When I moved to West Virginia I moved to a place with a better community, environment, and school. It was important that the girls attended schools that were not poorly rated and struggling for academic success as a whole. We found that here in their new school. The girls are overall happier in class, coming home with light reading homework instead of the heaps of catch up, and are both top of their respective classes. What I miss about the other school is the daily teacher interactions. We used to pick the kids up from the classroom which allowed us to communicate daily with the teacher. Here we pass notes back and forth in a tiny 2 by 5 inch box that barely fits a full sentence for someone like me with bubbly handwriting. I received another vague and short note from the teacher, deciding it was time to make a meeting.
I had received a note a month ago about the behavior of my Princess. She had hit a boy in the face on the playground. That was all the details I was given. I did not receive a phone call from the school, an email, or anything with any type of pertinent detail. It happened on a Friday and until we could go in and speak with the teacher all we had was the story of a 6 year old to rely on. Regardless of why she faced a harsh punishment – removal of all electronic devices for the weekend. We decided no matter the reason she escalated to hitting it needed to be addressed as a poor decision. We learned that it was about a boy who was playing too rough, hurting her, and would not leave her alone when she asked. During the course of the roughness she hit him.
Tuesday I received another note home: “Princess interrupted class talking while on the rug. Was moved to chair.” Another vague and uninformative message. When I asked Princess about it she said that she was talking too much. My husband decided that we would go to school the next day and speak with the teacher to get a handle on things that are going on so that we can better address the issue at home. It is hard to improve the situation when you only have a quick few sentences and a child to rely on. She was unavailable to meet but scheduled to meet with me this morning.
In short here is what I learned:
- Rug time is story, movie, or light announcement time. It isn’t the primary lesson time, but mostly a break from their tables or stations.
- Princess sits between two boys who have been problematic since the first few weeks of school. These two boy’s parents constantly have meetings with the teacher because of their behavior.
- Princess gets annoyed with them and sometimes speaks too loudly because she is overwhelmed unable to ignore anymore.
- One of the boys likes to play with her shoes, her clothes, and tries to lean on her or kiss her during the story time, movie time, etc.
- Sometimes Princess likes to talk with them when they are being nice and not annoying her, because she wants everyone to be her friend.
- Princess is six. With being six she is still learning how to handle situations properly.
- Princess never speaks out of place or interrupts during any other time of the day. Only when on the rug and only when the boys have not been isolated to chairs due to earlier behavior issues.
With all this out and finally understood I feel bad because my course of action after reading the note was that Princess was the problem. What I learned today is that she needs help to learn how to not fall into peer pressure and raise her hand and speak up when she is being bothered. I know that she carries some fault, but it is minimal when I learned all this other information. I did learn that one of the boys will be moved permanently from sitting next to her and the other will continued to be troubleshooted. I stated that I was fine with Princess being moved from her location if it helps her resist falling into the chatter.
I miss daily, in person communication with the teachers. If we had this we could have started understanding the problem before it became a two line statement in a 2 by 5 inch box. Although, I did learn that my 6 year old was telling me the truth that it was the other kid.