Friday, February 16, 2007

Stardom Week - Part 3

This is Part Three of a Nine Part Series

My Tuesdays are inevitably busy. I have inherited a lot chaos from a mismanaged and misdirected program and until we get our house in some semblance of order the fires will never be fully doused. Between my meetings, I found myself worrying about J and how her day was going at school. While J is always on my mind when I am at work , I rarely if ever worry about her. I had told her that morning when I saw her off at the bus stop to remind Mrs. H about the poster assuming that it might not be as big of a deal to the teacher as it was for her.

I blamed myself for going a little over the top on her very first kindergarten project. Maybe I should have left her alone with construction paper, marker pens, glue and some pictures and all this would have not happened. In my infinite foolishness I had ascribed to that silly little poster more significance than it merited and the child was suffering its consequences. She expected to make a splash and was not getting her opportunity.

I could not wait to get home and chat with J about her day. A lot of mails were going unanswered, I was only physically present at the meetings and none of my tasks for the day were even half way complete. All I could think of is getting back home and meeting J. I was shocked to hear J say "Mrs. H forgot about the poster today". I asked her if she had reminded her and she said she had not. I figured she did not feel comfortable about doing that.

For some reason my immediate reaction was one of absolute infuriation. How dare she hurt a child's feelings ? How dare she willfully disappoint her ? What is the point of publishing a schedule a week in advance when it will not be followed ? What kind of example did she expect to set when she was incapable of sticking to a schedule herself ? I wrote her the following note and asked J to give it to her next morning :

Dear Mrs. H,

J came home extremely disappointed the past two days that she did not have a chance to talk about the poster to her class. She helped me all weekend to make this and had been greatly looking forward to the opportunity. From our last meeting with the guidance counselor, I took away that I was supposed to provide J opportunities for non-academic enrichment and I thought this was a perfect vehicle to do so.

It will become impossible for me to motivate her to work on her assignments and projects going forward if she does not get a chance to share what she put in so much work to help create. Please advise if there is a discipline or other issue that I need to be aware of. As it stands, she is confused at what happened and seems to view this as a punishment for reasons that she is unaware of. I am concerned if that is the case and would like to help remediate the problem.

Please schedule time for us to meet at the PT conference this week. I had not asked for an appointment as you had indicated earlier this was not necessary.

My Full Name
(J's Mother)


ggop said...

How unfortunate! I'm glad you wrote the note. I remember my father having a "chat" with my first grade teacher to sort out some issues.

My memories are vague, but the situation must have been serious to warrant him coming in person to school. The difficult transition to a new school, new faces became a bit easier after that.

Your post took me back to first grade :-)

kintheatl said...

This is really hard to understand. I don't see how a teacher could make this type of a mistake with a child. I hope it turned out ok for her.

Heartcrossings said...

ggop - I found out first hand that as a parent it is hard if not impossible to stay objective when you feel like your child has been hurt.So I'm not a bit surprised about your dad.

kintheatl - Thanks for stopping by ! Things are better now but there were many important lessons learnt that week and after.