Meeting with teacher

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    So I just had my meeting with the teacher about the hitting and J cowering in fear. It did not go at all as I expected (does anything ever? :)). First of all, I had been projecting this image of anger and withdrawal on her - in fact, she was smiling, open and very happy to talk about J. We talked initially about ADHD and hyperactivity. She said she would be very happy to meet the psychiatrist with the two teaching assistants to gain more understanding about this. She seemed very open to learning more, took the book I offered enthusiastically, and we had a long chat about J and how he is doing "academically". She gives every appearance of being a devoted and professional teacher, who seems very fond of and caring about J and his learning. And then... I broached the subject of J cowering in fear, people mentioning this to me (and me having seen it once)... I did not say that J had told me that she had hit him and the other boy. It was clear at this stage that she would just have denied it outright if I had said that. She looked blank, shook her head, and said he had never done it to her. However... it was clear to me from her body language that something was "up"... she was quite agitated, shifting her body around, touching her bracelet, her ears... she seemed uncomfortable. I asked whether there was any possibility another child or even any of the teaching staff were hitting him. She said something about that not happening in her school, we talked about the law and it not being approved practice in French schools; it was rather surreal. We both kind of knew, I think, what we were really saying to each other without any conscious acknowledgement of it at all.
    I am confused. She truly does seem to me like a committed and caring teacher. She said something at one point about how every parent had occasionally lost control and given a slap that they did not want through frustration, etc... A coded message? At any rate, although many people would not understand this, between her and my four year old son, I just know that my four year old son is telling me the truth. The message has been given, she knows other people know about it, I am virtually certain this will not happen again.
    Other than this crazy-making contradiction, I came away from the meeting with a positive feeling, largely because of all the positive things she says and clearly seems to feel about J. She seems to understand him, many of the things she said were very perceptive and insightful... isn't that strange?
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I know that when I taught I once had a boy reach for something on my desk and I instinctively swatted his hand away. The instant I realized what I'd done, I looked at him in such horror that his look of shock was replaced with uncontrollable giggles. While J cowering likely means that it was more that a tap on the hand, she may have been horrified that it happened. I think you are right that it would never happen again.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sure sounds like you did a wonderful job of handling the conversation. Even caught offguard by her demeanor you were able to listen well and then make your point in an appropriate fashion. He's lucky to have you as a Mom. DDD
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Great Job!!! Her behavior and the things hse said means she knows it was very wrong and NOT what is allowed and I get the feeling that it will NOT happen again. I agree that her behavior meant that your son was telling the truth. This is the kind of coded message that can carry a LOT of power. She KNOWS that you know she did it and that you know that she was way out of line but you are not making a big deal and getting her fired or reprimanded or putting her in a position where she has to defend herself. But she also problem knows that she won't get this chance again. IF it happens again you will make a big deal about it and she is upset that she did it. So this did a LOT more as it will keep her on guard so she doesn't lose it again and hit him. in my opinion she did 'lose it' and that does happen - shouldn't happen but she is human. Anyway, I am proud of the way you handled it.

    because you did the whole coded message she will likely be a LOT more motivated to learn about adhd and how to help him. If you had accused her or asked her outright if she hit him, she would NOT be as receptive - it would result in the attitude that HE is the problem, not her lack of knowledge.
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Good for you Malika-I would not have been so composed as you! It is not uncommon for really fine teachers to become very attached to kids that they have to work hard with. And it can happen that she messed up-my guess is more than once. Bet she heard you loud and clear. Your continual communication and presence will keep her on her toes.:congratualtions:
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Well done, Malika. And her saying, "It happens to all parents at some stage" was twofold - first, it's the closest you will get to an admission and an apology. Second, it was a coded message to say, "Don't tell me you have never hit him that way!" which would actually have been an attack. Some people, when they feel backed into a corner, will lash out rather than roll over.

    That did go very well. And you are right - she knows you know, she does NOT know it was J who told you, so she can't assume that was how you found out. So she knows she has to watch her back and change tactics.

    You did well! And I am so glad she was more open than you expected. That was a bonus.

  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Well done Mal! Now keep us updated on how that goes.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, it's very kind of you all to be so complimentary but I don't myself feel the meeting required that much courage or demanded that much skill :) Now what would have been a challenge to me would have been if she was angry/intransigent/confrontational. I would have found it hard to remain calm and focused in those circumstances... But I think she was somewhat wary and nervous from the beginning - I would imagine that, as a teacher, you get a lot of these interviews with parents and sometimes they are not easy...
    Now I have the whole decision thing of what kind of school, when to change, etc. As the teacher said, he is absolutely in the right environment in a small school. He is also apparently now completely well behaved in class and concentrates well. Have others experienced this with their ADHD children, that they are hyperactive out of school hours but apparently "normal" within it? I would like to have more understanding of this. She again said that if I had not mentioned anything, she would never have thought there was a problem... Yet I feel it has to have been right to have brought this up, if only if they can get to understand that punishing him all the time (for what goes on in the break times) is not productive and in a sense not fair...
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    School is a highly structured environment which makes it easier for the child to know what to expect. They can often maintain focus for extended periods of time, but with a lot more effort. As they get older this gets more difficult. It also can mean that they need to 'break out' when they get back home where they feel safe and can relax.

  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, that makes sense. I do also wonder about what would happen when J gets to age 6 because at that point the curriculum here (if we are still here :)) gets very dry and demanding... I think he needs to be stimulated and interested to concentrate. But we will see... To be honest, it has really surprised me that he has been so "good" in the demanding set up of kindergarten here where they are seated for much of the day and it is all highly disciplined. As you say, this seems to suit him and to keep the hyperactivity in check.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very good! Congrats to you for being so professional.
    I do think that her comment about every parent losing it was a veiled admission. Sheesh.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Malika, as the work gets more complex he might actually do better; it would also be more mentally stimulating. it all depends on how abstract it also gets. That was our problem - when they have to interpret more, or put in ore of their own feelings on something, often that is when our kids have problems.

    I found that when difficult child 3 was stressing more (such as when we were on holiday) I could calm him by giving him school work sheets, especially Maths. I remember once we were at a zoo watching a display of local animals and sitting on bleachers. difficult child 3 was getting more and more hysterical, so I turned him around so his legs hung down and he could use the seat above him like a desk. He was facing away from the show, and we were up the back so there were no people for him to look at. And he calmed down as he sat there doing his Maths problems. He was about 8 years old at the time.

    These days he uses hand-held video games to calm himself. He seems to need a lot of calming!