Thought teacher's way of tracking daily behavior was beneficial, until.... - FamilyEducation
Thought teacher's way of tracking daily behavior was beneficial, until....
05/06/2009 at 03:25 AM

My daughter's kindergarten teacher tracks daily behavior on a weekly sheet that gets taken home daily. It lists the days Monday thru Friday. The scores are "Excellent", "Good", "Warning" and "Unacceptable". Since she started kindergarten, my daughter has come with her daily behavior marked as "Excellent" with either some star or "way to go" stickers next to that day.
When the kids go home with a "Warning" or "Unacceptable" marked for their behavior, the teacher(as I found out last week), adds a very short comment next to that day to explain why she marked them with that specific score. Every day of the week when I go pick up my daughter at school the children usually have this sheet out of their backpacks and in their hands. My daughter always excited to hand it to me and show me how great she did that day. Every day accept for last friday, when she came out to meet me and noticed she was a quieter than usual and didn't have the sheet out in her hand. I was in a hurry so I didn't pay much attention, until I got home and made her take her tracking sheet out of her backpack so I could see how she had done. She took the sheet out carefully and handed it to me looking at me worried. When I looked at the marking for the last day of the week, there was a big red bold "Unacceptable" marked on that day, and next too it a quite visible red comment which read: "Touched boy in private parts", which was also underlined. When I read this I was completely shocked. I didn't know what to make of this at first and felt an awful knot in my throat. My daughter looked at me with sad eyes and didn't say a word. I was so upset at my daughter I was about to go off on her, but then I took a deep breath and then I felt I was even more angry at her teacher. How come I wasn't informed of this, at school? This sounded like it had been a serious incident and the teacher just writes a little note on this sheet expecting me to know exactly what went down? What had caused this behavior? Did she see my girl doing this? Was it by accident or not? So many questions raced in my head, yet, no clear answered as to what had transpired.
I tried to keep myself together to try and find out more about this with my daughter. I didn't even know how to begin questioning her. I then took another deep breath and asked her "why did you this?" She just looked at me and didn't answer, it seemed like she didnt even know what I was asking. "It says here that you touched a boy, why did you do it, or did you do it?" She finally ended up telling me that a boy at school had pulled her hair during recess, so she turned around and tried to push him, and ended up touching him just below the back pockets of his pants. I asked my daughter if the teacher had seen this or if she had told the teacher what the boy did to her and she said that the teacher had not witnessed the incident, but that the boy had gone to the teacher to tell on her and she had gotten in trouble for it. My daughter had to sit in front on the class through the rest of the day because she had been "bad". But my daughter didn't even know what the boy had told the teacher. I since have arranged a private meeting with the teacher and will be seeing her in a couple of days. I just don't believe it's fair for the child or the parent to have those types of comments written on a piece of paper, specially when that piece of paper can be seen or be taken by anyone. This just mortifies us, the parents, and makes us think of the worst, when not a lot of explanation is given to us to make us feel any better about the disciplinary actions that were taken against our children due to the quoted behavior. I believe, out of courtesy, that the teacher should've at least called me out to discuss this privately, and not just think that it's something I'm going to read and feel it's ok and this issue has been dealt with. That's how I personally feel. What do you guys think?

As long as everything I read is accurate, you have every right to be upset with this situation. The teacher listens to one side of the story, punishes your daughter, and then sends home a note that would cause most any parent serious alarm. If this were a true touching incident I would think the principal would have been involved, and this would have been handled in the office rather than the classroom. In my dealings with teachers I have found that many will only see things their way, and rarely admit to making any mistake. If I have issues I send those issues in an email which I CC to the principal. If I meet with the teacher, I usually ask that the principal be present at the meeting. There have been several issues resolved without me ever having to attend the meeting I have requested. I believe you are on the right track, and that your concerns are valid.

This has happened to my daughter as well. She was turning around and accidentally touched a boy in his privates. Of course we get the notification that she did it and if it happens again, she will be asked not to come back (this is a after school daycare). My daughter didn't know what she did was bad, she didn't even mean to do it. They apply these rules to all ages in the school system. Young children (most of them) don't understand. Why should they be punished the same? Her teacher also has that conduct sheet. I have to deal with short comments a lot. She has my email address, which she will use on ocassion. Why can't she just email me , so I will understand what is going on? It's very frustrating at times. We've also had meetings with the teacher and I don't think that everything is my daughter's fault. She got a nag for a teacher this year and I can't wait until it's over with!

Thank you guys for your input on this, I feel a whole lot better now, thought maybe I was just being paranoid. Being my first experience with having a kid in kindergarten, I didn't know little situations like this could turn into a nightmare. My daughter loves going to school and insists on going everyday even if she is sick. She is a very sensitive girl and gets her feelings hurt really easily. I don't believe it's fair either, that little kids their age should be held accountable the same way a teenager would,or an adult, since like you stated earlier, sometimes they don't even know what they're doing or might do something by accident that looks "bad" to a grown up. I also can't wait for kindergarten to be over, since my daughter has told me that she has actually cried in class a couple of times. I just feel so protective of her and wish I could be there with here every moment of her life. But I guess that's how life is and our kids will be dealing with some of this issues(bullies, bad teachers, bad influences) on their own.

I'd have a bigger problem with the public humiliation of sitting in front of the whole class. The written note was actually a private communication, the other kindergartners most likely did not read it, nor did the other parents.