Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"School's better . . . but not perfect."

Honestly, that’s fine. I’ll take it. If you’re not sure where this is coming from, read THIS first. All caught up? Here’s what happened next.

My daughter did go to school and did talk to her teacher. She was nervous, but she got through it. At first, she didn’t get exactly what she wanted. Of course, exactly what she wanted was for either everyone else to disappear or for her desk to be moved to the hall. Not really realistic. Instead, the teacher said she would address the problem of kids talking out of turn and being disrespectful to the whole class the next day and by the end of the week everyone would have new seats. Rearranging seats is not as simple as one might assume. Kids are people with complex little personalities and the teacher has a lot to take into consideration. Plus, this is still the beginning of the year. She is getting to know people and balancing things out. Additionally, entire classes cannot be uprooted just because my (adorable princess center of MY universe) daughter wants her to move everyone. Long story short, I was satisfied, but my daughter was not entirely convinced things were going to get better. To complicate things, she then got sick and was absent the next day. D’oh!

Fast forward a week. Her teacher, being a professional who has her eye on the bigger picture beyond just my one child, did address the whole class. She talked to my daughter a couple more times over the week to find out more information about what the problem was and did separate my daughter from the girl who was harassing her (yes, I think repeatedly questioning someone’s gender during class every single day is harassment).

From my daughter’s perspective, the situation is slightly improved because she is no longer directly next to that one girl, however she is still there. Now we are talking about what my daughter can do on her own to not let the annoying stuff get to her and ruin her day. Filtering techniques: focusing on the positive things that are there; instead of focusing on what other people are doing, focusing on what she is doing and her own purpose. The point is, she cannot control other people, but she can control herself.

From my perspective, this is a huge victory because the whole thing was dealt with without me getting involved at all. My daughter did all the talking to her teacher herself. She felt comfortable enough to speak up for herself. That’s a big deal. It is also a victory because her teacher didn’t brush her off. Her teacher either was already aware of the situation from seeing it or considerate enough to listen to and believe her student. Either way, good sign of a good teacher. Teachers have a lot of other goals without also worrying about social problems and classroom discipline, but the social problems and classroom discipline have a huge impact on learning. I am very hopeful for the rest of the year and glad that our message “teachers are partners” was proven true. Oh, and it helped that my daughter earned the Take a Fuzzy Friend to School card. That always makes school better.

Heading to school with a smile and a fuzzy Dronkey friend.

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