Day #3 and she came home with this:
I cannot tell you how hurt her feelings were.
And the worst part is she insisted she did nothing wrong.
She couldn’t articulate to me what rule she broke or what happened, which means she didn’t understand herself. Every day the teacher puts a system on a calendar that is clipped inside her take home folder. On the top of the sheet it shows a 1-10 list of things they could have done to earn negative marks.
#6 said “I didn’t make good choices at lunchtime” or something similar.
Then on her calendar there you can see that her teacher wrote “playing”.
Growing up myself, lunch was the one time of the day that you were able to chat and play and hang out with your friends. So you can imagine my confusion in being able to talk to her about it.
- Was she standing on the lunch table?
- Doing cartwheels in the aisle?
- Corralling a group of girls to play Uno?
Or was it as simple as she wanted to chat instead of eat.
And I don’t want to be this crazy parent and I truly believe Charlotte, like all 5 year olds, can break the rules. I know she can. Let me reiterate, she is FIVE. The word “NO!” is part of my everyday conversation.
It still begs the question was this lunch incident so negative that it took out her entire day of activity to a neutral face?
I can tell you that she was distraught over it. She was embarrassed and her feelings were hurt. To her, sad faces and neutral faces…quite honestly- they are negative. It feels like negative reinforcement.
She HID her face behind her hands when we wanted to talk to her about it and said “NO, NO, DON’T LOOK AT IT!”
The past two years Charlotte has been in Montessori preschool 5 days a week 8-12:30 and during the summer, also the past 2 years, summer camp 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In all that time she has never once had a teacher send something home or talk to us about behavior. And I am positive she broke the rules and acted out on occasion, its impossible that she didn’t, but that never translated to her coming home feeling bad about herself.
In fact, Tuesday after gymnastics she started to cry at me because she was so hungry and I didn’t have any money on me to buy her a snack. We had to go straight from school to 2 hours of gymnastics training and I didn’t consider how hungry she would be. Bad mommy. As she was standing there frustrated at me and crying, two of her instructors stopped and one mouthed to me “Is that Charlotte!??!”
They were shocked because they have never seen her cry.
As you can imagine 3 days into public education I’m wondering, how strict is this lunchtime?
Are they not using warnings?
I am sure I sound like a parent on a war path. And it’s not my intention.
It’s just that I want Charlotte to LOVE learning.
I have a feeling it’s going to be a long, long school year.