Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Report From Mrs. Lee

After Randy picked Super Z up at school today, he called me with bad news. For what I think is the forth time in as many weeks, Super Z was on yellow. On yellow, for those of you not in the know, means that he was in trouble. In the green is good. In the yellow means that he was bad. In the red means that we have to trade him in, as he is nothing but trouble. We are really dreading the day that he gets on red, I mean can you imagine telling a child that you have loved and nurtured for almost five years that it is time to pack up and move on? No? Well, I don't imagine it would be easy.
So, after hearing this, I decided to give Mrs. Lee a call, to get the proverbial scoop, to find out what is pushing my child out of green and into the yellow. It is hard to explain to him how to stay in the green ( and remain a part of this family) if I don't know what he is doing. So I made the call.
I have to tell you that I was surprised at how it made me feel. How every bad thing that he does crushed me as it came out of her mouth. I mean, it isn't that I was surprised. I know Z is a handful. I know he is loud. I know everything about him from the freckle on his booty to the way he laughs especially loud if he is trying to entertain someone else. It was not shock. It was just ...painful? Is painful the word? I want Z to do well. I want Mrs. Lee to tell me that he is smart ( and she did) and sweet ( and she did that too.) I don't want to hear that he is hitting the girls and spitting in people's faces ( Yes, sadly she said that too.) It isn't easy to know that your child is misbehaving. It isn't easy to not take is as a failure on your part. I mean, how did I not teach him that it is not okay to collapse on the ground and pretend that he has been shot as the line is walking to the playground? What was I thinking?
Sadly, hearing these things is something that I have to do. I have to listen and take it all in. I have to tell the teacher that I will do everything in my power to explain to Super Z what he is doing wrong. I am on her team. I want her to succeed with him. I want him to learn and grow with her.
I talked to Super Z about all of this for a good hour tonight. I think he understands. I am hoping that the green will become his new home. The prairie where he roams free of yellow and despair.
Mrs. Lee and I are determined to stay in contact so that we can work out any issues that he is having. I think that a good parent/teacher relationship is important. After all, I am the Mom. It is up to me to push him and support him. It ultimately falls to me to teach him how to be a good man and to help him learn to use that incredible imagination. As long as she keeps me informed about what is going on with him ( no matter how hard it is to hear...spitting in people's faces?!?) we can work through the issues.
And let's face it. We have to work out the issues ( the stomping on the little girls' feet, the not paying attention, the talking during circle time, the yanking of toys, the roughhousing in the classroom ), or yellow will eventually lead to red. And I really like Super Z. I mean he is SO cool. I don't want to trade him in, I really don't.


Cathy said...

I felt that same pain when my daughter came home with one of those notes from preK. You know, the notes with a detailed list of how your child has misbehaved over the last several days. It's like you said -- I wasn't surprised by the things listed by the teacher. More like I was surprised by how much it hurt.

Bilbo said...

If we could trade in our children each time we had a problem with them, I doubt that any of us would end up with any of our original brood. Being a good parent is learning the art of helping our children through all these rough spots while keeping our own sanity. It's not easy, but its what turns each of us - eventually - into responsible adults who finally realize what great parents we had.

Amanda said...

I'm already finding it hard to listen to people tell me about how Aaron is a handful now. I keep feeling that I'm not teaching him properly..thats why he gets into everything. But on the other hand, I think some kids are just that way and will need extra attention. I like your idea about the green, yellow and red zones.

Becky said...

I've been thinking about trading mine in for a while, but I think that they won't actually let you do that.

As for you not teaching Super Z how to stand in a line properly....honestly, I don't know what you were thinking about there. :)

I have to agree, though, when I hear of bad things that E does, I'm just like - HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT???? SINCE WHEN IS BEING A POWER RANGER & KICKING SOMEONE OK? For the most part, though, that was daycare and since school started he's only kicked someone once. I think - HOPEFULLY - we've worked through it.

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

I was a teacher for 4 years while I was pregnant and had little babies. Now that my kids are getting older and are in "school" (moms morning out), I think back and regret some of the things I said to parents. It is so hard, as a teacher, to separate the "home" child from the "school" child. I said some things to parents that I know now hurt, and I wish I could go back and change it. Teachers have up to 25-30 kids in a class, and sometimes they just want some peace to get their work done. But, as you know, some kids can make it difficult. My oldest is one of them. And it's SO hard to hear that YOUR child was the one causing disruption.
I really feel for you, and wish you only the best. Please stay in constant contact with the teacher, and as long as she knows you are doing all you can, she will be much more helpful and forgiving to Z.

Dana said...

I know this is going to sound wierd but, when my daughter was in kindergarten I got a call from her teacher towards the end of the year. She was extremely excited and of course I am thinking that she is going to tell me that my daughter is going to be promoted to college because she is soooo smart. Um, no. She was excited because Al had FINALLY gotten her light turned to yellow.

Two years later, that same teacher had my son. I got a phone call within the first 2 weeks to say that she couldn't believe how different my kids were from each other. That call was the sign that we would be having many more phone calls during the rest of the year.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

The Green/Yellow/Red is an interesting way of assessing pupils. Woe betide the Red days!

John said...

School is a place where we learn all kinds of things that have nothing to do with reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic. Learning is the name of the game and teaching is a team sport.

I'm sure that Z and Z's mom will be just fine!

By the way, I like the new avatar.

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Oh girl, I feel your pain. I really really do. I've been there...literally. In the ambush meeting? Uh huh. To hear those things about your kid. You want to just evaporate.

But there's hope! I'll tell ya quick what we had to do to get it going. She sent home a daily behavioral log. We picked the worst behavior first and worked with that. He got such-n-such reward if he did the right thing, and he had consequences if he did the wrong thing.

It's been working. Might be something to try?

Hang in there!