Friday, June 13, 2008

Haiku Friday, And a Whole Long Story To Go With It

Teacher spoke gruffly
I didn't like it at all
Had to go tell her.

I believe children should be spoken to with the same respect you would give an adult.

That doesn't necessarily mean children have to be treated the same way as an adult, after all, sometimes as the grown-ups we know what's best, but they deserve to know what's going on, as much as possible. Especially because they don't always understand the situation, or don't have any control over it, I believe they deserve a little extra care.

Especially kids who are highly intelligent, as they are actually thinking about what is going on and likely want to know why whatever is happening, is happening.

I think the teachers and everyone at DuckyBoy's school, at least all the people he's interacted with over the past school year, are like this most of the time. Which is why I was taken aback this morning when one of the adults he interacts with was very abrupt with him. "Harsh" is too harsh a word, so "gruff" comes to mind.

I, meek and mild I, actually went and spoke to her about it before I left the building. That's how upset I was. She apologized to me, but what I really hope is she conveys that to him as well. Everyone gets distracted, everyone jumps to a conclusion once in a while, and I am as sick of his whining as anyone on earth. But she knows transitions are one of his issues, and to help him with them. Which should include speaking to him politely, when in this case she was about as not-nice as you could get (and have this type of job at all). Just my opinion, of course.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this same person be tough with him, and I knew in the situation why she did so, but at that time I felt she was a bit mean about it as well. I chalked it up to overprotective mom syndrome, ya know? Now this.

The teachers have been telling me for a couple of weeks that DuckyBoy has been being physically aggressive, which he hasn't been since early on in the school year.

"Using his body to communicate," was how they put it, which was a helpful way of phrasing it for me since he doesn't hit or kick or push me at home, but he does hug me too hard, push against me, and otherwise, well, use his body to communicate. So I've been able to call him on it and hopefully help change the behavior all around.

One of the teachers felt maybe the regression was due to the newly introduced topics of summer session, and first grade, which both spell c-h-a-n-g-e which spells s-t-r-e-s-s and a-n-x-i-e-t-y for DB.

Then what happened this morning, coupled with the way I felt about their interaction a few weeks ago, made me wonder if that relationship is in fact contributing to the problem as well. (Certainly not the only source of the problem, I'm sure anxiety plays a part, and probably the whole lack-of-a-disciplined-home-environment for an indulged-only-child issue does as well. I want to be very clear in case anyone from the school ever finds this blog.)

It can't be making him feel good about himself to be treated that way. It was very much a "You're wrong, now shut up and deal with it" attitude.

Of course, that's just how it made ME feel. I don't really know how it makes DB feel. But I don't know that he knows, either, so my guess is as good as anybody's. Actually, mine counts for a lot, I must remind myself, since I know him very well.

The other thing is that it makes a little voice pipe up in the back of my mind and whisper, "How about homeschooling?" Hmmm, I typed "choice" instead of "voice" in that paragraph. Interesting.

Anyway I wonder whether the school environment, any school environment, is really the right place for DuckyBoy to thrive. I want to him to be able to function in society, but I don't want to make him someone who tolerates situations that are not good for him simply because he's been forced to learn to do so.

Anybody else have any thoughts on this?


Sara said...

I've had a few people raise the possibility of homeschooling with me. I'm not going to, because a) the Firecracker likes other kids, b) the Firecracker needs to get along with other kids, and c) I WOULD GO INSANE. We're lucky, though -- anxiety isn't too big of a part of the Firecracker's specialness. I know school is just too stressful for some little guys and gals. (Mostly guys. I wonder why.)

janny226 said...

DuckyBoy needs other kids, too, but maybe not so much forced interaction. I know being in school this year has helped be better equipped to do it on his own. I also ponder something like a 4-day-week for him, which I'm sure would make all the traditional educators in his life want to rip their hair out. But if it works for him, don't I have the right to ask them to be accommodating?

maggie's mind said...

I have no answers, but I do agree that both students and teachers deserve respect, not just one way or the other, and when that doesn't happen, nobody wins, and the student doesn't learn as much.