What a week...


Meg was so excited about going back to kindergarten the second day. I loved her enthusiasm. She woke up before I even had a chance to go into her bedroom. She only put on her one outfit this morning and was super excited about it. I tried to talk her out of it since it was long sleeved, but she insisted.

Tuesday, when I picked Megan up from school, she seemed a bit off. I wasn't sure what was going on. I asked her how her day was and she gave me a "fine". I asked her if she made any new friends and she said "no". I asked her who she played with on the play ground and she said "no one". After all the questions, Meg said to me "What happens at kindergarten, is my secret."

After school on Wednesday, the questions and answers were much of the same. I couldn't figure out what was going on, but the more I pressed, the more withdrawn she seemed. I just figured I'd talk to her teacher on Thursday night at Open House.

Thursday afternoon, my parents got into town and went to pick Meg up with me from school. Meg was so excited to see Meme & Poppy.

That night, we all went to open house...when I walked in, I was SHOCKED at what I saw!!! Actually, shocked is an understatement. All of us were.

There were four round tables with four chairs at each table. On the tables, there were names at each seat. I noticed one small desk far removed from the group of tables...on the table there was a name label...an assigned seat - separated from the group, isolated in the back, "removed" from the other students.

The name on the label was Megan...yes, my child had been separated from all the other students, she has been isolated, removed. After the teacher gave her speech, she asked if there were any questions.

A few parents asked some questions, then I asked about the desk. Ms. McHugh simply told me that she was given 17 students and there was only space for 16 students at the round tables and Meg was given a seat there "by luck of the draw".

I then asked if it would be a rotated seat...she said "yes". Meme and poppy heard her say that it would be rotated every six weeks (I didn't hear her say that).

I could tell Jarrad was upset by the whole situation because he got real quiet. We went to dinner with my parents, and it's all we could talk about. We had so many questions and no answers!!! That night as Jarrad and I got into bed, we decided that I needed to go speak to the teacher about it.

I couldn't sleep a wink - I tossed and turned all night. I was never so happy to hear my alarm go off. I bounced out of bed, and gathered my thoughts. I walked Meg into class and asked Ms. McHugh if she had a few minutes to talk to me.

I was calm and simply stated that "I couldn't accept Meg's desk being separated from the rest of the class". What came out of her mouth next was a total surprise to me...she said "Well, the real reason Megan is sitting at that desk is because she was talking excessively." I couldn't believe it, Megan was sitting alone because she was being punished. I had received no notes telling me that Megan was being disruptive in class.

I told her that I couldn't accept Megan being isolated because she was bad...that it wouldn't teach Megan that there is a time to talk and a time not to talk. Ms. McHugh then said "well, since I moved her over there, I haven't had any problems with her". I couldn't believe she said that - seriously, if the child has no one to talk to, of course there won't be any problems.

After talking for a few more minutes, Ms. McHugh agreed to move another student to a desk next to Megan's. I figured this solution was better than nothing, but wasn't thrilled about it. I left the class and came home and cried.

I felt like I had failed Megan. Her experience in the first week had been horrible. She had been given an assigned seat separated from the group on the second day of school. My heart was breaking in a thousand little pieces.

I just couldn't let it go, so I called the principal. The principal couldn't believe what she heard when I had told her the whole story. She was very understanding and assured me that the situation would be fixed.

That afternoon, I got to the school early to pick Megan up because I wanted to introduce myself the principal. Unfortunately, she wasn't available. So, I waited in the foyer for Meg to be released from class. You should have seen her. She was so happy, so full of life. When her teacher saw me, she spoke to me. She told me that she was very sorry and that Meg had been moved to a table with the other students.

So, for now, the situation is "fixed", but I will be working to help out during lunch this week to make sure that things are going well. I don't want to be "that mom", but I also want Megan to have the same experiences and opportunities that the other children have.
I hope her week is better and that she realizes that she's still a good kid even tho her teacher made a mistake.


Chelle said...

That really just broke my heart, Allison. As a teacher shouldn't she know what's acceptable and what isn't when disciplining a child? And it's Meg's first year EVER at school! Poor sweetheart :(

I am SO happy you called the principal...and even happier that you'll be at lunch during the week to keep an eye on the situation.

Poor Meg :( I am really hoping that things will get better for you all. ((hugs))

Darla said...

Wow, that is tough on a mommy. I hope this makes a big difference now she back with the class and she loves school. Next time call me if you need to talk or a shoulder to cry on.

Angelique said...

Wow, that broke my heart. I would be so angry if that happened to one of my children. One time Tommy was singled out in the classroom and I definitely let the teacher know how inappropriate I thought that was. I know it isn't easy to love all the children in your class all the time as a teacher but she is being entrusted to nurture those children at all times. She made a huge mistake but I'm glad to see the situation was corrected.

I think you're choice to stay on top of things is a GREAT one.

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