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Hello, My son who is in kindergarten was recently part of a group of 9-10 kids who went out the back door


Anonymous October 30, 2009

instead of the front door as the class going to music class. As a result, they lost priviledge to attend the music class and recess on that day. The teacher sent an email to the parents about the incident and asking for written apology notes but didn't specify when the note is due. We weren't sure about what going and planned to come talk to her during the parent-teacher conference which is going to take place in a few days. The next day, she sent us another email asking for the apology note the next day. So we sent her a note back telling her that we'd like to meet and discuss w/ her about the incident and also asked the intention of the apology note. Today, we found out that our son was asked to sit on the bench during recess for not bringing in the apology note. We've never had to deal w/ this kind of discipline before. We have an older son who is in 5th grade. Do you think that all of these disciplinary actions are needed for kindergarten kids who went out the wrong door? Thanks!

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healthy11 October 31, 2009

I do think it's reasonable to ask for a meeting with the teacher before you force your child to try to write about something without knowing the details. (I'd imagine not all kindergarteners have mastered printing individual words, anyway, so writing an apology note seems particularly severe.) The children are just kindergarteners, and have probably only been in school for two months total. I'm surprised the teacher still wouldn't be escorting the kids as a group, so 9 or 10 of them wouldn't be left on their own to go out a different door. I find it hard to believe that this group "conspired" to intentionally go against a teacher's instruction, if she had told them which way to enter/exit the room.
From what you've said, I'd elevate the matter to the school principal, in a letter, explaining what you just told us. The instructor seems to be expecting a great deal from kindergarten students...


michellea October 31, 2009

I agree with Healthy:
1. The fact that 9 kids went through the wrong door points to confusion and lack of supervision in my opinion - not willful group misbehavior.
2. The punishment seems very harsh - unclear - and over the top. I agree that asking a kindergartner to write a note is most likely more than they are developmentally ready to do.

I'd ask for a phone or face to face meeting with the teacher to get more details and if you remain dissatisfied, would not hesitate to take it up with the principal.

Has she been teaching long? Seems her expectations are unrealistic.


TeacherParent November 1, 2009

What happened after they went out the back door??

In any case, mass e-mails sent to parents about such a mysterious incident is a poor way to handle this. Is this a teacher new to teaching? It's certainly not a teacher who knows how to build bridges with her students' parents.

It's unlikely that 9-10 kindergarteners were making a break for it and heading off to play hooky... And - how come they can get out the back door on their own?

What occurs to me is that this teacher is feeling - deep down inside - that she might be at fault here and she's trying to cover that up with her stringent e-mails and apology demands. You might try taking the tack of asking "Hey, how come 9-10 little kids can even get out the back door anyway? Let's first talk safety issues here and then certainly let's talk apologies."

What should he apologize for? Childish confusion?

But in dealing with this teacher, you've learned a lesson - not to wait when she sends an e-mail or she'll make your son sit on the bench. That's a lesson learned but let's see what she's learned from losing 9-10 of her students out the back door.

Is that door required to be left unlocked for some reason? Fire safety? Once outside it, could the children get back inside or did it lock them out?
It's important to find out what happened next - what's outside that back door and who saw them there, who let them back in.

And consider telling this teacher that yes, while you have e-mail - in the future when it regards a behavioral matter, you really need a phone call. You cannot promise that you check your e-mail every day - not everybody does nor should they have to.

This is a very curious matter - I hope you'll post back as you know more.

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