Observtions after two classroom days in 4 year old kingerdarden (ears still ringing)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had the interesting experience of subbing in our school's full day four year old kindergarten and learned or recalled a few things I have forgotten about four year olds, especially the boys (since my last child was a girl). I'm just going to share my experience and take it for what it is.

    I don't know how any boy can be diagnosed with ADHD at that age. ALL the boys (and I do mean ALL of them) were super energetic from classroom play to outdoors. Most were good natured, but liked to wrestle and play rough. The few who seemed a bit "over the top" were the ones who did not understand the intangible boundaries...boys can wrestle and fall on one another and roll around, but punching and kicking their little friends would cause protests from the victim and those boys had to be watched more carefully. I'd say, of the entire class, we had about three of them who didn't understand the boundaries. Most of them did. But they were very high energy, FAR moreso than the girls. In spite of their energy levels, the boys were mostly sweet and cuddly and gave hugs freely and smiled a lot. We had one boy who cried a lot and did not seem to be happy. He was also one of those boys who tended not to undertand that you don't knock down Joey's tower when he spent so much time building it. He also hit and tried to hit me a few times.

    The girls? Most were sweeter than pie and at a very cute age. They were much lower energy and easier than the boys. One was sensitive and cried too much. One a little more high energy and played with the boys and didn't listen as well, but, all in all, the girls were much easier and calmer and more mature. They were REALLY affectionate.

    The kids were all receptive to a loving adults (I tend to be very nurturing). Some kids also ride my bus so I knew them before I was in the classroom and I really enjoyed all the hugs and demands to hold my hand while walking down the hall or going to recess.j

    My impression? Four year olds are mostly great kids with a lot of spirit. We *do* take kids with special needs. I could see a few kids who will have problems as time goes on, but most were just regular fun kids. Makes this grandma sad that I can't see my grandson more often.

    Ok, just a happy vent! But also...wondering how many of these boisterous boys are tagged with ADHD.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Ha, ha... I recognise your description, MWM!
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    I wonder the same thing. I always used to say about son - If I could bottle his energy and sell it, I'd be a millionaire! Many strangers and store clerks wholeheartedly agreed with me. Son does NOT have ADHD. I had never even considered it. I did investigate it whan I was told there was "something wrong" with him without being given any direction. He just did not fit. He most certainly was higher energy than many kids his age, but not off the charts.

    I wonder if increases in diagnosis have more to do with our "lazy" society than an actual increase in hyperactivity. It is a very subjective perception.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    MWM four year olds also "mirror" the teacher's behavior. They were lucky to have you. DDD
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I've often wondered that too. I know that some kids really do fit the diagnosis of ADHD and are greatly helped by medications. But I think it's also greatly overdiagnosed too. I've had several friends who had their boys on medications, but from what I saw of them, they were no more active or hyper than any other little boys that age. And with all of them, this was their only child or their only boy. One friend of mine was raising one very calm, well behaved little girl when her son was born. When he was much more active and off the wall than her daughter had been at that age, she thought something was wrong with him! Kind of makes me wonder if they were really aware of how rough and active almost all little boys are at that age and that a certain amount of it is perfectly normal for boys in that age group.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, if it's not normal I just saw 15 boys with ADHD. Seemed normal to me though. They were happily playing, not inappropriate and tended to be less attentive in the classroom than the girls. A whole generation of ADHD?
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. That's why, after over 30 years of teaching, over 20 of them in kindergarten, I now only sub in middle school and high school. I absolutely couldn't handle those little kids physically OR mentally. I enjoyed it when I was younger but, at this point, if I die and wake up in a kindergarten class, I will know I have gone to hell.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Come, come, muttmeister, it's not that bad! :)
  9. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Kindergarten class or camping or a gym - any of those I will know I should expect rising temperature. LOL
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't want to work in this classroom again...lol. I prefer the two year olds.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I enjoy being with one four year old (some of the time :) ) but a class of them would not be my cup of tea...
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yay, you need earplugs...lol (both in the room and the playground!).

    Again, though, they were sweet kids, so loving and eager to give hugs and sit on my lap. There were just toooooooo many of them. We have twenty-four kids, one teacher, and two aides. That's eight kids each and it's hard. I'm glad I'm mostly on the bus. The bus is fun.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    You are lucky some sanity still reigns in your area, MWM. In the UK, I believe teachers are now outlawed from hugging children... Bananas.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    ADD/ADHD is often over diagnosed, and often wrongly diagnosed. On top of that, it's often treated with medications when medications aren't necessary in some children.

    Some of the problem lies in not truly grasping normal childhood development or even the fact that children have distinct personalities. I also think some of the problem is that we have begun to expect too much out of children at a far younger age in ways that are far different than the way it used to be. There is a reason children didn't go to school until a certain age. Now there is pre-school, not necessarily a bad thing depending on the school and how the classes are set up, and here they've set up "early" pre-school where you have 2 yrs olds attending head start. Which in my opinion is just well pushing it, even for the child who could use the socialization.

    Four and five year olds tend to be rambunctious, impatient, and most still have a very short attention span especially for tasks that require them to sit still for any length of time. Of course in every age group you'll find exceptions on either end of the spectrum. This changes gradually as they grow older and grow accustom to the school environment. Again, you'll have kids on either end of the spectrum, kids develop at different rates for various reasons and it does not necessarily mean there is something else going on.

    And what about the kids who just happen to have an energetic personality? Those who love the outdoors and hate to be trapped inside? Both could sit and squirm and find it hard to concentrate because they wish to be doing other things, and it has nothing to do with being unable to be inattentive or hyper.

    I had teachers and professionals try to slap the ADD/ADHD diagnosis onto Travis and really tried hard once they found out I'd had it as a child. The boy was an active child. But if you could peek his interest, he could sit and learn just fine, it helped though to have breaks where he could get up and run around. And of course his true dxes.....came later. But he had 3 screenings and evaluations and not one determined he had the disorder much to the frustration of his teachers who were pushing for the diagnosis as well as taking part in the evaluations by answering specific questions.

    Did I have it? Oh, heck yeah. lol But I also had no issues learning in school even though I had it severely and wasn't medicated. Same with my bro.

    They've tried to label Alex with it, including katie. He doesn't have it either. She's trying to label Evan with it. Nope. Both boys suffer from lack of discipline and being taught how to behave in certain situations, not add/adhd. Yet they're both fairly active boys.

    I used to sub in Nichole and easy child's preschool. It was fun, the kids were adorable, and I wouldn't want to do it everyday to save my life. lol
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Keyana's older brother has ADHD I have no doubt. I think they have had him tested and put on medication but I have not been told about it. Keyana has told me he takes a pill before school.

    I have known that little boy since he was 2 years old and he has been extremely hyper from the get go. Couldnt sit still, couldnt keep him focused on anything for any length of time. Acted just like Jamie. When we go anywhere with Lindsay and the kids, Tony has charge of Cameron. The boy is always go go go. He cant sit still in the chairs for her pageants so until its time for Keyana to be on stage...Tony takes him out to run around in either a playground if its at a school or in a parking lot if its not. They throw a ball sometimes. His first year of school was hard on him. They were constantly on him and he was always in trouble. Lindsay was being called into the school all the time because he wouldnt be still or sit in his seat or stop blurting out in class. Yeah...sound familiar?

    Last year I noticed when I would pick Keyana up for dance class in the afternoon he would be rather calm. This was immediately after school. I also heard that he was doing better in school. Hmmm. One day I asked Keyana if Cameron took any medicine before school and she said said yes, he took a little pill every morning. LOL. I asked her if she did and she said no.

    I do think Keyana could have a Learning Disability (LD) but I dont think she is ADHD. Cameron....oh yeah!
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I enjoy kindergarten, but wouldn't want to do it every day. That's the fun of subbing...I get to change groups on a daily basis. It's also really cool to have the little ones remember you...I get lots of hugs!
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very true, MWM. That's why most boys aren't put on medications until they get into elementary school, where they have to "sit and behave."
    And yes, it seems chauvinistic, but boys are more rambunctious than girls, on the average.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Building on Hound Dog's post...

    Part of the problem is that too often the "H" in ADHD is the primary "culprit" in people's minds. How do we get these kids to sit still? Hyperactivity is more subjective - and age/development dependent - than the other issues that are part of ADD/ADHD.

    I'm wary of early ADHD diagnosis based on hyperactivity. Based on focus issues? Those are more obvious - IF you know what to look for (and teachers generally do NOT catch the inattentive type).

    But - statistically? 3 kids out of a class of what, 20 or so? Would be within range for normal proportions of ADD/ADHD kids. Literature varies widely - from 5% to 15% of population may be ADD/ADHD. Chances are every classroom has at least one kid with ADD/ADHD - possibly 2, maybe 3.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I believe that in some public schools, in certain areas, you can't hug kids. However, we can and do. As for sanity? One little boy kissed his friend on the cheek and the teacher FREAKED out and talked about how we should kiss our mothers, our fathers, and our grandmas, BUT NOT KISS ANYONE IN SCHOOL.

    I thought that was pretty off-the-wall.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I do not think this is chauvinistic at all. Boys and girls are different. Boys are definitely more driven and enjoy rough play more than girls (although there are exceptions on both sides). I do not believe that boys and girls are born the same and society makes them different...I believe they ARE different. Hormones and all :)