Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dear Teacher,

I have been thinking about the phone conversation we just had.  I wanted to send you an e-mail rather than call you back because, though I might sound like I am calm and collected, I'm not really.  So, as I sit here in tears of frustration, there are a few more things I want to discuss.

This is my baby we are talking about.  He is loud.  He is funny,  He is impulsive.  He is smart.  He is exactly as God intended for him to be.  I want for him to be able to function in public and society at large without disruption and without alienation, but I will not force him to change who he is.

As a co-educator with you, I feel that it is my job to help and support you in managing my child's behavior.  When he is disruptive or disrespectful of class time, you have my full support.  Sebastian and I are teaching our children respect for authority; respect for unformed officers, their parents and other adults, employees of an establishment, and most especially for you as their teachers.

You just told me that you can tell Jonah is trying hard to control his classroom behavior.  Perhaps you are not seeing the level of maturity and self control that you would like yet, but we both know that he is trying very hard.  For this reason, I have to object to Jonah getting a green slip for splashing in puddles on the playground today.  After sitting in class and trying very hard to control himself (with varying degrees of success), he must be allowed to go out and be a kid.  If he wasn't getting anyone else wet, and wasn't putting himself or anyone else in danger, then I really can't agree with him not being allowed to be a 7 year old boy.  Sure, he will be wet.  He will probably be uncomfortable.  Those are natural consequences.  He will probably decide on his own that splashing in puddles is not a good idea.  I might have to buy him new shoes, but that would be my problem, not the school's.

In short, if Jonah is showing that he is putting an effort into controlling himself inside of a formal learning situation, he MUST be allowed to let loose all of his stored energy outside the classroom.  I worry that he is being tagged as "the bad boy" in people's minds, and that is just not so.  He is a child full of life.  I would rather that any of my children live life to the fullest as God created them.



Karen and Gerard said...

What's the big deal about a kid splashing in a puddle? Good for you for standing up for him!

Lee Ann said...

Oh my goodness! Isn't it soooo frustrating. I think you have a great attitude about your boy and they way you're parenting him. Recess is so hard for kids these days. There are way more "don'ts" than dos".

Sorry you're having to go through this. This too shall pass - and prayerfully without a label of "the bad boy".