( taken with Iphone 5, edited with VSCO)
So if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go check out this post first, and then come back.
We’re all on the same page now?
So, All day I stewed about what I was going to say ALL day.
I practiced what I was going to say all day.
I was nervous. Somehow, this one talk with Pookah’s first real teacher seemed like the most important one in his life up to this time.
I walked in the classroom, and Pookah ( and three other boys) were all doing work. That is, they were all attempting to write.
It seemed that this was the slacker table. The ones left behind.
I wasn’t too happy with how this looked.
I went and sat near Pookah and observed.
The lesson of the day seemed to be to write the letter N.
Pookah was having trouble( of course) but he wasn’t the only one.
I found it interesting that the other three were boys also.
Little black boys.
They were all struggling to write/concentrate/focus( according to his teacher). And also according to his teacher, she “know that you can do it. Do that again. Focus”
So I observed. Pookah wrote his name ( backward e and all) completed his N’s after much much practice, and then showed it to the teacher. She corrected his e. She said good job. and I told him to go get his book bag while I talked to his teacher.
I laid out what I had heard and asked her what she was trying to accomplish.
In her words, the Kindergarten that they are all going to next year will be expecting these 4/5 year old to do CURSIVE writing and to be able to do work on their own without the hand holding and the attention that she is giving them.
That comment right there by the way, made me reevaluate sending him there. I mean damn, it’s Kindergarten, isn’t there supposed to be individual attention and a little bit of hand holding at a PRIVATE Kindergarten? Won’t I be paying all of that money for the SMALLER class size and INDIVIDUAL attention????? Sorry, I digress……
She stated she knows that Pookah can do the work, she doesn’t like “can’t” (I don’t either) and sees potential in him. She said that she knows that most preschools have Pre-K doing circle time, more play time and more coloring and JUST writing letters. But our pre-k is doing the A BEKA curriculum. And I got a updated copy of it.
And at this stage: the kids are supposed to be writing letters, learning a bit of math and learning site words/sounds.
So I explained that I understood what she was saying, but I had a few concerns.
Number 1 being my son’s confidence.
I told her what Pookah told me and she seemed shocked. At first, she said she didn’t even know Pookah was still 3( he’s a big three).
But how you don’t know the ages of all of your students????
When she heard the comment about being different/only 3, she said that the kids say things like that to each other all of the time and that maybe that’s where he heard it from. But I suspect that she suspects her teaching assistant like I do.
Next I addressed his confidence. I let her know we’ve got 13 more years of school left. And this is NOT the time to start him with confidence issues. I told her that I understand what she is trying to do with the curriculum, but that my priority is his mental well being as well as his educational well being. And that I understand that handwriting is a priority for them, but that it’s not for me. I reiterated that I felt that he would improve in time. As he is supposed to. And she said she understood.
Basically, my message was, build him up, don’t break him down. Encourage him. Or I will be back.
Basically, I let her know that Pookah had two parents who are watching, concerned, and involved.
I left the meeting feeling….OK about it.
Not perfect, but OK.
I think time will tell how well I got my point across. But she KNOWS that we will be watching.
And I think that is the most important thing.
So we will see.
We will see.