Saturday, August 30, 2008

Totally weird.

I haven't met Boy and Girl child's teachers this year. On the first day of school I was pretty much discouraged from meeting them. And by discouraged I mean an angry looking lady told me to leave them in the cafeteria and they would wait there until school started and did I need anything else? So. Yeah.

Girl Child makes straight A's in school. Perfect grades. Perfect behavior. Never gets in trouble. Always gets notes home that say, "Girl Child is so delightful that she might even poop ice cream". Or something.

Boy Child? Yeah. Not so much.

The thing about Boy Child is, though, he's really honest. I mean, REALLY, REALLY honest. So when I go to pick him up the first thing he says is, "I got a B in behavior today". And then he proceeds to tell me exactly WHY he got a B in behavior, and it usually has something to do with talking.

I have no idea where he gets that particular trait. Ahem.

And yes, I know I'm probably a hardass or whatever, but a B in behavior is not cool to me. I wouldn't be mad at him for getting a B in English or whatever, IF he tried his best. Behavior is something he can control though, so I expect him to get an A.

So every day he brings home his behavior report and every day it's a B (and one day it was a D...he apparently had a lot to say that day). He was grounded from playing video games which, to Boy Child, is somewhat akin to having his heart stomped out.

Last week he told me, in the car on the way home, "I was grounded from recess today".

I asked what that meant.

He said, "You know. I had recess detention. I didn't get to play".

I asked him why.

He said that one of the "Safetys" said he was talking when the lights were off in the cafeteria. And then he said, "I don't know why they would say that mom. I wasn't talking".

And I believed him.

Because he gets in trouble for talking ALL THE TIME and TOTALLY ADMITS IT. He really had no reason to lie, you know?

Oh and the "Safetys"? Are a bunch of kids in his class. And they take away recess based on that? Whateves.

So I called the teacher the next day and left her a message. Said that Boy Child was concerned about his behavior grades and I wondered what she and I could do, together, to help him improve.

She never called me back.

Oddly? Every day since then? He's gotten an A in behavior.


Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

They have kids? In his class? Handing out punishments? That is mental!

Anonymous said...

Several alarm bells went off when I read your post.

1) The school discouraged you from meeting your childrens' teachers? WTF? I don't think so! Allow me to say, 'Getchyer ass up there and MEET them!'.

Hello. These 'teachers' are spending like a huge chunk of the day, helping to form your childrens' view of the world.

Follow your instinct, Steph. Go. Meet. Them.

2) Totally follow up with the unreturned phone call. Those 'A's' may OR may not be accurate. And you need the truth from the teacher. (I'm just saying, you don't want the teacher just handing out arbitrary grades to shush, you, the parent up). You're trying to parent your child AND trying to work WITH the teacher. Hello. You cannot work WITH a teacher who doesn't return phone calls.

3) Hellooo. What's up with the 'saftey kids'?!??!?! WTF is going on? What I mean is, WHY are they getting CHILDREN to monitor EACH OTHER? Sounds like conditioning to me. Conditioning a generation of children to rat each other out. Way not cool. Way not.

Schools have the nerve to treat parents like they have NO say in their children's lives. They do it subtlety. And it's up to parents to make it clear that that is NOT the case. At least, those parents it's not the case for.

Unknown said...

So wrong on so many levels. We are able to mee the teachers the day before school starts for a 2 hour open house when we drop off our ridiculous amounts of school supplies. You should feel comfortably able to meet with them at any time. And not calling you back? Warning!

We had a teacher that gave inflatated grades and I called her on it at conference time. No, it doesn't appease me that my son got A's in everything if he didn't earn them. You see, I want to my kids to LEARN, not GET GOOD GRADES. There's a difference.

That same teacher had the kids correct each other's work for everything including tests. So, being 5th graders, feeling would get hurt. My son brought home a test in which items were marked incorrect even though they were corect. It seems the kid correcting was mad because he got an F on the test the day before from my son. So he marked answers wrong on a spelling test because he said he "couldn't read my son's handwriting." Urgh. And lazy teacher never checked their correcting. My son said he tried to tell her, but she refused to listen. So called her on it. Kids shouldn't know how other kids do on tests, much less do the teacher's job my correcting. Think of all that class time wasted doing her job.

Sigh. It was a wasted year, but at least the teacher was asked not to come back. Culled from the flock.

Woman, go forth and cull. Talk to the principal if you have to. No child should be able to mete out punishment. A teacher should always call back a concerned parent. I know you work, but could you just show up at pick up time and insist on a sit down?

Good luck.

Tamar said...

It sounds as if she was thinking 'Oh God, if I give the kid As maybe I won't have to ever deal with his mom.'

I'm kind of pissed on your behalf. Boy-child deserves better.

Tarasview said...

wow... I can't believe she never called you back! that is bizarre teacher behaviour in my opinion.

BandK said...

Yeah, what Tiger Lamb Girl said. Red flags a'waving, all over the place.

We're so used to the teachers and schools being the "authority" that we tend to just passively let them do whatever and take what they say at face value. Does the principal know the teacher has been doing this?

And yah, the safety kids thing -- sounds like another tool for certain kids to pick on others.

Yikes. I hope you make yourself known, yo.

Allie said...

We're having trouble with Nicholas school right now, not because he isn't being treated fairly but because I don't feel very good about the school that is supposed to be teaching my son when they send out flyers to the parents saying "water bottles for sell on Friday" and his teacher posts a sign to "sign up as chaperones for the field trip on Thusday." Call me crazy but I don't have a lot of faith in those people.

judy in ky said...

Well, I want to know who the hell these "Safetys" are, and how they get there. What kind of system is that? Kids that age shouldn't be in charge of each other. There is too much room for favoritism and other shenanigans!

Stephanie said...


Shanilie said...

I’m finally back to the blogging world and made my page visible to everyone. Please pop by! Can’t wait to re-connect with you again.

Stephanie said...

Yeah, squeaky wheel and all that jazz. I don't think they know what to do with people who think about things... just give him an A and maybe I won't have to hear about it anymore. But good for you for responding...

EE said...

I hope his teacher reads your blog;)

Anonymous said...

Some teachers are terrified of the parent phone call. She could be one.

And, you made the twins wait 10 years before they went to a birthday party? REALLY?

Anonymous said...

Tiger Lamb Girl made fantastic points. Points I would have liked to make myself, if only I hadn't read her comment first. Now it would just be redundant. So... Ditto.

BUT... how on earth does the teacher have time EVERY DAY to send home a Behaviour report??

Anonymous said...

Delurking to leave a few comments from a teacher's perspective:

First - Phone calls from parents tend to make me nervous, because so many of them have been hate-filled rants about things I have no control over. I don't set the lunch prices, make the rules about snack time, or have any control over what happens on the bus. BUT I always ALWAYS return calls, even when I know the parent who called is a nut-job who is going to chew my ass for nothing. If a parent ever told my principal I hadn't returned a call I would be in so much trouble! And no, I'm not calling you a nutjob, just trying to make it clear that returning calls is a must-do.

Second - I only send home daily behavior reports on kids who NEED them. AKA, if I spend a good portion of my day dealing with Kid's behavior, then Kid is taking home a daily note. Otherwise? I have about seventy-eleven other things I have to accomplish each day.

Third - I WANT to meet parents, at least once, and would prefer to see them on a semi-regular basis. Of course, living in a small town that isn't usually too much of a challenge - I run into them all over the place! But regardless, I find it extremely weird that you would have been shooed away on that first day.

Fourth - you need to find out if the Safeties are a classroom thing or a school wide thing. In our school the 4th and 5th graders help out with the K and 1st graders in the morning (it's called Tiger Patrol) and the expectation is that if a little one has been misbehaving the big one will report it to the child's teacher and she will determine if there need to be any consequences. Sometimes what needs to happen is the Tiger Patrol has to be reminded that s/he is not an all powerful dictator who is just looking for a reason to get the little one in trouble!

SO, if I were you, I would call up the teachers of both Boy and Girl Child and tell them you would like to come in for a brief meeting. Be sure to tell them it's nothing big (because this call is going to make them both nervous as hell) but that you feel like you don't even know their faces and want to introduce yourself, see the classroom, and find out how things are going.

Best of luck, love the blog and can't wait to see how this turns out!

Anonymous said...

You mean other kids tattle on their peers and the teachers believe them??? Uh.... I hate to say this, but I think there's a problem Houston.

Rachel (Crazy-Is) said...

Kaylie and Boy Child? Would be sent to the principal's office together. She gets in trouble almost daily for talking in class.