Little B got a note sent home from school last Friday, which, I, of course, did not see until Tuesday morning while getting ready for school.
“Please discuss with B the behavior choices that he is making at school. I have had to counsel him several times this week about his behavior choices, and am constantly having to re-direct him. Also, he has hit two of his classmates already. The vice principal and the counselor have both discussed his behavior choices with him. Please sign below and return.”
Oh. My. Goodness. I have a folder somewhere with all the notes that Big E’s kindergarten teacher sent me. They were long, detailed and awfully repetitive. She could have summed it up for me easily, but instead, I was subjected to daily novel-length letters from a woman I hardly knew about how awful my kid was in school. When Little B began having behavior “issues” last year, I read about 10 or so “behavior choices” notes before I finally asked her to put it in code for me. His main behavior infraction was “hitting” but some days he had other issues. He got so upset about all these notes going home every day, and the corresponding SAD FACES on that day on his folder calendar, that he would hide his tote bag from me before I got home from work…and when I would ask how his day was, and I’d get a long, low groany-moan in reply. So, in an effort to make him feel better about school by taking every opportunity to point out his positive choices, I had the teacher divide each day into two different blocks, and give him a behavior grade AND a classwork grade. For the behavior grade, if it was a sad face, I had her write a “1” after the sad face so that I would know that he was hitting. This would result in no dessert or tv time that evening, since this was a pretty serious infraction. When months passed, and this system failed to produce the desired results, despite my taking every opportunity to praise him for his good behavior and class work, and he continued to hit other kids at school, I gave the principal permission to paddle him. I mean, because, really? You are going to continue to hit other kids even though everyone has gone through all this trouble to make you feel better about your little self…really? And after all, that’s generally the thing that I use at home when all other options have failed miserably, and someone needs to be reminded about who is supposed to be the boss. However, the school (for reasons I cannot FATHOM) chose not to institute such measures, but continued to send home notes and call me to report his behavior. So, from then on, I just ignored the notes and even one or two voicemails…to be completely honest. I know that teachers don’t want to feel like they are running a daycare, but I cannot understand how they expect us parents to deal with daily issues that go on at school when we are not there. The teacher is. The teacher has to learn how to take control of a classroom and the kids in that classroom. If moving a friggin’ stick from one slot to another slot isn’t enough incentive for any one kid to behave, then take it to the next level, muchacho. I’m not asking you to fight a battle with one arm tied around your back. I support you. I’m doing what I can. If neither is enough, then paddle his butt!
Okay. I’m sorry about that.
Anyway, Little B got a behavior note. It didn’t contain any details other than what I said earlier. I have spoken to him about it. He is not really excited about going to school everyday, as I am sure you gathered after reading Car Line Nazis about how I had to drag him out of the third row seat to go to school that day. I am praying that things will look up for him soon. I don’t want him to have a bad kindergarten experience. I want him to have friends and learn how to function in a society which believes that you should have learned everything you ever needed to know about life while you are in kindergarten. I want him to be happy. But if that doesn’t happen real quick, I hope that his teacher grows a pair and takes control of this thing before it gets worse.
(May the force be with you.)