A New School Perhaps?

It has been one of those weeks. A week I wouldn’t choose to do over.
The kids went back to school, I thought all was well until Kev said on Thursday that he wasn’t going anymore.
His teacher is too ‘scary’. I ‘coaxed’ him out of the door and thought that was that.
5 minutes later he was back, in tears, ‘don’t make me go, don’t make me go, she’ll be so angry I didn’t do all my homework’.
So we sit down for 5 minutes to review our recent conversations about problem solving.
What can YOU do to solve this problem?
” Nothing”, sob sob, ” She is going to yell at me in front of everyone”.
That would be the PROBLEM Kev, let’s look at solutions.
To cut a really long story short, he kicked back my suggestions.
” Can I just stay home today?”
I say, ” no” of course. I hear about this all the time, it isn’t unusual to hear about a kid who didn’t want to go one day and hasn’t been back to school for a year or so.
I didn’t want him to have to go through this, it was painful to watch, but at the same time I didn’t want him to learn he could avoid difficult situations, run from the problem.

There was much chat about how he had not done all his homework, he had had plenty of opportunity to do it but didn’t, and now he had to face the consequences.
I suggested he could apologise and say he’ll do it as soon as he can, OR he can stick to his guns, say he did enough, and let it play out.
Eventually, unconvinced he left again.
Back he came, more tears, more fear.
” I want to die, I want to die, I’m going to kill myself.”
Not good to hear from a 10 year old’s mouth.
More talking, more calming, more reviewing of options and off he went again.
By now it was almost 8 and he was supposed to have left at 7.30.
A few minutes later, Doris left, then came back in and said Kev was sitting in the garden.
I went out and insisted he go. he reiterated how scary his teacher is. I said, I know she is scary, but you have to go in, you have to face it, we went over his options once more and he left the garden.

Five minutes later I left to go for my morning walk with my friend. I told her what had happened and we decided to walk the road to school to make sure he wasn’t lollygagging on the road.
We got all the way to the school gate and didn’t see him. I had my mobile in my pocket and my friend said she thought if he hadn’t arrived at school by registration that the school would call me and let me know. I didn’t think they would, but I said I would call the school and double check when I got in.

I called the school at 9.10. They checked, he was not there, had not arrived at school. Fuckitty fuck, they said they’ll start searching from that end and I would go again from my end.
I was just grabbing my bag/purse/phone etc when Kev walked through the door.
He had hidden himself near the house and waited until I came back from my walk.
I called the school, said he was safe and that I was bringing him in by car.

Kev cries all the way there. “don’t make me go, don’t make me go, she’s going to be so mad at me”.

Kev, myself, the doddering old git of an ineffectual headmaster, and another ( very good) teacher have a pow wow. The other ( good) teacher, talks to Kev about his options and about how not facing the music isn’t really one of them. I see Kev physically calm down, ( he stops digging his fingernails into the palms of his hands).

Nice teacher takes Kev off to put his bag away and get ready for his next lesson, Dragon Woman arrives.
To be honest, I had some negative dealings with this woman last year for something else, I don’t like her, but I do see she has her work cut out for her with the number of students she has in the class. I also know that she thinks authority is the key to a successful class and she rules with an iron rod. I disagree with that but I accept that it is her way.
I said while I get how ‘difficult’ Kev can be, yelling at him doesn’t work. God knows I have tried it, when I have shouted at him in the past I can see the light go off behind his eyes, he aint listening anymore, he has checked out, and I didn’t think it was good that at 10 years old you are saying ‘ I want to die, I’m going to kill myself’.

He is in 5th now. When he was in 3rd he had a strict teacher. Not nasty shouty strict like Dragon Woman, but a strict teacher, and he did not do well. In fact it was the worst year we had ever had with Kev. Then last year in 4th he had a lovely laid back teacher, she didn’t yell at them for not sitting up straight, or holding pencils correctly or any of the other million pointless little things some teachers expect, and we had a *relatively* peaceful year with him, I saw him
begin to fly a little rather than constantly just keeping his head above water, which is where we are back to.

Apologies were offered and accepted, though I did say, that he made the decision not to do his homework and he had to deal with that. The teacher suggested that I might have ‘made’ him do his homework, perhaps structured things for him that ‘made’ him get it done. I pointed out, that I did do that, but when he dithers and dallies and procrastinates and just plain refuses, I refuse to get drawn into more battles with my son over something that I personally don’t think is important. He finished the maths drills, he finished the kanji drills, he made something by hand and he wrote the diary, in my opinion it was enough.

OMG it went on and on and I missed my Thursday yoga, just when I needed it the most.

Later I went online and found, to my surprise, because I researched all of this when he had a hard time in 3rd grade, that there is a Waldorf Steiner school about an hour away form here. I am now looking into that. I have no idea if kids can tranfer in mid-term, or if there are entry requirements, but it definitely loks like a better learning enviroment for him. I’ll keep you posted.

so Friday I was ‘recovering’ i.e. lying on the sofa, indulging in my new obsession ” Criminal Minds’.
I’ll let you know how it goes….

6 thoughts on “A New School Perhaps?

  1. I hope things work out for him. I really hate their this is the way it is and if you can’t fit in with it then too f-ing bad for you attitude here. I feel a horrible nasty rant coming on so I will stop. Just big hugs, you know.

  2. I sympathise. I feel exhausted on your behalf. Our boy starts back at school next Tuesday: new teacher, all change, everything new… he isn’t going to cope well. If he doesn’t like the teacher Lord knows what we will do…!

  3. Just doing some catching up on your blog.So sorry to hear about the Kev problems.FWIW,I totally agree with you on the stupidity of the Summer Homework Pile and also that he should take responsibilty for his own actions(or lack of in this case).Do hope things work out and I am off to Google Waldorf Steiner schools as I have no idea what they are or do.

  4. Thanks to all for supportive comments. if i can just get hold of this Steiner school. There is a contact form you can fill in online but you have to fill it out in kana and I have no kana on my keyboard, and The Man has put in a password on his to keep the kids out, but so far I’m the only one who hasn’t cracked it!
    I will commision a fax from The Man tomorrow.
    There is only a fax number. Now that it seems like it my be a possibility in terms of cost and location I am chomping at the bit for further info.
    More to come as you know.

  5. oiyoiyoi! tough times.
    i have been researching steiner schools in my area too – funny timing…. all too far though.
    hope it all pans out with the new school!!

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