My son's teacher is just nasty. I'm done trying to work with her. (Its long, lol. I just needed to get it all out).
He's not a BAD kid. He was apparently getting levels for talking out of turn and it was discovered that he was bored so they began giving him first grade reading and math classwork (and homework) to do so he wasn't so chatty when he was done. They're still deciding whether or not they're going to move him up or if he's going to go to a first grade classroom for math (he's starting to plateau with his reading) and we should know Nov 22 at the conference. We were supposed to know LAST week but one of the teachers/aids that's working with him was out and they needed her there for some reason. But now she's saying that he's throwing tantrums in class, screaming at his peers, she accused him of spitting on a kid (we figured out from talking to my son and the kid that he actually coughed and the little girl just freaked out because a little bit of spit got on her-I mean, yeah, its gross and she's five. I'm not surprised she flipped out either...but the teacher wouldn't let either of them explain).
Today my son got sent to guidance for doing his homework in pen and being disrespectful about it. The backstory is that last night my grandmother fell and hurt her hand. We went to the hospital to visit her and my son came. It was kind of a busy day because I had class in the morning, my son was at school and then I got a call from my grandfather (who shouldn't be home alone) that grandmom was at the hospital because she'd fallen. So we had to figure out what hospital she was at because he didn't know (I don't know why someone didn't call us about her falling but whatever) and then we all went there and waited with her.
Well I realized that my son probably had homework and he did-just a worksheet with letters. Really easy stuff for him but I didn't have a pencil-I didn't think to ask a nurse. They're not there to supply school necessities. I gave him a pen. My son is fine with writing. He knows how to write the letter G, he has pretty decent handwriting. When I gave him that pen I couldn't even imagine such a shitstorm occurring from it.
So today I'm at school volunteering in the next classroom over. I'm helping clean up and wipe down tables and chairs after breakfast while that class is at their special and their teacher is at a meeting. My son's class is connected by a little hallway and I can hear them going about their day. Everything seems fine although the teacher did sound pretty stern. I hear her telling some kids to sit down over and over again-but she's not mentioning my son's name so I kind of tune it out. A little while later I hear her tell them to get their folders and get their homework out. She stamps the pages of the kids who do it correctly and she draws a sad face on those who need a little work. Pretty reasonable. But I hear her talking to my son and she says he's getting a sad face. Now my son takes schoolwork VERY seriously. One, because I'm in college and I make a big deal out of only turning in our best work. Its important that we do our best, even on assignments that seem silly and easy. Two, he's been told that there's a chance he might move up-so he has to take his work very seriously so they know he's mature. He WANTS to move up. He's BORED in kindergarten but he's being a trooper about it. So I can tell he's kind of upset and lately, when it comes to his teacher, he is SUPER sensitive. He really thinks she doesn't like him and I get where he's coming from. She's just nasty sometimes. She makes little snide remarks about kids. She's called him a know it all for nonchalantly saying an answer at their tables (where they don't have to raise their hands). So she tells him its because he wrote in pen and that's not allowed. Now I've never heard this rule before. I know she doesn't use pens in her classroom (because I brought my purse in once and she asked me if I had any pens and if I did to lock them in her drawer because they're permanent-I guess she was worried about the kids getting them and writing on themselves) but I didn't think anything of my son doing his homework in pen. There weren't any mistakes, nothing was crossed out. She asks him WHY he wrote in pen in this crazy stern voice (I don't understand why she always sounds so angry at five year olds but I just wrote it off as her having a really angry teacher voice) and he told her it was all that mom had, we were at the hospital last night.
She uses this RIDICULOUS voice and says "Well MOMMY needs to REMEMBER that you ONLY use PENCIL on your HOMEWORK." I mean, my jaw hit the floor. I've never heard her be THIS nasty before. She definitely cops an attitude with the kids and me sometimes but this was just over the top. She must have not had any idea someone was listening. I actually kind of hope not because if she thinks that's acceptable at all she needs to lose her friggin' job. Then she asks why he was at the hospital and before he responds she says "You know what? Nevermind. Get a counselor form and go. I'm sick of telling you about this."
WHAT IS SHE TALKING ABOUT? He's never done his homework in pen before! There's never an issue with his homework. And if there HAS been she should have friggin' told us. He gets a stamp every day...so I don't know what the issue is. So I go in there and I'm determined to not make a scene but omg. I wanted to smack her fat smug face. She's just nasty. But I don't. I very calmy and brightly say "Hey! Mrs. P! Can I speak to you when you get a chance? I'm here all day!" And she rolls her eyes and says in this really bright voice (I'm not sure if she was mocking me or if she was just trying to sound nice bc of her evil witch meltdown) "SUUUUUUURE, HONEY!" My son is practically in tears because he just stopped getting levels and she's moved his clip down two spots and he doesn't know what to do-should he stay because I'm there or should he go because she told him to? Like, you can tell he's terrified he's going to be in trouble so I told him "Go to the counselor like Mrs. P said. We'll talk about it later." And she steps in to the hall with me (the door was open so the kids were fine) and she's like "Please don't undermine me in my class." and then walked back into the classroom. That was it.
Ok. So on one hand, I get it. I didn't plan to intervene. When I first heard what was happening I planned to speak with her during their specials. But when she snapped and sent him to guidance, I felt I HAD to do something. I had no plans to tell her she wasn't sending my son anywhere. I wasn't going to prove her wrong in front of the class. I was simply going to speak to her in the hall and tell her that we had indeed gone to the hospital last night, there has never been any instruction that we cannot use pen and that because of our hectic day, that was the only writing tool available and from this point on, we will never use a pen again. She was just so over the top nasty to him. I can see why his confidence is fading in school. My son will pretend like he doesn't understand things sometimes and I think its because she's making him feel bad for always being right or for having schoolwork come easily for him.
I would have liked to speak to the principal but he was out for the day. I did speak to Ms. J, the assistant principal but the way they divide up the responsibilities, certain teachers report to various administrators. Not for disciplinary issues or whatever, but just so that everyone has an equal workload when it comes to classroom management and observations and all that. So I sent him an email and he did respond and say he will meet with me in person when he is back and he would also like to be there at the conference. The principal is really great and I really appreciate the way he's worked with us. The guidance counselor is always great-but honestly, there's only so much she can do. She can't be like "Well, you really didn't need to come see me. You didn't do anything wrong" because she can't undermine his teacher but I think she balances it pretty well but letting US know that some of these things aren't as big of a deal as the teacher is making it out to be. I DID email his teacher and I told her I was very unhappy with the way things were handled today-not just with the way she spoke to my son but also to me. There was absolutely no chance at all for either of us to explain the situation and quite frankly, while I am completely happy to abide by the "No Pen" rule...if its a real rule and such a big deal that kids lose behavior points for it, it needs to be in their classwork conduct thingie.
There's no point to this post really. I'm just beyond frustrated with her and I really hope they make their decision soon with him moving up or leaving the classroom to do math. I just feel that if he got that little bit of time out of the classroom to do work that was actually challenging, it would help him immensely. He's being so stressed because of this and I'm worried he's starting to hate school because of this experience. I should also add we're NOT the first parents to have issues with this teacher. We're also not the type of parents to suffer from special snowflake syndrome. Our son DEFINITELY is not a little saint but in this case, I really feel he can't win. A parent at his bus stop has a son three years older than DS and he was in Mrs. P's class and they said that they had some issues with their son going to school in the morning bc he loved school-he loved the specials and any classroom activity that got him away from her...but being in her classroom made him miserable. She definitely has her favorites and it seems to be the kids of kids that she's taught in the past. I just don't know what to do. I'm sure she's good at teaching the course material (I see lots of great classwork on the walls of the class) but my son already knows most of this stuff anyway. Also we're strongly considering sending him to a private school. We can afford it now (when we were doing school registration, it was kind of up in the air bc I wasn't sure if I was going to stay at my full time job while I finished school but bc of these issues I decided to stay so that we wouldn't really take a hit financially). My son has made a lot of great friends at the school and this school does have great teachers...I'm just not sure if we want to fight this battle for the rest of the school year.
ETA ABOUT THE PEN THING: Sorry-let me clarify something. SHE doesn't use pens in her classroom-like she doesn't just have them out. But she has a box of them in her cabinet and the kids get them when they're doing final copies of certain assignments. In one of the first paragraphs I said that she doesn't really use them and had me lock mine up-I don't remember exactly what I was doing when I first wrote this because it was a few weeks ago-but I was probably talking to my husband or something too and not really paying attention. I meant she just doesn't really allow them out and about but i've never heard of a no pen rule because they ARE used in her class. So that should clear up the pen thing.