The in's and out's of school…updated!

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by megkc03, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    As always, I'm in unchartered territory. This is our first year of all day school(first grade). There's the background lol.

    The boys are in first grade together. They *love* school. Love it. And, they are doing extremely well! We had a meeting the beginning of October with their teacher(for Anthony's IEP review, but N was talked about as well, as they are in the same class). The short story is, they are doing extremely well, she loves them, very bright, etc etc. I know behavior is not an issue for either one. 

    Their teacher took a leave of absence and will return Dec 1(about a month she will be out). Apparently she arrived at school on a Monday under the weather, principal sent her home, and that's that. So they have a sub. And in the classroom, they have cubes which serve as a behavior mod of sorts. When we had open house, I told boys-they better not lose their cubes! Slightly joking, but them losing them is not a concern for me. 

    N came home two weeks ago or so, saying he lost his cube. He was visibly upset about it, but he didn't understand *why* he lost it. And based on his story, I don't understand why either. But ok, water under the bridge. Then N came home yesterday saying he hates school and can't wait for his teacher to return. I understand subs aren't the same as their regular teacher and they will do things differently, etc. And I've tried explaining that to both of them. 

    Today, A came home from school and explained to me he lost a cube. His bottom lip quivered and tears welled up in his eyes. Those who know Anthony, know he takes everything to heart. And he doesn't do things intentionally-especially getting in trouble. He explained the story to me: he raised his hand, teacher called on him, then she was distracted by the other kids, and forgot about Anthony. He repeatedly said, "Excuse me, excuse me" and next thing he knew, he lost a cube. The story was verified by his twin brother. They both said he was raising his hand saying "excuse me." My guess is, he was maybe talking out of turn? Or he wouldn't stop until he was acknowledged(something that happens at home). She had called on him and didn't follow through with whatever it was he was trying to say. Then N told me, A started to cry in class. 
    It breaks my heart. I know it's probably petty, and simple, and stupid. But it's my kid. And as a mother, I don't want my kid upset. And I don't want his love for all things learning/school squashed. I'm sure it's something simple that can be rectified, etc. I'm also just not that mom who is up for confrontation. I don't want to be that parent "you made my kid cry!" You know? But if you knew Anthony-you would know he was genuinely hurt by the actions of the teacher. You see him cry, and you join in. 

    I'm going to the school on Thursday to volunteer in Annabella's class. I could mention it to the principal(she's very inviting, etc). But, I'll probably end up crying(sometimes, I hate my genes lol). And I don't want the teacher to get in trouble either. What do you do in these situations? I explained to him that having a sub is hard-hard on the kids-and hard on the sub. They are used to their regular teacher teaching one way, and the sub has his/her way of teaching. I used to be a preschool teacher, so I'm giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt, as I know the kids think/say one thing, but the teacher will say/think another way. 

    Oh, and email would be my first choice of conversation. I just don't have an email! 

    Not sure what I'm looking for… maybe a WWYD? It's only first grade, and we have many , many more years of schooling ahead of us. And like I said, it's small. Minor. I get that. Let this one slide? They've only got five more days(as of now) with the sub. They've both told me Mrs. C-Hall does it this way, but not the sub. So I can see how it's been done for three months one way, and all of a sudden, it's not ok to be done that way. Confusing for kids I am sure. 

    In any case, it's more of a vent, I need to get it off my chest. LOL! He's totally fine, happy and playing. He'll never remember this. I guess, it's only me that will! LOL!
  2. AimeeThomp

    AimeeThomp Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would send a note in their book bags asking what they are doing to lose the cubes.
    Lily has gotten an "X" twice - and both times it was written on a sheet exactly why she was given the X, and which day of the week she gave it on.
    She's my spunky one, she got it for talking back once and once for talking. She's so cute when she gets an X, she's so ashamed she doesn't want to show me her folder. I told her not to worry about it, it just shows she's got a little personality.
  3. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Honestly, with 5 more days left, I wouldn't take it up with the principal.  I would just have a talk with the boys about how different people do things different ways.  And I would even be specific with sometimes Daddy does _____ this way and Mommy does ______ that way.  But both are okay.  Let them know that it's okay that they miss their teacher, but she'll be back.  Maybe have a little count-down calendar or let them draw her a picture or something.  Focus on what they really want, which is their teacher back.
    I work in a kinder room and I will say that having a sub is the most difficult days, for the kids and the subs.  The kids tend to nitpit everything the sub says. When we do things like calendar, having 10 kids speak up and saying Mrs. So-and-So does it this way or that way or doesn't do that.  The constant grind of kids telling you that everything you are doing is wrong would be exhausting on a person.  The kids are out of sorts because this isn't their routine.  The sub gets out of sorts because they get nagged at all day.  Because I'm in there, I can shut down a lot of the nagging because the kids know I will move their clip if they backtalk and argue.  The subs also generally ask me how the teacher does things.
    Perhaps at a later time, you might mention it to the teacher. Just tell her what happened and that you didn't know if other parents mentioned if their kids had issues or not. I know that our kinder teacher asks me my opinion of the subs.  I think my teacher was going to block at least one of the subs from getting her sub notices because the teacher had absolutely no classroom presence.  The kids were back-talking our parent helper and rummaging the teacher's desk for starters.  So if things don't go well with a sub, the teacher can generally try to avoid that sub again.
  4. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would probably bring it up with the teacher when she gets back, maybe it's something she can communicate to future subs. In the meantime, I would probably just explain that the sub has different rules and emphasize that things will get back to normal when their teacher is back.
    2 people like this.
  5. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    I would not go to the principal.  I would talk to the sub/teacher directly and a note would probably be an appropriate method.  Last year my son told me that a fellow student was going to do something to my daughter, make her slip up so that she couldn't attend the class trip to the waterpark.  I talked to my son's teacher and found out the 'real' story.  My son had said something which resulted in the student making that threat against Audrey.  This story is very familiar.  Every mom/parent who loves their kids is going to have a similar reaction, especially knowing your boys.. how loving and sensitive they are.  I will admit that my youngest is a turd (in a very loving way) but I don't want anyone to hurt him. 
    Do they get to earn their cubes back?  I personally don't like color systems or things like that in the classroom.  My 'student' doesn't care if he changes color. If it is threatened, he'll go and move it himself. 
  6. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I would bother contacting the sub, given that she is just there a few more days. I think the sub was probably overwhelmed. I find that subs are usually more strict, it's not their room, so they are following official guidelines or written instructions. If she forgot in the moment she had called on him, she's not going to agree she was wrong to take his cube now. Often, subs are frustrated that the kids are a little out of control. I've been at school as a parent volunteer more than once when a sub ended up being there. In general, the kids are more chatty with each other and not as cooperative.
    One day last week, I got a call from the school office asking why Hannah wasn't at school. I had a split second moment of panic since I had dropped her off myself an hour earlier. lol I asked the secretary to call down to the room and make sure that she was there, that the wrong name had probably been marked as absent. It turns out that she had a sub who said she should have been marked tardy, not absent. I dropped them off 5 minutes before the tardy bell. Neither of her sisters were marked tardy. Hannah insisted she went straight to her room and was in there and not tardy. *sigh* I didn't bother arguing with the school - I figured it didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. I did wonder why she was marked tardy though. Was it a mistake - she meant to mark another student? Was H not in her seat? (officially, I think they are supposed to be. Although I don't think classroom teachers usually mark it for that, but I can see a sub, following a checklist, doing so)
    I'm sorry your boys are having a tough time right now. It's almost over, hang in there!
  7. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would not go go the principal either.  I agree with the other posters, I would explain to the boys that subs do things differently then the regular teacher.  However,  I would send a note into the sub just explaining what happened with Anthony and that both you and Anthony were unclear on why he lost a cube for that day.  It might be she got her kids mixed up, she forgot she called on him and then thought he was speaking out of turn.  But I would contact the sub just to clear up the matter (and I would say, I would like address any classroom issues with my children in the home, so it doesn't happen again).  I know our school has the rule, if there is an issue within the classroom to try to resolve it with the teacher first and if the parents are not satisfied with the resolution, then take it up with the principal.
  8. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with everyone else.  There is one classroom in our school district where I am the first call.  The reason is that I teach almost exactly like the teacher--in fact one of the kids even said that :).  I know how the room works and how to handle the material--it is the pull out resource room, so a bit different than the regular classroom.  But, that said, sometime I do things differently, and the kids have to adjust.  On Monday, I will be starting a long term leave--for the remainder of the school year, and I am sure there will be some adjustment on everyone's part.  But one of the things that I made clear in the interview was that I tend to "go with the flow", and try to be consistent with what the kids have been doing.  It sounds like this sub was thrown in with no transition--I get to shadow the teacher I am replacing for a week, and is probably doing the best they can.  First grade is HARD!  I subbed 3 days straight last year in 1st grade, and was totally wiped out!  This sub had to step in mid year, and like others said is probably being a bit more strict because she didn't have the "getting to know you" time that teachers usually get at the beginning of the year to get to know personalities.  I would just send her a note like the others said, stating that Anthony had never lost a cube before, so he was understandably upset, and you would like to be able to discuss it with him at home.
  9. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Thank you ladies! And you are right Sharon-she was most likely just thrown in all of a sudden! I'll send a note tomorrow. :)
  10. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator


    Thought I'd update a little.

    So I wrote my note and was ready to send it in...then dh said to just drop it. Boys were fine, teacher only had two more days left in the class, etc.

    So I agreed.

    Then they went back to school after Thanksgiving break. Still no teacher-same sub. I heard through the boys, via their sub, the teacher is now not coming back until January. Today we got a phone call/email in regards to hearing through the grapevine and how we will be informed of what's happening soon(I think more in regards to conferences etc vs why she is out).

    I will say, both boys have been coming home saying that the sub is highly impressed with them. :) Their reading is above grade level, and they are very well behaved. I think her praising them has also helped.

    Now my concern lies in the lack of a conference(I was waiting for the teacher to return), and how their report cards are going to be done. I'm sure they'll figure it all out.
  11. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Did their teacher come back?
  12. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yes. She was back on Jan 5 when school opened back up. They were relieved. :) But, after attending a birthday party for their sister, I wondered about their teacher. It was said their teacher yells a lot, has a tough group of kids, etc. I asked my boys but they said she doesn't yell, etc. I wonder if it's because it doesn't pertain to them...
  13. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    One of my girls had a teacher who yelled and was very strict. My dd loved her, because she was never in trouble. I know about the yelling from my other dd who classroom backed her's. And their friends who all had a miserable year with her.
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