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Discipline in J1

re : Discipline in J1           reply
06/09/2013 16:02 - Ask Mother Hen
Follow your gut if you think the teacher is too harsh and call the school and make an appointment either with her after class or with the principal. It sounds like your son is a little worried and anxious and that this is affecting his sleep and this needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.
Is there another class with a less punitive teacher as that would be the easiest option if you cannot resolve it with the teacher?
Children are never bold, and I am sure if his teacher ´caught him being good - it would reinforce more of the behavior she wants to see - ask her to try that and if both of you can work on it together with a review after a week. What works is praise behaviour, correct behaviour but never ever break your relationship with the child. Kind, firm but not cross would work much better in these early days..
If that does not work, make an appointment with the principal with a view to finding a solution that works for both parties.

Discipline in J1           reply
04/09/2013 20:52 - Ask Mother Hen
My son just started junior infants and since day two has been in many many time outs. I actually use time outs at home, but in the David Coleman sense where it´s just to calm down and then we talk about what happened. My son (I know everyone probably says this!) is really good so he gets time outs about once or twice a month over something pretty minor like a little fight with his sister. He is my first child to go to school.

I´m stunned by how negative the experience of school has been so far. My heart bleeds for him because of the things he says to me and I´m being positive and upbeat for his sake, but I have a lump in my throat writing this. I´ve discussed in detail what is happening with other parents and the overwhelming response is that it seems excessively negative for the behaviour and he seems to have been labelled a bold boy, which he himself has said to me.

I´m meeting to discuss my concerns with the teacher but from my conversations so far I would guess that we are going to disagree on this. We´ve had one meeting already where she talked at me, and I was stunned by what was said but discussed it with her and explained how out of character it was. I didn´t feel anything was achieved. I´m even considering moving class/schools but I´m not sure that wouldn´t be more disruptive to him

He´s a sensitive boy, I feel he is overwhelmed by all the changes and the sheer number of children (he explained in detail how different he finds it from Montessori but that he´s trying so hard to be a big boy) and may indeed at this stage be acting out or only hearing a ´white noise´ with the anxiety (his main reason for time outs is not listening to teacher and following instruction). He´s not sleeping well, he constantly talks about how different school is from what he had thought it would be, and I am seriously worried that his first week will either make him give up on trying or entrench the feeling that he is no good at school. He´s really smart, and it would a shame for him to develop thoughts now about himself that will stick with him for the rest of his life.

His montessori teachers are dumpstruck, keep telling me he is so eager to please and helpful and they can´t imagine him in trouble or that this is the school discipline policy. I´m completely willing to cooperate with the teacher but my gut says it´s too harsh. I wish I could tell you the imagery that accompanies this discipline because it seems so dark (I´m asking for a full explanation for it) but if I put it in the post here I´m thinking it´s so unique that the teacher would know straight away it pertains to her class if she read it!!

I would desperately love to hear of the discipline that you´ve experienced in junior infants, and would really appreciate any advice on what to say to the teacher. I think it will be in front of my son this time so I may ask for a second private meeting. So far my thoughts are to listen to what she says, ask for an explanation of the discipline procedure and then explain my concerns to her.

He´s upset about how his first week went but now tells me he had a good day but I think he´s saying because that´s what he is supposed to say as if I ask him general questions then it doesn´t sound good at all, and I don´t think I´ve ever been this upset - I´ve never had a single complaint about him before and he does what I ask of him every single time at home. I take him to shops, other people´s houses etc without issue and everyone says what a lovely polite boy he is. I´m sorry for the long post but I honestly don´t know if I´m overreacting, or if I should approach the meeting differently, or if I should pull him out asap so it isn´t harder for him to settle in somewhere else. So any information you could give me that might help is much appreciated.

re... : Discipline in J1           reply
08/09/2013 12:24 - Ask Mother Hen
Thank you for taking the time to read my long post and respond! It was a big help to me. Just to give you an update, I´d noticed a difference in my son towards the end of the week as he seemed more relaxed but when I asked how he day was he´d say ´good´ but then tell me he had two or three timeouts. So I hadn´t wanted to dwell on the negative but the timeouts seemed to be for normal misbehaviour for his age, given in the instant without a warning. I also hadn´t been told about it by the teacher. So I was thinking what he was telling me was the tip of the iceberg and since I hadn´t been able to speak to the teacher I´d have to say I was feeling pretty stressed.I was just in a situation where I felt either the discipline was too strict, or I´d really missed seeing a serious behavioural issue. So depending on the outcome of the meeting I was prepared to either a) work with the teacher (preferred option!) or if I really disagreed then b) ask to switch class or if I thought my thinking was totally out of line with the ethos of the school then c) switch school (least preferred and most disruptive option).
But what a difference the meeting at the end of the week made! It was all very positive, and the feedback was positive. They weren´t actually time outs, just a moment to calm down. He´d only had one timeout, which I knew about, and when the discipline was explained in context I was completely fine with it. We had a good chat but most importantly I got to see their interaction, which was very affectionate. I think that had been a huge concern for me since the teacher is (I think) in kind of a substitute parent role. So I feel much better now and any age appropriate misbehaviour can be dealt with easily by all parties involved. I do wish I been told about the wording of the discipline so I could have responded more confidently over the first weekend when he seemed to be dwelling on the negative and very upset, but overall I´d have to say I´m happy now, he´s happy now, we´re all happy now!! Hopefully the next week will go well for all the J1s mentioned here too!

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