I don’t know if this is due to the military past, or just because of who I am, but a written warning. . .NOT a good thing.
And yet, I am now the parent of a child that was written up for. . . misconduct.
I should have made a copy of the complaint, so that I could write it verbatim, but you’ll just have to take my word that it was somewhat seared into my brain through the sheer shame of it.
But, allow me fill you in (some of this is from the phone conversation with the teacher and some from the written report).
History: Last week in gym the teachers made a rule that upset my guys. (And not just my guys, as I heard from a couple other students they did not like it.) This caused one of my guys to become irked; however, he followed the rules and continued on. At some point the teacher cheered him on for something or other and he ignored her. The same when she repeated the cheering later on.
Because he refused to acknowledge her attempts to cheer him on she determined that he was “angry with her” and decided to talk to him about how he was feeling.
As the mother of boys let me get one thing perfectly clear. When a young man is “feeling” something, and that feeling appears to be negative the best thing you can do is BACK OFF. Otherwise, they perceive you as IN THEIR FACE and you have just become an aggressor. Seriously, I know this after many years of experience, and I even asked the two adult men in my home tonight and they told me they would truly feel “intruded upon” but, as adults, they believe they can control their primal urge to pop someone in the nose. (Honestly, in my opinion, they jury is still out on that.)
Yes, at some point you do have to talk to a male child about their feelings, but please, oh please, oh please, avoid the pitfall I see all too many women make and step aside until the boy’s emotional state is under check. You will get ever so much further with your child, and it gives them a chance to step back and see another perspective.
My mother used to tell me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
I know why she said that. I know the reasons so deep in my bones, that I hear myself say that to my children ALL. THE. TIME.
Darned if they never apply that rule until they are around an outsider!
So, the teacher attempted to talk to my son about how he was feeling. . .and he proceeded to keep his mouth shut and pick up nuts.
Now, this particular area gets a little fuzzy. She wrote that he threw the nuts at her; however, on the phone she told me that he threw them in her direction. He says he tossed them down. I’m curious if any nuts hit her, because it is my general observation that when one is trying to talk to another about their feelings they tend to get into rather close proximity to each other. And if he honestly “threw them at her” then I would think at least a few of them would have found their mark and that would have been the end of the complaint as I believe that he then would immediately have been marched to either myself or an administrator.
However, that did not happen (his being marched in).
The complaint continues, that he walked away from the teacher and was “seen” by another teacher “gossiping” with a fellow student.
Can you “see” gossip? I thought it was all verbal.
If a person is talking about something directly related to themselves is it gossip?
Did anyone actually HEAR what was said? I have two sons in the class and they honestly can’t recall if they were talking together or to another, let alone what was said. Goodness, what if someone had merely said, “Dude, your fly is open.”
Really? He is getting in trouble for an assumption here, and we all know the saying about when one assumes.
I believe it was at this point he was sent into time-out.
So, here are my thoughts as I’m trying to work it out.
- First off, I can’t believe the teacher thought he was “angry with her” just because he didn’t acknowledge her cheering. (Personally, someone cheering me on would make me incredibly uncomfortable, so I would have completely ignored the cheering too. Hello? Introvert!)
Secondly, why care??? He was following the rules and doing as he was asked, even though he was frustrated.
I believe my child should have at least acknowledged the teacher when she confronted him. It is a sign of disrespect not to do so.
If my child honestly threw nuts at the teacher, I want “provide” him with some serious discipline. At this point, I cannot do that as I truly do not believe that was the case. (My gut tells me there is not an ever-so-patient person in the world that wouldn’t take that particular issue immediately to the parent or the administrator.) My experience is this is the child who cries over a digital pig “drowning” in a video game.
I am quite certain something like this WILL happen again, and I don’t know how to avoid it. If the teacher is going to get in his face once, she won’t hesitate to do so again. The only resolution I have for this, should this happen again, is for him to ask to be taken directly to me. My follow-up fear is that she’ll wish to “resolve” it between them before acting upon his request.
Finally, I am frustrated, because I feel I have no recourse. My child was written up, but I have no official way to “write up” my thoughts, and I feel my thoughts are just as valid as the instructors. More importantly, so are the thoughts and explanations of my son.