Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What to do, what to do...

Today, Miss E came home with a "post test" where she had to write her numbers 1-10, which she did successfully. However, also written on her page was the following:

"Miss E wanted to look at others' papers."

When I read this, I asked her if she was trying to copy and look at other people's work. "No!" she emphatically stated. "I was just moving my head in circles!" And she got more and more upset with me and wanted me to write an email to her teacher saying that she was not cheating. Later, I asked her about it in a different way and she never said, "Why yes, Mother. I was cheating." Instead, she said something like, "Sometimes I don't know and I wanted some help."

Anyway, I never wrote the email, but I've been thinking about this, because let's be honest. It's KINDERGARTEN! She wants to do well, she wants to be successful, but this is Miss E we're talking about. She's sooooo bright and smart, but she's easily distracted. One day she can count to 100 without a single error and the next day, she forgets numbers 13 and 14 on her way to 20.

I must confess that initially I was like, "Oh my gosh! We must squelch out cheating!" but then I thought, why is she feeling the pressure TO cheat. And then I thought, Am I becoming one of those parents who wants a sliding rule for my kid? And then I thought, But this is KINDERGARTEN! For crying out loud! I wasn't writing my numbers back in Kindergarten and I still managed to become a fairly normal well adjusted person (right????).

So, yeah. Any kind words or brutal honesty you want to share about said topic, Gentle Reader?

I also have to confess that after a while, I kinda wanted to write a note on the "post test" and send it back to the teacher with something like, "After several spankings, Miss E finally promised she won't look at other people's work. Thanks for letting us know and be sure to inform us if she gets out of line again and we'll take care of it."

Ha! I'm sure that'd go over well with her teacher. Somehow I don't know if she'd catch the sarcasm that was intended. Because it's KINDERGARTEN. What is she expecting us to do???? (btw, she didn't get in trouble with me at all...we just talked briefly about it those two times).

Okay, thanks for letting me rant and record.


Bethany said...

I was so easily distracted in kindergarten that my new teacher (we moved to Willard halfway through that year) told me to pretend I had blinders on. Not because I was looking at other people's work, but because I was looking at EVERYTHING that was remotely as interesting as the worksheet I was supposed to be doing. (BTW, I had already decided other kids were dumb when they didn't know something. I had no idea that it was okay not to know!) The blinders idea worked, though. And the next worksheet I turned in really quickly and she wrote "Speedy Gonzalez!" at the top. I was so proud. So maybe, it's not really cheating, but other learning/attention issues going on. I still have them. See if you can notice patterns of inattention (time of day, before/after eating, too many sensory inputs happening at once, etc.) and I bet that you will find out more about how she functions. Remember that classrooms are terrible places to learn, and if I felt that I could handle it (and we could afford to live here without me working) I would probably homeschool the boys. But, we do with what we have, and that's public school.

Wow, that's now a really long comment. If you have other questions about attention issues, give me a call. I'm off tomorrow!!! Thank you, Veterans! Or whenever!

Rachel said...

I think you handled the situation with Ms. E great. Considering that most Kindergarteners probably don't fully understand what cheating is or why it isn't a good thing to do.

I'm guessing that her teacher was just trying to begin to make the point to Ms. E, that looking at others papers during a test isn't okay. Especially since as a Kindergarten teacher part of the job is to prepare students for the next grade to come.

On the bright side, at least the teacher was observant enough to notice that Ms. E was looking at others papers, in a classroom full of 20 or more students.

Krista said...

I think you did great too! I just want my kids to be able to have regular recess and not be stressed out at school at the age of 5!! School used to be fun, right? Grrrr.
Master M had a break down the other night and couldn't even tell me what was the matter, but it had something to do with school and the pressure - he's in 2nd grade!! Double Grrrr!

Shari said...

I vote for responding w/ the spanking comment! I laughed and laughed!

Also, the whole thing about it being kindergarten and not understanding what cheating is, or why it's bad...that makes sense to me!

Maybe the teacher needs to put more emphasis on this is a TEST it's different from our regular worksheets, so I can see how well you are learning, or if we need to work harder on certain things. Please keep your eyes on your own paper!

You've done what you should do, now put it back on her to TEACH the kids about what is going on in her classroom, what tests are for (so they don't get obsessive and feel too much pressure), and what is expected of them! (and what is a run on sentence)