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Tracy (CountryCharm) Offline
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:31:32 PM(UTC)
Tracy (CountryCharm)

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I've posted this here as well as I would LOVE to get some advice from the preschool perspective.....
Now you would think looking at this adorable face that it would be sweet kisses and hugs all day long BUT this is the face of a very strong willed child.

Spencer is 150% BOY and the world definitely revolves around him (so he thinks). We are struggling with his Teacher's Aide at school. We can't make him do anything (this is where the strong will comes in)

Let me see if I can put this in a nutshell....

Spencer is 4 and likes things his way, he can be a terror on the loose and can be a sweetheart, helpful, cooperative and all around good fella the next. When he is a terror , it makes our world crack.

He attends a very community respected private day school that has certified teachers and aides.

Last September when he moved to the 4 year old class he did NOT hit it off with the Teacher's Aide, it was her first year to be at the Day School, she has the stance of a drill sargant and is not the "warm lovely dovey type), she tries but it just doesn't come across this way to him. Spencer IMMEDIATELY picked up on this and has had problems with her since day 1 (last September). You know....everyone no matter big or small can pick up when someone doesn't like them. He definitely picked up on this early. (insert sigh) We get notes after notes home about how disrepectful he is to her and how she tries but just can't seem to get him to listen to her on a regular basis. (saying No! when she asks him to do something) Now this doesn't happen every day but most days it does. He LOVES his pre-school teacher....but the teacher's aide...nope! We've met with the teacher and discussed his feelings but what can we do??? Meeting with the Aide will not be appropriate without the teacher....so.... My husband and I are at rope's end. We can't MAKE our child like her....

He picks up that she detests him (or his behavior) --> He doen't like her for it --> This causes problems --> major personality conflicts!

No matter how many times we talk to him about "respect and what is expected" -- he can't get over the fact that he doesn't like her. And to be truthfully honest -- she doesn't like him either (this is what he picks up the most on). Month after month, we get notes home "please talk with Spencer about disrepecting me" -- hmmm.....WE DO!!!! I am NOT trying to make excuses for my child...he is a handfull and a half but WHAT do we do as parents when your strong willed child just doen't like the teacher's aide. He needs to offer respect to EVERYONE....but his disrepect is telling her NO, I don't want to....and she keeps riding his tush....well...he is going to rebel...

We've talked to other parents in the class but they don't seem to have issues like we do. Spencer gives her a "run for her money" (so to speak) because he can be defiant, stong willed, testy, and is "one of those kids" that make you want to pull out your hair. Crying

thanks for listening and any advice is appreciated.
If there are any teachers here or aides that can offer advice I am so open to suggestions....
CrazyCarrie Offline
#2 Posted : Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:23:40 PM(UTC)

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How does SHE utilize HIM in the classroom? I have been teaching elementary school for 10 yrs. Sometimes the best way to get a child's respect is to "need" THEM. Often times we lose sight of how a child can help us. When I had a master teacher, while getting my credential, she said " never do something yourself a student could do for you." She didn't mean it in a lazy way she meant to help them feel needed and feel like a participant in the "classroom" unit. There truly needs to be a family atmosphere when you are spending 7 or more hours a day with these children. help her identify your child's strengths at home. What can he help her to do in the classroom. EVERY child wants to be a worker bee. EVERY child wants to feel needed and be that big boy. You need to give her an interest inventory on your son. You can find these on the internet. YOu sit with your child and fill them out. We do them the first week of school. Its a nut shell version of your child. There likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Favorits movies, books, loves of science, math etc. icecream toys video game. Then it is her responsibilty as the ADULT to create that connection. She has to find a common ground and make it work for her. Your child will thrive if SHE can be the bigger person and USE him to her advantage. There is 100% something he is amazing at and can help her with. If she disagrees, just move on and realize she only has him for 9 months and you have him the rest of his life. This will be a learning opportunity for you and your husband to teach him about differences and respecting that. Not everyone is meant to be friends in our lifetime. Respect yes, but she is the adult, let her find that common ground. Give her EVERYTHING she needs and see what road she takes.

Good luck
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Tracy (CountryCharm) on 3/23/2011(UTC)
LindaStarks Offline
#3 Posted : Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:09:25 AM(UTC)

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Sometime you need to listen to the child I had to go to bat for our strong willed son he wasn't always wrong I pulled him out of classes even when school said it couldn't be done remind them you have rights too if the aide isn't fair to your son it can make a difference all thru school stand your ground if you feel this insist on different class or aide to work with him even if it isn't all the teachers aides fault if your son has such strong issues get him out he is missing out on to much at such an early age it's not easy but I feel we did the right thing doing this. Good luck Our strong willed son is still that way and now in the army doing great and has saved lived and been honored for his strong will hang in there
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Tracy (CountryCharm) on 3/23/2011(UTC)
Tracy (CountryCharm) Offline
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 23, 2011 2:51:57 PM(UTC)
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Thank you so much for your advice -- I appreciate your supportive answers.
Teresa Turner Offline
#5 Posted : Wednesday, March 23, 2011 7:38:09 PM(UTC)
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One thing to remember - all through life your child will come across people who don't like him or that he doesn't like. He will need to learn to deal with them. There is not much of school left. I would want to try to keep that in mind. I also think he is probably picking up on the fact that you don't like the aide. Just my thoughts
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Tracy (CountryCharm) on 3/24/2011(UTC)
DonnaBischof Offline
#6 Posted : Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:00:12 PM(UTC)

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I have taught at the middle school level for 10 years and Carrie hit the nail on the head. He needs to be given a job by the aide that is just for him. If he feels she picked him he may not love her, but he will begin to like her. Over the years you realize sometimes personalities just clash. If it was early in the year I would have him moved, but since there are only about 10 weeks left, yes I am counting, then I would try to have him stick it out.

One thing that seems to work is a reward system at home for not coming home with any notes. Maybe make him a chart and give him a sticker for each night or week he does not receive a note. Let him pick some of the rewards. He has to be invested in the project or it won't mean anything to him.

I hope it gets better, I know it hurts your heart to think he is miserable all day at school.

On another note, I hope to meet you one day at one of the swarms. I am south of Houston in Pearland.

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Tracy (CountryCharm) on 3/24/2011(UTC)
Lizzy Offline
#7 Posted : Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:26:08 PM(UTC)

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I, too, am a teacher (of 5th graders). Prior to teaching school, I was a psychiatric social worker and worked with children and their families. Several things stand out for me in your request for help. For starters, it is unfortunate that your son has "picked up" on this aide's dislike of him. No matter what a teacher or aide feels about a student, he or she should keep those feelings to oneself. To allow those to be observable by students is potentially so damaging to the student(s).

I agree that a great way to help a student feel important and to lessen any negative feelings between a teacher and a student is to have the student "help" the teacher. I've had many students who had annoying behaviors become my "#1 helpers" and it changed their behaviors so much. It gave them a position of importance in the classroom which helped their self-esteem. It built that relationship between them and me and created something positive rather than increasing that negativity.

You do need to work with your son on the issue of respect. In my opinion, there is never an situation in which it is acceptable for him to be disrespectful to an adult. Even if the adult is disrespectful, if he can remain respectful, all it will do is make him look incredibly honorable! As someone else suggested, I would reward him at home if he does not bring home a "naughty" note. I would teach him alternate behaviors for those times when he wants to say "no" to the aide.

Along with these tactics, I would meet with the teacher, the aide, and an administrator and create a plan in the classroom for them to begin dealing with him in new ways, as outlined above as well as praising him for not talking back and for being cooperative.

It also sounds as if he would benefit from what is known as "active listening" in which the adult says to the child, "It's hard to stop playing with the blocks when you are having such a good time." This merely reflects feelings that the child is likely having which he or she is unable to clearly articulate and often can help the child feel understood and alleviates the child's need to be so contrary and difficult.

Your son might also benefit from modifications such as 5 minute warnings, timers that ring to signal the end of a time period, etc. He may simply be one of those children who does better when he is given a bit more time to make transitions and the aide expects him to make them quickly. These are all things that would be helpful to know before he goes to Kindergarten where there are probably going to be more children and a busier day.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have more questions. I would be happy to help you more.
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Tracy (CountryCharm) on 3/25/2011(UTC)
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#8 Posted : Friday, March 25, 2011 6:50:11 AM(UTC)

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I am sorry for you having all this trouble with his school. I was a preschool teacher at our congregation's day school for a few years and loved all my 3 yr olds in my classes. And yes there were some that were strong willed but we never had any that had personality conflicts with us. It sounds like you have done what was needed and are seeking a solution that will be right for your son and his class, so don't beat yourself up!! You may have already done this in your talks with him but sometimes asking again in a different ways may solicit some useful information. Have you asked him why he doesn't like the teacher and how he sees her, as a person (is she "mean" etc)? What does she do that makes him angry/sad/etc.? He may be having a hard time expressing what it is about her that he is in conflict about. You said that she has a "drill sargeant" approach, I think most adults would have a problem with that unless you are in the military! You are right about kids picking up on those that don't take to them immediately and they are usually right.

You said he was a very loving child, did you try to help him see her differently? Maybe he could "help" her if she is, in his eyes, needs help to be "happier" and "nicer". Like when we have a person who is hard to get along with, we try to find out what motivates that person's actions/words etc and then see "underneath" the layer of personality to the person who may be having problems, hurting or whatever that is causing the "attitude". She may not have these things but if he can see that she may be in his position and "need" help, his loving side may win out and also touch hers bringing them together. It can be hard as adults to reach out to "porcupine" people but I have found that kids capacity to love isn't as curbed yet. Have you had topic as a talk with the aide also? Might benefit her in seeing his "needs" differently. It is a sad fact that sometimes you can't hug that "porcupine", it won't let you! I hope that in your case you can! Good luck and I hope that I have stated the "obvious" and if you have done these things and they hadn't worked, I hope that you do find a solution!
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Tracy (CountryCharm) on 3/25/2011(UTC)
TulipCollector Offline
#9 Posted : Monday, June 06, 2011 9:17:53 AM(UTC)

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Our strong willed daughter became a Kindergarten teacher. All the students and parents loved her. She consistently banged heads with the Director. She got her license and is now a SAHM with a Licensed Daycare. Daughter, parents, children...everyone is happy now!

cricutcrazylisa Offline
#10 Posted : Monday, June 06, 2011 9:32:41 AM(UTC)

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Hi Tracy,

I just want to say that I ran into a similar problem with my son's third grade teacher. My son was not at all strong willed, he was painfully shy and very sensitive. Because of knowing this early on I always volunteered as a room mom. Never, had any issues until..........3rd grade. This Teacher was African American and very obviously had a chip on her shoulder. We live in South Alabama and yes there are still some very real issues of racism on both sides. From day 1 many parents stated she was racist. I am a bit more reserved in judgement so I held back but by mid year it was so obvious! We struggled that entire year with this teacher and never was I so very glad to see a year end. The one thing I can say is that my son learned..You may not like or agree with those in authority over you, but you will respect their position. Just teach Spence that while they may not get along, as long as she is not physically or verbally abusive he has to follow her directions. In life we all have to learn that lesson. Good Luck to you and Sweet Spencer...by the way time for him to do a new video don't you think.

Weezie13 Offline
#11 Posted : Monday, June 06, 2011 5:57:25 PM(UTC)

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Every poster has hit the nail on the proverbal head so to speak!

I had to go sit in the room!!!
I'd make SUPRISE VISITS'!!!!
and that made it so that the bad behaviors' (on both sides)

But the funny thing is, that teacher was very gruff with my kid..
and he did realllllllly rotten in her class...
and this year he has 2 very nice teachers and he's a B+ student now...
*before I was lucky if he was a D*

And she would treat the parents the same way, I always felt like the student!!!Glare Blink

P/S What a cutie~pa~tootie that wee~one is!!!!

Edited by user Monday, June 06, 2011 5:58:44 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

mylilpeanut Offline
#12 Posted : Monday, June 06, 2011 8:35:01 PM(UTC)

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Just a suggestion....Wouldn't it be easier to homeschool than to put up with this?

Our son is only two and I am already dreading the days when he goes to school, especially after reading so many stories about all this stuff. I grew up and went to school in a town of about 1,500 people. There is so much favoritism and any student could tell. I was not one of the "popular" ones. I went to class everyday and always got my homework done, yet the teachers still looked at me like I was stupid and not cool. I went to that same school from K to 11th grade. 12th grade I went to a bigger school in a nearby city which had about 5 different highschools to choose from. I had the same amount of kids in my senior class as there was in the whole school in the smaller town. I got better grades and more needed help in that bigger school, which I figured wouldn't happen since there are more kids to deal with. I also made lots of friends in that bigger school. Seems like it was less "clicky" in the bigger school, or if it was "clicky" they all got along. In some ways I wish I would have been homeschooled.
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ImTheNana on 4/1/2013(UTC)
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