The first day of school handholding thread

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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby Nix » 13 Sep 2016, 21:54

Ah thanks junglewonderland - I always talk about people 'from the forum' to my DH he thinks it's hilarious!
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby Kanga » 15 Sep 2016, 08:39

Ds1 has finally gone in this morning! Just for a 2 hour play session but he was so excited and out his uniform on even though he didn't have to. He went straight in, looked for his tray & peg etc & was more or less fine for us to leave. He did say he didn't want me to go but then spotted some painting & went off. He had a nose bleed in the night, which is unusual, so I've already had to have a word with the teacher. Hope she doesn't think I'm going to be *that* parent!
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby LucyLastic » 15 Sep 2016, 09:21

Aww, hope he has a great day, k.

C is now on Day 4 and so far seems to be taking it all in her stride. Not so true for a couple of boys in her class, who have had huge meltdowns for the last couple of mornings, poor poppets.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby Kanga » 15 Sep 2016, 12:45

He seems to have enjoyed himself. There were quite a few preschool friends there too. He said he did painting, played with the kitchen a long time, went in the other classroom & saw his friends went outside.
'And I honked a horn!' He added at the end!! :D
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby ches » 15 Sep 2016, 18:43

J's teacher emailed last night with a running list of all the things he has done wrong since the very first day when we were there for 30 min to drop off school supplies. Her tone is exclusionary and she's using words to build a case and say he has ASD, which he very much does not. He has anxiety, situational to the classroom, because frankly bad teachers have conditioned him that he is a failure. This teacher completely ignored the hand-written 8 page narrative with photos that I gave her at supply drop off, which included an interview with J which would have made it abundantly clear that he is anxious in the classroom, is conditioned that he's a "bad kid" and that he would really, really like to sit on his own. She has done not a single thing to accommodate him. He has to sit and work in groups. She reinforces every last piece of negative behavior. She has not written down a single positive thing about him. On day one her comment included "I was curious how he ended up in QUEST." She clearly decided on day 1 that she didn't want him in her classroom and is doing her best to get rid of him. In a school district that is 1/3 Hispanic, there are NO Hispanic kids in his class, a district-wide gifted & talented program. So, I think there's a lot of prejudice for "nice" middle class kids who fit the round hole. I cannot articulate how fucking pissed off I am. I know my kid is a pain in the ass, but she had plenty of resources available to her and she never bothered to reach out. Outside of her classroom he is doing exceptionally well, FFS he even dressed up and played with T -- he doesn't even like to dress up on Halloween! He is being successful at Football, which challenges him a lot (previous attempts at team sports he spent practice crying on the side of the field). He seems to be doing great on the bus. It is ONLY in class where cunty mccuntface is refusing to be at all flexible that he is struggling. So, since I can't say it to her face tomorrow at 7:45am with T in tow, GO FUCK YOURSELF CUNTY MCCUNTFACE.

Thank you, I feel much better.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby Brigitte » 16 Sep 2016, 04:03

Aw Ches, that's awful! My kid is her own sort of unique snowflake and I was fearful that she might have an inflexible teacher, but thankfully she's got a lovely one and all is well. Your post totally describes a worst case scenario I have imagined for my kids, so I'm feeling a bit rattled on your behalf.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby ches » 16 Sep 2016, 04:50

We gave him anxiety meds and sent him to school today... he reported a 100-fold improvement, that he'd been complimented many times for his setting a good example. Teacher emailed a chronicle of failure. They seem to have a system set up to capture and document failure FFS. Meeting in the AM. I am so sick of this.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby Lily » 16 Sep 2016, 05:54

Oh ches that just sounds so unremittingly appalling, it's hard to know where to start. What on earth motivates someone with that kind of approach to become a teacher, ffs? I hope the meeting helps. Is there any chance of moving him to a different class?
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby mamapup » 16 Sep 2016, 09:04

oh ches, as lily said, why would anyone become a teacher when that's their modus operandi? I'm so sorry. What a shitty start to the year.

As Brigitte said, I also have a particularly unique kinda kid (and yes, I know you can't be more unique than unique) and I spend time worrying people won't see through his trickiness to meet the wonderful kid he actually is, so reading your report is just heartbreaking.

He's a lucky boy to have a mom who will fight for him though. I hope things improve. At least this time he reported that things had gone better.

The puppy had one particular teacher at nursery who would report a litany of failures for him every single day. He's a nice enough guy but just seemed negative in his reporting style. I am pretty certain the negativity wasn't actually doled out during the day, just when talking to me. I could have one teacher telling me he'd had a great day and then this guy would give me a list of problems. I just stopped asking him and only asked the teachers who wanted to be realistic about my son. Could this just be her (awful and annoying) style or is it definitely more than that? I'm not trying to belittle, just thinking about our experience with our negative teacher.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby ches » 16 Sep 2016, 21:01

We met with the head and the teacher this morning. The head started off by apologizing for the negative tone. The system is a schoolwide system. The teacher seems like a good teacher, but not very creative or adaptable IYSWIM. When we started suggesting things she'd get defensive. Yes dear, I know you have a lot of really great round holes, but this is a square peg. I know your methods work for 99% of kids, but this one's a bit different, he has situational anxiety and needs extra help to get settled in. They had also talked to his old teacher, so they had been disabused of any thoughts that he has ASD and that didn't come up. So, a much more positive meeting than anticipated, but then we were speaking their language: replacement behaviors, CBT strategies, etc. So the principal was problem solving and coming up with ideas in terms relatable to the teacher - school-based systems that provide the positive reinforcement he needs, and they are going to modify the reporting so that we get informed of the POSITIVE things he's done every day that we can reinforce so that overall he feels he's being successful, rather than just reinforcing a feeling of failure.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby sabrina fair » 18 Sep 2016, 07:28

Glad to hear that you had a positive meeting ches, but I'm amazed and appalled you even have to go through it. How can they possibly have developed a system that records all negatives and no positives? It's like they've never read anything on how to support people to thrive!
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby ches » 18 Sep 2016, 18:05

I think the system enables you to collect both, but is not being used that way by the teachers IYSWIM.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby LucyLastic » 20 Sep 2016, 12:06

No advice, I'm afraid, ches, but a lovely friend of mine appears to be experiencing a similar thing with her little one, just turned 5 in August, who had a terrible year in Reception (constant negative feedback from his teacher, who didn't appear to have any ability/willingness to deal with him) and doesn't appear to have settled much in Yr 1 either. Terms like 'autism' and 'Asperger's' are being bandied about at school, but she doesn't think they're right, but maybe they need to use trigger words to get help? Although it would help if they addressed his actual issues. He can't see the point in the schoolwork and wants to play. He's pretty stubborn and, by all accounts, has a bit of a meltdown if he doesn't get to do what he wants. He also can't bear the noise of the dining room, so won't go in there and has been eating in the corridor by himself, so some anxiety-related issues too. My friend is worried. She doesn't want him to be turned off school from the get-go, but she also doesn't want to see him labelled, as she fears it will follow him throughout his school career. However, to get the help for developing coping strategies, he's likely to get labelled :-/

C, on the other hand, appears to be having a ball at school (so far). Hope you're all okay, however your little ones are doing.
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby WeepingWillow » 20 Sep 2016, 20:07

Interesting. School appear to be teaching hamster cursive letter formation in reception. I asked a friend with older kids and she says they've always done this - yet somehow they end up writing in print by year 1 and have to re-learn cursive in year 2. What are they playing at?
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Re: The first day of school handholding thread

Postby ches » 20 Sep 2016, 20:27

Urgh. That is tough for your friend. Been there, done that, it is REALLY HARD when they are so little and really can't advocate for themselves. Even harder if you are a two working parent household.

So, J has done really well the past three days, but of course he's been on anxiety meds which we're stepping down today/tomorrow and then discontinuing. We'll see how much of it is the meds versus him just settling down.

Back to your friend. What I've found is that with the right reinforcement, attention-seeking behaviors will escalate really badly, destroy a child's self-esteem, and teach them they are a failure - this is what we're dealing with with J, even though we pulled him out of the bad school environment 18 months ago and he had a solid year of "success" in the classroom environment. However, with the right POSITIVE reinforcement/behavior change management program, you can turn around these "problem" behaviors quickly, but, the child needs a strong and informed advocate.

J's current teacher wasn't able to read between the lines and come up with strategies alone. Once we sat down with his teacher and the head, and we were able to use the right lingo, they came up with in-place behavior management tools that the teacher was familiar with and could implement. What we had to contribute was this concept of this is more than behavoir management, it's behavior change. Problem = anxiety and that he only knows NEGATIVE behaviors to cope, need to implement REPLACEMENT, positive behaviors. I.e. in-class positive reinforcement strategies are not enough for THIS ONE CHILD. The teacher said well, the rewards are xyz, I had to say, that's good, but he needs the replacement behaviors, he simply does not know what to do! He is well aware what NOT to do, but not what TO DO.

We tarried enough with a psychologist to know that J's issues are non-clinical. He has situational, generalized anxiety. He has not had good coping strategies consistently reinforced. When you know that, and you can give evidence that e.g. your child is doing well/better than usual OUTSIDE the classroom, it's easier to get the school invested in modifying the classroom to accommodate the student's needs. We have not yet got an IEP (Independent Education Plan) for J. A diagnosis is not necessary for an IEP AFAIK, but it is a lot of paperwork for the teacher.

ETA: Can your friend's child wear ear defenders in the lunch room?
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