Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Sam. Samuel. Sammy. My firstborn. He's had some trouble this year, remember? It's been a tough row to hoe.

On Monday we got a letter from the school, but not that kind of letter. It was to Sammy's entire class. His teacher had been waiting to adopt a baby, and was finally getting one, but on very little notice. Therefore, she was going to be taking an immediate leave of absence for the reminder of the year.

Sam was devastated, which really threw me for a loop. Most of his trouble at school has stemmed around this teacher. She is a very nice person, and seems like a good teacher, but her personality and Sam's personality don't mix well together. At first I was really hesitant to go down this avenue of thinking, but after consulting with a therapist I'm not so afraid.

No one wants to be that parent who claims it's the teacher's fault that their kid is in trouble all of the time. But what if that's occasionally true, at least partially? After several incidences at the beginning of the year, our school recommended that Sam see a therapist. Since then, the therapist has had some conference calls with Sam's principal, guidance counselor and teacher, and shared with me her opinion that perhaps his teacher is being a bit too hard on him. That maybe his behavior earlier in the year (when we were driving up from WV, and then living in a 2 bedroom apartment, and my grandma died, and then we moved into the wallpaper hell. The gypsy life.) has put him under an unfair microscope. That maybe she is trying too hard to squeeze him into a mold that doesn't fit.

Believe me, if I were in charge of a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds all day, I'd really want them to be good and quiet all of the time. But that pretty much sums up why I'm not a first grade teacher. Having a roomful of calm, peaceful obedient first graders is a damn near impossibility. Does Sam need to work on his impulse control? You bet your hat he does. Are there at least two or three other kids in his class that have the same issue? You bet your sweet bippy there are. Are their parents having monthly meetings with several school personnel and getting daily behavior reports sent home? It doesn't appear so.

So I explained to Sam that it's alright to be sad his teacher was leaving, but I also explained that adopting a baby is a truly joyous occasion and he should be happy for her.

And then I allowed myself a quiet little celebration, both for Sam and his teacher.

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1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Oh this kind of thing makes me burn. Let's hope getting a baby teaches that poor teacher about real life and real kids. Mind you, I think the daily behaviour reports and monthly meetings are a good thing and the other kids should be having them TOO! Communication is definitely the key. I know myself that there are kids who just do your head in, no matter how much you love them, in a class setting they push all your buttons. But I also know that there is a reason for their behaviour and once you figure it out and address the need, the behaviour usually disappears! Here's hoping No 2 Teacher is a bit more up with it....