Monthly Archives: February 2012

100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child

I came across this article today.  100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child written by Alyssa.  I think it is true for parents of all aged children.

http://creativewithkids.com/100-ways-to-be-kind-to-your-child/

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Correspondence From the Teacher

At my school, when a parent contacts me, it is expected that I will return their email, call, note, etc. within 24 hours.   Parents expect that and so does my administration.  Instant communication with the teacher, how lovely is that.  I believe that we are about the only professionals out there that you are able to talk to anytime that you wish.  The reverse is not true however.  When I take the time to write to you, or call you the parent, about something concerning your child, please have the decency to respond.  Would you ignore a phone call from your doctor? Of course not! You respond to tweets, texts, voicemails, Facebook posts almost immediately upon receipt, but a note from your child’s teacher.. hmm, not so quickly I am afraid.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Parents, if I contact you it is for a very good reason.  In the future, please take the time to respond when it comes to good and welfare of your child.  It is your child’s best interests that I have at heart.. when you don’t respond to me, can you really say the same?

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents

Kissing in School ?

Many, many, many years ago when I taught third grade, girls would complain that boys tried to kiss them at school.  These same complaints have now found their way into first grade classrooms.   Both boys and girls are trying to kiss their classmates against the classmates’ will.  We have had to have several talks about kissing, when and when it is not appropriate.  I have explained that it is OK to kiss your mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and grandparents.  Kissing is something you do with members of your family however; we do not kiss our friends at school.  The children doing the kissing don’t seem to fully understand why they cannot kiss their friends.  Boys are trying to kiss girls on the playground, on the bus, in line, at the cafeteria, or in any situation where they think they won’t be caught by a teacher. The girls do not like it, but are not mature enough to know what to do when another child grabs them and kisses them.  That is why I get told AFTER it has happened but I am trying to teach both girls and boys to say “Stop if, I don’t like it when you kiss me.  Stay away from me!” Children need to learn to speak up for themselves when they don’t like something that is happening to them.  I am  happy that they come to me, but I don’t want it to happen in the first place.  I don’t really understand why so many first graders are kissing their friends, but some of it might be attributed to what they are being allowed to watch on TV, on DVD’s, on video games, or even what movies they go to see.  6 and 7 year olds should be allowed to be just that….6 and 7 years old.  They will grow up soon enough but I would like to see them stay young children as long as possible.  Parents please take a moment to talk to your child about kissing and when it is OK and who is definitely not allowed to be kissed by your child at school or in any other situation.

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Filed under Behavior, First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents, Social Skills

Talk To Your Child

One thing that teachers are noticing with every passing year is that children are talking more at school.  Children talk to each other, their teacher, other teachers, teachers they don’t know, kids they don’t know, administrators, and even to themselves. What teachers are also noticing is when the children are talking.  It could be right in the middle of a lesson when a child enthusiastically raises his/her hand to answer a question.  When called upon, the child does not answer the question, but instead begins to tell the teacher about something from their own life.  My cat had kittens, my dad is on a business trip, I am having a playdate after school…. Was this child really listening to the lesson or just waiting for a chance to ‘talk’?  When my first graders have group instruction they sit on a carpet.  When I dismiss them back to their seats, 5 or 6 children will try to line up in front of me to ‘tell’ me something. When I have small instructional groups at a table, before beginning the lesson more will line up to ‘tell’ me something.  When we transition from one activity to another, once again children see this as open free time to come and ‘talk’. These situations are not open free time, and the children are always told to head back to their seats to get started on work.  These children are crying out for someone to listen to what is going on in their lives.  I do listen, a lot in fact…but I do have to teach as well.  These children walk in from the bus talking, sit and get ready for the day talking, take out materials, talk time again, teacher turns back on class, more talking…you get the picture.  I am able to control the children and quickly get them back on track but what is disturbing is that it is happening in the first place.  What I notice about society is that these children, once out of school, are usually in the company of an adult who is talking on the phone, texting on the phone, listening on the phone, playing games on an electronic device and doing almost anything except talking to the child in their company.  At home, the children are playing video games (teachers here all about them, even the games that are totally inappropriate for first graders, but that is a blog for another day), watching tv, on the computer, etc. When children are in cars, they are plugged in front of dvd players to entertain them, they have headsets for their own phones, or their own electronic device.  Really?  Who IS talking to these very young children?  These children are so needy for interaction with others, that they are willing to interrupt class time to get teacher time or be disciplined for talking at a time when it is not allowed, just to be able to talk and be heard.  Parents, please put down your electronic devices, take the dvd player out of your car, take the tv out of your child’s bedroom and unplug for awhile. Talk to your child.  He/she is waiting to talk to you and craves your time, not your electronic devices.  You will all reap a huge benefit from the additional family time and your child will not be the most emotionally needy child in the classroom.

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Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents