my pre kindergarten child was bad at school ? question for anyone who has opinion
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  1. #1
    hb717 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Oct 2011

    Default my pre kindergarten child was bad at school ? question for anyone who has opinion

    So i picked up my 4 year old son from school today and his teacher pulled me aside and explained to me that he was very rude today. She explained to me that it was very unusual for him to act that way. The teacher went on to explain that my child was speaking out in class, and was told that he would have to stop or his card would be turned. (card turning is some type of behavior system the teacher uses). He told her that he did not care if that happened so he proceeded to be put into "timeout". The teacher than told him a note would be put in his folder and sent home. My son told his teacher that his dad will erase the note and would yell at her instead. (this is completely unacceptable). The teacher than proceeded to tell me that he is not allowed to attend their field trip tomorrow to the apple farm and told me to keep him home because the classroom will be empty. Which pretty much seems to me like my pre schooler has just been suspended from school.

    Knowing my child is wrong 100% I still can't help but feel that the punishment is excessive for a 4 year old. Just looking for some opinions on how others feel about this situation or am I just thinking it because it is my child. Any input would be appreciated and thank you.

  2. #2
    Yca's Avatar
    Yca is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2008
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    Wow ... just ... wow.

    I guess my first thought is, has your child ever exhibited this kind of behavior before? You said the teacher mentioned it was out of the ordinary, but what about at home, or with other relatives? If this is completely out of the ordinary, could he be coming down with something? My children sometimes act out before they get something...

    I guess there is some concern about how this is a "suspension" of sorts. The question would be, if they *weren't* going on the field trip today, would he still have been asked to stay home?

    Spend today discussing the situation with your son, find out from him what happened and discuss how his behavior was unacceptable, make sure you see first if there was something going on to disturb him. Tomorrow, get to school a few minutes early to talk to the teacher about what happened.

    Each one of my kids had a couple of run-ins in pre-k, and while EXTREMELY annoying, and a test for using my "nice words" and NOT killing people (without coffee, this is always a test). Give them one good shot at resolving the issue, and then take it from there if they're not awesome about it. Chances are, the teacher suspected one of the issues that I suggested, and wanted to make sure he was in good hands today.

    Let us know how it goes!!
    ~ Yca ~
    (otherwise known as Jess )

    Wife to Dave and Mom to Red - 13, The Princess - 11, Fluffyheaded Diva - 6, and Sir Smiley - 3
    Read about our adventures HERE!

  3. #3
    Momma Crystal is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2009


    My first thought as a former public school teacher and someone with multiple degrees in early childhood and child psychology is that this teacher is COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE IN HOW SHE HANDLED THIS SITUATION! Yes, I'm yelling! That is how infuriated I am! I wouldn't send my child back to this school. From your description she escalated this situation and did nothing to diffuse it. And her punishments and threats were totally out of line and not at all developmentally appropriate.

    I DESPISE the card turning system. It is way too public and a form of humiliation. A simple loving moment, some quiet time, and some softness on the teacher's part would have most likely ended things long before they got out of hand. Taking you aside or calling you later to discuss it would be fine. Removing him from a school field trip on a different day is INSANE! That child is not going to equate the loss of a field trip with his behavior. At this age the consequence needs to be pretty much immediate. Dragging it out for days is of no use and will only make things worse later.

    I'd raise heck and high water if I were you.

  4. #4
    HandsOnMom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Oct 2011


    I agree with Momma Crystal. Punishing a child (and a pre-K one at that) several times for one main offense is just too much. The way that you told the story, what I am understanding is that your child initially talked back and faced with confrontation, began escalating his behavior. The teacher should have seen that her student was in an aggressive mood and should have just asked him nicely to step out a bit to calm himself down instead of just piling on one punishment after the previous one didn't work. Also, punishing a young child for some time after the offense does not really work-- they have shorter memories. Not letting him go on a field trip scheduled for another day just deprives him of the chance to learn something on that trip without really doing anything to address whatever issue caused the outburst in the first place.

    To be fair to the teacher though, maybe she was afraid that your child would be disruptive on the field trip and she didn't want to be faced with that, since her standby options for keeping students in check no longer work on your son. Still, it was something she should have opened to you in your talk, instead of just deciding on her own.

  5. #5
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2009


    If this behavior is out of the ordinary for your child then my concern is that he has faced something his 4 year old brain could not deal with. Top on my list of things he might have experienced/witnessed that he didn't know how to deal with and was thus overloaded to the point of his "lashing out" are:
    abuse, bullying, major change in family status (deaths, births, moves, change of school, etc). It doesn't even have to be that major, my then 1st grade daughter, on the 1st day of school wanted to know when that week was going to be when "they" made the 1st graders cry, because she wanted to skip that week of school (she was talking about the week they did standardized tests). It seemed like a silly thing but from her point of view it was major, she didn't know what "they" were doing to the 1st graders, but she knew it must be bad. Her imagination got the better of her. When I was a kid, looking forward to the field trip to the dairy, one of the other kids started a rumor that erasers were made from cow ears, and that all of the dairy cows had had their ears cut off. I did every thing in my kindergarten power to avoid going to see such cruelty. Of course, it was not true, but I thought it was at the time, and it terrified me. Sometimes the lack of life experience makes the unknown really scary.
    As for the teacher, and the card system, it is difficult to express just how wrong she was. Her sense of frustration escalated a situation that did not have to happen as it did. It is the adult's job to take control and prevent escalation. Before it got to the point it did, she should have requested help from another teacher or the principal, or the guidance councelor. The card system is supposed to be public and because of that depends, in part, on peer pressure/humiliation. I'm not sure barring him from the field trip was about his behavior as much as it was about her frustration and lack of control. Also, she might have the power to say he couldn't go on the fieldtrip, but I think it is above her paygrade to say he could not go to school. Granted, her class would be empty, but the school should have provisions for students who are not going on field trips, regardless of the reason (family can't afford it, disciplinary, moral objection, lack of permission slip, etc).
    Wow, I just realized I have so much more to say about this that if I don't use a little (er...lot) of self control I could rant all day. Here's to self-control! I hope this works out for your family. Please let us know the outcome.
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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