Monday, November 8, 2010

I see why people homeschool

I'm not even really sure what to say about today. It was my first time volunteering in Miss E's kindergarten classroom and I felt...umm...I think disappointed is the best word to use here. Not exactly how you want to feel about your daughter's kindergarten class.

The thing is, I know I have unrealistic expectations of her school. For my own schooling I went to an incredible private school that is everything a school should be - small, challenging, student-focused, family-oriented. Miss E went to a preschool that had 3 parents and a teacher in the classroom every day so there was a 1:5 adult to kid ratio at all times, and the teachers there knew the kids and loved the kids. You don't teach preschool for the pay and benefits my friends, you do it because it's your calling.

Now, we are in public school (in on of the best school districts in the state) and her teacher is OK. She has a few years of experience and she clearly has been schooled well in kindergarten curriculum and teaching methods but she doesn't seem to feel the KIDS. I can't really quite put my finger on it but there are a few behavior problems in the class and by the end of the 2 1/2 hour class she was clearly frustrated and wanted to be done. Which, really? I know it was a bad day but it was 2 1/2 hours. She also spent most of her time and attention on the 2-3 behavior issue kids. She didn't speak directly to over half the kids in the class while I was there, including Miss E.

At circle time I found out that Miss E lost her coveted group time spot on the carpet (on letter C in the front row) and is now sitting on the Letter Z in the back row. You know who is sitting on C? Behavior problem kids. Which, note to other parents, and I say this as the mother of a boy.... Send your boys to preschool. Please. They need to learn how to sit still and listen without being disruptive BEFORE kindergarten. Otherwise your kid becomes the one all the other parents are talking about as the "problem kid". Miss E is also sitting at a table with the rowdiest boys.

Here's the rub. Miss E is quiet. She is always doing what she is supposed to be doing. She knows everything they are learning already. It's easy for the teacher to ignore her and pair her with the wild kids. But it doesn't seem fair to me. At journal time, they were each supposed to write an "I saw" sentence. Miss E sat down, wrote "I saw my mommy" flipped it closed and went to get her snack. Now, that was faster and more well written than most of the kids but I know better. Had I caught it earlier I would have had her write a few more sentences because she more than capable of doing so. The teacher really doesn't seem to know where each kid is at in their learning process, which it seems like she should have a better feel for that by now.

I don't know. Miss E has not been complaining, she is learning science and social skills, she seems happy but I am growing increasingly frustrated with this class, her teacher and really the whole public school system in general. There has got to be a better way. I also know that Miss E is a kid that needs to learn to speak up. She is smart but not TAG smart, she is well-behaved, on task and gets along with all the other kids. In short, she fades into the background of the classroom and is just not being pushed at all (still in that bottom reading group). As a parent, that is really really frustrating. And I don't know what to do.

1 comment:

  1. I'd let Miss E's teacher read this blog---fer shurrrre--that's what I'd do! Teachers have to learn some things, too--and if no one helps them, well? What would she do? Treat your kid worse? Nahhhhh, not a Kindergarten teacher! Don't lose hope with just one K class--not yet...