Author Topic: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do  (Read 5116 times)

GuitarStv

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Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:07:23 AM »
OK, huge information dump coming up:


Our son is currently 3 3/4 years old.  He has gone to daycare since he was about 1 year old.  At 2 3/4 years old we moved him to a closer daycare.  He had trouble with the change at first, and there were several instances of hitting/biting/problems sharing at the new daycare for the first couple months.  We talked with the daycare workers and talked with lil GuitarStv and worked out a solution.  He would still occasionally (every couple weeks) have some sort of problem, but it seemed to be getting better and be under control.  His behaviour at home is generally good (I mean, he's 3 years old . . . he still has the occasional tantrum, and gets cranky if he misses his nap . . . but overall there's nothing odd/abnormally bad).

This September he was required to go to kindergarten (we asked the principal if we could keep him back for a year . . . the answer is yes, but then he would be put into SK and miss a year of schooling).  Both my wife and I work and need to commute through busy traffic to do so, so I drop lil GuitarStv off at daycare an hour before school starts and his mother picks him up an hour after school ends.  The kindergarten is some sort of a combined JK/SK class, so lil GuitarStv is the second youngest of 30 children and ages in the class range from 3 3/4 years old to 5 3/4 years old.  He's not a stupid kid, he is starting to read/write, knows his numbers, and picks things up quickly.  Our concern was that he would not be emotionally ready for the class.  It's also a large class (of 30) and he is unable to take the nap that he usually did a little after lunch at daycare and at home since there's no dark quiet place to do so.

So anyway, school starts and for the first week we don't really hear anything from the teacher so assume everything is OK.  The second week we start getting notes back from the teacher detailing bad behaviour that lil GuitarStv is doing, hitting other kids, not listening to the teacher, etc.  So we go back to having talks with him every night about proper behaviour and strategies to control himself when he gets mad (talk about what's bothering you, take a deep breath, count to three, etc), and we start reading books with titles like 'hands are not for hitting' every night.  We write back notes to the teacher explaining the things that we're doing at home, asking if they have any further ideas for things that we can do to help, and asking for regular behaviour updates of some kind so that we can praise him for good behaviour/punish him for bad behaviour.

Lil GuitarStv's behaviour at school progressively gets worse.  We get updates and notes from the teacher saying that he's spitting in people's faces, that he has slapped her in the face, that he is throwing chairs around the room.  The teacher says that she "has never in her 29 years of teaching seen such a badly behaved child", that "has no idea how to discipline him".  She suggested taking him out of school.  This is pretty crazy behaviour . . . and again, nothing that we have seen at home, not something that happens at the daycare before and after school.  I try calling her a couple times, but she doesn't return calls.  I write back notes with ideas for preventing him from having tantrums and strategies that we use to prevent him from getting angry and get back no response.  We keep up with the behaviour books and discussions at home.

Fast forward to last week, where I called the school eight times on Wednesday until I got through to the teacher.  I finally managed to get the teacher to return my call.  My wife and I had an idea where we could get the teacher to document all instances of bad behaviour in a notebook each day so that we could talk over specific instances at home with lil GuitarStv, and so that we could try to look for patterns that are causing the extreme behaviour at school.  Specifically, I wanted the teacher to write down what happened before he did something bad, what he did, and then what discipline was meted out and how well it worked.  The teacher agreed to do this.  So, on Wednesday we got back a book that said he was mostly good, on Thursday he was mostly good, on Friday she listed 11 things that he did that were bad.  She didn't really give any background information for what happened before hand or after for any of them.  So I wrote back asking for this information, and suggested some ways to mitigate the bad behaviour that she had observed.

On Monday I got back a note saying that it's not possible for her to follow any of the suggestions that I made because there are 29 other kids in class and she doesn't have time.  Then a listing of 8-9 things that lil GuitarStv did that were bad (again, with no clue as to what had gone on before or after).  So I asked her if she had any plan to handle his behaviour, and if she could provide the missing information so that we could get a better idea what's going on in the classroom.  The teacher didn't send back the notebook on Tuesday.  She was sick on Wednesday, and there was a supply teacher in her place.  The supply teacher and teacher's assistant told us that there were no problems with lil GuitarStv that day, so we praised him and told him that he was doing a really good job when he got home.

This morning I got a call from the principal of the school asking to talk about lil GuitarStv's behaviour because it was getting worse and worse and she was concerned.  She said that she wants to send in a person to evaluate him and that they will have to remove him from the class when he's acting up for the safety of other children.  I said OK, but asked about Wednesday since he had just had a really good day yesterday.  The principal said that she had talked to children in lil GuitarStv's class who said that he was bad, and that the supply teacher and teacher's assistant were wrong.  Apparently yesterday was a really bad day according to the four and five year olds.  The principal said that if the bad behaviour continues she would suspend our son from school, that neither she nor the teacher would provide any updates to us regarding lil GuitarStv's behaviour, and that she wasn't open to having the teacher meet with the Early Childhood Educators in the daycare to discuss strategies that work to control his behaviour.



My goal is to get lil GuitarStv behaving properly so that he's not disrupting others and is able to learn properly himself.  I figure we have the following options:

- Keep trying to work with the school (my only issue with this option is that they don't seem very interested in helping)
- Try another school (big disruption, difficult to find childcare before/after school)
- Take him out of kindergarten and put him in daycare for another year, skipping JK (so he loses a year of education)


Any better ideas or suggestions?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 05:30:11 PM by GuitarStv »

MDfive21

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 10:17:03 AM »
what is SK and JK?

are you saying that one teacher has a kinder class of 30?  that's crazy. 

i don't have a well reasoned opinion, but it sounds like he needs more attention than that one teacher can give so he's being labeled as the 'bad kid'.  the sooner you get him out of that situation the better. 

is he your first kid?  my daughter is 8 and is one of the youngest in her grade.  at the pre-k, kinder and 1st grade levels the maturity gap is pretty wide between the oldest and youngest so little GS might be better off with younger kids.  and def better off with a smaller class.

mm1970

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:19:45 AM »
Another year of daycare.  I don't know the difference between Canada and US, but 3 3/4 is really young for a class that big.

My younger son is 5, and just started kindergarten.  Here, we have "TK" (transitional kindergarten), if you are born between Sept 2 and Dec 1 (meaning, you are 4 years old).  Depending on enrollment, children born in June/July/August who are barely 5 might also go into TK.

For kindergarten, the birthday range is December 1 to November 30.  So, in my son's class, there are several children who are six, or will be six before December 1 - many, if not most, of these children were in "TK" last year.

My kid is a July birthday, and he is second to youngest in his class.
Prior to kindergarten, he was in preschool for 1 year.  He learned a lot and is a sweet kid, but there were some aggressive kids there.
Prior to preschool he was in a home daycare.

We did have some discipline issues at summer camp.  We tried to work through them.  It is difficult because he's still learning how to express himself, and he has an older brother.  So his first reaction to frustration is to hit.  It's hard for us to work through that.  It's mostly a problem at home, because he knows his 11 year old brother is not allowed to hit back.

From what I can tell, he does not have the hitting issue in kindergarten.  He is having a hard time adjusting though.  It is difficult.  5 is YOUNG for boys.  3.75 is even younger for such a large class, with a demanding schedule.  At least once a week he refuses to go to class, and the teacher has to physically carry  him into class.

I share your frustration, though, with the lack of support from the school.  I realize that there are 30 children (that's too many, IMO, we have 25).  It seems like you have been doing your very best to figure this out.  The only other thing I might suggest is taking a few days off work and seeing if you can sit in the classroom to see what is going on.  Of course, he's much less likely to act up then.  We have tried to work through the issues at home with "why did you do that?  What started the whole issue?  How can you better react?"  It has helped us (for example: don't hit or bite.  Walk away if someone is bothering you, and tell the teacher.)  But again, our son is 5.

PoutineLover

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 10:27:03 AM »
That's way too many kids at that age for 1 teacher. I went to daycare for an extra year and skipped JK because I had a late birthday so I would have been 3 and my parents came from a province where kids start school at 5 instead of 4 anyway, with the birthday cut off in Sept instead of Dec. At that age 6months/1 year make a huge difference. My SK was also only 1/2 days instead of full days, so I guess I still spent half the day in daycare. Maybe he is too young for school, and the school doesn't have enough resources to give him the individual attention he needs. I don't think it would be so bad to let him start school a year later when he is more mature. If he is reasonably smart and you can teach him the basics at home, he won't miss much in terms of education but he will learn how to cooperate/share/behave etc. at daycare. Or would it be possible to do a 3 day school/2 day daycare setup or something? 

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 11:14:59 AM »
SK and JK are senior kindergarten and junior kindergarten.  In Ontario, you go to junior kindergarten the year you turn 4.  If you delay a year, then you are started in senior kindergarten.  My son was born Dec 14.  If he was born three weeks later, he would start kindergarten next year.

The teacher has 30 kids.  She also has a full time teaching assistant.  I agree, it seems like it's way too many kids and makes things difficult for her.  I feel like we're not getting any support from the school though.  The teacher is impossible to communicate with, the principal doesn't seem interested in working out some way to prevent the bad behavior, and seems focused on removing our son from class.


KCM5

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 11:34:02 AM »
As you and others have pointed out, that's a big class. Add to that the lack of nap and the long day and how young your son is, I can see why he's having a hard time.

I've never tried to work out issues with a school, so I don't know if you can spend the time to convince them to give your son more attention/information, etc and have that lead to a good outcome (in this case, your son and his classmates having a productive year). It doesn't seem promising, but also the situation you've all been put in doesn't seem promising. It sounds like he's just not developmentally ready for the expectations of the classroom, which is to be expected - he's 3. 

Also, the principal is taking the information of 4 and 5 year olds and applying it to discipline/possible suspension? Man, my four year old has a really hard time with giving information about things that happen in the past. If you ask her what happened yesterday she could talk about last week. Sometimes she gets it right, but kids that age just aren't reliable narrators!

Cassie

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 11:41:25 AM »
I raised 3 boys and I can tell you that he is too young to attend all day and not have a nap.  that is a lot of kids for one teacher. Of course she does not have time to respond to you. *I would get him out and back into daycare before he starts to think of himself as a "bad Boy" when in reality he is a little guy that is not getting his needs met. Boys in particular are immature and then the fact that he is not even 4 being in that situation is not good for him.

scantee

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2017, 11:53:23 AM »
Quote
- Take him out of kindergarten and put him in daycare for another year, skipping JK (so he loses a year of education)

This is what I would do. Kids don't really need education as we traditionally think of it at age 3 or even age 4. They need exposure to books and reading and numbers, but most importantly (and the research on this subject strongly supports this), they need to play. Creative free play in particular. He will be absolutely fine without this year of school. I would get him out of there asap.

elaine amj

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 12:34:20 PM »
I would take him out too. OR - transfer him to a different school. You might find more helpful, positive attitudes from a different set of teachers/administrators. Also, (and I mean this very gently) I think your expectations of what a teacher can accomplish in monitoring your son so closely is a little unrealistic. Is it helpful for your son? Yes. Is it practical in a class with 30 students - alas, it's often a no. Also, this teacher may not be the best fit for your son (or even for kindergarten teaching!).

It sounds like he regressed in the more independent, chaotic atmosphere of a JK room (and under the supervision of this teacher). And frankly, as one of the youngest in the class, it's not surprising at all since by nature, he doesn't fit the cookie cutter mold of a perfect student. 

I totally understand. My son was a December baby and had a rough time transitioning to JK. He did relatively ok his first week. And then inexplicably started crying nonstop his second week - I'm talking crying for hours and hours. I was in despair - I was a SAHM then so had a bit more flexibility. After a few days, I was able to get the teacher to agree to let me sit in the class. I was never confrontational with the teacher, always asking for ways to support her role. After a couple of days of quietly sitting in the classroom (he was clamer and didn't cry as much as long as I was in the room), I finally learned the source of his troubles.

Shortly after all the kids got there, the teacher would get everyone to sit in a circle and change to their indoor shoes. I had bought him new ones and he couldn't put them on by himself. That was all there was to it. The teacher was so busy with all the students that she never noticed how he would struggle and struggle and struggle before giving up in a fit of frustration which then led to tears that lasted all day long. It was so stupidly simple. I don't entirely blame the teacher (well, I do a little). Still, she was overall a good teacher who was kind to the children and he made it through the rest of JK happily.

Anyway, your problems are at a more challenging scale. Just wanted to point out that even good teachers can't notice everything, especially in a busy classroom. Personally, I'd have no issues with children skipping JK until they are more mature. I wouldn't worry about "losing a year of education". It's not all that much different to what a good daycare provides anyway. At this age, everything is play-cased. It would be worse for your son to internalize that he is the "bad kid" vs having a more positive experience in school. Plus, the JK/SK curriculum are combined. That's why there is so much of a push to do combined JK/SK classrooms as the curriculum is the same. 
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GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 12:51:22 PM »
It's very frustrating . . . his behaviour was good initially.  We saw the teacher at the end of the first week and she had no complaints other than him not always listening well.  He is learning a lot from school that he wasn't from daycare.  I'm concerned that if we take him out of school he won't be adapted to this kind of environment and will just fall back into the same patterns next year.

Cassie

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 01:00:29 PM »
I don't think that will happen. He will be older and more mature. I had a similar situation with one of my sons and pulled him out for a year.  It went well the following year.  If he starts to think of himself as bad he will have problems all through out school.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 01:00:59 PM »
I worked off and on through college for close to 4 years as a classroom teacher's aide for kinder and elementary in the U.S.

Your child is too young to be in school full time. He is too young to be in an all day classroom with no naps and absence of lots of free play. Please pull him out and put him in a good day care with smaller group settings. He's frustrated and acting out because he is tired, overwhelmed and probably a bit scared of the structured classroom setting.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 02:03:38 PM by Frankies Girl »
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mm1970

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2017, 01:06:12 PM »
I raised 3 boys and I can tell you that he is too young to attend all day and not have a nap.  that is a lot of kids for one teacher. Of course she does not have time to respond to you. *I would get him out and back into daycare before he starts to think of himself as a "bad Boy" when in reality he is a little guy that is not getting his needs met. Boys in particular are immature and then the fact that he is not even 4 being in that situation is not good for him.

Yes, and I even forgot about that part in my above post.

My 5 year old didn't drop his nap until 3 weeks before kindergarten started, and he was a HOT MESS.  He's still pretty tired when we get home.

Pull him out.

zhelud

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2017, 01:22:09 PM »
Not even 4 years old is too young for kindergarten, especially with 29 other kids! (even if there are 2 teachers) Of course he is behaving badly.

Put him back in preschool. Don't worry about traumatizing him with this, he probably won't even remember he was in kindergarten after a week. And when he is old enough for kindergarten, see if you can find a different school- 30 kids is way too many for K.

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 01:52:03 PM »
So he is a 3 year old going all day with no nap?  That's crazy.  No wonder he is acting up.  And is it sit in your seat and do classwork for a full school day?  That is also crazy at 3 years old.  The daycare my kids attended did maybe an hour of sitting still learning letters and numbers at 3 years old, and they took a 2 hour nap every day.  The rest of the day was playing with toys or on the playground.  \

I know little about the Canadian system.  Is this something all daycares do, or just this one?  What is the age cutoff for attending kindergarten?  Here, the cutoff used to be you must be 5 by September 30 and my oldest missed it by a week.  They then moved it up to August 15 so my second missed it by a week.  Therefore they have both been among the oldest in their class.  But it has helped so much - they both needed that extra year of maturity.  If he is the youngest in his pre-k class, then he will also be the youngest in each class going forward.  For boys especially, I think having an extra year before formal schooling is very helpful.

If you keep him in that class, with a teacher who is already convinced he is a "bad kid", this will be a very long year for all of you.  If there are other daycare options that don't follow this crazy school all day/no nap system, I highly recommend moving him.

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2017, 02:04:24 PM »
Our oldest son just started JK in Ontario this year as well but he's a February baby so he's one of the older JK kids in his class (and probably bigger than most of the SK kids.) He has had a lot of what we affectionately call "impulse control" issues which have unfortunately manifested in the form of hitting and kicking. I don't think there's anything we haven't tried at this point so we're developing a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't (for him anyway.)

We recently started practicing mindfulness with him using the book "Sitting Still Like a Frog". It comes with a CD that talks you and your child through mindfulness exercises in a way they can digest. So far it seems to be having a positive impact but it's difficult to separate it out from all the other things we're doing. The main thrust of the book is that you don't have to act immediately, you can sit still like a frog and digest what's happening, both around you and inside you, before reacting.

While I think that discussions with three year olds have some merit, a lot of the time I can tell we're being tuned out after a few seconds of a "talk" (i.e. lecture); talk is cheap. We've found that one of the best ways to encourage change in our son's behaviour is by modeling it ourselves, even if it's done in a really obvious and cheesy way (think role playing.)

I can relate to your reluctance to keep him out school for another year but I don't think it'll have any effect long-term. He'll have to adapt to a new routine next fall but I don't think he's going to miss out on anything critical, intellectually, especially if he has dedicated and involved parents at home (my son's teacher said that the JK curriculum at the French public board involves counting to 5 by the end of the year.)

gaja

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2017, 02:11:24 PM »
Oh the poor boy! Let him be a child a little bit longer. Let him play with his friends, and have his naps. It won't make an iota of difference to his life term learning potential.

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jezebel

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2017, 02:51:35 PM »
For perspective, my four year old just started preschool and I kind of feel that it's too young for school.  He has an hour of before care, they play outside twice a day, eat breakfast and lunch, and take a nap.  They let the kids sleep as long as they want/need to and occasionally he is still asleep at pick up at 3pm.  It's a class of 17 4 year olds, I believe, and there are always 3 teachers in the room.

I am baffled by what you are describing.  Your son is 3, he doesn't need schooling, he needs to play.  I would get him out of there.

 

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2017, 03:05:36 PM »
Your expecting detailed notes about the what/why your child may be acting the way he is from the teacher knowing he/she has a classroom size of 30 children is also grossly, horribly tone deaf. Teachers - even if they do have in room aides - are trying to TEACH the class. They are not supposed to be specialized babysitters to one or two children that can't manage to integrate into the classroom, and they really really don't have time to sit down and make detailed notes each time a child acts out - hell, we never sat down at all most days! (I was EXHAUSTED every single day and I was just doing the helper stuff!!) They are doing their damndest to maintain calm, devote time and attention to each child to the best of their ability, and most importantly instruct the students to the curriculum the school has set out for them. If one or more children isn't able to sit/listen/self regulate their emotions for whatever reason, that child is stealing time and attention and instruction from the class as a whole and pretty much torturing the poor teacher.

I have sympathy for the teacher, I really do.  That's why I've repeatedly asked for ways that I can help . . . for information about what's going wrong, for meetings with the teacher, to set up meetings with the teacher and the daycare early childcare educators (since they have developed strategies that work well with lil GuitarStv), and attempted to provide calming ideas that work well with our son. 

Asking for lots of information wasn't my first inclination at all.

In one of the notes the teacher left us it said that she had no idea or plan for how to handle our son and didn't know what to do.  I was hoping to use this information to look for patterns in behavior and suggest strategies to prevent violent outbursts since she said that she had none.  Apparently nobody at the school has tried this.  Dammit Jim, I'm an engineer not an educator!  I don't know what the hell I'm doing, but tried approaching this situation the same way I'd approach a problem at work.  Gather data, look for patterns, analyze the problem, make changes, rinse/repeat.  Since I'm not there, I can't tell her how to fix the problem without information about it.

I get that it's more work to have to look after all of the kids - even the ones who are misbehaving.  From my point of view, doing this is short term work. . . where the payoff is an easier class to control in the end.  But again, I'm not an educator.  It kinda feels like people are giving up on my son really early on.

Trudie

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2017, 03:13:05 PM »
As you and others have pointed out, that's a big class. Add to that the lack of nap and the long day and how young your son is, I can see why he's having a hard time.

I've never tried to work out issues with a school, so I don't know if you can spend the time to convince them to give your son more attention/information, etc and have that lead to a good outcome (in this case, your son and his classmates having a productive year). It doesn't seem promising, but also the situation you've all been put in doesn't seem promising. It sounds like he's just not developmentally ready for the expectations of the classroom, which is to be expected - he's 3. 

Also, the principal is taking the information of 4 and 5 year olds and applying it to discipline/possible suspension? Man, my four year old has a really hard time with giving information about things that happen in the past. If you ask her what happened yesterday she could talk about last week. Sometimes she gets it right, but kids that age just aren't reliable narrators!

This.  My first inclination is that he's not quite yet equipped to be with the older kids and that he also needs daily naps to help regulate his emotions and reactions.

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2017, 04:40:31 PM »
Your expecting detailed notes about the what/why your child may be acting the way he is from the teacher knowing he/she has a classroom size of 30 children is also grossly, horribly tone deaf. Teachers - even if they do have in room aides - are trying to TEACH the class. They are not supposed to be specialized babysitters to one or two children that can't manage to integrate into the classroom, and they really really don't have time to sit down and make detailed notes each time a child acts out - hell, we never sat down at all most days! (I was EXHAUSTED every single day and I was just doing the helper stuff!!) They are doing their damndest to maintain calm, devote time and attention to each child to the best of their ability, and most importantly instruct the students to the curriculum the school has set out for them. If one or more children isn't able to sit/listen/self regulate their emotions for whatever reason, that child is stealing time and attention and instruction from the class as a whole and pretty much torturing the poor teacher.

I have sympathy for the teacher, I really do.  That's why I've repeatedly asked for ways that I can help . . . for information about what's going wrong, for meetings with the teacher, to set up meetings with the teacher and the daycare early childcare educators (since they have developed strategies that work well with lil GuitarStv), and attempted to provide calming ideas that work well with our son. 

Asking for lots of information wasn't my first inclination at all.

In one of the notes the teacher left us it said that she had no idea or plan for how to handle our son and didn't know what to do.  I was hoping to use this information to look for patterns in behavior and suggest strategies to prevent violent outbursts since she said that she had none.  Apparently nobody at the school has tried this.  Dammit Jim, I'm an engineer not an educator!  I don't know what the hell I'm doing, but tried approaching this situation the same way I'd approach a problem at work.  Gather data, look for patterns, analyze the problem, make changes, rinse/repeat.  Since I'm not there, I can't tell her how to fix the problem without information about it.

I get that it's more work to have to look after all of the kids - even the ones who are misbehaving.  From my point of view, doing this is short term work. . . where the payoff is an easier class to control in the end.  But again, I'm not an educator.  It kinda feels like people are giving up on my son really early on.

Totally understand where you're coming from which is why I went back and removed most of the original stuff from my post.
You're coming at it from the point of view as trying to be the best parent for your child, and wanting to get them in there to advance and learn and do all the things at their earliest opportunity since he's a smart kid.

I removed it as most of what I wrote sounded like I was being critical. I wasn't trying to be, but the voice and some of the words I used come off as bitchy, and I didn't want the manner in which I said anything clouding the issue: kid is too young for full-on school, and it's okay for him to be little and play and nap for a while longer. Apologies for the tone since you did read it already. I try to re-read before hitting submit to check for tone but get stupid and forget sometimes. ;)
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Laura33

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2017, 08:29:43 PM »
Get him out.  Now.  Back to daycare.  He is far too young to meet those expectations, and his teacher is unwilling/unable to do anything beyond demand that he conform.  This can be very damaging to your kid.  Please stop it before it gets too bad.

My DD was difficult -- intelligence of kids a year or two older, behavior of kids a year or two younger.  Her Montessori school put her directly from kindergarten into second grade without telling me.  Within the first two weeks, we were getting complaints home from the teacher about behavior.  We also started to have meltdowns at home at night.  It took us months and to figure out that the expectations were totally inappropriate for her -- we're talking copying over 12 dictionary definitions every week, for a kid who is still learning to write words and needed to check spelling every 2-3 letters.  By the spring, she was telling us she was stupid and a bad kid and she hated school.  And the teacher would do nothing - she didn't believe my DD should have been advanced a grade and was happy to prove that she was right.  We yanked her, and my only regret is not doing it sooner.  We had her repeat second grade in the public school with a teacher who knew how to manage her, and it still took months to get her to calm down and like school again.

Your kid's behavior is telling you that the school is asking more than he has to give.  He tried so, so hard the first few weeks, and he used up all of his energy doing that, and that wasn't good enough, so he is acting up more and more out of frustration at trying so hard and not being able to be a good boy.

You cannot fix this.  Yes, a teacher can make all the difference -- we had teachers who were excellent at finding things for DD to do to be useful and distract her before she melted down, and we had teachers to whom we suggested those sorts of distractions who responded that they didn't want to "reward bad behavior," and who saw fidgets and outbursts as intentional bad behavior instead of an overwhelmed kid.  The facts here demonstrate that you have the latter kind of teacher, not the former. I am sorry to tell you from long and hard experience that you cannot change teachers like that -- you cannot get them to see your kid for a good kid who is pushed too hard, you cannot get them to change how they manage the classroom for your kid, and at this point you probably cannot even get the teacher to change her mind that your kid is a "bad" kid.  And the school is going to support her in that. 

And on the flip side, you also cannot make your kid behave, no matter what you do, because you are asking more than he has to give at this age, both physically and mentally.  He is a fundamentally good kid who is literally incapable of meeting the school's expectations, and is very upset at his own failure.  But he doesn't have words or impulse control to express that frustration and sadness and disappointment in himself, so all he can do is melt down.  And then coming home and getting in trouble every day for his behavior at school just underscores in his head that he is a bad boy.  All you can do now is stop expecting your kid to do what he has already told you he can't do and get him the hell out there, as quickly as possible, before too much damage is done.

FWIW, my DD is now a junior and doing very well.  And to this day, my biggest parenting regret is still my failure to spot what was going on in second grade and yank her instantly from that fucking school.  No one treats my kid that way.  No one has the right to make my kid feel like she is a bad kid because she can't behave as well as kids two years older than her.  It changed who she was, and it took her a long time to get over it.  And my number one job was to protect her, and I didn't do it because I thought the teacher/school must know what's best and must be right.  And I will never forgive myself for failing her in that way.

Don't be me.  This isn't your kid.  Trust what he is telling you.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2017, 08:55:56 PM »
Sadly, the daycare in walking distance that our son has been going to and likes is only pre and post school for kids of kindergarten age.  It took us nearly a year to find a vacancy in the last daycare he went to.  I'm kinda coming to the realization that he needs to be taken out of school right away, but we need a place to put him.

gooki

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2017, 09:05:27 PM »
He's 3 3/4 he's not kindergarten aged.
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elaine amj

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2017, 09:33:58 PM »
Have u thought about finding a home daycare with a caring homeschooling mama?

Alternatively, maybe a Montessori type school might work?

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former player

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2017, 05:15:28 AM »
Sadly, the daycare in walking distance that our son has been going to and likes is only pre and post school for kids of kindergarten age.  It took us nearly a year to find a vacancy in the last daycare he went to.  I'm kinda coming to the realization that he needs to be taken out of school right away, but we need a place to put him.
Your first post says that the principal was prepared to keep your son back a year and that the only reason you didn't do that is because he would then have to go straight into senior kindergarten.

Please, please, please call the principal today and get your son back into his daycare from Monday.  You have the rest of the year to sort out what happens to him next year.  But the current situation is URGENT and needs action today.

If you can't get him back into the daycare or find something else for Monday, please can one of his parents take a leave of absence in order to get him out of a situation which is having abusive effects of him?  Please?
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Minnowstache

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2017, 06:41:58 AM »
Guitarsv - this story sounds so like my son. He is now 15 but at 3-6 we had the same issues at pre-school and school but very little issues at home.

1. Definitely get him out of school and back to kindy. Try and hold him back as long as possible to give him time to mature and cope with a larger group a bit better

2. Get him into a small group situation if possible - I have googled this option in Canada and think it is called licensed home care.

3. Get him tested for Auditory Processing Order (APD) - this is what my son has. There are audiologists who specialise in this or you could start with a referral from a paediatrician. It might not be this but your story is very similar - hitting, not listening, not doing what he is told, inattention or “bad” behaviour in the classroom but better in smaller groups and at home. It is more common in boys, about 5% of children have it but it is very under diagnosed and sometimes confused with adhd. It used to be difficult to diagnose in children under 7 but the tests have got better in the last couple of years.

4. If it is not APD there are a few other similar or related things.

5. There are some physical therapy things that can  help but no drugs or cures (nothing really helped us but some children do well with special hearing aids). The good news is that my son is now 15 above average intelligence and doing very well in school (we do have extra tuition because he misses almost everything in the classroom). Despite me giving each of his teachers a sheet at the beginning of every year explaining what APD is and how to help we still sometimes get emails from the teachers complaining he is not listening or distracting the class (he is an extrovert so when he can’t hear/understand what is going on he finds other ways to amuse himself.... a friend who’s son is an introvert just sits at the back and is “good” but can miss a year of learning with an unaware teacher). We meet with the teachers and go through it with them individually and finally at 15 my son is becoming mature enough to recognise he is lost and ask for help (the most annoying thing teachers say to us is he can ask for help if he doesn’t understand - but up to now he either didn’t really realise he had missed it until it was too late, or the teacher got frustrated with him when he asked her to repeat something “obvious” for the 10th time and/or repeatedly lost his place in his workbook etc...

At home he is a wonderful, happy, teen, who has never given us any trouble or had the teen tantrums etc (unlike his sister 18mths younger who can be terrible at home but has no learning issues and is top of her class).

One of the things we regret is trying to keep him up with his age group - on the advice of teachers and even a child psychologist who said it would damage his self esteem - that is BS - especially If you do it when he is young. Don’t worry if he a year or even two behind his peer/age group - don’t put him straight into SK to “catch up”.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 06:52:30 AM by Minnowstache »

Minnowstache

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2017, 06:58:18 AM »
Just to clarify APD is not a physiological hearing issue - it is neurological - my son has perfect hearing and some kids with APD have perfect pitch (my son is very musical). It is actually sometimes called auditory dyslexia as sound gets scrambled by the brain.

Freedomin5

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2017, 07:06:44 AM »
I'd also put him back in daycare. At age three, he really needs a smaller class size (1:4 or 1:5 ratio), naps, and active play time. The Danish don't even start learning to read and write until age seven - their research shows that's the optimal time to start learning those skills.  If you're concerned about learning, maybe a Montessori environment would be good?

Besides, I reviewed the curriculum outline for JK and SK (both of which in Ontario are optional, btw), and they don't really learn much that you can't teach at home through play. DD is 3 1/2 and an Ontarian living abroad, so I wanted to make sure that what she was learning mirrored the Ontario curriculum, hence the review.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2017, 07:26:45 AM »
I don't know what I would do in your situation.  My son, now 16, didn't go to jk.  I felt he wasn't ready.  But he did go to SK and he had turned 5 in July.  My daughter, now 13, went to JK and it was fine.  She is an April baby and found copying letters and words from books at 2.5years a fun activity.  Son on the other hand thought holding a pencil while sitting in a chair some form of torture.
Now our board mandates that entry into French immersion is only available at JK so I would be torn with what to do. 
The kindergarten classrooms seem like a bit of a gong show from my limited visits to do art activities with the kids.  Too many kids - too much noise and three of the 25 were ready to face plant on the table into their paintings in exhaustion. 
I think our school has a quiet room just off the office for naps now.  There is also a body break room for the rambunctious.
My heart kind of breaks reading your story.  School is supposed to foster a love of learning and it sounds like that is not happening.  Wishing you strength on your advocacy.  Your child is so lucky to have you as a parent.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2017, 07:32:03 AM »
Today when dropping my son off at school I was handed a form to sign called a 'safety plan'.  I was told that I had to sign it, but if I didn't sign it it was going to be implemented anyway.  According to the txt on the form, it is:

"the individual crisis response plan that is implemented by staff in situations where prevention and non-physical strategies/methods detailed in the student's IEP have been unsuccessful in preventing behaviour that presents an immediate risk of injury to self or others.

The safety plan builds on strategies in a student's IEP and does not exist separately from the IEP."

The school has never mentioned that there exists an IEP, and in fact have been telling me to this point that they have no plan to handle lil GuitarStv's behaviour.

Fun parts of this document:
- Under "who is involved in the development" there is "Parent/guardian/caregiver should be included in the development of the safety plan".  (We were not.)
- It indicates that our son sometimes makes "verbal threats of violence" to teachers.  If (for example) a toy that he likes has been taken away and he makes a threat, the recommended response is to give him back the toy.  If asked to stop doing an enjoyable activity and he responds with verbal threats, the recommended response is to let him continue doing the activity.  (I guess the goal is to reward threatening violence?  WTF, this is crazy sounding to other people too, right?)
- "Additional support (including calling 911) will be requested when a physical aggression incident lasts more than 1 minute". (Despite the obvious damage this would do to my son, there's a small part of me that kinda wants to see the look on the face of an officer responding to a 911 call from a kindergarten class.)

Fun stuff.

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2017, 07:35:36 AM »
No, the actual meaning of the acronym IEP is not described on the form.

Minnowstache

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2017, 07:53:01 AM »
iEP = individual learning (education) plan! I know them well - we have them here too. You absolutely should be included in the formation of the plan! And it should be developed not just in conjunction with the teacher but also the learning behaviour specialist at the school (at my son’s school at the time that was just another teacher appointed to the role not really specialist but they did at least offer another perspective). The safety plan sounds like rubbish - demand a meeting with the principal and ask them to explain themselves. When my son first got an IEP I thought it was for his benefit but only realised about a yr or two later their purpose is to support the teacher not really the child.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:04:54 AM by Minnowstache »

Minnowstache

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2017, 07:57:48 AM »
I sympathise so much Guitarsv - we went through the same sort of hell when my son was that age. Just keep hold of the fact that your child is a good kid - it is their stupidity not his. We had endless sh*t that your post has just bought back .... thought I had forgotten and or recovered......
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:06:07 AM by Minnowstache »

ABC123

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2017, 08:01:55 AM »
So in Canada does it go jk to sk to 1st grade? He would start first at 5 years old? That is very early.

spookytaffy

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2017, 08:13:53 AM »
Quote
- Take him out of kindergarten and put him in daycare for another year, skipping JK (so he loses a year of education)

This is what I would do. Kids don't really need education as we traditionally think of it at age 3 or even age 4. They need exposure to books and reading and numbers, but most importantly (and the research on this subject strongly supports this), they need to play. Creative free play in particular. He will be absolutely fine without this year of school. I would get him out of there asap.

This!  I'm a school psychologist in the US.  I don't know all the differences between our two educational systems, but I do know child development.  If you provide him with an language rich environment with lots of books and conversation and vocabulary building, he will be ahead of his peers! Let him play and learn to pretend.  I have never worked in a school with this large an age difference in a preschool age classroom.

 I WISH I had parents working like you are with your son.  Really--you are doing everything the absolute right way!

Your son is overstimulated in that large class with not enough supervision and support. The other kids have probably already decided they know how to push his buttons and get him to act up and into trouble.  The teacher has probably already developed some preconceived ideas also.   I'd seriously consider pulling him out or changing schools.

I just read some more comments mentioning an IEP???  An IEP is a legal special education document. That means he's been identified with a disability.  At least in the US, the parents MUST be involved and sign consent to allow for an evaluation to determine the disability and then sign consent to implement an IEP.  This is my job in the US!  If he has an IEP, it sounds like they have a BIP Behavior Intervention Plan attached to it.  I write those too.  However, before we can write them, we do a Functional Behavioral Analysis, which is basically exactly what you were asking for--what happens before the behavior, what is the behavior, and what happens after the behavior.  Again, we require parental consent in order to conduct this observation.  If you have not been involved with all these meetings and eligibility information for special education services, and if Canadian law is similar to US, then the school is in violation.  However, since I don't know Canadian law, I can't speak to that part of it.  Here in the US, we'd be in violation of federal law if we gave a kid a special education IEP with no signatures and input from parents. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:26:15 AM by spookytaffy »

Minnowstache

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2017, 08:16:13 AM »
I just found this link about IEPs in CAnada - it says an IEP cannot be put in place without your consent

https://ontarioeducation.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/what-is-an-individual-education-plan/

iEPs are not necessarily a bad thing - but your son’s school sound like they have no idea about what they are for and have used this as an excuse for the “safety plan”. You really need a meeting with them including the principal and work out what they think they are doing...

Cpa Cat

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2017, 08:39:17 AM »
He needs to be removed from that classroom. I suspect a combination of issues: a child who is not adjusting well and is too young for the large classroom; and also a teacher who is ill-equipped for dealing with this situation.

Keep in mind that if you leave this in the school's hands, they're probably going to attempt to systemically process him out of the mainstream classroom. They'll put him into an alternative classroom for difficult or special needs children, where the focus will be on warehousing him away from other children and not on educating him. They've probably already informally labelled him as having some kind of mental disorder.

Take him out of school. Let the year of education go, and do some exercises in the evenings and weekends to teach him new skills.

I suggest looking for alternatives for next year. If he's going to be placed in that same classroom with that same teacher, I doubt he's going to have a good experience. She is not going to forget the bad experience she had with him and is going to have no tolerance for even normal misbehavior in the future. As someone else suggested, perhaps looking at a Montesorri school for a year would be a good option.

It may seem like it would be amusing for 911 to be called, but in reality, this will likely lead to a mandatory psychological evaluation, after which the school demands he be medicated. Don't assume that other people will see how ridiculous it is.

waltworks

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2017, 08:46:04 AM »
While it sounds like the school could handle this better, the bottom line is that lil' GT is too young and you need to just pull him. You can accuse the school of not doing a good job all you want, but the buck really stops with you - and you know he's in the wrong place. Pull him and take some time off work if needed to find him the right place (it might be a pain, c'est la vie) and get him back in school next year.

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Milizard

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2017, 11:29:23 AM »
I have 7.5 and a just-turned 5 year old boys.  The younger boy is in 3 half days per week preschool (last year it was 2 days per week), and the older one is in 2nd grade. The 5 year old just stopped napping in the afternoon early this year.  My older boy stopped when he had to upon entering full day kindergarten at 5.5.  This year, for the first time I told the 2nd grader was serious business and his job is to learn. Before that, my main goal was for him to get along with others and develop a love of learning.  He is doing great in school--socially and academically.  The younger guy had some real issues when he was transitioning to not having a nap, but still kind of needing one.  He just can't cope when he is tired.  He also gets nervous upon entering his classroom of less than 20 every morning.  He could totally do the academics he is required to learn for kindergarten. He could already count to 100 last year, which is one thing they're supposed to learn by the end of K.  My feeling is they really need to find school fun at this age, or they will check out super early.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2017, 12:58:55 PM »
I don't know about Canada because I live in the US. However, in public schools here in the US, it's very hard to get a child removed from the public school for bad behavior. Private schools will eject a student for any reason, or not reason at all. (one of the reasons I'm opposed to a voucher system).

A friend of mine has a son with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and the public school he attends has to make some accommodations for him. She has tried putting him on a strict type of diet, which hasn't helped and then tried medication, which seems to help better. I don't know why some children act up and it doesn't mean they always have a disorder of some sort. I'm just throwing it out there, as a possibility of getting the child diagnosed. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and her public school has to make accommodations for her, such as giving her more time on tests. It's called a 504 plan.

Private schools and private daycares don't have to accommodate anyone, though. Another friend of mine had a son, age 5 was removed from his Montessori school after only one week. The reason? They just said "he's not a good fit for this program".  He wasn't misbehaving or not learning. The only reason they gave was "not a good fit".

TrMama

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2017, 01:07:40 PM »
Oiy vey. I have lots to say, bear with me.

First of all, as all the others have pointed out, you need to get him out of there. The sooner the better. He's simply too young for the expectations and environment. Talking to him at night about his behaviour isn't going to help. He's too young. If he needs to be corrected, it will only work in the moment. Trying to influence his behaviour, or even expecting him to keep his cool in that environment is totally unreasonable. It would be like me saying, "If I can just flap my arms fast enough, I'll be able to fly like a bird". It's not going to happen. It's not a behavioural or parenting failing, it's just bad design.

Secondly, I strongly suspect the teacher and principal are doing all kinds of things they shouldn't be and could likely be reprimanded. Your story about the IEP raises some serious red flags. I hope you didn't sign that.

In addition to pulling him, you need to escalate your complaints to the school board office. Just like if you totally screwed up at work, your client would contact your boss and you'd get fired/remedial training/etc. Contact the Superintendent and all of the Principals and VPs of Behaviour and Special Services (these are the people who administer all the behaviour and special ed/IEP services). If you can't figure out who these people are from the school district website, call reception and get all their email addresses. Then make your complaints in writing, and cc all these people.

This is the method I used when I had the opposite problem you're having. My kid was in serious need of an IEP and extra support but her teacher and the learning support teacher for her school were ignoring us. Meanwhile, my child was in major mental distress and I was worried she was going to progress to self harm. I emailed the learning support teacher with my frustration and cc'd the head of learning support at the board office. Let me tell you, that got an immediate response like I'd never seen before.

The reason I'd escalate is that if the teacher and principal are harming your child like this, they're likely doing similarly ignorant things with other children. Furthermore, if you want to have the option of ever sending him to this school again, you'll be glad of the effort you put in now. The individual principal at a school can have a huge effect on how it runs and if the district is able to get a different principal/learning services teacher in it can make a big difference in a short period of time. It will also give you excellent grounds to request a different teacher if you decide to send him there for SK.


Zamboni

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2017, 01:54:25 PM »
OY! To be blessed with a smart, extroverted little boy!

This is just what so many of them do. My son had a terrible time in "school" when he was 3. Teacher wanted to talk with me literally every day. I had to talk with the principal. She wanted to remove him from the school. It was crazy. He was not a violent child at all (ever), but she didn't want him to even hug another child. In my case he had a twin sister in the same class. Upon pick up, teacher would want to talk to me about all of my son's poor listening and scaring another child with his loudness and this and that. Then I would ask about my daughter (who is very shy and extremely quiet), and she would just say "OH, she was great!" Basically, quiet and sedate = good, loud and energetic = bad. Throw in extra bad if you touch anyone else.

She also started questioning his intelligence. One day after school she wanted to talk to me because "he needs to be screened for a disability. He hasn't learned his colors." He was on the other side of the room playing, so I hollered over to him
"Buddy, what color is Thomas the Tank Engine?"
"blue" he said.
"How about Percy, what color is he?"
"green"
"What color is James?"
"red"
"What color is this?" I hold up a random piece of purple paper from the table.
"Yellow."
I just looked at her and shrugged.

So she went back to "He kicked at someone on the playground" and "He ignored me when it was time to put toys away" and "He wouldn't sit still during circle time." I started volunteering in the class one full day per week. There were never any issues at all when I was there . . . None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Teacher just said he behaved better when I was there. 

She only had 10 students in the class . . . no way she could have handled 30!

Our solution was to move them to another school. All problems evaporated instantaneously. Oh, I think he acted the same as he ever did, but he had a teacher better skilled at handling little boys. The problem in the first place was how the teacher was not equipped to handle her job . . . it was never about my son.

Move him. Probably it is better for him to be in preschool or daycare still at this age anyway.

Milizard

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2017, 01:58:26 PM »
I  agree with escalating this with people higher up. The teacher's non-response to you, and the principal's actions indicate that they simply don't want to deal with your son. Even the described IEP indicates this!  I think most of us agree that 3.75 is too young for the apparent expectations of these students, but someone has to set these policies.  Escalating might get policy changed so that younger kids don't miss out on the opportunity for this year of schooling.  IMO, you are being treated terribly by this school. 

Zamboni

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2017, 03:31:36 PM »
I've been thinking about this more while I was out and about. I remember how distressing this was when my son was going through something similar with having a teacher who had all kinds of problems with him. You have my patience and understanding.

Why not start him in JK next year? I mean he only "missed that mark" by 3 weeks . . . why not start him off as one of the oldest kids in his class for the rest of his time in school. There are HUGE, HUGE advantages to this, especially in terms of maturity for learning, and especially if he is interested in playing sports.

Is there some law in Canada against this? In the US, parents pretty regularly do this. We had some neighbors have their twin girls repeat second grade (they moved schools so it wouldn't be weird for them) just to have them go from being the youngest to being the oldest in their grade.

I know it means paying for one more year of daycare of preschool. It might be the best fit for him, though, and it might save you lots of headaches.

There is no reason for your son to be labelled a problem. He is likely just very smart and energetic but also needs his rest and snacks or he gets hangry. My son is just like this, and I get it. He's 14 now and has never had a teacher who was anything but delighted with him since that first teacher who hated him (hated is not too strong a word) when he was 3.

Seriously, I have gotten nothing but compliments since that year. . . .think about what is the best thing for him, but it's pretty clear you need to get him out of this situation.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2017, 03:56:26 PM »
Our solution was to move them to another school. All problems evaporated instantaneously. Oh, I think he acted the same as he ever did, but he had a teacher better skilled at handling little boys. The problem in the first place was how the teacher was not equipped to handle her job . . . it was never about my son.

Yes.  My son is a rambunctious, overly bright kid who can't sit still and had poor impulse control.  His kinder teacher was EXCELLENT (she called me once a week to tell me the naughty things he had done that week, then she'd laugh and say "he's just a little boy, he'll grow out of it, this is what we'll try next."  The two worst incidents - the food fight he instigated in the cafeteria, and the day he cut his classmate's hair.).   With any other teacher, he might have ended up suspended and/or labelled a problem child forever.  As it was, we survived.

First grade teacher wanted him to conform, and he hated school that year.   Other parents just loved the teacher, but she was a bad fit for him. 

Second grade teacher indulged his imagination and cajoled him out of any moods, and he absolutely thrived.  By the end of the year, between the two of us, he'd developed a true love of school and learning and was way above his grade level in both math and reading.

If you can match a child's needs and personality with a teacher's strengths and personality, you get magic.  Unfortunately, it is very difficult to do this in the beginning, when you and your child are figuring out what he needs to thrive at school, and you don't know the school and teachers well enough to request particular teachers.

Good luck.   Make sure you're reassuring little man that he is a good kid, and you know that there's a problem that's not his fault, and you are trying to fix it for him.  He will remember that.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

Pigeon

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2017, 06:58:21 PM »
He needs another year.  I would also not worry about his "education" at this point.  Kids learn through play.  He needs a little more time. Read to him and do fun things with him at home.  Reading him the riot act every night (no matter how nicely and positively you do it) isn't going to help him, he's just a baby.

The class is way  too big.  There's no way the teacher is going to be able to give any one kid a lot of individual attention with so many very little ones.

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2017, 10:07:23 AM »
I've been thinking about this more while I was out and about. I remember how distressing this was when my son was going through something similar with having a teacher who had all kinds of problems with him. You have my patience and understanding.

Why not start him in JK next year? I mean he only "missed that mark" by 3 weeks . . . why not start him off as one of the oldest kids in his class for the rest of his time in school. There are HUGE, HUGE advantages to this, especially in terms of maturity for learning, and especially if he is interested in playing sports.

Is there some law in Canada against this? In the US, parents pretty regularly do this. We had some neighbors have their twin girls repeat second grade (they moved schools so it wouldn't be weird for them) just to have them go from being the youngest to being the oldest in their grade.

In our province if you keep a kid out of JK they will not be started in JK the next year, they're moved to senior kindergarten.  There is no option to retake junior kindergarten.  Kinda messed up, but it is what it is.

GuitarStv

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2017, 10:32:06 AM »
I've thought long and hard about this, and want to try to fight a little bit for the right of our son to go to his local school.  Long term it would be much better for him to have friends nearby that he can go and play with in our neighborhood.  The school said that they wanted to have an SNA (Special Needs Assistant) to observe lil GuitarStv on Thursday and Friday.  My wife and I wanted to hear what the SNA had to say, and our son has repeatedly told us that he likes going to school and wants to go back . . . so we kept our son in school.  I was quite concerned about doing this, but it seems to have worked out OK, because there was no report of bad/violent behaviour on either day.  Lil GuitarStv was very proud of how well he has been doing.  So, this makes Wednesday (with supply teacher), Thursday, and Friday where there were no incidents.

We will meet with the principal, teacher, ECE (early childcare educator), and SNA to discuss things.  I have typed up a summary of all communications between the school and us, and will bring this to the meeting.  My goal is to get some accommodation on certain issues:
- There should be a quiet place set up in the class where lil GuitarStv can nap or sit if necessary in the afternoons.
- I want daily communication with the school.  (Going over my notes, there was a two week period where the teacher failed to respond to communication sent with lil GuitarStv's book bag, and failed to respond to messages left at the school.  That is not acceptable.  We need to be informed of problems every time they happen.)
- I have several comments for improvement for the Safety Plan that we were asked to sign.
- I want to see the IEP and be given time to review it and make comments.
- I will request additional resources for the classroom (although I know that this is not likely).  There are currently two kindergartens at the school, both are filled to the maximum legislated capacity of 30.  Next year the maximum legislated capacity goes down to 29, so the school will likely have to hire another kindergarten teacher and ECE anyways.

We will keep lil GuitarStv in school on the days prior to the meeting unless there is another instance of bad/violent behaviour.  I'm going to talk with people at work and head in later so that I can drop our son off about an hour later to shorten his day (currently he goes to daycare before and after school).  If we don't feel that the people from the school are responsive enough during the meeting, or if there is any further blow up of extreme behaviour we will immediately remove him from the school permanently.  We are currently scouting Montessori schools and day cares that take older kids to find a good place for our son in case things don't work out.  We are also looking for some kind of early childhood psychiatrist/counselor to determine if there are issues that need to be worked out on lil GuitarStv's end.

Plugging Along

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Re: Frustrating situation with school, not sure what to do
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2017, 12:48:06 PM »
I am sorry that your son is going through this, yo7 too.   This may be long and random.  I know yo7 have made your decision, but I would like t9 add additional perspectives. 

First don’t sign the IEP until you are comfortable.   Even then, make sure it stays with them ONLY until the end of kindergarten.  In my province (I am in Canada too] IEPs can be removed when the6 enter grade one.   Why is that important.  If an IEP is on their school records, it’s says with t(em forever, and can be looked negatively when they graduate.  It has been suggested that m6 girls have IEPs because there extremely precocious, and are at least three or four grade levels ahead 8. Some areas.   Even an IEP f9r gifted student can be viewed negatively.

I think I read somewhere tha5 yo7 son is a December baby (sorry if i am wrong) this can be very challenging especiall6 for boys.  Both my kids are December babies.  The public school system looks at acedemic ability not maturity or mental ab8lity when decided if they are ‘ready’.  This is because of funding.  As a result most will not hold back.  I had already determined that my December babies would NOT be the youngest in their classes.  It would be a hard fight in public school but can be done.   I had them in a private Montessori school which made it easy.

Both my December babies were reading by about three, and by four reading novels (Anne of green gable, charlottes web, etc).  My year old now is readin Homer (not the Simpson’s)complete Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe now.   The school still suggests getting an IEP or skipping a grade.   We had said NO to skipping.   I may do an IEP only to get them in a gifted program, but that is for specific reason. 

I give this context to share that if your child is maturity wise not ready, giving them that extra year will help them have that confidence.  I am concerned what you said that it’s good now, what happens next year, in two years, in 6 when he starts hitting puberty.  Do you want him always ‘chasing’ the older kids, or do you want him leading?

For us, we stayed in a Montessori program for an extra year, so they did do kindergarten two
Twice  People thought we were crazy to pay private acho9l fees for both kids for an extra year when they were so far ahead acedemically.   Now that my oldest is in grade six, I look back, and would absolutely do again.  She has gone through crapp6 gir” and tween drama but because she I saw older and more mature, she has more confidence.  She is also at the top of her class for everything so that builds on the confidence.  Same with my youngest  in grade three.

I have learned being on the public system.  They teach for the average kid, they have no reasources for those who are more challenging or are ahead.   The teachers vary from every year.  We had a great teacher in the early years in the private Montessori.  The public teachers generally are average and their hand are tied.  There been two good teachers in my kids 9years of public school.  Every year we as parents have to advocate for our kids and if the teachers don’t work with us, I pull us the slack.   

M6 advice is pull out your child IFhe still has problems.  The second, 8s see if the school board allows kids to repeat SK.   Most provinces do, but you have to FIGHT for it becuase if lack of funding.   If your school board doesn’t, then find a private school that will work with your family.   Ask them when deciding what their philosophy on h9lding sk back so they can develope more.

Don’t give up by keeping your child in because he has a few good days, look at the other options just in case. Otherwise, you will be dealing with some sort of challenge every year