Author Topic: Politely asking a teacher about discipline--Update #29  (Read 9065 times)

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Knitterly

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2012, 11:26:00 AM »
I would say "Mrs. Lastname" until you're invited to call her by her first name.  :)

Hmmmmm

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2012, 11:40:14 AM »
Please don't wait until the teacher has contacted you. 

Send a note or email the teacher.  Everyone has given good advice on wording.  A simple "Ms Teacher, do you have time to meet this week to discuss DD's class behavior?  I understand she is causing class disruption and I'd like input from you on what I can do at home to help. I want to make sure she is following your class rules."

The teacher will love you for wanting to participate, not trying to blame her for disclipling your darling DD, and looking for ways to help out the other kids.

This is not helicopter parenting.  A helicopter parent would be insisting on monitoring the clasroom for the next week to evaluate the teachers ability to control her classroom and then provide her with a written anlysis of how to better engage your darling DD so that she doesn't disrupt the class.  (Yes, there was a mom in my DD's 1st grade who did this.  And her solution was that the teacher should make her darling DD the teacher helper at all times.  Because when another student was selected to help pass out supplies her darling DD felt ignored and would act out to get attention.  So in her mind the best solution for all was for her darling DD to be the only teacher helper.  My DD still stays in Facebook contact with this girl who is now a 17 year old SS just like her mom.) 

Take2

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2012, 12:10:56 PM »
I would address the teacher however she has the kids address her. If she wants a different form of address, she can let you know, but that is a good default. I would include the information that your daughter hasn't had behavior issues in the past and that she is taking this seriously, since both are true and may positively impact how the teacher feels about Jean.

Hi Miss Smith,

Jean has told me tearfully that she's received a red card twice since school started. We have talked to her about the behavior involved, and we are inclined to think the issue is one of adjusting to a new classroom since this is the first time she has had discipline issues at school. I was wondering if there's anything else we can do at home to address this, or if you feel itís under control. If you think that the issue is something more, or that there is a pattern emerging, we would like to know.

Thanks,
Jones

Moray

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2012, 12:15:03 PM »
I would address the teacher however she has the kids address her. If she wants a different form of address, she can let you know, but that is a good default. I would include the information that your daughter hasn't had behavior issues in the past and that she is taking this seriously, since both are true and may positively impact how the teacher feels about Jean.

Hi Miss Smith,

Jean has told me tearfully that she's received a red card twice since school started. We have talked to her about the behavior involved, and we are inclined to think the issue is one of adjusting to a new classroom since this is the first time she has had discipline issues at school., and I was wondering if there's anything else we can do at home to address this, or if you feel itís under control. If you think that the issue is something more, or that there is a pattern emerging, we would like to know.

Thanks,
Jones

I'd send this with the above revisions. The struck out parts I think detract from the intent of the letter, which is to find out if there is a larger problem that needs to be addressed at home. Saying she was "tearful" might make it sound like you were asking the teacher to go especially easy on her.
Utah

jmarvellous

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2012, 12:37:06 PM »
Jones, FWIW, my mom is most comfortable when parents call her Ms. Marvellous in front of their kids, but she doesn't mind (prefers, even) them calling her by her first name in adults-only situations.

Zilla

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2012, 12:58:23 PM »
I have to say I am surprised you didn't get a note sent home.  It's what the kids feared the most in both of my dd's classes.  That they will get a red and have to tell their parents at home.  It's usually in their daily agenda with a note as to what were the choices they chose wrong that day.


Another thing is that it sounds like you already know that your daughter interrupted the class somehow, I would coach your daughter that she is to pay attention and focus on what the teacher is saying and not what her classmates are doing.  Etc.  Use this as a coaching time with her. 


Lastly, I would let it go for now unless she gets one more red card.  Then i would email the teacher any of the suggested letters here in this thread.

Good luck!

Jones

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2012, 06:14:49 PM »
Bad update.

Third strike today, and the teacher emailed me...it wasn't just a class disruption, but a physical safety problem that endangered another student. I asked her to let me know when would be a good time for her, me and DH to sit down and have a conversation.

I am utterly flabbergasted. This is not my little girl!  :-[  :'(

Moray

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2012, 06:18:25 PM »
Bad update.

Third strike today, and the teacher emailed me...it wasn't just a class disruption, but a physical safety problem that endangered another student. I asked her to let me know when would be a good time for her, me and DH to sit down and have a conversation.

I am utterly flabbergasted. This is not my little girl!  :-[  :'(

Take heart. This isn't as uncommon as you think, especially in a new environment. (1st grade is a big difference from kindergarten)
Utah

Sharnita

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2012, 06:19:36 PM »
Bad update.

Third strike today, and the teacher emailed me...it wasn't just a class disruption, but a physical safety problem that endangered another student. I asked her to let me know when would be a good time for her, me and DH to sit down and have a conversation.

I am utterly flabbergasted. This is not my little girl!  :-[  :'(

I'm sorry, that is upsetting.

Amava

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2012, 07:37:11 PM »
Bad update.

Third strike today, and the teacher emailed me...it wasn't just a class disruption, but a physical safety problem that endangered another student. I asked her to let me know when would be a good time for her, me and DH to sit down and have a conversation.

I am utterly flabbergasted. This is not my little girl!  :-[  :'(

Take heart. This isn't as uncommon as you think, especially in a new environment. (1st grade is a big difference from kindergarten)

True. Some children react by acting up really strongly when the transition to a new situation scares them.
And oy, I've seen my share of children doing things that "endangered" others; and it wasn't violence or malice or anything, just being clueless (for example rough-housing near the stairs, or kicking off on the swing without watching whether no other kids were in the way and would get swung into). Things that do need to be addressed for safety, yes, but that don't make the child a "bad kid".

Take courage! It sounds like at least she has a teacher who is on top of things. Together you can work it out!

Jones

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2012, 11:47:15 AM »
The incident that occurred yesterday involved snapping a pair of scissors at another kid's face *facepalm* because he was irritating her. No actual cutting occured but someone could have lost an eye. The strange thing is, when we bought the first pair of at-home scissors for her after she finished preschool we went over the Scissors Rules and have a copy hanging up in the house. She has repeated them to me many times as she does at-home art with the scissors. She just forgot in the heat of the moment, I guess.

DH and I are going to meet with the teacher after Labor Day. The teacher has suspended certain privileges--such as using scissors and certain activity centers--until DH and I sign off on her note. I told her that we'll send the note on Tuesday after the break, meaning Jean goes without those privileges today. Teacher is fine with that. She wanted me to know that Jean is a good scholar, just very strong willed (she assured me she meant that as a compliment too), and a lot of the kids have been acting out since school started. "It's very first grade," was her exact wording.

Oh, and thank you all for the advice. This is a situation I haven't had to deal with and I was very worried about following the thin line that shows the parents are actively involved, but not domineering.

PS The teacher apparently prefers Mrs. Lastname, as that's how she introduced herself on the phone and signed her email. That or she's just used to it, as it's what everyone calls her every day.  :D

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline--Update #25
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2012, 01:47:50 PM »
Youngest dd who is just finishing her second week of college just called me to talk for a while. When she was in first grade or K , can't recall, she got mad at her friend Bea. They were both in bathroom, and dd reached under the stall door to take Beas pants! You know how little kids will sometimes take their pants entirely off to go potty. Dd took them back to classroom! She was mad at Bea and thought she was completely justified in her action!
Hoo boy! The things both dds did in elementary school! They survived,  so did I, and no one thought I was the Worst Mom Ever!

GSNW

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline--Update #25
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2012, 01:53:24 PM »
Kids sure love to test the limits!  I am sure that as OP's DD realizes she is being held accountable, things will settle into normalcy. 

And then... middle school!

LeveeWoman

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline--Update #25
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2012, 01:53:57 PM »
Youngest dd who is just finishing her second week of college just called me to talk for a while. When she was in first grade or K , can't recall, she got mad at her friend Bea. They were both in bathroom, and dd reached under the stall door to take Beas pants! You know how little kids will sometimes take their pants entirely off to go potty. Dd took them back to classroom! She was mad at Bea and thought she was completely justified in her action!
Hoo boy! The things both dds did in elementary school! They survived,  so did I, and no one thought I was the Worst Mom Ever!

If you can't steal your best friend's pants, whose can you steal?


Jones

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Re: Politely asking a teacher about discipline--Update #25
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2012, 04:04:30 PM »
OK, an update, not really etiquette related but finishing up the story....

DH and I met with Mrs. Teacher (this is her preferance) and it seems we're all on the same page now. We talked, we laughed, we looked at the behavior chart. Academically, Jean is doing very well. She told me that Jean and the two boys she was sitting by are all strong willed children, very well behaved by themselves but all together they were an "unholy trinity"  :o  ::) lol

Sure enough, Jean has not gotten into trouble since she was divided from the other two. I think there might be a tiny kid-crush going on too, which wouldn't have helped, because Jean was speaking to my SIL and telling her about one of the kids in her class. SIL said "Oh, is that the boy you've been fighting with?" and Jean replied "NO, Aunt M, the boy I fight with is CUTE!" Which he wouldn't be anymore if she had poked his eye out with a scissors, but whatever.

Also, another little girl had a birthday party last weekend and invited all the little girls in class. It was in a venue open to the public with all sorts of people not associated with the party, so while she partied I sat to the side with Boo Bear (we paid our own way as we weren't part of the invite) and watched. Jean was pretty well behaved, got along well with the other classmates (though occasionally bossy) and thanked the hostess when it was time to go. I must admit I felt relief to see her acting normal.