My (almost) 5 year old is acting up at his new school and the teacher's imo 'boxing' him in already

Ariana - posted on 10/16/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




Hello! I moved recently and since day one we've been having minor issues in terms of school.

First they wouldn't let me put him in until I had 'proper' proof of address (even though I had a lease) because they had been audited and apparently people were there that weren't supposed to be (which is weird 'cause it's just a normal school but whatever). So it took me three times going in to get him in, so he missed a week of school.

Once they said he could go I asked if I could meet with the teacher later that day or before school so my son could meet her. They basically said well you'll see her when you bring him in. I'm sure my child would be fine but I really wanted to make sure he was comfortable in a new spot with a new person, I wouldn't leave him with a babysitter he'd never even seen before, why would I do so with a teacher?

The principle saw him and he was doing a spider-man thing, and he started asking me, was he in any special programs? And is this how he acts? I told him he usually isn't like that in class. We had also been sitting there waiting for 15 minutes so he wasn't exactly at his best by the time the principle finally talked to us.

So I get there on Tuesday when he started and I came early and called the teacher down to meet her, which was once again met with like, 'why??' but I persisted. Either way she took one look at him, asked him something which he responded to but didn't look at her for and she said, "Well I can tell you already we're going to have problems." when he hadn't even done anything. She also asked me if he'd been in and 'special programs' and told me she'd be talking to his teacher from the other school.

This after seeing him for literally 30 seconds. She was obviously prepped by the principle to think he was some 'special' case.

When I got back she said, he listened sometimes, didn't listen other times, said no but they'd take it day by day. She had just asked because the way he acted in the office (which she wasn't there for) and when she had met him (which he didn't do anything). So she already jumps to conclusions really quickly.

The next day she said he didn't do very well, said no a lot, and was defiant. She recommended this program (although didn't give me the specifics on it) and said 'You need help' (in regards to him) at least 3 times during our conversation.

So now him acting out is obviously MY fault, thanks.

Okay, I understand my child is not a bucket of sunshine, he is a bit defiant at times, but he has gotten WAY worse since Tuesday when he started. He literally tried to run away this morning 4 times while laughing, he's actually gotten WORSE. He wasn't acting like this before, I mean, we had our defiant moments, but that's turned into moments to being defiant ALL DAY basically since Tuesday and I don't understand why.

I'm just worried because she seems to be jumping to conclusions really quickly without having to even gotten to know him, I don't want him to be boxed in as this 'bad kid' when he's generally pretty good. Once again I know he has moments but we work through those and he's no worse than any other kid. I also get the vibe I'M being blamed for this as she keeps saying 'YOU need help' when I'M not the one having major issues with him SHE is.

Like I said though, this morning he refused to stay in line, tried running away, and had to basically be held by another woman while I left this morning, which didn't happen before, and he refused to listen to me when I told him to come back and stay.

I usually have to do a 1-2-3 thing, and it didn't work. I also said if he didn't come back he wouldn't get tv or a treat and he still refused so now I have to take his tv and treat away today. I'm just unsure how to proceed, I can see he's obviously being defiant there, but his behaviors gotten worse at home since going there (and this wasn't the case at the last school). The teacher also seems friendly enough and well-intentioned, but she's jumping to conclusions and, in my opinion, boxing my child into a certain way of being before he's had a chance.

I keep talking to my son about listening really well, and doing what he's asked and he told me yesterday he CAN'T be good and didn't want to go to school, but I keep saying he can be and he's going to do better. I don't want him to have a bad year at school or be thought of as a bad kid, I want him to be able to listen while he's there. I also don't want the teacher judging him and boxing him into this type of behavior because he does MUCH better with positive reinforcement or when you say how good he is at things. I'm not sure what exactly to do on my side and on the school side.


Chet - posted on 10/16/2014




This is insane. Do you have any other school options, or is this the only school you have access to?

It's really strange the school delayed your son's entry, and resisted your requests to meet the teacher. Normally schools want to start kids quickly, and have them meet the teacher in advance because they know it helps with the transition.

Your son isn't 5 yet, he's just been through a move and this is completely new school with a new teacher and kids he doesn't know. His behaviour isn't unusual at all for a 4 or 5 year old in a new situation.

What I find concerning is that the teacher doesn't seem interested in helping your son settle in. There should have more from her in terms of trying analyse and understand your son, figuring out what he needs to succeed, asking you what strategies have worked him in the past, etc.

I think that all of your concerns are completely valid. The most important thing your can take away from your first years in school is good feelings about school.

I would find out more about special program, and I would look into other schools that might be more supportive and interested in working with kids to figure out what they need to do well.

I would also try to get your son talking school and what goes on there. Ask him what he likes, what he doesn't like. Ask him if he can name one fun thing and one not fun thing. Lecturing him isn't likely to make a huge difference. I suspect he's acting out because of how he feels and all of the changes that he's been through.

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