Monday, February 11, 2008

Faces & Names

I really want to like Brendan's pre-K teacher and not be critical of her. I definitely never criticize her in front of him and I encourage him to like her.

But I swear, she's driving me nuts.

Seven months into the school year and she is still calling him the wrong name. She calls him Brandon instead of Brendan. When she writes his name, she spells it B-R-E-N-D-O-N.

Usually, in the mornings, I'm rushing. This is my fault. But, most mornings, I don't get to take my shower and dress in anything nicer than sweats until after I get Brendan to school and Beckett down for a nap. The days when I do shower, dress nicely, and do my hair and face before going into the school, the teacher always makes a big deal over my appearance and tells me that I should always wear makeup. I get it. I know I look a lot better when I'm done up. Don't we all? But I think it's kind of rude to tell someone that and to tell them that as often as she has told me.

I asked her if I could bring cupcakes to the class for Brendan's birthday. His birthday was on Saturday and I asked if I could bring cupcakes on Monday or Tuesday. She said either day would be fine, just show up right after naptime. So, on Tuesday morning, I told her I'd be back with cupcakes that afternoon. But when I showed up she acted totally surprised and even asked me if I had told her I was coming! ARGH!

The thing is...she comes across as being very sweet and friendly. I just don't know how to respond to her. So, I just take it. But I feel like my son is getting shafted by being in her class and I don't have high hopes for the rest of his elementary school career if this is how we're starting off.

I wish I could volunteer in the class more to get a feel for how things are on a day-to-day basis, but with Beckett I just can't. What would I do with him?

Maybe I'm just overreacting. I don't know. I loved school, but I know that bad teachers or teachers who did not respond well to me always made me insecure and made me hate going to school. And I know not every teacher is going to like my kid. What's weird is that this teacher seems to love my kid. She always tells me how sweet he is and how good he is. He never gets into trouble.

I suppose it's just my high expectations that a teacher should be able to pronounce and spell a name that is not that unusual. She manages to pronounce and spell Kaif correctly. Is Brendan really that hard?


Suz said...

I would tell her you expect her to get your child's name straight. The other stuff sounds like garden variety flakiness, but the name thing is pretty basic and necessary. If she continues to call him by the wrong name after you have calmly, clearly, and directly called her out on it, I'd talk with the principal about it. In my experience, they want to know these things. This is a very specific issue and won't sound like random bitching.

Just my two cents as a school district lawyer! Oh, and I wouldn't prejudge his whole school based on this one teacher. There's always one bad apple in a bunch!

Dawn said...

Yeah...but you know how much I hate confrontation.

Brendan was picked as Star Student this month and I had to bring in some photos of him today for a poster they put up. I made a point of saying his name repeatedly, enunciating very clearly and specifically.

Then, I showed a picture of him with St. Brendan the Navigator and made a point of saying that St. Brendan is one of his namesakes.

I know I shouldn't judge the entire school district on the one teacher. It's easy to overreact when it comes to your kids or whatever it is you happen to be passionate about.

Suz said...

I don't think stating something directly equates to confrontation..but perhaps that's because my job is to both confront and directly state things. I find that in very nasty meetings or conversations, stating my position clearly yet calmly and almost sweetly is extremely effective. And how can the other person reasonably have a problem with your stating something in that manner?

Jeremy said...

Um, "Kaif" is just four letters. "Brenten" is like twice as many. Or more.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I concur with Suz. Don't judge the school harshly based upon this teacher being spacey.

As the spouse of probably the best teacher in the world (I'm not kidding), I think the most important thing is getting all the kids invested in creating and sustaining a pleasant environment that allows each student to derive some measure of success. It helps to get other stuff right, too, of course, but I think it's a forest vs. trees deal...

Benson is the trees. Or is it Brandon?

I really must stop having fun with this!

Peace, Geronimo