situation in due time. I doubt if the teacher will change her way of doing things unless more parents get together and have a group discussion. Maybe that's her way of keeping things in control. School is so different nowadays than when we were in.

Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...I will be thinking of you and Joe. I had teachers like that as well growing up. The class was always orderly and quiet but as I look back on it...they were never the teachers that I learned from...got inspired by...or that made me want to learn. Those were the encouraging teachers that allowed me to make mistakes without the fear of be dressed down. Good luck to yo and Joe and I hope it straightens itself out for you two.

I am sub teaching English for the first time tomorrow morning ...this has been a lesson for me.

Dan

christy rose said...

I will pray for you concerning this situation. I know how it feels to have a child not be very excited about school so early in the year. Keep us posted how it all goes.
Christy

Judith Ellis said...

Kelly - I'm sure you will be watchful but my sense is to let your beautiful boy adjust.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

I hope your Sweet Joe can shed some of his kindness on his teacher and get her to lighten up. I'm sending you a virtual hug! I hope you can talk to the teacher about the concerns and that your mind can be put at ease soon. Best wishes!

Book Bird Dog said...

You could never tell from some of today's college freshmen that they had to obey strict rules when they were in K-grade school.

He & Me + 3 said...

Oh no...i hate to hear that. School is supposed to be fun for the first few years. I hope that it gets better. My son is not liking preschool right now, so I know how you are feeling.

Michelle said...

Knowing this, this is in a way why I'm glad we're doing full day kindergarten. It's ... a challenge adjusting, but hopefully it'll make the transition to first grade easier -- and he does love the school and classes. Can you observe or volunteer in the classroom to give you a bit more perspective? Good luck, and I hope he finds a way to be happy soon!

Jenners said...

Oh Dear. I can see why this is worrying you. You know who you should go talk to -- Stacy of Stacy's Random Thoughts. She is having almost the exact same issue as you. She is really easy to talk to and maybe you and she can help each other. (I don't know if you are familiar with her blog yet but here are the links to some of her posts I was talking about:

http://stacysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/08/first-grade-orientation-frustration.html

http://stacysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/08/thousand-words-thursday-first-day-of.html

Hope this helps!

Becca said...

Oh poor guy! When I was in school, I had a super strict teacher that would not allow bathroom breaks. One boy ended up wetting his pants because she wouldn't let him go! Best of wishes and I hope things get better soon!

Dan said...

I can remember teachers from that time period of my life that were martinets and others who weren't. Looking back on it, I enjoyed the non-martinet ones more, but learned a heck of a lot more from the martinets. I suspect part of it was that the martinets really and truly believed we could do it and the others just hoped we could.

Good luck in sorting out Joe's situation.

Creativity!! said...

Joe Will Adjust Don't Worry :) But Teachers Should Be Friendly :D :) All The Very Best Success Dear :) :D

Ms Perfect said...

Ugh. I feel for you. Doesn't sound like there was any easing into the first grade. How can someone expect so much from such lil happy people?

Eric J. Krause said...

At that age, school needs to be fun. Yes, the kids need to know they're there to work and learn, but they also need to know that learning can be fun. A good teacher at that age will do plenty to make learning a game. Sounds like your son's teacher is not one of those. Sorry to hear it, and I hope it gets better.

Kim said...

This made me feel anxious and crazy so I think I need to read your next post. I already want to go down there and have a talk with this drill sargeant. I think Grade One teachers have a responsibility to be gentle and easy. These are still babies in a sense. Oh my heart hurts for Joe. Keep us posted! Some small comfort in knowing other kids are feeling the same and the parents are noticing.

The Write Girl said...

Oh no Septembermom. I'm sorry to hear this. Well, I do hope this teacher improves or let her have it come parent teacher's day. Also, you should team up with other moms and voice your concerns. 1st grade should be fun!!!

Caitlin said...

Ugh. I am so sorry. Those poor kids have the rest of their lives to feel stressed and controlled.. why start when they're six?! I hope that this is somehow resolved soon...

Don said...

Lots of good advice here.

Ponder it...

Wait for it...

If you don't know what to do, it's probably not time to make a decision yet.

(Sometimes, it's just enough to have a mom who shares the trauma. Then it passes.)

Mon said...

Lots of good and differing advice here!
I'm in the 'learing ought to be fun' camp, but hard work is part of modern schooling, so what can you do? Except of course check that this teacher isn't a tyrant.
Keep us updated. Here's hoping it's just the transition.

Gerri said...

I hope things get better for him and his mates. The structure of traditional school can be hard for some children. I made a very hard decision and moved Noah to Upland Hills (the school he attends now) in October of his first grade year. It was very hard, but I realized that I only had one chance to get it right. peace to you