I feel like my kindergarten has no chance in his class. - FamilyEducation
I feel like my kindergarten has no chance in his class.
09/14/2007 at 09:04 AM

Well my son started kindergarten this year. He was so excited and parted from me with no problem. Now he has started crying. I need help to understand if I am wrong or right to feel like this. He can't tie his shoe yet, so when his shoe comes untied he tries his best to fix it some how. When his teacher saw his shoe string hanging she told him to fix it, but it just got worse and the string started to come out. She put him in time out while the others played on the play ground. Okay, my child can go to the bathroom by himself. Most of the time he can button his pants. But one day he had a belt on and I told her he might need some help with it. She looked at me like I was crazy. Also one day he went all day with his pants unbutton b/c he counldn't get it. The one thing I don't like is how when he is making a mistake on his work she will take his paper and ball it up in front of him. I feel like she is embarrassing him. I don't know is I am jumping the gun but it has been 2 weeks and now he is crying and hates school. Please help!

Some teachers just have different teaching styles.from what you write, I do not like this one.I did have a similiar experience,my husband and I both meet with the teacher and principle.The teacher became my new "best friend".Our son was never unhappy with her,we just didn't care for her very strict teaching methods.The fact that your child is this unhappy in kindergarten is upsetting.If you cannot get this teacher to really work with you,consider another teacher.You may get some resistance with this,(with the school)but it's worth a try. You want kindergarten to be a good experience for your child.good luck! P.S. my son is in the third grade and still  is having a hard time with his laces! velcro shoes and elastic waist bands are great.


Oh dear... my heart breaks for you as I read this... My youngest daughter had a nightmare of a time with her kindergarten teacher. She had the same teacher that my oldest daughter had --- and my middle daughter had another teacher (who had her own issues) --- so when my "baby" got this first teacher again, I was happy! HOWEVER

the learning style of my youngest did not jive with this teacher.

Just as there are different teaching styles, there are different learning styles. Because of class size, because of the wide range of needs in each classroom - teachers just have a hard time adapting their teaching for individual students AS THEY SHOULD be doing!!

I agree with the other comment - go to the school, RUN don't walk, and request a meeting with the teacher AND the principal. Do not feel intimidated.

You are your child's advocate and they do need a voice and a support. Kindergarten can be CRITICAL to how your child begins his school experience.

And continue to go to the teacher/principal until you get some satisfaction.

Do not be ugly, confrontational, loud, angry, or sarcastic. Be well-informed. You know your child - so prepare for your meeting with the teacher. Explain what their strengths and weaknesses are, explain that they are an attentive listener, very interested in science and nature, BUT their fine motor skills (like buttoning) is still in novice stage and you REALLY APPRECIATE THEIR PATIENCE as "we all work together" to make Stephen excel in school and be successful.


You are all on the same side, right? It is in their best interest to have a happy eager-to-learn student. And if you cannot get good results, do not give up. Keep trying. If this teacher cannot work with your child, then respectfully suggest that your child be moved, and ultimately, you can move schools, or even homeschool. Those would be drastic measures, but you need to do the BEST thing for your child. That is the bottom line.

Be strong. You can do it. (my youngest is now a junior in high school) 

Kindergarten is the foundation for a child either loving school or hating it.  Is my opinion.  I would definately meet with the teacher and the princ.  And explain that you are not asking for special treatment but that is a fragile age and if your child is not having a good experience it will set the tone for the future.  I do know that the "teachers" if it is a public school especially do not like hands on with children because of all of the allegations that they can become involved in.  A simple helping a child with a belt possibly can turn into touching inappropriately when in fact they were not.  That is why a lot of teachers in public schools do not have physical contact with children and refuse to.  I have a Kindergarten child and a 3rd grader.  My son went to a private school until this year, b/c too much money for two to attend private school.  And I do miss the extra attention but my daughter is doing great.  No she can not tie her shoe or do a belt and keep her shirt tucked in.  I felt it was too much for a child her age to keep up with.  So I opted for elastic shorts with no belt.  And velcro shoes.  We will slowly add things like a belt one day and so forth.  You could always try that they make a lot of shoes that slip on, etc.  Her trying to keep her shirt tucked in is enough for my little girl.  Here teacher is very strict and I was concerned with that but so far so good.  But definately meet with them, b/c if he can not tie his shoe and needs help that is definately no reason for timeout.  That is an issue that needs dealt with.  Good luck!


My daughter is now going to be 11 but she had an awful year in kindergarten. She cried every morning for nearly the whole year and only made one friend. She was so attached to me that it made it difficult for her to adjust to being at school. I had to call in the calvary....the guidance counselor. That did the trick. We had a very warm, caring, and wonderful guidance team that really helped her out. I also love the other mother's suggestion of making things as easy as possible for your son. Elastic waistbands for easy on-off in the bathroom and Velcro shoes until he masters tying his shoes. Kids are so different at this age and some are book-ready for school and some are skills-ready. Some are both. Mine was book-ready but not skills ready and certainly not emotionally ready for the separation. She has come a long way but we still have issues with her about making friends in a timely manner and trying to be more outgoing. She struggles with this. Your son is just frustrated and missing you, it sounds. Encourage him as best you can, give extra love and support, and make things as easy for him as you can. When all else fails...get guidance involved. That's their job and most are great at it.


There has been some thoughtful advice given on this subject.  I don't have anything to add.  They said more than what I would have thought of!


I have 4 year old twins who started school this year.  Luckily they have good teachers whom I feel comfortable talking to and my girls both love it.  As for the belt incident, during our orientation it was explained that the teachers were not allowed to button pants, belt or help them in any way with getting dressed because of the liability for sexual misconduct allegations.  So that part I understand the teachers position.  I only buy pants that have elastic and velcro shoes, no belts.  I try to make it easy so that both my girls have a positive day.  The punishment and the throwing away his work to me is unacceptable.  I would most definately talk to the teacher and princ.  and if you meet with resistance keep on being a pain.  Your son shoudn't remember his 1st school year as a horrible experience. You are your childs voice.


I hate it when I hear about teacher's making children (who clearly can't do it) tie their own shoes. For some kids this just takes a little longer to figure out. In the meantime they can't walk around with their shoes untied. Maybe you should consider velcro a few days a week and then work with him extra at home on tying laces.And balling up his paper in front of him is just plain mean and un-called for. My friend had a teacher who actually took a picture of her daughter (kindergarten) sleeping in class and then showed it to her as if my friend wouldn't believe her if she just told her. She had multiple other issues with this teacher and eventually had several meetings with the principal and the teacher. The principal was on their side and really helped to get this worked out. In the teacher's defense she can't be expected to help a child with a belt everytime he goes to the bathroom. Imagine doing that with all the kids everytime they went. My daughter has this same problem. I always have to buy her the adjustable waist pants or I send her in stretch pants. Good Luck!


I think you need to move your child, quickly.

It is imperative that a kindergarten teacher be sensitive to the learning level of a child, and to the emotions of a chld.

The best way to handle tying the shoe would be to teach the child, in a non humiliating way.  "Hey, Jim, can I tie that for you?" And as you tie it, "Hmm. Let's see, how do you do this? Oh yes! Take this string and make a little bunny ear! Now, take this string, and tie that bunny by the ear! Now, slide the string into the rabbit hole.  Oh, wow, he has 2 ears."  No one is embarrassed. You've "taught" as you tied.

Some things you can work on at home.  There are all kinds of amazing dolls and toys to help with motor skills.  Get him a clown doll with buttons, and help him learn to button it.  Make it a fun game.  With the belt, do the same thing.

But get him OUT of a class where the teacher humiliates him.



wow, my daughter will start kinder this fall and I'm dreading different issues, will the teacher love her take care of her like i do, ofcourse not. Well i will be there volunteering more than she thinks, but this is what i don't like hard and mean teachers. Seems like your sons teacher is doing more punishing instead of correcting or helping him. To me teaching academics and a parents job is much alike, you praise a child for trying and if it is not perfect it is ok, you help them and then they will learn. I would absolutely look into putting my child with another teacher by discussing this with the principal. The teacher seems to be a bit harsh, remember he was excited to go to school and now thanks to her loving teaching ways he is dreading school.....

Are you a teacher? If not you should be, we need kind hearted humans like you in our elementary schools.

I haven't had a chance to read all the replies, but here's my opinion. First thought, talk to your son, then to the teacher. Find out the whole story. Go to the principal if you have to. Don't make a fuss about the shoelaces or fasteners. Buy shoes w/ velcro straps and get pants w/ elastic waists. Keep the other clothing/ shoes at home to practice w/ your son there. If he's not used to doing these things himself, he may just need practice. My son is going into kindergarten this Sept, and he has a tough time w/ these things too. The teacher shld know that at the kindergarten level, kids are still developing at different paces, and the things she's expecting are unrealistic for some kids. This teacher needs to focus on bringing out the positive in your child, not knock him down for what he's unable to do. As for the pants/belt issue, I wld avoid clthing of this type in school altogether. It's very likely that the teacher's not allowed to help w/ pants or bathrm issues. In this case, I wld ask the school about their policy w/ this. In my son's case, I had to give the school nurse permission to assist him w/ his bathrm needs. Since the nurse has a medical license, the school allowed it. I suggest if this teacher doesn't change her ways, you shld consider changing teachers or maybe even schools. Right now, reassure your child that he did nothing wrong, and that you are so proud at how hard he is trying. Work w/ him at home to help enhance his skills. There are dolls and even puzzles that you can buy to practice w/ also. The dolls have buttons, snaps, buckles, ties, etc., and the puzzles have different latches and locks. Do a lot of hands on things w/ your son at home (playdough, coloring...) to help him strengthen his fine motor skills. Also cutting is great practice too. If after some time, you see his skills aren't getting stronger, talk to your son's dr. Overall, though I wldn't worry. Best of luck!

I read many replies here, and sincerely, I feel , like, "super mom", because my experience with me daughter was same with some replies from here, for one long year, my daughter choose by her self shoes in store, because can`t fixed her tie, and don`t like jeans because can`t open and close button, , this is for kindergarten, because now, finish first grade, and she is comfortable with everything, and I SAY , EVERY TIME HER TEACHER THANKS, BECAUSE WAS NICE TEACHER AND WONDERFUL WOMAN, especially with me, I remember, when my daughter was in kindergarten , can`t speak good English, and many words she know in my language, but, every time she like school and friends and she have special words for her two teacher, in kindergarten and first grade. Finally, I work hard every day to learn and to fix every thing, and results are very good. Dear Lindsayliz..., I think in your case, teacher is important, my girl was lucky, because teacher was perfect.. and, I think, like you learn to run with bike, need practise , and success come... (sorry, my English is not perfect, but I learn and practise every day...) thanks.

I am a kindergarten teacher myself and truly feel the need to reply to this. I have a class of 22 boys and girls in a public school and feel I'm doing a good job. No complaints from the parents, happy students. But seriously, expecting your childs teacher to do his belt up? Really? This is not only placing undue pressure on your son's teacher but asking her to bend a code of conduct we strictly adhere to. We do not touch students. Plain and simple. It is unprofessional, especially in an area where the belt is concerened. I do believe that scrunching up work and punishing your child for not tying up his shoelaces is completely out of line. However, can you also understand that there is a time and place for punishment in a Kindergarten classroom. Not harsh punishment, but students need to be made aware of the rules and the expected behaviour, and there needs to be consequences, otherwise what will these children do when they hit later grades? Mine miss five minutes of free play for each offense, and can earn it back with sensible behaviour. That's just the way I roll, and good luck finding any teacher who does not have a similar system. Finally, I have to comment on cartu's (sp? Sorry, can not remember your username) comments. Please, please, PLEASE do not volunteer constantly and pester your childs teacher for special attention. This will drive the teacher insane and cause schoolwide resentment towards your family. Understand that your daughter is one of about 25. She is special and unique, and a good teacher will nurture her special qualities, but having you constantly hanging around will not only give her a false sense of entitlement over her peers, it could lead her peers to resent her. It will also most likely cause her teacher to go out of her way not to place special treatment on your child. I have seen it happen. Also, if you honestly believe teaching academics and parenting are a similar, you have a lot to learn. Some things are for the teacher, some are for the parent, some are shared. Learn what these things are, and do not try and involve the teacher in personal, family issues. It never works out well.

I read this and had to reply! I can only assume that the majority of the replies came from stay at home moms that have somehow channeled June Cleaver. Parents have come to think that our children are more special than any other child and therefore deserve their teachers undivided attention. I have recently sent off my third to kindergarten.Unlike the older two she is uninterested and refuses to do the work or follow the rules. To blame her teacher is insane. Kindergarten teachers are NOT nannies. It's not their job to coddle your child. It is our JOB as a parent to send our children off to school with the tools to learn. Tying shoes and buttoning pants are OUR jobs. Reading to our children is our job. Teaching our children the alphabet is our job. Seriously people...you aren't super-mom if your child can do these things and you aren't a failure if they can't.