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  1. #1
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    Default Problems in preschool...any advice appreciated

    My son turned 5 this January. He is nearing the end of his first year of preschool. It was rough in the beginning because he had never really been around many children his age except for in church, and he had a bit of a hard time adjusting. Once he got settled in, things seemed to be going okay. Then his teacher at his last conference starts telling me about him having very rude behavior and that he doesn't follow directions well. She said his academics are excellent, but his behavior is the issue. She even told me that the kindergarten teachers have taken noticeof him and have begun asking questions. When the teacher talks to me she just makes it seem like he is this awful rude child when at home and everywhere else he is the complete opposite. You couldn't meet a more loving boy. Yes, he is a bit spoiled because he is an only child, but he knows he has rules. We don't tolerate rudeness in our house, and he shows no one else any disrespet. The behavior she talks about, to me, seems like regular kid stuff. She explained one time where she told the class it was time to clean up the toys because it was time to do some work. She said he came up to her and said that he didn't want to clean up, but he wanted to continue playing legos. Call me crazy, but I just see that as a kid just wanting to play. All she had to tell him was that they get to play with them another day, but for now they had to clean up. She just always tells me he's so rude. When I question him about days at school, he never tells me about anything bad that would have went on. He may tell me things like he accidentally knocked over something or said an answer before the teacher called on him. Is this teacher overreacting? Or is there really an issue with behavior that I need to get ahold of? I don't want him being punished for typical kid stuff in a class full of preschoolers, but I don't want him to get by for actual behavior problems either.

  2. #2
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    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    sounds like a typical 5 year old behavior to me. Is she en experienced teacher? What is the mix of kids in the room (ages and genders)? Are there alternatives for preschool?
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

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    Default Problems in preschool...any advice appreciated

    Rude is a strange word for her to use. (Pretty much all young kids are "rude," since they are developmentally egocentric.) Ds1 is in pre-k too, and I know there are a few kids whose behavior isn't ideal. However, the teachers are amazing and they understand typical 4-5 year old behavior and respond appropriately. "Yeah, I know Legos are fun. We can play more tomorrow, but now it's time to clean up." Regardless of whether your DS has behavior problems or not, I would be inclined to switch programs. The last thing you want is for your DS to feel negatively about himself or school and for the kindergarten teachers to have preconceived notions about him. He's way too young for that. (The comment "doesn't follow directions well" is more specific and appropriate, but our teachers say more constructive things like "DS needs several reminders to stay on track" or "DS needs constant redirection.")
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  4. #4
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    What you are describing sounds like typical behavior, but I would not be so quick to dismiss the teachers' concerns. There may be a problem, and you don't want to miss an opportunity to help your DS adjust before kindy!

    I'd schedule another meeting with the teacher and go with an open mind. When she says things like you mentioned in your post, I would reply by saying, "Is not wanting to stop playing and asking to continue out of the realm of normal behavior for a 5 year old?" See what she has to say. Maybe there's more to the story than you heard originally.

    If after speaking with the teacher again and really asking for clarification with your mind open to the idea that she, too, wants to see your son be successful in school and she, too, wants to prepare him for what will be expected of him in elementary school you really feel her interpretation of his behavior is way off, then you need to decide what to do next.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123LuckyMom View Post
    What you are describing sounds like typical behavior, but I would not be so quick to dismiss the teachers' concerns. There may be a problem, and you don't want to miss an opportunity to help your DS adjust before kindy!

    I'd schedule another meeting with the teacher and go with an open mind. When she says things like you mentioned in your post, I would reply by saying, "Is not wanting to stop playing and asking to continue out of the realm of normal behavior for a 5 year old?" See what she has to say. Maybe there's more to the story than you heard originally.

    If after speaking with the teacher again and really asking for clarification with your mind open to the idea that she, too, wants to see your son be successful in school and she, too, wants to prepare him for what will be expected of him in elementary school you really feel her interpretation of his behavior is way off, then you need to decide what to do next.
    It gets very confusing because the teacher's aid seem to put things off as regular kid/boy stuff, but the teacher specifically says it's rude behavior. My son came home yesterday saying that after lunch he put his trash on the try for the teacher's to throw away (I guess this is normal because he said this is what they all do every day), and he said the teacher looked at him and said he was being rude. He was very confused because be said he didn't know what he did wrong. I asked if he said anything to anyone or did something to one of the kids, and he says he didn't. He told this same story to my husband and my mother without me saying anything to them about it. I plan on having a meeting with her ASAP because if this is true, I don't like the fact that she is blatantly telling my son he is rude and not letting him even know what it was that he has done.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillview View Post
    sounds like a typical 5 year old behavior to me. Is she en experienced teacher? What is the mix of kids in the room (ages and genders)? Are there alternatives for preschool?
    She supposedly has a degree in psychology. The ages run from 3-5, and the 5 year olds have just turned that age like my son. It is a mix of boys and girls, and there are a few special needs children in the class as well. The only other alternatives for preshool I have is for me to take him out and teach him myself, but I wanted him to have the social interaction. We live in a small community, and our options are limited to our school district basically. The problem is is that if the kindergarten teachers are noticing him, it isn't good. This school is notorious for labeling.

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    A degree in psychology doesn't mean she's a good teacher or understands kids.
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  8. #8
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    When you meet with the teacher and she says, "I find that behavior rude." You can say, "How are you helping him to identify and change his problematic behaviors?" You can mention that he has been confused at times as to why he is being corrected. You might suggest that rather than telling your DS that he's rude that the teacher identify the problematic behavior and suggest an alternative. For example, "DS, in this classroom we don't leave garbage on the tray. We put the garbage in the bin. Will you please put your garbage in the bin?" I've never met a preschool teacher who didn't have this kind of rudimentary knowledge, though. Are other kids and parents having trouble with this teacher?

    There are certainly terrible teachers out there, but in your post you said other teachers are also starting to notice that his behaviors are problematic. Maybe they are problematic. I know my DS (who's also 5) is not the most reliable reporter. His version of a story reflects his feelings (sometimes of the moment rather than what they were during the incident) but not necessarily the facts of the incident. I wonder whether your DS has noticed your shock at this teacher's claims and your concern about the situation and is "helping" you confirm your feelings.

    I sincerely hope the teacher isn't a dud, because I wouldn't want my DS to enter school for the first time in kindergarten. School is challenging for kids who have only been at home. I think getting a foothold in the social and structured life of school is important before true academics come into play.

  9. #9
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    Well, I met with his teacher today. We talked for over an hour. The rude behavior she is referring to seems to me to be normal child behavior. I guess at the lunch time example he was pushing his lunch box back and forth between his hands after the teachers threw away the children's trash. She called this rude behavior. I see this as like an adult twiddling thumbs in bordem. If she didn't want him to do it all she had to do was say so. She says she has to be so hard on such basic kid behavior because the kindergarten teachers are completely intolerant because they are so stressed with trying to teach the new state mandated cirriculum. So basically, at this school, kids can't be kids anymore.

  10. #10
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    She even told me that they now give out Friday school as punishment to kindergarteners. Ridiculous...

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