Saturday, March 21, 2009

I. Am. Livid.

That Succubus is at it again and this time it's not my kid she's torturing.

As some of you know, there is no love loss between Emerson's 4th grade teacher and myself. If you didn't know, you can read about it here.

The second semester of 4th grade has been a much better experience for our family. As I had predicted, it just took Emerson a little more time to adjust to 4th grade, and now she has gained her sea legs.

With just a little coaxing from us, she has become much more organized. She writes all of her homework down in her assignment book, her desk is neater and her homework is getting in on time. Each week, if her Friday note is good, she get to do something special on Friday night.

Every trimester, if the kids get fewer than 5 late slips they get an ice cream sundae. Last trimester Emerson didn't make it and I felt terrible. I was convinced she was the only one who didn't make it.

This trimester, she did make it. When we got our weekly newsletter that the teacher wrote how happy she was that so many more kids made it this time, 8 all together.

8??!!!! That's not even half of the class!!!! How many made it last time? She even wrote that she was so proud of one of the students, she went from having 44 late slips to only having 6. But alas, she had more than 5 so she doesn't get ice cream. WTF??? A child improves that much and you can't throw her a bone? Shouldn't you look at the individual achievements?

So, ice cream sundae day came and that evening, we asked Emerson how it went. That's when she told us. The eight children sat in the middle of a circle of desks eating their ice cream while all the other children sat around them doing their work, watching them enjoy the treat.

Emerson said that some of the kids eating ice cream were almost taunting the children who weren't eating it.

One boy said, to no one in particular, that he would really love some ice cream.

The teacher replied "Then you should have worked harder."

Now, I ask you, what is the point of this? Why couldn't the kids who got the treat not go out for recess one day and have their ice cream without an audience? Why couldn't the teacher give the kids McDonald's bucks for $1 so they could get a sundae on their own?

The one thing that I try my hardest to teach my children is empathy. I love her school because it's the only school in the district that has uniforms. It really eliminates the problem of the haves and the have nots.

Why did she have to make such a spectacle of what one group of kids got and not the other?

I am so mad, I want to call and complain to the principle.

What do you guys think, am I overreacting?


angi_b72 said...

I don't think that that is right at all. That is terrible and what is it teaching the kids? I would probably bring it to someones attention/

kimber p said...

It's very immature of the teacher and in very bad taste to segregate the class like that. It should be a "if one succeeds, we all succeed" type atmosphere, in my opinion. I would definitely have a sit down with the teacher and be as non-confrontational as possible. Are you familiar with the other parents of the ones who didn't get ice cream? Maybe there could be a mini 'meeting of the minds' between you all and the teacher and discuss how this could have gone differently. Sounds as if she's on a power trip and I'd really be interested to see what Lori (Angi_b72's sister) has to say about this and how she would have handled it.

Becky said...

I do NOT think you are over reacting! I do think a call to the principal is in order. I rarely make these calls because i do not like being one of those moms that is always putting in her 2 cents worth to the teacher and the school, but this seem JUST UNFAIR.

I don't like the feel of it. The sound of it. I would be VERY upset if it was my child too! I'm so sorry;(

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

No you are not over-reacting at all!!! Girl CALL THAT PRINCIPAL!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a strange teacher. I agree with rewards for good behavior and outstanding achievement, but she is teaching those children to gloat. NOT a good trait in a person at any age.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Lacey said...

Out of curiosity, what's the standard for getting a late slip? Do most kids get dropped off by their parents, or school busses, or what? It just seems so bizarre that only 8 kids were able to meet expectations.

I don't think there should be ANY consequences for being tardy if its something the kids can't control (for instance, when parents are running late). She has no idea what is going on in the homes of her students, or what outside factors might be at play. I'm picturing some poor child with a sub-par home life, being taunted with ice cream because his parents can never wake up on time. That's the kind of thing that turns people into serial killers, you know?

Even more so, I don't think that the teacher is doing anyone a service by segregating her students that way. She's not "awarding" the "good kids," she's alienating the ones who didn't make it, and allowing the once who DID make it to act like little jerks. It's ridiculous. I'd definitely call someone. Or write a letter. Or something.

Dorkys Ramos said...

Oh that's horrible!! See that's going to lead to trouble among the students down the line. Definitely bring it up to someone.

Rebecca Jo said...

You are not over reacting... that is horrible!!!! those poor kids... this aint the military in trying to teach a lesson!!! Its a bunch of kids that get emotionally scarred very easily!!! I'd totally let someone know about it...

Sometimes you wonder why people are teachers that seem to not even like children :-(

R Susanna said...

I totally agree with you. I don't see how being late is any childs fault at that young age. At the school my girls go to, the parents are actually charged $5.00 for every day a child is late and no one is rewarded for being on's what they are supposed to be doing anyway. Why get a reward for something that is reqiured of you? Any of the children who do very well on a daily basis ususally get a small reward like a piece of candy or a little badge or certificate that says "Excellent handwriting" or "Great attitude" or "I'm an excellnt reader". If the whole class has done well on something, then they all get an ice cream party and students who sell more than 10 items during fund raisers get to go some place special. I definately think you should call the principal and if you don't get any satisfaction, then you should call the school board.

Punkn said...

I don't believe you are over reactiing at all. And since Emerson was one of the few kids who received the treat, when you go to the Princ. they can't say you did it becacuse your child was left out. Rewards are appropriate if done right. However, this is ridiculous. That poor child who worked so hard and still received no reward, probably won't work that hard ever again. It seems the expectations are unrealistic if only 8 children were able to meet them. I'm a firm believer in high expectations but this is over the top. Maybe you should print out your post and the comments and share them with the teacher.

Poetikat said...

This reminds me of the *witch* er, teacher I had for grade 5. I think they just like to torture kids. They must have had very unhappy childhoods and became teachers so they could get their revenge. Nasty piece of work. In my experience, they usually get the heave-ho.


Heather said...

A call to the school is definitely warranted. You are NOT over-reacting.

Our schools have reward programs, too. But they do NOT do it that way at all.

Make that call, girl.

Snarky A. said...

The teacher sounds like a very immature person with power-trip-issues to me. What is she trying to teach the kids?

IB said...

Complain. She sounds like a bitch. We once took our son out of a class because the teacher was too harsh. He really appreciated the support. Maybe the teacher learned something...maybe not, but at least she couldn't make our little boy cry anymore.

Anna Lefler said...

Okay, this is off topic, but I have to tell you that your "meth-lab" comment on my blog made me howl with laughter.

I like your style, lady.



Queenie Jeannie said...

I think this is a sucky situation!! I'm all for rewards for good behavior and consequences for not meeting expectations.

HOWEVER, this is just wrong and is teaching children to NOT show empathy and taunting as you said. It's almost forcing your child to feel "guilty" for doing well, because the reward is at the expense of other children's feelings.

The teacher sounds like she has issues and needs a therapist of her own. I would definitely complain and I think the coupons are a wonderful alternative. I know my kids have earned those in the past.

Hugs to your Emerson!!!

LadyStyx said...

*leaves my 2 cents and tells ya to place a call for a conference with the principal*

Donnetta said...

COMPLETELY agree with you. I was a middle school teacher for 10 years. I am horrified by this post. She is teaching humiliating and fostering bullying.

I would go to the principal in a HEARTBEAT.

Now, can I borrow some of that Vaseline?

Intense Guy said...

I see dark clouds brewing on horizon - lightening flashes - unsettled horses stamping the ground - trouble is coming.

Perhaps you will see this teacher on your drive into work sometime - and you can run her over with your new tank?

ChicagoLady said...

I would definitely contact the Principal. The way the reward was handled was in very poor taste. I disagree with the current "we're all winners" mentality, but this is taking it to the extreme opposite. Rewards should be for achievement in class, not for being on time, something the children have no control over.

Minxy Mimi said...

I think that was just mean of the teacher and unnecessary. I can see no Sundae... but to taunt kids and make them feel like that is IMO not very kind.

Kimmy said...

WOW, that teacher is a real bitty. I think that that was pretty terrible. I agree with you, the kids who were getting rewarded should have either gotten a coupon for McDonalds or went to recess for the treat but to have them eating it in front of the rest of the other children is, well, just tacky and mean.

And the fact that she couldn't make an exception for the one kid who had improved that much but missed it by 1, what a %itch!!!!

I would definitely talk to someone higher up. These are 2nd graders. I think this is sending the wrong message to them, that's for sure!!

Good luck with this. You'll have to give us an update.

Tori_z said...

I actually read this post Saturday afternoon. Mam was here at the time so I had her read it too. We both agree that this is disgraceful and unfair. By all means reward the kids who get their late slips down enough with an ice-cream or some other treat. But having them eat it while the other kids not meeting the required number of late slips or whatever... That's disgraceful! That's only going to encourage the kids not eating the ice-cream to feel resentful - and possibly even hateful - towards those who got the ice-cream.

Also, I think there should be some sort of reward in place for children showing as much improvement as that one you mentioned. Getting down from over 40 late slips to only 6 is a great achievement, and some sort of reward should be in place - even if it's not something as good as an ice-cream sundae... Perhaps just a small chocolate bar or something?

But, again, the rewards should be given away from the jealous gazes of those not getting anything. It's not right and not fair to encourage the children to flaunt their rewards so openly.

Also, that teacher's remark about how the others should have worked harder... Just because they didn't meet the requirements she set doesn't mean they didn't try their best. As I've already mentioned... What about those who have made great improvements but didn't quite make it to the less than 5 late slips? They have to have been trying hard to make those improvements, so a statement like that is very unfair.

Maybe you should go up to the school and complain?