Thursday, February 24, 2011

Changing Classes

I think I've complained enough online for everyone to know that on Tuesday, the director of Brenden's preschool let us know that Brenden was placed in the wrong class. I can only imagine Tim's horror of being called into the "principal's" office when he went to pick Brenden up. My first thought was that Brenden had done something so terrible that he was getting kicked out of school. Visions of juvenile detention centers floated through my brain...because I'm and over-reactor. (Yes, Brenden gets it from me.)

After profusely apologizing for thinking that his birthday was in 2006, she explained that he should have been in the 2 year old class and that there weren't any spots available in either of those. She didn't want to say "sorry, see you later" so she decided to move him to another 3 year old class where he would only be the youngest by 4 weeks instead of almost a year. There was even a kid in his old class that is turning FIVE next month. No wonder Brenden was having problems!

I'm not sure I've whined about all the difficulties Brenden's been having at school, but it's been a constant worry for awhile now. Every day I would pick him up and every day he would have been in trouble. The feedback I got was usually "he's just not listening," although sometimes he was throwing tantrums or hitting. Now, knowing how much younger he is than those other kids, it's easy to see where he was probably frustrated and lost. When he doesn't understand something, he tunes out. Tuning out leads to acting out, which means he was in trouble a lot. They even called him a "repeat offender." (See...juvenile delinquent. AHH!)

When I first heard what had happened, I was relieved. It was so nice to know that our child was not behind. It was a relief to know that now, things might change. I felt terrible for Brenden, though. How awful to expect so much out of him. I called the director and she explained that his teacher had been concerned that he wasn't old enough and that he wasn't catching on. Then she told me that they figured this out 2 weeks ago. I was okay with all of this information until this morning, and then I was angry. If the teacher had been concerned, why was I not told? If they figured it out 2 weeks ago, why did they wait so long? Why did they let him go back to a class that he was obviously not supposed to be in?

When I dropped him off this morning, he walked right in, sat down, and started playing playdough without any problems. He didn't even look at me again. The other kids knew who he was because they all play together in the big gym. I spoke to his new teacher, explained that I hoped he wouldn't be a problem and that he becomes increasingly difficult as he becomes more tired, and asked that she let me know what I can do to help. Then, I stopped by to explain my concerns to the director, mainly how I felt out of the loop and frustrated with how it was handled. If there is something going on with my child, I think I need to know.

I'm not very good at explaining things when I'm frustrated. When I get upset, I usually cry, which is just not a very "adult" way to handle things. I think I did an okay job of explaining how upsetting it was to have been left out of things, how we felt that we should have been told sooner, and how unfair it was that he seemed to have been listed a "problem." She definitely made me feel better because she listened and apologized, which always helps, and explained that, if he had been a huge problem, we would have been told much earlier for sure. She assured me that he was not as disruptive as I thought they were making him out to be, and that the fact that he was keeping up with them on a lot of things was a good sign that he wasn't behind.

My fingers are crossed that today is a better day. He was a little upset that he wouldn't be in Ms. Christina's class anymore, so we told him that if he behaved on his first day in his new class that daddy would take him out for ice cream. The boy loves his ice cream, so I hope he does well. No matter what, I feel better knowing he's in a class with kids his own age and that our expectations can now be at a more reasonable level. I'd say I'll stop worrying, but we all know that will never happen.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Oh, how frustrating that all must have been! I'm glad that it's corrected and hopefully B will now flourish instead of struggling to keep up. You're such a good mom - I think you handled it all really well.

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