In Kathryn’s Drawing the Veil post she explains “my yardstick is not about individuals, but about the group to which they belong. When I want to mention what someone else said or did, I think:
“If I write about workmate x, will my other workmates think I am looking at them as blog fodder too?. If I mention the cute action by one of my kids’ friends, even with the parents’ permission, what does that do to the trust relationship with other parents ?”
This post fails into my grey area since it is about an incident with my son at school. But I’ve decided to post it because none of the teachers or parents read my blog and I think we can all gain from the experience.
The school year has just started here in Australia. My youngest son (he is in year 4 and is 9 years old) was really excited because his class was going to be preforming at the first assembly.
I’ve never seen him so engaged with school; coming home each night practicing the song and learning the dance. Which was hard work — as I had to listen to my husband sing the Elvis Presley song with him. Unfortunately numbers in the school had increased and students were warned that they could be changed to a new class and teacher by the end of the week.
All week I prepared him for the reality that he may be changed room so when it happened to him it wasn’t an issue. Since they had been working hard the teacher said that she would try to organise it so they could still preform with her class. I explained to him that this probably wouldn’t be possible so once again he wasn’t upset when it couldn’t happen.
His old teacher realised that she needed an extra boy, as they were dancing in pairs, so they got a student from my son’s new class to help out. This child, after two days, decided that he didn’t want to do it and when they asked for a volunteer my son immediately offered.
So today — I take him to school where he joins the other class on the stage to do their performance. Just before the assembly is due to start his teacher comes to me and says they are a girl short so will it be okay if my son is removed. I tell the teacher — you can try but I think he will cry. Which is what happened. So they changed their mind and let him stay to do it. He did a great job (even though he was silently crying while he waited in position for it to start).
After the assembly the teacher had a big chat to him about the need to toughen up. That life is hard — get used to disappointments and he has to learn not to burst into tears when bad things happen.
Sure I understand that he needs to be less sensitive. But he has come a really long way from the kid who in Preprimary burst into tears at the start of their performance in front of parents because he was so anxious about making a mistake.
The thing is — no way would he have been asked to step aside if he was meant to be in that class. If the decision was made to add him in the performance; you can’t just change your mind at the last minute to remove.
Yes I know he has to learn to be less sensitive. PS as a mum I say this sucked — as an educator I say under pressure it is easy to not always make the best decisions.
Looking forward to next Thursday as he now has to do a performance with his class — lets hope that goes better! Thinking maybe mum needs to toughen up?
But as educators we also need to stop and reflect when students react to what we are doing; to see the situation from each others point of view — perhaps we have unreal expectations? maybe there is a better option? Maybe they are making valid points?
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