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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Vent: Just About Ready for Summer (Long)

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 12:34 AM
  • 10 Replies
Let me preface by saying that a. I really like dd's teacher. She is very nice and you can tell she cares about her class, and b. My dd is not perfect, not by a long shot, though we've come a LONG way since kinder last year. She's not had a good return from the break, and has been punished at home for her behavior at school.

I'm kinda over this school year. On the whole it's not been bad; my dd has really excelled in her grades and her conduct; she is a straight-A student snd has won awards for other things during the year, and lives school. We are going through a rough patch right now, because she's going through the "seven-year sass," as I think of it (my sis is going through it with my 7-year-old nephew too), and because she's been on medecine that makes her a bit jittery and extra-emotionally-sensitive.

But I feel my dd's teacher is overwhelmed. Her class mix is toxic; lots of the kids don't dislike each other--they HATE each other. One of the boys' parents are going through a divorce (mom's my friend) and he's pissed at the world and takes it out on every other student in the class. One girl is a young "mean girl"-in-training, and has an unknown issue with my dd, and has gotten another girl going down her path; the same "mean girl" doesn't get along with her male cousin in the class, and occasionslly physical fights break out. The "mean girl" also causes trouble in general; during their "center time" (or "stations," as dd calls it), this girl just wanders from group to group, not doing work but inhibiting others. She takes stuff from the kids, gets in the way, starts little arguments, whatever she can to disrupt others' work; I've seen her do it while volunteering in the room. The girl is horrible to my dd 4 days per week, but on the day when I'm in the room, she's all sweetness to me and acts as if my dd is her buddy. In the past werk (like, 7 days), 2-3 of my dd's behavior incidents involve this girl picking fights (arguments); I have stressed to my dd to stop letting the girl get under her skin, but it's ridiculous, because it's a constant thing.

There is a special-needs boy in the class who adores my dd and she takes extra time helping him when her work is done, and helps him walk through the halls calmly, etc. This boy, however, has no concepts of personal boundaries or how to play appropriately, and has physically hurt my dd twice (like left marks) and broken her glasses once; I have had to have them separated periodically through the day to give dd a break from him. This same SN child does NOT get along with another boy in the class, sometimes to the point of fighting; in fact, most of the kids don't like being around him because his behavior is erratic and noisy and they don't want to be hurt (he has accidentally hurt other kids too).

There's just always "Something" going on and the teacher really needs an aide, but 1st grade teachers don't get aides unless they teach ESL, and those 4 teachers all share one aide.

This past 6-weeks (the 3rd 6-weeks period), the 1st grade officially started the Advanced Reading (AR) Program. My dd, whose reading level was WAY above what was required to start, did not get to participate because NO ONE in her class did; the teacher just didn't do it (she was not alone; not every class participated). I know that many of her kids weren't on the level to start, but as it is individual, I would've liked my dd and the others who could've to been able; they didn't get a chance to earn a ticket to the AR Party, which featured one of my dd's favorite books. I feel like dd's teacher opted out because she's overwhelmed and didn't need "one more thing to do."

Today my dd brought home a paper with a 40 on it. She says it's not hers. Her name is written in by the teacher. Honestly, it doesn't look like my dd's; my dd doodles all over her paper, and this one is clean. My dd is really messy about filling in the little bubbles on multiple-choice questions but these are super-tidy (I go over every paper sent home and I notice trends like that). Unfortunately, it's all multiple-choice so there's no handwriting to check against my dd's. My dh quizzed her over the questions, and she knew the answers (we found the story online and can verify that she's correct). I wouldn't care about it because mistakes happen but as the grade is a 40, it has brought my dd's Reading grade to a 70, and they don't take very many grades so it'll be hard to recover from that. I've decided to email the teacher, even though I hate being "That mom."

I feel bad for the teacher. She should not have to deal with this much in a class of 22 kids. The kids bicker and fight most of the time, and I personally would've quit if I'd been their teacher. But I'm just really ready for the school year to be over, and it wouldn't surprise me if she were too.

ETA: An aide has been requested, and denied; only the SN child's parents could get one placed, and they won't. I DO volunteer at the school (as I stated above); that is why I know the dynamics of the class so well. I have also talked to the teacher and to my dd about the worksheet. The teacher is going to retest dd on the material, and dd has been reminded about putting her name on her work. I am in constant communication with the teacher about what's going on. It is one of the reasons I know what the class is like. I am, unfortunately, one of very few. Most parents pop up for parties only, and that's it, despite multiple requests for help. My dh also volunteers; we are just about the only parents the teacher sees often enough to recognize.
by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 12:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mjande4
by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:40 AM

It's way too early to be giving up like this by anyone. If you know these negative non-academic things are effecting the class, why don't you get a group of parents/moms together and come up with some solutions to help. First grade is way too early for this much drama/chaos. Maybe as a group go to the principal and ask for an aide, set up a volunteer schedule, etc. Be part of the solution.

coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:24 AM
I think this is good advice. OP, you didn't say in your post but has anyone tried to step in and help or at least talked to the teacher? You won't be "that mom" if you calmly explain why you don't think that paper is DD's.

Quoting mjande4:

It's way too early to be giving up like this by anyone. If you know these negative non-academic things are effecting the class, why don't you get a group of parents/mons together and come up with some solutions to help. First grade is way too early for this much drama/chaos. Maybe as a group go to the principal and ask for an aide, set up a volunteer schedule, etc. Be part of the solution.

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snowangel1979
by Bronze Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:32 AM
1 mom liked this
Well first you need to talk to your DD about putting her name on her paper. That's on your DD, I would let her know that It's the first thing she should do, when she doesn't write her name then it can get mixed up and she can end up with bad grades even though she did the work. It's not the teachers job to sort out who's is who's.

Second I would talk to the teacher. If she can't get her class under control then help needs to be brought in. It not exactly her fault but you can't have none of the children learning because a select few act up. If you can't get anywhere with the teacher, then go to the principal.
DS had a first grade like this and like 1/4 of the children were retained and I believe it had something to do with that they couldn't learn because of all the distractions and drama.
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Blessed2585
by New Member on Jan. 15, 2014 at 4:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I am sorry to hear that this is going on in your daughter's classroom. I used to teach and I can totally understand the stress and the craziness that is associated with it. It is good that you are helping in her class whenever you can, that is always a great help even if you don't feel like it is.

Teachers are very limited in what they can do and she may have asked for some help. It is very difficult to teach in that situation. Have you talked to the principal at all just to see if there is something that can be done to help the situation?

Barabell
by Barbara on Jan. 15, 2014 at 11:21 PM


Quoting mjande4:

It's way too early to be giving up like this by anyone. If you know these negative non-academic things are effecting the class, why don't you get a group of parents/moms together and come up with some solutions to help. First grade is way too early for this much drama/chaos. Maybe as a group go to the principal and ask for an aide, set up a volunteer schedule, etc. Be part of the solution.

I agree that 1st grade is too early for this much drama. I'm not sure what the solution is besides what mjande4 is suggesting. Also, maybe try to help your daughter focus on the positive things happening (like learning) instead of the drama happening around her?

Also, I'd just let the reading score go besides letting your daughter know this could be a good lesson about remembering to put her name on the paper. We don't have AR at our school, but I would assume this score won't effect her long term education in the slightest.

StephanieSH
by on Jan. 15, 2014 at 11:32 PM
The teacher sounds overwhelmed by all the behavior problems. It's hard enough tonnage that many little kids without an aide let alone with all that drama. How come she can't do AR in conjunction with another class?
CalicoMeezer
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 1:36 AM
1 mom liked this
I do volunteer weekly. I am the only parent in dd's class, other than my dh, who volunteers at all. Most of the kids' parents work, one doesn't speak English, and some are just "absentee parents" who take little interest in what's going on. One is a SAHM but has a newborn and cannot bring the baby to school to volunteer.

All the teachers have asked for aides. It has been said that no one gets one, except ESL, unless a parent requests one as part of their child's IEP. Head Start, Pre-K, and kinder ESL classes each have an aide (the largest Pre-K classes have 2), and the 4 1st-grade ESL classes share one aide. PPCD (Special Ed) have two or three aides also, which is to be expected.

The reading score wasn't part of AR, it was a regular worksheet. I did go ahead and politely ask the teacher about the worksheet. She said there were two with no names, so it was very possible that it's not my dd's and she'll retest her. The scare of receiving a failing grade that she didn't earn was enough to shake my dd up. She is not in the habit of forgetting to put her name on her paper but she will be much more careful in the future.

I absolutely agree, this is too much chaos & drama for 1st grade but it is there. I wish I could say it is abnormal but unfortunately it's not, not in this school district. My sister's been going through much worse with my nephew in the 2nd grade, such that she has had to have him moved to a new class midyear. My dd's best friend's mom is having issues with her ds, who is in the same class that my nephew was just moved from.

We are taking steps and hope to be able to move dd to a MUCH better district within the next 2 years.

In the meantime, we do focus on the positive. Dd has a lot of good friends in the class, has gotten opportunities to be a big help to her teacher, and do stuff like be a peer tutor. She is an A student, and she loves Math and Music. And we LOVE the school nurse and her assistant. We are going to miss them SO much next year when dd moves to the next campus.

Quoting Barabell:


Quoting mjande4:

It's way too early to be giving up like this by anyone. If you know these negative non-academic things are effecting the class, why don't you get a group of parents/moms together and come up with some solutions to help. First grade is way too early for this much drama/chaos. Maybe as a group go to the principal and ask for an aide, set up a volunteer schedule, etc. Be part of the solution.

I agree that 1st grade is too early for this much drama. I'm not sure what the solution is besides what mjande4 is suggesting. Also, maybe try to help your daughter focus on the positive things happening (like learning) instead of the drama happening around her?

Also, I'd just let the reading score go besides letting your daughter know this could be a good lesson about remembering to put her name on the paper. We don't have AR at our school, but I would assume this score won't effect her long term education in the slightest.

CalicoMeezer
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 1:45 AM
They started AR this week.

Like I said, dd's class wasn't only one that opted out of AR last 6 weeks, but dd has been looking firward to it since my nephew has been doing it (he's in 2nd grade). Some of dd's friends from other classes got to do it and dd was disappointed.

What bothers me is the feeling (and it's by no means been corroborated or anything) that the teacher just didn't want to add something else to her already overflowing plate. It bothers me that my dd may have missed out because other kids can't control themselves.

I actually do try to be positive, to not butt heads with dd's teacher, or cause a lot of trouble at the school. I'm well-known there and liked by the teachers (not trying to brag), and get along well with Admin and have a couple of friendly acquaintances on the school board. Generally, I don't criticize teachers and while I don't let my dd get run over or anything, I support the teachers' authority--no "my little snowflake" mentality here. :)

I'm just frustrated with an continuous stream of chaos and drama, which should have no place in a 1st-grade classroom.

Quoting StephanieSH: The teacher sounds overwhelmed by all the behavior problems. It's hard enough tonnage that many little kids without an aide let alone with all that drama. How come she can't do AR in conjunction with another class?
mommy053008
by Maria on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:15 AM
This is an unfortunate situation. I would be sitting down with your DD first and remind her that that is why writing her name on her paper is super important. Second of all I think you should have a meeting with the teachers to discuss your concerns.
Barabell
by Barbara on Jan. 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM
It sounds like you're doing what you can I can see why it would be helpful to vent here. I hope things get better (instead of worse) as the school year continues. Please continue to update us.
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