Friday, March 25, 2011

Jackson so sad

It started yesterday at 1:30 when I got a phone call from the school principal, Dr. Council. She said Jackson was in the office not feeling well. He had complained of a tummy ache, and they had taken his temperature, which was fine. I said I'd be right there.

When I got there, I frankly was not up for the struggle that is convincing Jackson to stick it out and stay for the remaining two hours of the day. So, we swiftly signed out, and headed upstairs to his classroom to gather up his things. On the way, he mentioned that he had a substitute teacher. I think I asked him, "Do you like her?" or something like that, and I ***thought*** I heard him say, "She's fine."

Then, when we got to his classroom, the rest of the class was away (maybe art or PE? I don't know...), but the substitute teacher was there. Sitting in the dark at the teacher's desk, eating her lunch. She seemed rather... not nice. I stood at the door with Carter, and waited for Jackson, as he entered the room, grabbed his things, and headed back out. I would have expected that she would have acknowledged him, possibly saying something like, "Sorry you're not feeling well. Hope you feel better soon." or even "Goodbye." Not a word. The only words spoken were by me when we got there. I think I said (with a smile! big surprise!!!), "Jackson's not feeling well, so I'm checking him out early." No reply. Maybe just a shrug.

Turns out, she's going to be subbing again today (Friday).

So, all afternoon, he put on a good front; Possibly feeling bad, but I'm actually not sure. He did go without food from breakfast all the way to supper time, when he ate a half a bowl of chicken noodle soup. He's hard to read, and can tend to be a *decent* little liar when he wants to be. At bedtime, I told him that he would be going to school tomorrow, and that I knew that a good night's sleep was just what he needed. Then he spilled it...

He said that she was mean (and that he had never said "she's fine" but rather, "she's mean"). A whole host of other words that very closely relate to "mean" were rattled off: unfriendly, awful, disagreeable, etc. I basically gave him a little talk about how "that's life" and there will be mean people you encounter from time to time. I also told him to feel sorry for her, because she's got to live with herself all day, every day! ;)

So, this morning the dilemma remained. He felt like pouting his way out of it was going to work, but unfortunately, it did not. He did try awfully hard though, making sure I knew that she was, in fact, the "MEANEST person he'd EVER EVER met." Truly it doesn't surprise me. I read her as truly "the meanest person Jackson has ever met." Totally fair. Bless his heart.

Days like today, I wish I could allow him to take the easy route, and steer clear of any confrontation or less-than-enjoyable encounters. This *is* my first born son, forever my baby, we're talking about! Hopefully, while he's at school, he'll follow what I encouraged, and kill her with kindness. (And not make her mad!)


Susanne said...

yes those people are there. I had a "not nice" third grade teacher. She was big and she scared me! I told mother I wanted to be a teacher so I could make sure that children didn't have to be treated like that. I was determined to be nice to the kids and I hope I accomplished that over the 31 years. I'm sure there were some unhappy times but maybe the good outweighed the bad. Tell him to smile at her his regular teacher will be back soon!

Jimmy, Carlin, Caden, Riley and Mason said...

Leah, call the principle and talk with her. Caden had a similar experience earlier in the year. He did have quite a bad reponse as Jackson but did make some comments. I called the principle and asked how long that specific sub would be there and when she asked why, i simply said that Caden did not respond well to a lot of change and had been mentioning issues with the teacher. When pressed further, i calmly (which is hard for know this!) mentioned that while i know kid exaggerate I felt he was a bit scared of her and was worried there was an issue. We have a great principle and she said she would look into it...we have never had her since.Not saying it was bc of that call BUT i believe it is necessary to voice your opinion and have record of any issue that comes up. Also i believe you should make it known you pay attention to what is going on in the classroom. You never know how many other parents feel this way and your call could make the difference!

leah said...

So, I went and ate lunch with him today. He seems to be doing fine. I saw another mother in the cafeteria (whose child is in Jackson's class) and asked if her child had said anything similar. The child and the mother both shared an adamant YES! I think what I'll do is send in a note on Monday, to his regular 2nd grade teacher, and just tell her of our observations... Hopefully she can work her magic, and see to it that the sub. never has to come back again. *fingerscrossed*

LemonOne said...

Another teacher weighing in here...your situation is difficult and uncomfortable for all involved.
I truly believe your way of handling it gets my vote. Sometimes the least said and the more confidential the better. Get the correct info to the correct people --in this case his classroom teacher and school administrator---let them know what you expect, and HELP your child learn how to handle difficult people, even adults. That in itself is a lifelong lesson -- and perhaps he can use this experience to help him in another situation.
I am sorry for Jackson that it had to come this early in life but hopefully he will be blessed when it "all plays out".

Danielle said...

So glad you are joining us in the Can You Come Outside to Play Challenge! I look forward to hearing about the fun things you do with your boys.

And as a former teacher myself, I think you handled the situation beautifully. I agree that letting the regular classroom teacher know is the best course of action. She loves her students and wants them to be happily learning when she is away.

The Education of an Island Boy said...

I think you handled just right, and just like I would have assumed you would.

Rachel said...

So sorry, I know it's so hard to see kids have to struggle. Mason's having a hard time with the substitute bus driver right now, and it's caused him a lot of stress, seriously!

Tiffany Nelson said...

God bless...I almost cried...I love those lil Steelman boys