Wednesday, August 26, 2009


For those of us who are parents, it can sure be difficult sending our children off to school each day! No matter how old they are or what grade they are in we have to trust that they are safe and being cared for properly by the teachers and staff members with whom they will now spend most of their waking hours over the next 9 months. These days we have to worry if they will catch some deadly virus while in school, be physically assaulted or get shot by some drug crazed lunatic.
Now let me just say that I am not the overly emotional kind of mom who cries at her child's preschool graduation(when did these start anyways?) I didn't even cry when they started Kindergarten. Instead I was filled with excitement and joy that they would be learning new things and making new friends. In fact, I love to see their faces light up with each new accomplishment throughout the school year. Where am I leading with all of this? Well.... let me start with the fact that my children attend a public school. The one they attend is a fairly new school with wonderful facilities, in an affluent area with a pretty good(overall) staff. And it has a superb amount of parental involvement. The teacher/student ratio is probably average for a public school, not great...but not bad either. My youngest child in school just started the first grade this year and is my little math whiz. This kid has always LOVED working with numbers! In kindergarten the rest of the class learned how to add single digit numbers (2+2=4 ) while my child was adding things like (124 + 547) and carrying numbers already. We of course spoke with the teacher about this and were told that because of "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" they can only teach at the pace of the slowest student in the class basically. We decided to just keep working with our child at home and figured it was no big deal was after all---Kindergarten. But now it is the First Grade and my math whiz can do simple multiplication already.(Our 3rd grade child is just learning this)
And yesterday my First grader came home and said(with a very deflated look) " Mom, during free time in class today I added 5 columns of 3 digit numbers ( example: 345+269+123+831+278=) and when I showed my teacher,the only thing she said was "Good for you!" She didn't even look at it." First of all..... What child do you know who CHOOSES to spend their" free" time doing math, while the other kids are busy coloring and trading Pokemon cards, and the teacher doesn't even notice? REALLY?
Now one look at the utter disappointment on my child's face just made me want to cry!!! And in the same moment I was seeing RED and knew that I would just like to strangle that teacher!(And the year has just begun) Of course, I told my child that she was probably just really busy at that moment.... with lot's of teacher stuff. (YEAH RIGHT) The problem now is that I can't see any point to charging in there and confronting her about her lack of concern with my child's excitement to learn (even though I obviously feel that she could have handled things MUCH better). I surely don't want to do anything to cause the teacher to dislike my child. But I feel that it is my child who is suffering because of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND!!! I also feel that it is ridiculous that there is not any sort of "Gifted and Talented" learning for students in the public school system where we live until 3rd grade. Since we cannot afford private school and I don't have the patience to home school my children, I am not sure where this leaves me. I guess when my anger with the teacher subsides a bit, I will be able to figure out a strategy or solution for the whole issue. For my child's sake I hope so!!

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 TIMOTHY 2: 2


  1. That's terrible, I can understand your anger. Not all teachers have the right mix of patience and empathy. I have heard enough through the years various complaints from the kids (still coming from the oldest) about teachers who don't listen and make assumptions. You're right you can't confront them too. What I do do, is take the opportunity during the Parent-teacheer meetings to size up the teacher in question and make the relevant point to them about the enormous amount of time they get spend with my children and how important their attention and words can make a difference. (hint hint and some reverse psychology to remind them of their duty which is the 'busy schedule').

  2. Hey my son told me the same thing. He was working on his math revisions during his free time, whilst the rest were playing and chatting.

    On my end, I find teachers have no time for the kids in class. They don't motivate, they pressure, more so than the parents. Teachers today are required to show results. My son's math teacher told the class, if you do not score 85 and above I will call your parents. My boy felt the pressure but don't know why when his scores are often 85 and above. But he felt threatened.

    At least that did not happen in your kid's school. But because the child has an independent streak, keep telling them they are brilliant. Even the most difficult math problem can be solved, and we mothers need not bother our brain cells.

    Sometimes I play dumb, or maybe really am dumb, because their math is different from past. Reading the question itself gives me a headache.

    Try it,let the kid cope on their own ability and they will enjoy their subjects too. We just need to provide some directions. Teachers today can only or willing to do so much. I had to tell my son, teachers have too many to take of, so you had better help yourself too.

    Been to see the Principal,it doesn't help, its the institution.