So I just picked up my son from school.
His teacher, who I think is incredible, just chewed him out in front of the entire class for playing during gym class.
Now, she wasn’t there, but the gym teacher reported to her and she felt it necessary to report to me.
I appreciate being notified about my son’s behavior because I would have asked if she didn’t offer the information up anyway. I always ask. Teachers do a lot in a day and sometimes they’ll forget to mention things in the chaos of dismissal. But she made it a point to give me that information. Fine. What I DON’T like is that she did it very loudly in front of the entire class.
I’m not a proponent of embarrassing kids. I do not think it is an effective tool for illiciting change in behavior. Naturally there have been times when I had to correct a child’s behavior in a classroom setting, but I’ve never had a private conversation about a specific child with their parent while the entire class looks on, and I take crying very seriously- so I would definitely lower my voice after that at the very least.
Hari interjected to defend himself and clarify- as I taught him- (my friend threw something and I went to get it!) but the teacher wasn’t having it. When he began to cry she softened up by saying kids will be kids, but Hari has to follow directions- which I agree with. (The class was being instructed to line up when Hari and his friend ran and dived for whatever item his friend threw.)
Because I know my child I know damn well he was not aimlessly rolling around on the floor with his friend for no reason. He went to pick something up. No problem. He got in trouble because it’s not what he was supposed to be doing at the moment. No problem. But the fact teachers often
1. Overreact, and
2. Back one another up with no proof or context
Can be very problematic.
I’m sure Johari got off line and raced his friend to pick up the bracelet he threw.
But by the time the story got to me Hari had been ‘flipping and rolling’ with another student .
No one flips and rolls on gym floors. That shit would hurt.
Hari was scared. As we walked home I assured him he was not in trouble with me. The public tongue lashing from a usually very loving teacher was enough for one day. I asked if his gym teacher had said anything to him after the incident. He said no. That bothered me.
When my students are in trouble with me I make them fully aware of their transgression even if it is small and when I plan to get a parent involved I make that clear as well. That’s an important boundary not to cross without giving a child a heads up.
What if I was one of those parents who only ever believes the teacher and beats my kid for every little thing?
What if he’s been doing really great behavior wise as of late and now I’m made to believe he’s out of control in gym class just because the teacher had a bad day and blew a small incident out of proportion?
I explained to Hari this is probably the case as his gym teacher loves him to pieces. All the teachers do. He’s the bomb diggity. He also talks excessively and can have trouble following directions. I acknowledge this and work with him at home to improve in the areas he could work on.
What I won’t do is throw him under the bus unnecessarily or intentionally embarrass him/ get him in trouble.
As his mother when I feel like I’ve overdone it I apologize. And I pushed him out. It’s important that adults whose life’s work it is to educate/ care for children never forget that kids have circumstances you know nothing about. Just like adults. Had I been another mother this situation might have turned out very differently for Johari.
Also, we often punish a child multiple times for the same infraction. Teachers screams on them. Mom picks them up, gets the story and then screams on them. Then dad gets home from work and you tell him the story so they can get at the kid. Then you call grandma and let her get in on the action. Why? Once is enough.
But I will say this. I’m so proud of my kid. THIS is the kind of shit he gets in trouble for lol. I’ve had students so off the rails I would purposely NOT call the parents sometimes because I felt like they needed a break from bad news about their child.
So I’m thankful. Just making observations.
So I just picked up my son from school.