Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kindergarten Anxiety

I’m having a really hard time with Cameron being in Kindergarten. Not like many moms who miss their dear 5 year old. I adore my child and love spending time with him, but I love that he’s in school and “learning.”

These are the things I’m having a hard time with:

1. Unlike at preschool, you don’t get to walk them to their classroom and pick them up, chat with the teacher, look at what’s happening in their surroundings, etc. I HATE not knowing what’s going on. Except for the fact that they’ve been reviewing their colors each day (which I personally think is intro preschool stuff), they make pictures during “quiet time” and they seem to have a coloring page each day, I don’t know what’s happening. I ask Cameron what they did ,and he tells me they “played games.” When I asked what the teacher was doing, he said, “Just hanging out.” Now mind you, he’s a five year old boy, so I take what he says with a grain of salt, but I haven’t seen anything I consider “real work” yet, and it would be nice if we received something telling us what was going on in class.

2.He didn’t get the teacher I wanted him to get. And the other full-day Kindergartners in our neighborhood have the teacher I wanted Cameron to get, so I can’t even talk with the moms about what’s going on in class.

3. Conferences are not until mid October, and I can’t wait that long to discuss at length (15 minutes) how my child is doing, what exactly it is that he’s doing, and if he’s being challenged. Because if he comes home merely doing the sounds of the letters, I’m going to flip. Cameron can read first reader books and always is trying to spell words, and I don’t want to lose a whole year of potential learning so that he stays with the rest of the class. I had to push for an accelerated reading group last year in preschool, and that rarely happened. I hope I don’t have to jump through such hoops this year.

4. Cameron is still forgetting things each day. I write notes in the communication folder asking the teacher to make sure he’s coming home with particular items, and although she responds positively stating that she’d make sure he came home with the sweatshirt he left in gym class two days ago, he still comes home empty handed. He also forgot his library book that I was supposed to read to him, and he forgot his lunchbox (again). Melvin was home and drove him back to school this time. No TV and Computer for a full day is his consequence. Although this bums him out, I don’t think it will deter his forgetfulness. And since I don’t even know what the end of the day routine is like, I can’t even suggest to him ways he can remember what he needs.

Okay, it has only been a week, and so maybe I ought to give the teacher more time and not be this parent from hell. When I called her earlier this week to try to understand how my son was able to purchase chocolate milk for lunch when I never put any money in his account, she did tell me how much of a sweetheart he is, and how he always says “thank you,” which leads the other kids to say it.

But how long do I wait before I politely suggest that I was really hoping to see my son do more than just color in Kindergarten?


At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be emailing you about the project as soon as I hear from you and if you remind me, I'll tell you my opinion on this K issue. But for starters- I think now and the reason is largely related to the reading. There should be something happening for the group of Ks that can already read (and read above grade level for that matter)- and it should already be clear by the 2nd-3rd week of school what that will be...

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

I'd say by next week you should be seeing fruits of his labor in reading and/or writing. Faith is already bringing home papers this week with all kinds of Spanish nouns and she's trying her darndest to use them so I can see that they're going over that stuff in class. On Monday starts spelling words for her. Now, this is "1st grade" but I think can attest to how quickly the teacher is moving along. Since we did K at home with her, I can't know really what to expect there...you know what's going to be best for your little guy, though. Moms always do!! :)

Maybe try to connect with the teacher outside of school?? Invite her to coffee or dinner and that'll give you a chance to get to know her better and her plan of action for the class and those who stand above the rest in the reading dept.

He couldn't have a better mom to look out for him, Cari!! You rock!! :)

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Dayna said...

Okay- I do not understand why you are not allowed to see him to his class and the other items you mentioned. Does Cam attend a school where if you were told the what they did for 6 hours you would be shot?

While my daughter is far from school, you are a teacher and would welcome and encourage parent interaction. Why are you prohibited from this portion of his life? Are they (the school) hoping to make Cam more independent?

Think from a teacher stand point of how you would want a parent to approach you with these concerns. Do not think like a mom for just a moment. When you can see how to approach the situation from the teacher aspect, then you are ready to approach the teacher.

Are you allowed to just "pop up" at the school to see what is going on? Not in a disruptive way--but just to peek in on his class. If so, try that before you speak with his teacher.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Aunt Sylvia said...

I would just be the parent from hell until I got the desired results. lol
Love Aunt Sylvia

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's five. Coloring and playing games is just fine for the first week. Also, his father is a doctor and his mother is a brilliant teacher. He will excell.
If you are still worried, volunteer with his class once a week while Sarah has the other two.
Lastly, Cameron is five.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous jdoc said...

I just know this is going to happen to me when (and if) I have kids in school. Good teachers have high standards for their kids' learning. I hope you'll have a chance to talk with the teacher soon. It was great to see you Wednesday! I look forward to seeing you more often.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger mi said...

I'm not a teacher, nor do I have a child in Kindergarten, but it would drive me absolutely crazy to not know what my child was doing all day. I tend to think it may take a couple weeks before you see the academic strategies you'd like. After all, most of the parents are probably giving their own assessment of their children, and it will take some time for the teacher to evaluate for herself. Once the year really gets rolling, you may see a difference in what he is bringing home. If you are finding it difficult to communicate and get results from his teacher, you may want to speak with the principal about what the school's expecations are for Kindergarten. Good luck.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous dana said...

In Bridgeton.....even though the kids are low....they are begnning to read immediately, so stay on it Cari.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Carolyn said...

Maybe she is starting them out slow and will start working them harder.


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