Work with me, please.

Mae’s teacher called me today.  As I thought, she was too busy to email me on Friday.  Mae told the story right.  Teacher confirmed that students started telling her after recess that Mae had either “pushed them, bumped them or said something mean to them” that day.  And, yes, she did ask the class how many of them had been hurt by Mae, and yes, at least half the class (ten students) raised a hand.  Teacher said that she asked Mae to look around and see the impact she was having on the class.  She said that Mae looked sad, and then apologized.   She said that Mae had a good day from that point.

Teacher said they then had a class discussion about being careful and accepting responsibility for your actions.  Some of the incidents may have been unintentional, and Teacher said that she made the discussion into a “teaching moment.”  She said Mae was receptive and responsive to the feedback from her peers.

I trust Teacher with Mae.  I believed her today when she told me that she is very conscious of children’s feelings, and that the purpose of asking the students who had been hurt was not to shame Mae.  Teacher wants an open classroom where she and the students can discuss issues and problems and help each other solve them.  She says she has done this before with other students.  I asked Teacher if she had also asked the class if Mae had helped anyone or been kind to anyone that day.  She said that she didn’t, but she does encourage them to encourage each other and notice when someone is doing good.  I believe that too.

Truthfully, Mae didn’t seem scarred by having her classmates finger her.  And, I realize now that she was speaking with accountability when she told me what happened on Friday evening.  That’s why she was able to speak about it so calmly and evenly.  I’m the one feeling sore about this.  I wish Teacher had asked the kids about something positive so that the discussion could have been more balanced.

Hubby is ok with the way that Teacher handled it, and I felt better after I spoke to him about it.  It’s true that Mae needs to face reality and understand the impact of her actions.  Still, it bothers me that (1) Mae made so many bad choices in a single day, or even within a few hours, and (2) that her whole class may be thinking that that is all she is — someone who makes bad choices.  Dr. Laura, when we talked about it this evening, seemed to think, yes, it sounds like a lot, but all kids have off days.  She reminded me that most days for the past few months have been good days, which is true.

Maybe I need to loosen up.  As I’ve said many times, I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Teacher.  I”ll have to trust her on this one, even if it takes me a few days to get there.  With only 13 school days left in the year, I may as well.

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Comments on: "This Is Gonna Hurt Me More . . ." (7)

  1. Charlotte said:

    Poor Mae and Poor Mom! Despite Mae’s bad decisions that day, as Dr. Laura says, she’s coming along. There seem to be a number of all round great people on Team Mae: Teacher, Hubby, Jay, of course Mom and many others. Everyone has bad days and while it’s a shame the class didn’t discuss Mae’s positives, you were able to raise the possibility with Teacher. Hopefully that will help create opportunities for more balanced conversations in the future. And Mamma Neema is right…EVERYONE…even adults have bad days and you are doing everything you can to help her take responsibility for her actions and to develop the coping skills to get her through bad days. And it’s pretty cool that she could have an honest conversation with you about what happened. While I can understand your concerns, it seems unlikely that the class just sees Mae for what she did that day (and it sounds like she acted out only part of that day). She may be old enough to lead a prayer session in the middle of storm 🙂 but she’s only 7. And as you keep showing us through the blog, she is a phenomenal kid who has bad days or moments and struggles more with certain things than others. Who doesn’t? I might borrow her tool kit when it’s done and I’m almost 40! Hang in there and to all the members of Team Mae, keep up the great work!

  2. Mama Neema (Tindi) said:

    Just read an amazing article that speaks a little about the “angst” and “defensiveness” we tend to feel towards our kids:

    ~~Take into account your child’s age and developmental stage.
    Toddlers throw tantrums.
    Preschoolers don’t sit still.
    Seven-year-olds talk back.
    These stages are not easy, often because we have a tendency to view ourselves through the lens of our child’s behavior.
    “What does this say about me, about my mothering?” we question. And we wonder if
    we’re failing.
    But when we’re able to more like akind, detached policeman, we won’t take behaviors so personally.We can step back and recognize that, while unpleasant, stages don’t last forever.~~

    I know it is easier said than done…

    FULL ARTICLE: steadymom.com/2011/02/positive-discipline-5-tips.html

  3. Mama Neema (Tindi) said:

    I feel your angst and I get wanting your kids to get a balanced experience. God
    knows I cringe when Neema misbehaves at family gatherings. I tend to want to defend her and tell them about the great things she does – sigh!

    I also hear what the teacher is saying, that some days are off-days. I guess that can be said of any of our days…good and bad…and some “balanced”. We make some good choices on some days and bad ones in other days…and when we are lucky, we make a litle bit if both and balance the day off!

    What I’m so pleased about is the fact that Mae was accountable. Her telling you what happened in the way she did, is evidence that she has come a long way…yeah!

    Cheer up, kid…you’ve all done good…and on an off day at that!

  4. Mama Neema (Tindi) said:

    I feel your angst and I get wanting your kids to get a balanced experience.

    I also hear what the teacher,says, that some days are off. I guess that can be said of any of our days…good and bad…and some “balanced”. We make some good choices on some days and bad oned in other days…and when we are lucky, we make a litle bit if bith and balance the day off!

    What I’m so pleased about is the fact that Mae was accountable. Her telling you what happened was evidence that she has come a long way…yeah!

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