Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: LilacGirl1983 on December 04, 2013, 04:37:13 PM

Title: teachers email
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on December 04, 2013, 04:37:13 PM
Not sure if I am just cranky but something about this rubbed me the wrong way:

Parents:

I just wanted to let you all know (I told the kids that I would be sending an e-mail out) that unfortunately the kids did not get to have free play today.

Instead we had a good long heart to heart talk about respect and responsibility as an entire class.  I actually ran out of warning sticks, 1st time, this afternoon and I ended up erasing some gumballs on the gumball machine (which they work so hard for).

I am asking that you also have a good heart to heart talk with your kids over the next couple days about what a good student looks like and sounds like.

I know Winter Break is just weeks away, but we have a lot to get done by then.

Tomorrow is a new day and we will see how it goes.

Teacher


Thoughts?
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: LadyL on December 04, 2013, 04:43:41 PM
It sounds like the teacher is at the end of her rope, but she doesn't actually explain *why* or provide constructive advice to the parents. Is the issue too much roughhousing, or talking during class, or too much teasing/antagonizing behavior on the playground? I would want more information than just a suggestion to "talk to them about  being a good student." And I'd want to know if my kids was one of the ones causing problems or not.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: AustenFan on December 04, 2013, 04:45:17 PM
To a third party it just sounds like a teacher reaching out for help. Can you pinpoint what rubbed you the wrong way? Is there backstory that influences the way you're reacting?

If your child was one of the ones severely misbehaving you probably would have received an email with details about their behavior.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on December 04, 2013, 04:47:03 PM
It sounds to me like the class was misbehaving, and the teacher "punished" them and wanted to let the parents know what happened and also ask the parents to reinforce what she talked with them about at home.

As for mentioning winter break, well I think everyone gets a bit of "seniorites" when you're nearing a break. Teacher wants parents to reinforce to students that school is still going on and still important.

I'd assume the whole class was a bit...off and the teacher can't pinpoint a handful of students. I know when I was in school teachers would end up sending these notes home. Maybe nothing too serious, just late homework, goofing off in class, talking in class, everyone kind of being off task.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: EllenS on December 04, 2013, 04:47:48 PM
Age of the class? for kids up through maybe 7 years old it seems fairly normal to me. if they are older than that I worry that the teacher is using a management system that is too babyish for them.

My 1st grader's class has group goals and group incentives that they work for, like extra play periods, and will sometimes report that they won or lost their goal, so I don't have a problem with that per se.  I would hope that kids who specifically misbehaved are also corrected individually.

I do kind of wonder why the teacher bothered to send an email.  It kind of makes me wonder whether she is out of her depth managing the class, if she has to threaten them with telling their parents.

Is she a new teacher?  She sounds overwhelmed.

Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: aiki on December 04, 2013, 04:59:08 PM
The e-mail is a bit short on context. What sort of behavior gets a warning stick? What relevance do gumballs have? What were the kids actually doing that was disrespectful and irresponsible?

I think that it's fine for the teacher to ask for parental backup, but it's a bit difficult to do that when you don't know whether we're discussing talking without raising one's hand or running with scissors while pouring glue over the class pet. It would also be helpful if the teacher discussed their objectives and methods at an adult level, along with some useful the parents might want to try.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: AvidReader on December 04, 2013, 05:00:31 PM
If you are in the US, the kids just got back from the Thanksgiving holiday and many were no doubt exposed to the start of holiday mania here.

On the one hand, she put all the kids in the same boat.  Without a doubt, the number of instigators of the unacceptable behavior is small, but the teacher is making it clear that it is the responsibility of every student to comport themselves to meet her expectations.  From certain words, "warning stick" and "gumball machine," it would seem that these are very young children.  Let's face it, little ones are easily distracted, tough to settle down, and are at the point of learning impulse control. 

If she had gone into detail regarding the unacceptable behaviors, the children would have all been pointing fingers......after all, my child is a well-behaved angel and said it was (pick a few names) who were bad.  It could be that she sent personalized emails to the parents of the clearly guilty parties and the generalized email to the rest.   One kid may start something, but even the most well-behaved at that age can be inadvertantly drawn it to it. 

Sadly, it will be the responsible parents of the well-behaved children who will have the "talk," and the parents of the miscreants will just blow it off or start blaming everyone else. 

What I wouldn't do with my child if this were my situation, would be do a  "Sherlock Holmes" and conduct an inquiry of my child to try to nail down what happened.  It won't go anywhere.  I'd just have the talk as requested. 
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 04, 2013, 05:09:30 PM
I'm pretty ok with it. I think it gives parents an opportunity foe an open discussion with their kids without any preconceived ideas.

Mom: Tina, I read teachers note. It sounds like you guys had a tough day. What's happening in class?

And Tina can say she got in trouble for talking or say that Sara was picking on Jeremy and then Todd joined in.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Library Dragon on December 04, 2013, 05:16:49 PM
To a third party it just sounds like a teacher reaching out for help. Can you pinpoint what rubbed you the wrong way? Is there backstory that influences the way you're reacting?

If your child was one of the ones severely misbehaving you probably would have received an email with details about their behavior.

This.  It's not uncommon for a whole class to feed off each other's emotions and get really wound up.  The teacher is asking for a partnership with the parents and is hoping for a better day. 
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Mergatroyd on December 04, 2013, 05:18:51 PM
I'm pretty ok with it. I think it gives parents an opportunity foe an open discussion with their kids without any preconceived ideas.

Mom: Tina, I read teachers note. It sounds like you guys had a tough day. What's happening in class?

And Tina can say she got in trouble for talking or say that Sara was picking on Jeremy and then Todd joined in.
POD

Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Two Ravens on December 04, 2013, 05:21:50 PM
Did you talk to your child and find out what went on during school that day? Definitely sounds like there was a precipitating incident...
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: miranova on December 04, 2013, 05:23:00 PM
I don't see any issue with this email.  I'm assuming the OP has an issue with it, otherwise she wouldn't have posted it, but I just can't find it.  Is it perfect?  Maybe not, but is that the standard expected?  It can be very overwhelming to have a really bad day with a group of students.  She is letting you know why the students missed recess and asking for reinforcement.  Sounds reasonable to me.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Ceallach on December 04, 2013, 05:43:14 PM
I agree with those who say this email is lacking information.   The teacher is basically venting that she had to punish the kids, but not explaining what they were doing or giving anything specific to address.   It sounds as though the teacher is very stressed and overwhelmed.      Ending with "we will see how it goes".... well yeah, you're the teacher.   You will have good days and bad days and you need to deal with that.   

I don't think it's a very professional email at all, it seems to be more of a cry for help.   I'd be making a point of going in to speak with teacher to see what the issues are and if there is anything specific my kid was doing that I need to address.   
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Deetee on December 04, 2013, 05:55:22 PM
The only thing that annoy me is the fact that the teacher took away free play. Assuming free play is outdoor unstructured run around type play, I would be really annoyed that took away the one thing that works best to calm down an unruly class. My friends grade one class even does laps at the end of recess to help maintain order.

The rest of email makes it sound like this was a whole class problem. I don't think a kid needs to misbehave to  cause trouble. Laughing and egging on other kids can help this sort of ruckus. It sounds like a good time to talk about good classroom behaviour in a non-accusatory manner with your kid. Help out the teacher and encourage all kids to be helpful in maintaining an appropriate classroom tone.
 
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Mergatroyd on December 04, 2013, 06:00:32 PM
The only thing that annoy me is the fact that the teacher took away free play. Assuming free play is outdoor unstructured run around type play, I would be really annoyed that took away the one thing that works best to calm down an unruly class. My friends grade one class even does laps at the end of recess to help maintain order.

The rest of email makes it sound like this was a whole class problem. I don't think a kid needs to misbehave to  cause trouble. Laughing and egging on other kids can help this sort of ruckus. It sounds like a good time to talk about good classroom behaviour in a non-accusatory manner with your kid. Help out the teacher and encourage all kids to be helpful in maintaining an appropriate classroom tone.

Actually the OP should clarify that. When my kids were in Kindergarten "free play" was Separate and on top of recess and lunch (outdoor play times). It was like free time, where the kids could play at whatever centre they wanted to. I can absolutely see how a teacher could decide to use that time to have a class discussion about appropriate behaviour if they had been acting up.
Missing recess (outdoor play) is a rather different thing, as it implies something serious enough to convince the teacher to give up her own break to punish them. That, I would definitely be wanting to know more about.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Deetee on December 04, 2013, 06:11:30 PM
The only thing that annoy me is the fact that the teacher took away free play. Assuming free play is outdoor unstructured run around type play, I would be really annoyed that took away the one thing that works best to calm down an unruly class. My friends grade one class even does laps at the end of recess to help maintain order.

The rest of email makes it sound like this was a whole class problem. I don't think a kid needs to misbehave to  cause trouble. Laughing and egging on other kids can help this sort of ruckus. It sounds like a good time to talk about good classroom behaviour in a non-accusatory manner with your kid. Help out the teacher and encourage all kids to be helpful in maintaining an appropriate classroom tone.

Actually the OP should clarify that. When my kids were in Kindergarten "free play" was Separate and on top of recess and lunch (outdoor play times). It was like free time, where the kids could play at whatever centre they wanted to. I can absolutely see how a teacher could decide to use that time to have a class discussion about appropriate behaviour if they had been acting up.
Missing recess (outdoor play) is a rather different thing, as it implies something serious enough to convince the teacher to give up her own break to punish them. That, I would definitely be wanting to know more about.
True. I have a bee in my bonnet about the importance of recess and free running around time and how children learn better when they have been physically active.  So that is an important distinction.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: NyaChan on December 04, 2013, 06:15:18 PM
I don't see anything wrong with that letter other than the lack of examples - though I'm wondering if that is because she didn't want to give specific examples to avoid singling out people when really the class as a whole was misbehaving.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: jedikaiti on December 04, 2013, 06:20:51 PM
There's just not enough information... it could be anything from a couple of troublemakers acting up and other kids getting caught in the chaos, to the whole class having ants in their pants, to a teacher who wants a bunch of small children to sit still and be quiet all day. There is just no information about what happened, or even what was actually said. We know what she said she talked about, but nothing of the actual content. It's like she wants the parents to read her mind and talk to their kids about the same things she discussed, without giving them anything more than the vaguest of themes.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: YummyMummy66 on December 04, 2013, 06:35:37 PM
Having worked in schools as a special education adie, but worked with all students, it sounds like the kids are already having, "winter break itis".  Another words, they are crazy!  Personally, I would not have kept them in from recess to have the talk.  I would have had them doing specific activities to burst off some energy. 

Simon says, "Jumping Jacks", Simon says, run around the playground one time" Simon says, "hop on one foot", etc. 

There are ways to use up the kid's energy so that when they are in class, they are more ready to behave and concentrate.

I would have a talk with my child and let them know the consequences at home if they did not do what they were supposed to do in school.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: m2kbug on December 04, 2013, 06:48:21 PM
I see a teacher who is at her wits end.  Just after Thanksgiving and a 4 day break, winter break on it's way, I imagine the kids are getting antsy and ready for a break.  It would be nice if she stated specifically what the problem was, but I'm sure you can address this with your child today and have a little talk. 

My guess is that if your child was one of the bigger instigators, you will receive an additional note or phone call with the specifics; otherwise, you can expect that yours was a perfect angel or somewhat disruptive, but not so much it warranted any major discipline. 
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: *inviteseller on December 04, 2013, 07:08:27 PM
I would have no problem with this...the kids, as a class, are acting up and she has tried all the usual tricks without success so she had to take away the ultimate thing (recess) and talk to them about why they lost it.  She know is asking the parents for that reinforcement at home.  The only thing about the note is she didn't really say what the issues have been and asking young kids doesn't always guarantee a straight answer so maybe you can send her an email, thanking her for her note letting you know what is going on but can she clarify what your child specifically is doing so you can address it at home.

I have received those notes about the behavior on the school bus and I called the principal and asked what my DD was doing so I could talk to her about it further and take corrective action.  He actually thanked me for calling because he said out of 40 notes, I was the only parent who called and asked what my child did..the others called and said "not my child!"  :o :o >:(
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: kherbert05 on December 04, 2013, 07:29:45 PM
I'm wondering if free play is an in class reward time. The way my school day is structured we are NOT allowed to take away recess, except for bad weather. We are required to have so many minutes of exercise time a week - we make the amount by having 45 min of PE a week, and 30 min of recess a day.


My kids had 7 oh no points and 3 Oh YEA points today. So the whole class had 4 laps around the blacktop - but the kids on superstar* only had to do one. The kids on yellow had to do 3 more after the class was done. The kids on red had to do 5 more after the class was done, and the kid on note home had to do 10 more after the class was done (I let him go early because he accepted his consequences). The afternoon was much more in line. (Most of the Oh No points were from Yesterday afternoon they go from recess to recess)


My color/behavior chart goes


Superstar (Trying above and beyond)

Green (Everyone starts the day)
Yellow
Red
note home
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Julsie on December 04, 2013, 07:33:41 PM
She sounds a lot nicer than I might be feeling in that situation!   :P

Now, if she had said, "I have had it up to here with your kids!  Could you please talk to your special snowflakes about behaving like civilized children and not a bunch of monkeys??", I could see you being upset.  That would be unprofessional.

But my goodness, it sounds like the class got ants in their pants (it's understandable... it happens often this time of year) and the teacher wrote a nice note home asking for help reinforcing classroom behavior.  I'm not seeing the concern and I'm the sort of parent who normally would.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: MrsJWine on December 04, 2013, 07:39:07 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Teachers are most effective when they can work with parents. And I would want to know if my kid's class was misbehaving. From what I remember of elementary school, otherwise well-behaved kids can get caught up in the rowdy behavior on a particularly off day. I'm sure she's not expecting you to severely reprimand your child; she just knows that behavior is best when it's reinforced at home.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Tea Drinker on December 04, 2013, 07:45:30 PM
I think I would either take Hmmmmm's suggestion of asking my child how the day went, or email the teacher to ask what sort of behavior she wants reinforced, since there are a whole pile of things that add up to good classroom behavior. If the problem is the children are interrupting each other or the teacher, "remember to stay in your seat during lessons" would be a wasted reminder and at best would get "I do," and "It's important to listen when your teacher is talking" might not be taken as "and don't interrupt the other students."
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 04, 2013, 08:56:00 PM
I agree with those who say this email is lacking information.   The teacher is basically venting that she had to punish the kids, but not explaining what they were doing or giving anything specific to address.   It sounds as though the teacher is very stressed and overwhelmed.      Ending with "we will see how it goes".... well yeah, you're the teacher.   You will have good days and bad days and you need to deal with that.   

I don't think it's a very professional email at all, it seems to be more of a cry for help.   I'd be making a point of going in to speak with teacher to see what the issues are and if there is anything specific my kid was doing that I need to address.

I don't see it as venting. She needed to inform the parents about free play being taken away and why. Otherwise the kids would go home and vent and she would be responding to 20 notes tomorrow.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: johelenc1 on December 04, 2013, 09:44:02 PM
I think the email makes perfect sense.  She wanted to preemptively let the parents know the kids missed free play before they all went home and whined about it.

It sounds like it was a pretty bad day all the way around - probably even for the usually "good" kids.  I would suspect the parents knew exactly what the teacher meant by "warning sticks" and "gumballs" so the vagueness there wouldn't bother me.   I also think there was probably so much going on that trying to identify every behavior would have been too much. 
 
I think the email was appropriate and if I got an email like that I would certainly be asking some questions of my child to find out what went on that day and if she had any part in it.  And, I would definitely have the conversation about listening to the teacher and behavior, etc.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: sammycat on December 04, 2013, 11:21:08 PM
I think the email makes perfect sense.  She wanted to preemptively let the parents know the kids missed free play before they all went home and whined about it.

It sounds like it was a pretty bad day all the way around - probably even for the usually "good" kids.  I would suspect the parents knew exactly what the teacher meant by "warning sticks" and "gumballs" so the vagueness there wouldn't bother me.   I also think there was probably so much going on that trying to identify every behavior would have been too much. 
 
I think the email was appropriate and if I got an email like that I would certainly be asking some questions of my child to find out what went on that day and if she had any part in it.  And, I would definitely have the conversation about listening to the teacher and behavior, etc.

I agree with all johelenec said, particularly the bolded.

That said, I wasn't terribly impressed with the way the teacher, of all people, actually wrote the email. It doesn't seem structured properly.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: sweetonsno on December 05, 2013, 12:36:27 AM
I think the email makes perfect sense.  She wanted to preemptively let the parents know the kids missed free play before they all went home and whined about it.

It sounds like it was a pretty bad day all the way around - probably even for the usually "good" kids.  I would suspect the parents knew exactly what the teacher meant by "warning sticks" and "gumballs" so the vagueness there wouldn't bother me.   I also think there was probably so much going on that trying to identify every behavior would have been too much. 
 
I think the email was appropriate and if I got an email like that I would certainly be asking some questions of my child to find out what went on that day and if she had any part in it.  And, I would definitely have the conversation about listening to the teacher and behavior, etc.

I agree with all johelenec said, particularly the bolded.

That said, I wasn't terribly impressed with the way the teacher, of all people, actually wrote the email. It doesn't seem structured properly.

It is indeed most likely that she sent the email because she knew that kids would be talking/complaining to their parents. I agree that it wasn't structured very well, but I get the sense that she wanted to get the email out quickly. Either she anticipated that she'd get complaints and had to write it immediately after she dismissed the kids or she got several emails in quick succession and wanted to head off others. Either way, she wouldn't have had much time to compose.

I can see why the OP is a bit irked. The email is rather vague and it does deal with a blanket statement. I do think it's best to ask the kids what happened in this case. A vague, "So you didn't have free play today? What happened?" should prevent the automatic fear. Even good kids have bad days, and having a bad day (or ten) doesn't make them bad kids.

Even if it turns out that a child wasn't participating in the hijinks, this conversation can be a good opportunity to discuss being a positive influence. For instance, if kids near your son or daughter are passing notes or whispering, your child can ask them to wait until after class. Yeah, it can be tough for kids to do it, but there are ways.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: CakeEater on December 05, 2013, 12:50:41 AM
Sounds fine to me. I don't think she sounds out of her depth. She's after the support of the parents.

I remember one day actually tallying all the times I had to stop and correct a child's behaviour and who they were, with a particularly difficult class. The kids were bit shocked at the end of the day when I showed them how much time we'd wasted all day. And there were maybe 2 or 3 kids who didn't appear on my list at all.

I could have sent that email that day - didn't mean I was out of my depth - just that the kids were getting a bit ratty, and needed to be reined in again. Having parents reinforce that is a good thing.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Deetee on December 05, 2013, 01:22:46 AM
And i think it is a good thing when the teacher communicates with the parents. Especially when they are going kids will believe that parents actually know everything that goes on even when the parents are not present. So letting the kids know that you know about the tough day keeps that going.

Behavior is best reinforced by both the parent and teacher working together and responding appropriately.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: camlan on December 05, 2013, 06:14:23 AM
Every teacher I know says that the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break are tough--the kids know the big holiday is coming and they all get excited and act out a bit more. I believe Lilacgirl's daughter is quite young, around kindergarten or first grade.

I'm wondering if this teacher is fairly new and wasn't expecting this.

I can understand sending a note home when the entire class is acting up. But this note focuses on the consequences of the behavior--the sticks and the gumballs--and doesn't give a clue as to what behaviors led to these consequences.

For the parents to have a meaningful talk with their kids, they need to know what happened. Telling a young child, "You need to be more respectful in class," isn't going to do much. Telling a child, "You need to stay in your seat in class," "You should not yell in class," "You should not laugh at someone who is breaking the class rules," would be far more effective.

So sending an email to the parents seems like a good idea, but this note falls short in that it does not give the parents enough information to do what the teacher asks them to do.

And I have to wonder, if the teacher is having this much trouble with the class now, what will things be like in two weeks, when the kids will be *really* wound up?
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: CakeEater on December 05, 2013, 06:24:51 AM
Let's give her a break, though. It may not be a perfect email, but teachers are pretty busy people.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: newbiePA on December 05, 2013, 07:12:50 AM
Not a teacher, and I don't have children in school yet, but I wonder if the lack of specifics is due to privacy concerns?  I know at my little one's day care, they can share if there is a case of hand foot and mouth in the classroom, but cannot tell us what child.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: MorgnsGrl on December 05, 2013, 07:24:10 AM
I think it's great when teachers communicate what's going on in class to parents, especially when some kind of class-wide punishment is enacted - otherwise kids might go home and tell their parents that the "mean" teacher wouldn't let them have recess and it turns into a big mess. That said, I think in this instance the teacher's communication left a lot to be desired. She did not clearly spell out what the children's misbehavior was, which makes it very difficult for parents to address the behavior, and since that's what she was asking the parents to do... I think she's not going to get the support she was hoping for. "Suzy, Teacher says your class isn't behaving. Behave," is unlikely to produce any sort of results. Parents need to hear specifics, like, "The kids are talking too much and not paying attention," or whatever.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: *inviteseller on December 05, 2013, 07:52:51 AM
I think some posters are judging the teacher unfairly.  I don't care if you are a first year teacher or have been at it for 30 years, if the kids are all acting up, the teacher has to find a way to get things back on track.  I applaud this teacher for her finding a way that was both punishment but a learning experience.  My older DD had a teacher that would just lose.her.mind when the domino effect of behavior spread through the class...and she had a teacher that would sit them down as a group and talk to them, but also have them join in the discussion about what is/isn't proper behavior.  The screamer never sent notes to let us know what was going on, I just got tearful conversations with my child.  The teacher who did the discussion groups sent home a note and talked about her expectations and how we, as parents could reinforce them. 

OP, I think, as being new to the whole school thing with your child, you are sensitive to anything that may seem like criticism of your child, but remember, even the smartest and best behaved have bad days too.  Doesn't mean anything other than they are human and as long as you talk about it and remind them about good behavior and give them coping skills on how not to be caught up in the group mentality, you are doing fine.  Don't stress..she is little and is learning.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Mergatroyd on December 05, 2013, 09:08:51 AM
Every teacher I know says that the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break are tough--the kids know the big holiday is coming and they all get excited and act out a bit more. I believe Lilacgirl's daughter is quite young, around kindergarten or first grade.

I'm wondering if this teacher is fairly new and wasn't expecting this.

I can understand sending a note home when the entire class is acting up. But this note focuses on the consequences of the behavior--the sticks and the gumballs--and doesn't give a clue as to what behaviors led to these consequences.

For the parents to have a meaningful talk with their kids, they need to know what happened. Telling a young child, "You need to be more respectful in class," isn't going to do much. Telling a child, "You need to stay in your seat in class," "You should not yell in class," "You should not laugh at someone who is breaking the class rules," would be far more effective.

So sending an email to the parents seems like a good idea, but this note falls short in that it does not give the parents enough information to do what the teacher asks them to do.

And I have to wonder, if the teacher is having this much trouble with the class now, what will things be like in two weeks, when the kids will be *really* wound up?

It won't be. If it is kindergarten, about half the class won't even show up the last week. Some parents think the kids do nothing but make arts and crafts so they won't bother bringing them in, others will pull the kids out to travel, some will have the too-many-cookies flu, and yet others will decide that it's not christmassy to attend.
One year, only seven kids out of 24 were there on the last day.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: lady_disdain on December 05, 2013, 09:20:51 AM
Not a teacher, and I don't have children in school yet, but I wonder if the lack of specifics is due to privacy concerns?  I know at my little one's day care, they can share if there is a case of hand foot and mouth in the classroom, but cannot tell us what child.

Also, if the teacher is trying to send a note to parents quickly, before the kids start whining and complaining, she isn't going to have time to write 20 individual notes.

To me, it feels like one of those situations where everyone is jittery, excited and feeding off one another. Perhaps there isn't something specific for each kid but they are all contributing to the chaos. Talking to a child about good behaviour in class will do no harm.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: lady_disdain on December 05, 2013, 09:23:11 AM
I'm wondering if free play is an in class reward time. The way my school day is structured we are NOT allowed to take away recess, except for bad weather. We are required to have so many minutes of exercise time a week - we make the amount by having 45 min of PE a week, and 30 min of recess a day.


My kids had 7 oh no points and 3 Oh YEA points today. So the whole class had 4 laps around the blacktop - but the kids on superstar* only had to do one. The kids on yellow had to do 3 more after the class was done. The kids on red had to do 5 more after the class was done, and the kid on note home had to do 10 more after the class was done (I let him go early because he accepted his consequences). The afternoon was much more in line. (Most of the Oh No points were from Yesterday afternoon they go from recess to recess)


My color/behavior chart goes


Superstar (Trying above and beyond)

Green (Everyone starts the day)
Yellow
Red
note home

I really don't like the idea of associating exercise with punishment for young kids (older kids involved in athletics? sure!). I understand what you were doing (burn off energy) but it may create bad associations.

Said by someone who grew to hate exercise because of bad PE classes.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on December 05, 2013, 10:05:59 AM
Hi Here some answers. My daughter is in Kindergarten and we are at a 45/15 day schedule. So Starting the week of Christmas they are off for 3 weeks almost. They only had a 4 day vacation for Thanksgiving...the day of the day after Thanksgiving off. I asked my daughter what happened and she said she a couple of friends acted up but didnt provide many details. She is new and still feeling her way out. I don't know why it just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe the lack of examples or something. Just wanted to get others view to make sure I wasnt making a mountain out of a mole hill :) Not sure about if the free play is associated with recess or not will have to ask! Our daughter told us last night that the teacher told her that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and we are agnostic/atheist. So I am just going to call and inquire if that was taught to the children or whats going on.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Jones on December 05, 2013, 10:16:14 AM
I have a feeling the teacher is going to get a lot of requests for more information. I know that my daughter had a difficult time explaining details when things happened at school. Kids will latch onto a detail and blow it out of proportion while totally ignoring or forgetting quite a bit of necessary context. A few details (like, remind your children to raise their hands instead of shouting answers) would not have lengthened the email much and would save her having to answer the inevitable individual inquiries.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: EllenS on December 05, 2013, 10:25:58 AM
Our daughter told us last night that the teacher told her that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and we are agnostic/atheist. So I am just going to call and inquire if that was taught to the children or whats going on.

Well, that IS the history of the holiday called "Christmas".  I mean, Solstice holidays are older but it is where the word comes from.  That may just have been factually accurate information.  Our kids in public school sometimes have lessons on various cultural/historical holidays, including Hannukah, Passover, Christmas, Eid, Thanksgiving, and probably Diwali, as we have a very multicultural student base.

I think if you have concerns, asking for clarification from the teacher is the right thing to do.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on December 05, 2013, 10:28:28 AM
I have a feeling the teacher is going to get a lot of requests for more information. I know that my daughter had a difficult time explaining details when things happened at school. Kids will latch onto a detail and blow it out of proportion while totally ignoring or forgetting quite a bit of necessary context. A few details (like, remind your children to raise their hands instead of shouting answers) would not have lengthened the email much and would save her having to answer the inevitable individual inquiries.

I had a thought about this this morning. Now it was before coffee, so it might be totally off the wall crazy. But I wonder if her vagueness was to see which parents responded back with more questions. Kind of way to find out which parents are going to be involved and care and which parents are going to take the "I send them to you to teach, you teach them!" method of parenting.

I know, vaguely conspiracy theory, and again pre-coffee.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: mbbored on December 05, 2013, 10:30:17 AM
I don't think there's anything terribly wrong with that email. If I had a child and received a message like that, we'd have a conversation about using inside voices, waiting your turn, listening to the teacher, etc; just generally about how one behaves at school.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Roe on December 05, 2013, 02:43:49 PM
I agree with those who say this email is lacking information.   The teacher is basically venting that she had to punish the kids, but not explaining what they were doing or giving anything specific to address.   It sounds as though the teacher is very stressed and overwhelmed.      Ending with "we will see how it goes".... well yeah, you're the teacher.   You will have good days and bad days and you need to deal with that.   

I don't think it's a very professional email at all, it seems to be more of a cry for help.   I'd be making a point of going in to speak with teacher to see what the issues are and if there is anything specific my kid was doing that I need to address.

This is how I see the email.  And the line  "let's see how it goes" would irk me.  After all, she's the teacher.  Classroom management?
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 05, 2013, 04:05:57 PM
The email doesn't bother me too much. I do wish it had had a bit more constructive information in it, like five brief points of good classroom behavior that the children as a whole seem to be lacking, so I could reinforce those specifically with my hypothetical child.

To my mind it's more about keeping the lines of communication open, and as others said probably fired off very quickly after school in an attempt to reach parents before their children's version did. Basically you have the kid saying, "We all got in trouble today!" and you just don't know how serious it was--but then you see the teacher's note and you're like, "Okay, I guess it WAS kind of serious." Then you can question your child down more, or respond to the teacher to ask for more details. And certainly some parents will completely ignore it, or send the teacher a rude note back. ::)
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Iris on December 05, 2013, 04:26:53 PM
The only thing I would do differently with the email is that I would give the parents a focus. "We were discussing the importance of taking turns/working quietly/sharing/whatever" to give a discussion starter.

In general though it seems that the teacher has tried to take an "off day" and turn it into a learning exercise AND involved parents in the classroom process. Both of those seem really good, positive things to me. I regularly communicate with parents if there is an academic or behavioural issue with a child and I've only ever had one ask me not to. Most seem to appreciate it.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: m2kbug on December 05, 2013, 07:17:50 PM
I have a feeling the teacher is going to get a lot of requests for more information. I know that my daughter had a difficult time explaining details when things happened at school. Kids will latch onto a detail and blow it out of proportion while totally ignoring or forgetting quite a bit of necessary context. A few details (like, remind your children to raise their hands instead of shouting answers) would not have lengthened the email much and would save her having to answer the inevitable individual inquiries.

I had a thought about this this morning. Now it was before coffee, so it might be totally off the wall crazy. But I wonder if her vagueness was to see which parents responded back with more questions. Kind of way to find out which parents are going to be involved and care and which parents are going to take the "I send them to you to teach, you teach them!" method of parenting.

I know, vaguely conspiracy theory, and again pre-coffee.

Uh, for real??  What a passive-aggressive way to pass judgement.  I guess add me to the "bad mommy list."  :-\  Seriously, if I received a note like this, with it being so vague, the only thing I would do is ask my child what in the world happened today and try vet out their involvement, and at the very least, cover classroom behavior.  If my child's behavior was that bad, I would expect a note to come home in the backpack or some personal communication; otherwise, I'm mostly likely going to chalk it up to a rowdy room and reinforce the rules.

I'm floored that this would be a way for a teacher to see who would be a more involved parent.  And you know, conspiracy theory or not, I'll bet it does happen! :o  (Not that I think that is the case here)
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: citadelle on December 05, 2013, 07:26:16 PM
I have a feeling the teacher is going to get a lot of requests for more information. I know that my daughter had a difficult time explaining details when things happened at school. Kids will latch onto a detail and blow it out of proportion while totally ignoring or forgetting quite a bit of necessary context. A few details (like, remind your children to raise their hands instead of shouting answers) would not have lengthened the email much and would save her having to answer the inevitable individual inquiries.

I had a thought about this this morning. Now it was before coffee, so it might be totally off the wall crazy. But I wonder if her vagueness was to see which parents responded back with more questions. Kind of way to find out which parents are going to be involved and care and which parents are going to take the "I send them to you to teach, you teach them!" method of parenting.

I know, vaguely conspiracy theory, and again pre-coffee.

Uh, for real??  What a passive-aggressive way to pass judgement.  I guess add me to the "bad mommy list."  :-\  Seriously, if I received a note like this, with it being so vague, the only thing I would do is ask my child what in the world happened today and try vet out their involvement, and at the very least, cover classroom behavior.  If my child's behavior was that bad, I would expect a note to come home in the backpack or some personal communication; otherwise, I'm mostly likely going to chalk it up to a rowdy room and reinforce the rules.

I'm floored that this would be a way for a teacher to see who would be a more involved parent.  And you know, conspiracy theory or not, I'll bet it does happen! :o  (Not that I think that is the case here)

I disagree. I think teachers are usually too busy for these kinds if games and would rather work with parents than try to set some kind if trap for them. I think this is really reaching for a way to blame a teacher for something.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Take2 on December 05, 2013, 07:43:48 PM
I have a child in Kindergarten and one in 2nd grade, and I wouldn't be shocked or unhappy to see such an e-mail. I love that my kids' teachers stay in contact, I would appreciate a heads up so when my kid comes home saying the mean teacher punished the whole class, I am prepared to discuss and not blindsided. The e-mail would give me a better opportunity to model that adults at home and school are on the same page about acceptable behavior.

But I also don't understand getting upset because a teacher said that a holiday Christmas celebrates Jesus. Whether or not one chooses to celebrate this holiday, that is precisely its intent and even the meaning of the word. What should she say? My kids have learned about Kwaanzaa and Hannukah in school, which we don't celebrate, but I am glad they are learning about them. If the teacher made a value judgement about Jesus or Christmas, that would be uncool.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: bopper on December 05, 2013, 10:01:04 PM
I would use this to start a conversation with my child about what happened (or what they perceived happened).
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: kareng57 on December 05, 2013, 10:28:54 PM
I have a feeling the teacher is going to get a lot of requests for more information. I know that my daughter had a difficult time explaining details when things happened at school. Kids will latch onto a detail and blow it out of proportion while totally ignoring or forgetting quite a bit of necessary context. A few details (like, remind your children to raise their hands instead of shouting answers) would not have lengthened the email much and would save her having to answer the inevitable individual inquiries.

I had a thought about this this morning. Now it was before coffee, so it might be totally off the wall crazy. But I wonder if her vagueness was to see which parents responded back with more questions. Kind of way to find out which parents are going to be involved and care and which parents are going to take the "I send them to you to teach, you teach them!" method of parenting.

I know, vaguely conspiracy theory, and again pre-coffee.

Uh, for real??  What a passive-aggressive way to pass judgement.  I guess add me to the "bad mommy list."  :-\  Seriously, if I received a note like this, with it being so vague, the only thing I would do is ask my child what in the world happened today and try vet out their involvement, and at the very least, cover classroom behavior.  If my child's behavior was that bad, I would expect a note to come home in the backpack or some personal communication; otherwise, I'm mostly likely going to chalk it up to a rowdy room and reinforce the rules.

I'm floored that this would be a way for a teacher to see who would be a more involved parent.  And you know, conspiracy theory or not, I'll bet it does happen! :o  (Not that I think that is the case here)


I too find that theory to be pretty outrageous.

I wouldn't have put much stock into it - figuring it was just a heads-up if my daughter/son mentioned that there was no free-play time that day.  Teacher was mentioning that there was an overall discipline issue and it was talked about in class, and perhaps parents could help reinforce it.

If Teacher was figuring that my son/daughter was a major instigator, then I would figure that he/she would be contacting me separately about it.  Naturally Teacher would not be sending a general email such as "Tommy and Tina got into a fight, then Benny and Barbara got involved and it escalated from there..."



Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: CakeEater on December 06, 2013, 04:32:37 AM
I have a feeling the teacher is going to get a lot of requests for more information. I know that my daughter had a difficult time explaining details when things happened at school. Kids will latch onto a detail and blow it out of proportion while totally ignoring or forgetting quite a bit of necessary context. A few details (like, remind your children to raise their hands instead of shouting answers) would not have lengthened the email much and would save her having to answer the inevitable individual inquiries.

I had a thought about this this morning. Now it was before coffee, so it might be totally off the wall crazy. But I wonder if her vagueness was to see which parents responded back with more questions. Kind of way to find out which parents are going to be involved and care and which parents are going to take the "I send them to you to teach, you teach them!" method of parenting.

I know, vaguely conspiracy theory, and again pre-coffee.

Uh, for real??  What a passive-aggressive way to pass judgement.  I guess add me to the "bad mommy list."  :-\  Seriously, if I received a note like this, with it being so vague, the only thing I would do is ask my child what in the world happened today and try vet out their involvement, and at the very least, cover classroom behavior.  If my child's behavior was that bad, I would expect a note to come home in the backpack or some personal communication; otherwise, I'm mostly likely going to chalk it up to a rowdy room and reinforce the rules.

I'm floored that this would be a way for a teacher to see who would be a more involved parent.  And you know, conspiracy theory or not, I'll bet it does happen! :o  (Not that I think that is the case here)

I disagree. I think teachers are usually too busy for these kinds if games and would rather work with parents than try to set some kind if trap for them. I think this is really reaching for a way to blame a teacher for something.

Yes, I think that's a completely outrageous suggestion. Let's just go with the simplest theory until proven otherwise, which is that the teacher wanted to send some general information to the parents, which is, "The kids are getting a bit antsy. Please speak to your child about being respectful."

Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Eeep! on December 06, 2013, 11:52:50 PM
I would be annoyed by the lack of guidance to me - as a mom - of what the teacher means by "good student". There can be so many different behaviors that the teacher could be taking about. While I would love to reinforce the teacher's discussion,  I would feel a bit at a loss as to how to do so.

All that said, It's that closing sentence that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It sounds so whiney and...defeatist or something.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Library Dragon on December 06, 2013, 11:58:58 PM
This is December.  Classroom rules were established months ago, so the expectations have been established.  I speculate that all classroom parents were informed of those rules at the beginning of he school year.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: artk2002 on December 07, 2013, 11:57:14 AM
I have no problem with this note at all. I would do exactly as the teacher asked, open a dialog with my child about expected behavior in the classroom, probably with a bit about being a leader/good example as well. I don't need every gory detail or specific guidance from the teacher -- this teacher gave plenty of guidance. S/he wasn't asking the parents to provide discipline at home for something at school (which would require more detail), but was asking for some general support from home. This is something every parent should be ready to provide.

I certainly don't think that this is a teacher who's lost control of the classroom. As others have speculated, kids coming back from an extended weekend and heading towards the December holidays are going to be more difficult to control, and one kid can quickly set the others off before the teacher has a chance to intervene. Taking away free play (note, not recess, as I'm sure the teacher knows the difference) is the equivalent of putting the whole classroom on time out. Somewhat drastic but if you can't sort out the instigators from the followers, it makes some sense.

The fact that classroom expectations were probably discussed at the beginning of the term isn't really relevant. We're talking about 5yo kids and they need constant reinforcement. This is the short-attention-span-theater crowd. That reinforcement comes in the classroom but needs to come from home as well. You can discuss classroom behavior with middle schoolers at the beginning of the year and not have to do much to reinforce, but for little kids, it takes more work.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: artk2002 on December 07, 2013, 12:04:33 PM
I would be annoyed by the lack of guidance to me - as a mom - of what the teacher means by "good student". There can be so many different behaviors that the teacher could be taking about. While I would love to reinforce the teacher's discussion,  I would feel a bit at a loss as to how to do so.

ll that said, It's that closing sentence that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It sounds so whiney and...defeatist or something.

I have to ask, really? You don't have any idea what "good student" behavior might be without specific guidance from the teacher? I don't think I've seen a set of classroom expectations that varied much from "Don't talk out of turn" "Share" "Listen when someone is talking" "Follow directions". There may be a few items that are specific to this teacher and classroom, like "Don't take gumballs from the gumball machine without the teacher's permission," but in general, basic good behavior should be pretty clear.

The way to address this with a child is to start with: "I got a note from your teacher that things didn't go well in school today. Can you tell me what happened?" Depending on that, (after sorting out the "It wasn't me" and "Teacher took away free play" that may show up), discuss the particular problems. "How can you help the teacher to make things better in the classroom?" is the next step.

I certainly didn't find the last line whiny or defeatist at all. It's hopeful. It shows that the teacher wants to make sure that this was an isolated incident and not the way the class is going to be in the future.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: TootsNYC on December 07, 2013, 01:08:34 PM
I actually saw the last line as hopeful--that she's perfectly willing to let bygones be bygones (one of my most important discipline tactics as a parent, actually--tomorrow we won't still be berating you for today's screw-up).

Of course, it also has a note of "let's not let this keep on this way." Fine as well.

I would wish for more guidance in the form of "getting loud at X time" or "lots of chatter when I'm trying to teach," but in the absence of that, I'm going to assume it was a general onslaught of general "talking out of turn" / "being too loud" / "not paying attention" / "laughing at the class clown's jokes too loudly and too long" and deal with it that way.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Library Dragon on December 08, 2013, 01:45:48 AM
I have no problem with this note at all. I would do exactly as the teacher asked, open a dialog with my child about expected behavior in the classroom, probably with a bit about being a leader/good example as well. I don't need every gory detail or specific guidance from the teacher -- this teacher gave plenty of guidance. S/he wasn't asking the parents to provide discipline at home for something at school (which would require more detail), but was asking for some general support from home. This is something every parent should be ready to provide.

I certainly don't think that this is a teacher who's lost control of the classroom. As others have speculated, kids coming back from an extended weekend and heading towards the December holidays are going to be more difficult to control, and one kid can quickly set the others off before the teacher has a chance to intervene. Taking away free play (note, not recess, as I'm sure the teacher knows the difference) is the equivalent of putting the whole classroom on time out. Somewhat drastic but if you can't sort out the instigators from the followers, it makes some sense.

The fact that classroom expectations were probably discussed at the beginning of the term isn't really relevant. We're talking about 5yo kids and they need constant reinforcement. This is the short-attention-span-theater crowd. That reinforcement comes in the classroom but needs to come from home as well. You can discuss classroom behavior with middle schoolers at the beginning of the year and not have to do much to reinforce, but for little kids, it takes more work.

Per the bolded--I think it's relevant if the teacher is criticized for not communicating in the email the classroom expectations. The parents were told and should be able to recall them. 
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: spaceheatersusan on December 08, 2013, 02:42:38 AM
Our daughter told us last night that the teacher told her that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and we are agnostic/atheist. So I am just going to call and inquire if that was taught to the children or whats going on.

Well, that IS the history of the holiday called "Christmas".  I mean, Solstice holidays are older but it is where the word comes from. 

Yeah, Christmas is a religious holiday.  I mean, it's called CHRISTmas.  Her explanation doesn't bother me at all, and I'm an atheist.  And I celebrate secular Christmas.  If we're going to appropriate the holiday of a religion that we don't practice, we can at least respect the beliefs behind it. 
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: CakeEater on December 08, 2013, 02:53:21 AM
Our daughter told us last night that the teacher told her that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and we are agnostic/atheist. So I am just going to call and inquire if that was taught to the children or whats going on.

Well, that IS the history of the holiday called "Christmas".  I mean, Solstice holidays are older but it is where the word comes from. 

Yeah, Christmas is a religious holiday.  I mean, it's called CHRISTmas.  Her explanation doesn't bother me at all, and I'm an atheist.  And I celebrate secular Christmas.  If we're going to appropriate the holiday of a religion that we don't practice, we can at least respect the beliefs behind it.

Well said!
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: jedikaiti on December 09, 2013, 03:18:07 AM
Our daughter told us last night that the teacher told her that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and we are agnostic/atheist. So I am just going to call and inquire if that was taught to the children or whats going on.

Well, that IS the history of the holiday called "Christmas".  I mean, Solstice holidays are older but it is where the word comes from. 

Yeah, Christmas is a religious holiday.  I mean, it's called CHRISTmas.  Her explanation doesn't bother me at all, and I'm an atheist.  And I celebrate secular Christmas.  If we're going to appropriate the holiday of a religion that we don't practice, we can at least respect the beliefs behind it.

Well said!

Yea, but is the teacher also teaching about other religious holidays as well? Or just how to celebrate what is (presumably) hers? Or is this a religious school and I just missed it.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Sharnita on December 09, 2013, 04:15:44 AM
She could be responding to a specific question or comment from a student.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: TootsNYC on December 09, 2013, 09:31:24 AM


Yea, but is the teacher also teaching about other religious holidays as well? Or just how to celebrate what is (presumably) hers? Or is this a religious school and I just missed it.

I wouldn't presume that, actually.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: workerbee on December 09, 2013, 02:22:24 PM
I think the teacher's note is fine. I would appreciate a communication like this, and I would simply use it to start a conversation with my child. It wouldn't bother me a bit.

From the teacher's perspective, giving parents a heads-up like this could preempt calls from concerned parents whose children came home with a story about how "the mean old teacher took away free play for NO good reason!"
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: jedikaiti on December 09, 2013, 02:31:14 PM


Yea, but is the teacher also teaching about other religious holidays as well? Or just how to celebrate what is (presumably) hers? Or is this a religious school and I just missed it.

I wouldn't presume that, actually.

Fair enough, but my point stands - is she teaching other major religious holidays (like Ramadan or Chanukkah), or just this one? If it's happening in a "OK, some people are Christians and here's why they have Christmas" then that's fine, it's educational. Better if she touches on some of the other biggies as well. But if it's proseltyzing in a non-religious school, I have a problem with that.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Take2 on December 09, 2013, 02:42:49 PM
Our daughter told us last night that the teacher told her that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and we are agnostic/atheist. So I am just going to call and inquire if that was taught to the children or whats going on.

Well, that IS the history of the holiday called "Christmas".  I mean, Solstice holidays are older but it is where the word comes from. 

Yeah, Christmas is a religious holiday.  I mean, it's called CHRISTmas.  Her explanation doesn't bother me at all, and I'm an atheist.  And I celebrate secular Christmas.  If we're going to appropriate the holiday of a religion that we don't practice, we can at least respect the beliefs behind it.

Well said!

Yea, but is the teacher also teaching about other religious holidays as well? Or just how to celebrate what is (presumably) hers? Or is this a religious school and I just missed it.

I don't think it matters. If a teacher teaches my child a factual piece of information, I will not be upset with the teacher for teaching that one thing. The OP did not say she was upset because the teacher DIDN'T teach some other facts, but specifically because she did teach that one fact. I would be upset if my kid's teacher said Jesus is the Messiah who saved us from our sins and His believers to go to heaven. But that Christmas is a holiday when believers celebrate the birth of Jesus is not a religious belief or a disputed fact.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: sweetonsno on December 09, 2013, 02:49:41 PM


Yea, but is the teacher also teaching about other religious holidays as well? Or just how to celebrate what is (presumably) hers? Or is this a religious school and I just missed it.

I wouldn't presume that, actually.

Fair enough, but my point stands - is she teaching other major religious holidays (like Ramadan or Chanukkah), or just this one? If it's happening in a "OK, some people are Christians and here's why they have Christmas" then that's fine, it's educational. Better if she touches on some of the other biggies as well. But if it's proseltyzing in a non-religious school, I have a problem with that.

"Christmas is a holiday that celebrates Jesus" isn't proselytizing. It's like "July 4th is a holiday celebrating American independence" or "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a holiday celebrating Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr."

I could see objecting if the teacher added "our Lord and Savior" to "Jesus," but it sounds like a pretty neutral definition to me. I'm agnostic and her explanation is pretty close to how I'd explain it. I might add that it's observed by Christians or that it's a celebration of Jesus' birthday, but no biggie.

I think it's important that kids learn about different cultures. Think of how much more well-rounded kids and tolerant kids might be if they learned a bit more about some of these things. I wish I'd learned about living faiths in school, but I had to wait until college.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: *inviteseller on December 09, 2013, 07:01:49 PM
My DD's always had teachers who taught them about all the winter celebrations (older DD did have a Jewish boy in her first grade class whose parents were great about coming in with special foods and stories).  If hearing about religion based facts in the course of their education is problematic for your own personal beliefs, OP, you may need to either home school or at the beginning of each school year write a letter to each teacher that your child is to be excused from any class if this topic is to be discussed.  I agree that preaching personal beliefs is wrong (and we did have a teacher who made some comments about Halloween that I had to call her about to clarify and tell her why I felt she went over the line) but learning about religions and beliefs are part of history and social studies.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 09, 2013, 09:20:52 PM
Santa Claus brings presents on Christmas. saint Nicholas. A saint in a Christian faith. Christmas may be seen as a secular holiday by many, but the Christmas comes from christianity.
Now you can always celebrate Divali, or Chanukah, or even Kwanzaa too,.those are all celebrations associated with light and gift giving and thankfulness.  the class could have been learning about those cultural festivals.
just because you have chosen to be agnostic does not mean your child will choose that.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Deetee on December 10, 2013, 12:24:24 PM
Santa Claus brings presents on Christmas. saint Nicholas. A saint in a Christian faith. Christmas may be seen as a secular holiday by many, but the Christmas comes from christianity.
Now you can always celebrate Divali, or Chanukah, or even Kwanzaa too,.those are all celebrations associated with light and gift giving and thankfulness.  the class could have been learning about those cultural festivals.
just because you have chosen to be agnostic does not mean your child will choose that.

I think this and some of the previous posts are getting a bit too close to debating the origins of the winter festival that sometimes goes by the name Christmas. It's an interesting one, but I would suggest it doesn't belong on this board which bans political and religious debates.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 10, 2013, 01:11:33 PM
I think this and some of the previous posts are getting a bit too close to debating the origins of the winter festival that sometimes goes by the name Christmas. It's an interesting one, but I would suggest it doesn't belong on this board which bans political and religious debates.

you have a very good point Deetee, thanks for a good reminder.
I do find history of holiday traditions fascinating, its easy to get sidetracked.
I hope the op can communicate directly with the teacher and clarify things.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: Deetee on December 10, 2013, 01:23:37 PM
I think this and some of the previous posts are getting a bit too close to debating the origins of the winter festival that sometimes goes by the name Christmas. It's an interesting one, but I would suggest it doesn't belong on this board which bans political and religious debates.

you have a very good point Deetee, thanks for a good reminder.
I do find history of holiday traditions fascinating, its easy to get sidetracked.
I hope the op can communicate directly with the teacher and clarify things.

Thanks for taking my reminder so well. I do love a good political or religious debate or discussion but I also understand why this board bans them outright to focus only on etiquette.
Title: Re: teachers email
Post by: laughtermed on December 10, 2013, 08:37:37 PM
Years ago my son was in day care.  The parents received notes saying that the children were being unruly and misbehaving and asked for the parents' cooperation to restore order. This note was sent out the week after Halloween-the week before, the week during, and the week after, the kids were eating lots of candy at school. Some parents even brought candy their kids got at parties or trick or treating to get it out of their house! I complained to the director and said I knew candy made my child hyper, and that as child development specialists training at the university, they should have know better. When the candy stopped, the kids calmed down.