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Have You Hugged Your Child’s Elementary School Teacher Today?

October 20, 2007
The following is an email I received from a friend of many, many years who is now an elementary school teacher. Her stories help me be a better and more interactive parent with my elementary child/student.

Dearest Kitty,
I haven’t forgotten you my sweetie! It’s just that I’ve been so distraught! I interviewed for a new teaching position that was created because of large class sizes. The office called and offered me the job. So I’ve been on an adrenaline rush ever since. I spent the next day in the office all day filling out more paperwork and getting things set up. I was on the payroll that Friday, and I started with the kiddies on Monday. Parents and some students were extremely unhappy because they were pulled out of their original classes, and to top it off, it’s a multiage class of fourth and fifth graders. In theory, I’m not supposed to have to teach two sets of lessons, but in practice some things just have to be differentiated, such as spelling, math, and reading. It’s been an absolute nightmare of working around the clock everyday again. I haven’t worked less than 70 hours a week since I started. I still have trouble with a couple of fifth grade boys and one fifth grade girl thinking that they aren’t doing fifth grade work. I have one fourth grade boy who is so hyper that he acts like he should be in a behavior disorder class–or more aptly [edit to protect her most primitive frustrated thoughts]. I can hardly teach anything with that motor in the classroom! Thank God his mother put him on medication, and things got better, but last Thursday was nothing short of outrageous. When I sent my daily e-mail to the mother, she replied that she had changed his medicine to a slower release drug. Then she said that she couldn’t remember whether she gave him the med that morning. Well, thanks for making 19 other students and the teacher’s life a living ____! (Fill in the blanks with all caps!) The vice principal says to just send him down for a little diversion when I need to, so I did twice. He worked some for the V.P. and returned within half an hour both times. The mom doesn’t want him to miss out on any instruction, as a result, 19 other students have to miss out on instruction because of him, and he misses his instruction even when he is in the classroom. I’m supposed to have a zero tolerance for such behavior, but nothing is consequential enough to make a difference. Enough rambling about that bologna!…

  1. momo permalink
    October 20, 2007 3:50 pm

    I admire K-12 teachers so much. It’s a job I’ve thought hard about doing, but I think I wouldn’t have the stamina or the patience for it. I hope your friend’s class settles in.

  2. Chris permalink
    October 20, 2007 11:10 pm

    Trevor’s 2nd grade teacher is the sister of Alexis’ friend, so I feel we get the straight truth this year (of course that cuts both ways! LOL).

    My brother is a teacher so I really appreciate all they go through. The part I wouldn’t want to deal with is both 1) the parents who don’t care and 2) the parents who are sure that little Johnny is Yale material no matter what the facts say.

  3. Professor Zero permalink
    October 29, 2007 9:41 pm

    “I’m supposed to have a zero tolerance for such behavior, but nothing is consequential enough to make a difference.”

    That is the problem with college freshmen and sophomores as well! I do not have the patience or stamina, much less the interest, in K-12 but I really wish I had been trained for it, I need the info.

    Even in college, the two main problems are dealing with the (supposedly) grownup results of the two problems Chris identifies.

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