Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 7: When my son's teacher doesn't live up to my expectations...

     To begin, at the end of preschool, my son was so excited about going to kindergarten, he didn't want to have a summer break.  He was disappointed that he had to wait so long to go to school.  We talked about it all summer long, and when his first day of school came, he was filled with excitement. I made cinnamon rolls for a special breakfast that morning, but he told me he was too excited to eat it.  "I'll save it for after I go to school mom."

     My expectation for him starting kindergarten was that he would love it.  He was never in trouble during preschool, and seemed to do well even in scenarios where his classmates were struggling.  I did not anticipate that he would get in trouble, let alone get in trouble multiple times a week.  I did not anticipate that one morning he would refuse to go to school.  His one&only tardy for school, because he generally does great in the morning getting ready for school, came from that morning.  I convinced him to get dressed, get in the car, and get to school, but he would not get out of the car.  He literally cried about it for over an hour total.  I'm not sure how we were able to resolve it; God's grace.  I told him he was not being nice to me, and he was hurting my feelings.  He got out of the car.

     I had an expectation for him to love kindergarten.  I am still hoping he will.  I think he's settled in now, overcome his fears of not knowing any friends, and he is finally learning all the rules his teacher wants him to follow.  I think he has settled out, and I am so thankful.

     His teacher is just as tough on the kids as ever, but he has managed to learn how to avoid getting in trouble, or as he calls it, 'being bad'.  I try to correct him & encourage him that everybody makes mistakes, and it is ok to make a mistake or forget.  I'm not sure he hears me.  My husband&I are proud of him for figuring out how to get along with her system.  He was disciplined one day for 'putting his hands on another student' at recess, which he explained to us was tickle-freeze-tag.  He came home this week & said his friends wanted to play that game again, but he told them they weren't allowed to & suggested they play superheros instead.  Kinda broke my heart & made me proud of him at the same time.

     I've shifted in my response to the teacher's notes of his 'poor behavior' over time.  I see her system as unrealistic to expect kindergarten students to make zero mistakes in order to be awarded a 'you had a good day sticker' which is the only report we receive.  I now find myself upset with the teacher, not my son when I receive his calendar with no sticker & a discipline report.  Why does she have to be so hard on my son, and why can't kindergarten be easier for him&me?

     I have arrived at a surprised conclusion today: I must forgive his teacher for not meeting my expectations.  She is not what I would have chosen, but the Lord chose her for my son this year.  I've walked into her room now weekly to volunteer, and my impression of her is she is a lovely, but tough teacher.  Not always clear on the situations, which leads to poor judgement and dispensing of discipline in my humble opinion, but I trust she does her best.  I must forgive her for not helping him love school, and try to do my best to accomplish that goal.  I must forgive her for not always getting it right, because I don't always get it right either.  I must forgive her for being hard on my tender-hearted boy, and I must be able to look her in the eye.  I can focus on being grateful for her hardwork & time given to his class.  I can be thankful for her- because she is my son's teacher.

Lord help me forgive her for not meeting my expectations.  Help me be gracious in my interactions with her & teach me to be thankful for her.  Please let me teach my sons how to be graceful to others, despite what they do or don't do.  It's your grace Lord, please help me to give it away.


1 comment:

  1. It's a tough one. But as I tell my sister and best friend - YOU are the educator. The in-class teacher is there to share content. If she can also be awesome and facilitate your kids' learning, swell. But don't beat her up for not being you.

    And, of course, pray for her some, too. :)