There is no questioning I am a somewhat outspoken person or that I am a fiercely passionate and protective mum. Mix the two together and even I feel sorry for my sons school. I am constantly called in for school meetings and after the latest I thought I’d share 3 things I hate the teacher telling me about my child.
Its bad enough we pretty much have each other on speed dial for how forgetful & accident prone he can be but mix that with the fact his one of the youngest in his year with a serious bubbling hyperactive energy and outdoorsy attitude, we are in regular, almost daily contact.
I have learnt over the school years to choose my battles wisely
Let the other mums fight out the ban on peanut butter at lunchtimes ban if ball games and the mounting homework. They have my full support but my opinions are savoured for the endless meetings I have to have. Meetings in which I have to represent my son whilst being understanding of the school and its systems.
It’s really hard, in previous meetings I have been told I have bullied a teacher when merely pointing out I didn’t feel her standards were satisfactory (something they regularly tell my son). I have been told I can’t be a voice for the people when more than one of us parents feel the same and I wanted issues addressed. One time I even played them this awesome video by The Holderness Family (❤️ them) just to explain what having ADHD is like, that was quite fun. I have also walked out of one of the ex head teachers meetings and told her whilst shaking “I may be sat on a students chair but you will not speak to me as such, you have implied I am a liar and so this meeting is terminated any further contact you wish to have with me will be in writing” that was scary. Thankfully that old wench left and the new one has been moving the school forward quite progressively.
Still we regularly have meetings about my sons standards and behaviour and how they align (or don’t) with the system. There are a couple of things that really rub me up the wrong way, I try so hard to be understanding of teachers (I could never do what they do and so have a lot of admiration). But as a mum I’m trying not to loose my shit.
So yesterday we had a meeting because this week behaviour had slipped, they have my support. He got two detentions yesterday at break and lunch time because of his behaviour Tuesday. That should be enough, but it’s not. Instead at our meeting these three things get brought up and I left abruptly, biting my tounge so as I could come back somewhat calmer and explain my feeling in a more eloquent less expletive kinda way.
•”He was fidgety and calling out.”
On any day my eldest child (who unbeknown to him has ADHD) will twitch and fidget, interrupt and call out. Sometimes it can be a little excessive but he is generally a well behaved and polite boy. This behaviour is not just at school; watching TV he may go from sitting to standing or get up to run around or do a pose that looks like his taking part in a yoga class. Watching dinner his foot may be tapping my leg or he is unaware of his cutlery as his hand bolts up as he thinks of something to say and nearly takes his dad’s eye out at the dinner table. Reading mid paragraph he may think of something related he once learnt and just have to tell you. His impulsive and chaotic, we make it work and support all we can. It doesn’t fit a classroom system and so through conditioning and punishment they are trying to rid him if his ADHD tendencies.
The irony is if you have a child full of energy then keep them in at break at lunch unable to burn off that energy, you kind of loose the right to complain to me they are hyper and fidgety in class. I told his teacher for doing so he was his own worst enemy. I couldn’t support punishing my son any further than he had been, I understood why he was fidgety that day when caged in unable to let loose.what did they expect?
•”I know he can behave”
This really pisses me off!! “I know it can be sunny” does not mean I expect it everyday. Of course my child can be good he can also be your standard sulking 9 year old, or the 9 year old trying to be cool in front of his friends, they are human not robots. I find this expectation of day in day out consistency ridiculous, When do you know every person in your family or every work colleague to consistently be the same day in day out. I personally think it would be rather quite dull and children learning in such a social environment is ridiculous not to expect them to be reactive.
•”His being childish”
He knew I was taken back when the words hit me, he felt the need to reaffirm it with “year 2 childish not year 5 childish”. Erm ok. I think that was could possibly have been my response and when the meeting ended.
Once we had left I was kicking myself I hadn’t stood up for my son more, of course his childish, year two, year five I don’t care I am embracing childhood and childish fun all the time I can. Childhood doesn’t last forever and in this day and age it seems to fly by even more quickly. I want that spark and childish fun to last, it’s a very entertaining quality in him.
Today we went back for class assembly and meet the teacher, as he has only been teaching the class since the start of this January term. Their teacher is doing brilliantly, I can see the confidence of the whole class has changed, it’s fabulous. (Something I also told the deputy head as we passed in the corridor on my way out – praise where it’s due and all that!) But I also feel confident now in these meetings that I could explain to the new teacher exactly the reason behind my sons childish behaviour. I explained not only the fact he is a child and one of the youngest in the class, he plays with children of all ages younger and older as himself freely and brilliantly and he also has me as a mum. I am crazy and childish, I say fart a lot, we slide down the stairs on our bum, we make silly videos like the one below and I constantly like to have fun with my kids, however childish and silly that may be at times.
Yesterday if i had reacted I probably would of said a lot in haste, today I was just able to explain our lifestyle may not support all areas of the classroom but I have however explained to my son the implications and difficulties him acting up at the wrong times has on his teachers capabilities in teaching the whole class.
I know these are things that all effect the teacher, and so I try to show my son how his behaviour has an effect whilst supporting him and telling him it is totally cool to embrace and be himself. Motherhood is hard, sending your child to school over 30 hours a week and subsequently “letting them go and grow” whilst still trying to love and support and nuture is really tough. My sons agreed to work on his behaviour and I’ll continue to love and support him whilst being as understanding and supportive as I can of those taking on the reigns to care and support him in the hours his at school.