Danny seems to be doing rather well this school year, despite the many changes he has faced (much bigger class, different teacher, regular class as opposed to special ed class, etc.) He has really surprised me at how well he is dealing with all the extra stimulation, especially this winter; in the past, he has had difficulty after many days with no recess and little exercise during the school day. It has been many, many weeks since the kids got to play outside, yet he has not fallen into his habits of pushing kids and getting wild. Thank goodness.
There have, however, been a few incidents for which Danny has received a "Humpty" which is his teacher's euphemism for getting in trouble. For some reason, he keeps getting in trouble during naptime. I am not entirely sure what is going on as the notes home are pretty cryptic saying things like, "Danny bothered someone during nap time." At first, I kind of laughed it off, thinking the teacher would deal with it, but he has now gotten 2 Humpties in 2 weeks (and a few more throughout the school year). I am sensing a pattern emerging and would like to take care of it before it becomes a problem.
I don't entirely agree with the Humpty system, because it seems like the only real punishment is that the kids don't get a treat from the golden treat box at the end of the week. It seems to me there should be some more immediate consequence and it should be related to the infraction. For example, I suspect that Danny is making noises during naptime because he is bored and also because it gets the attention of the other kids. So, one option would be to remove him from the other kids. This would probably really bother him and might just be all it takes to control his misbehavior. Also, though he may have gotten a Humpty on Monday, I never hear about it until Miss A. sends a note home on Friday. And as you can imagine, Danny is not exactly forthcoming about when he receives these Humpties. So, what am I supposed to do at home about something he did days ago? It seems a bit late to really fix things at that point.
Last night I was thinking about the situation and about Danny's teacher. I am not entirely fond of her, mostly because she is not all that approachable. Of course, I am comparing her to Miss Sally, who Danny had for his first 2 years of preschool and who was amazing. We worked so well together: she stayed in touch with me throughout the years, reporting not just challenges, but successes as well. It was completely evident that she loved Danny and all her students and that she did all she could to understand and reach them. I know she had fewer students than Miss A and had more time to devote to individual kids, but still, I so wish I had the same rapport with Miss A as I did with Miss Sally.
Anyway, as I was contemplating Danny's teacher, I realized what the real problem is: I have been intimidated by Danny's teacher and have let that get in the way of how involved I have been this year. It is so dumb. I mean, what makes me so nervous to assert myself to my son's preschool teacher? Why am I so willing to assume that other people know what's best about my kid just because they are supposed to be experts? For pete's sake, I have a master's degree in education and taught in an inner-city high school for years. I know from discipline issues. Besides, even if I only made it to the fourth grade, I know my kid better than anyone. I should not be afraid to offer some guidance or ask for information about what is happening at school!
So, I sat down this morning and wrote Miss A a note asking if we could talk soon about how to take care of this naptime misbehavior. And while I was at it, I wrote to Miss C who is the special ed teacher who takes Danny out every day. I have no idea what she does with him as Danny won't really give specific information and Miss C has never sent a note home, called or even met with me at parent-teacher conferences. I have been wanting to know what is going on there, but kept putting off contacting her.
I am a bit ashamed to admit all this. I know I should have been more assertive and a better advocate for Danny, though, in my defense, school has gone so well this year, I didn't think it was necessary for me to butt in. But now, I realize that I just need to be more informed about what is going on so I can help Danny more. I cannot allow my insecurities to get in the way of advocating for Danny. I wonder if I will ever conquer those demons.....