K update

September 6, 2006

Sierra got her second or third homework assignment back from school.  They have homework they do each week.  It is 5 pages, front and back.  They are suppose to do 1 front and back page per day.  However, Sierra wants to do all the homework at one sitting.  I mentioned this to the teacher telling her that Sierra could use some more homework to keep her attention and I was told that she needs to practice being neat.

Well, majority of the time Sierra colors in the lines.  In fact, she has Tony’s ocd about it and colors pictures and draws way better than I did at her age. She has the potential to be a better artist than me and possibly have Tony’s drawing ability.  I wouldn’t be surprised.

One the second or third day of school she came home and in a notebook copied all the letters from the alphabet that are on the walls at school and drew the associated picture of them.  This was all her doing and was very creative and a great use of her memory.  I am so impressed I am going to save the notebook.

So, last week when she was doing her homework she colored WAY outside the lines.  She did it on purpose to be more like the other kids.  You see, she isn’t getting the positive attention for coloring in the lines at school and the kids who need help with stuff, whether in coloring or sounds or whatever get the attention.  I told her she needed to color in her style, not try to copy what other kids do.

There was some letter writing practices that I suggested she use crayons because it was a thick black line she was tracing over and with the pencil you couldn’t see what she was doing.  In the instructions for the class it suggested the kids write with pencil but that they could also use crayon and in fact sent the kids home with a box of crayons per kid.

Sierra turned her homework in and we got it back today.  Every page in big red ink pen writing was written “use pencil,” “color neater,” “please be neater,” “slow down so your work looks neater.”  Every page, front and back, sometimes written multiple times on a page this is written.

So…I am pissed off.

#1.  I read the instructions for Sierra on how to do the homework.  So it isn’t Sierra’s fault her mom told her to use crayon.

#2.  Sierra can’t read what her teacher writes, I can.  So the comments are for me to read to Sierra and I don’t need it written 10 times over her whole homework assignment.

#3.  This is all negative feedback.  There wasn’t one positive thing about the homework.  If she is negative and nitpicky on paper then you can imagine what she is like in person.

#4.  This is only the first month of Kindergarten.  Sierra can hold a pencil.  She can color with a crayon.  She knows her shapes.  She knows when things don’t belong and groupings.  She knows all her sounds.  She knows her alphabet.  She is learning the sight words.  She is reading her take home books every night.  She is on track and probably moving ahead of track.

I am pretty sure this all came about because of my recent talk with the teacher and it just makes me sick.  I am to the point where I have contemplated homeschooling her.  However, if I take her out of school she might think we are punishing her.  (or so my mom says)  Also, I have even thought maybe Tony and I need to move to a different school district and get her into a different Kindergarten somewhere else.

I know it is just Kindergarten and maybe I am being overly sensitive, but I had my share of problems in school and I don’t want Sierra’s energy towards learning squashed.  I just had to vent about this…  I am going to volunteer in her class on Thursday.



  1. You are NOT being overly sensitive. It sounds like the teacher has a case of the a@@ with you. Is there more than one class of kindergarten? Maybe switching teachers would be good?
    I would talk to her and see how she feels about being homeschooled. I pulled my oldest from Kindergarten because of a similar situation. I homeschooled her for two years and then (at her request) put her back in school and she did great. She just needed to get past that teacher and be old enough to handle the things kids have to deal with in school.
    In the end, YOU are the parent, you have to do whats best for her and from the sounds of it that teacher isn’t whats best. Good luck. I hate it when things get all screwy for little kids who just want to go to school and learn.

  2. No, you aren’t being sensitive. This teacher sucks. Sierra has the smarts to excel in k’garten and probably won’t be learning anything new, but her attitude about school is formed in k’garten and 1st grade. I can’t remember, did Tony go with you to the conference with the teacher? Sometimes dad being there makes a difference. First see if you can’t switch teachers…although be aware that teacher 1 will definitely talk to teacher 2 about it. Is private k’garten at all possible? Just for a year.

    I’m so pissed at this teacher right now. Some of us work very hard to form a PARTNERSHIP with parents ’cause we are all on the same team working toward the same goal: raising children to be responsible, kind human cititzens of this planet and some of us really go out of their way to make us look like shit.

    Damn this woman.

  3. Nope, you aren’t being overly sensitive at all, the teacher is being a total ass about this.

    Volunteering is a great thing-be active, let the teacher know you are on top of things and care about what goes on-annoy the woman and be in her face.

    If this continues, I would discuss switching classes. I would also go to the superintendent of the schools and not the principal.

  4. There are some dud parents and some dud teachers… sounds like a case of dud teacher here to me.

  5. I’d be pissed too. That sounds like an awful lot to expect from a kindergarten student. Holy cow … and seriously who the heck cares if she does it in crayon so long as she does it?! Priorites people!! Ugh.


  6. Wow, that’s just sad…so she gets NO positive feedback when she is good in class, and when she is herself. And then she gets nothing but negative feedback on her homework.

    Way to make the kid love school, jerky anonymous kndergarten teacher!

    you are totally justified in being frustrated and angry. I’d go talk to the principal/superintendant.

    “You see, she isn’t getting the positive attention for coloring in the lines at school and the kids who need help with stuff, whether in coloring or sounds or whatever get the attention. ”

    That makes me so sad. SO sad. This kid isn’t in college, she’s in kindergarten.

  7. That just breaks my heart. Poor Sierra. I totally feel for her.
    It sounds like her teacher needs a change of profession. I was a teaching assistant for a short while for a jaded teacher. She was also heavy with the criticism. 😦

    You mentioned that you’re considering homeschooling. Hickman Charter School might be a good place to start since they have an optional 5 week program where Sierra could actually attend school. Then, she might not feel punished. Also, if it gets really bad, just remember that Kindergarten is optional in California.

    If you tell her that she’s just too talented for Kindergarten, then maybe she won’t feel so badly about leaving. You could talk up the positives such as being able to do all her homework at once and getting all the teacher’s attention.

    I hope things get better for her.

  8. Hi, Wendy! You may remember me from Fiber Freaks. I think it sounds as if this teacher really doesn’t belong in kindergarten. I hate to see you pull her out of school, but I understand your feelings. Everyone has given good suggestions on how to deal with the problem. I’d consider switching classes or talking to an administrator.

  9. What a jerk this teacher sounds like. Come on Kindergarten? Geez! I think the teacher needs a life. I think that you are right to worry about this making a negative impact on Sierra. Just don’t let her see how mad it makes YOU, or hear what you say about the teacher. It will make it all the more confusing for her.

    Is there anyway that you could contemplate putting Sierra in a private school? If I had to do it over again with my dd I would go this route.

    I don’t like the homeschool idea, unless of course you make an effort for her to be around other kids. They need to learn to be with one another as well.

  10. That teacher is waaaaaay out of line–at Sierra’s age, she needs positive reinforcement and encouragement for her creativity… That’s all.

  11. Wendy- Most of my family works in education and I’ve heard a story or two. If you are unhappy enough with the teacher and her negative remarks, and have tried to talk to her about it, go over her head and move Sierra to a different classroom. If you come up with valid reasons administration is more than likely to see it your way. Good luck!

  12. I stumbled upon your blog today and just had to comment on this — the TEACHER is way off base. Kudos to you for going further with this with the principal. I can’t believe that your daughter was actually driven to make her work worse (the coloring) just to get some feedback! And the woman is obviously too critical. Keep sticking by Sierra — your support will more than compensate for whatever damage this woman can do.

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