Flawed Expectations

My Little is struggling in school again this year. Not academically in the least, but socially. After talking with her teachers I don’t believe it has anything to do with my Little at all. She’s seven. Her behaviors are typical, seven year old behaviors. She’s excelling as far as grades go, but she’s bored in class and goofing off. She’s not acting out in terms of attention seeking or intentionally being disruptive. She’s seven.

What her teacher expects from her isn’t developmentally appropriate for a seven year old. It’s more aimed towards a nine or ten year old, so she has decided that Little is “immature” and needs more strict discipline to bring her to the behavioral level of her peers.

I’m not against rules, or strictly adhering to them as long as the expectations you have for my kid are reasonable. Delivering punishment everyday because she’s not adapted to sitting in a classroom like her peers who have been in daycare/preschool since birth isn’t reasonable. It’s not going to motivate my child, it’s going to discourage her. She already has the anxiety that comes with emotional intelligence and awareness. She’s an introvert that isn’t going to be able to articulate her feelings immediately no matter how many times or different ways she is pressured into doing so. She’s getting great scores on her tests so she’s obviously retaining information even though she’s not “paying attention” in class. I mean…

I understand that the public education system is designed to put 30 individuals into a box and turn out 30 academic clones who meet the state funding requirements. That’s just the flawed American Education System, but this teacher really seems to have forgotten that her students are individuals at all. It would be one thing if Little wasn’t paying attention and failing her classes. It’s entirely different if she’s just bored and disengaged in the learning process. No amount of discipline is going to change my child’s intelligence, and if the school refuses to give her the high ability test simply because she is “immature” then we’re going to have this fight every year with every teacher until Little goes off to college and can fight with her instructors by herself or actually chooses a field of study that offers a challenge.

3 thoughts on “Flawed Expectations

  1. You know, some teachers dont seem to have any idea how to encourage or motivate students to do the behaviors they want. She could use gentle reminders, redirection, peer buddies, or even a reward chart to encourage Little do continuously do what she wants. Strict discipline seems like a super old school way of getting a kid to do what you want. You might go over her head and speak to administrators about having her tested for gifted and talented. And don’t get discouraged, not every teacher is a complete knucklehead.

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  2. Thanks. Overall I love our school system. It’s well ran and the staff seem to genuinely care about their students. Little just didn’t attend preschool and because of that she’s perceived as “behind” in a lot of things. It’s driving me batty. Especially since we had her evaluated by a behavioral therapist last year. I *know* she’s not misbehaving due to anything we as parents can address (aside from boredom anyway), but convincing her teachers has been an uphill battle. Her therapist said she should catch up to her peer group by 3rd grade. Hopefully I can survive the next two years. Lol.

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  3. My son didnt attend preschool either, we fell in that range of too poor to pay for private preschool and too rich for public preschool. Unfortunately a lot of teachers arent prepared for what are known as “exceptional students”, the gifted, the disabled, etc. So when they come across kids who are exceptional they don’t know how to motivate or manage them. But you got this! You just keep being her advocate.

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