Tag Archives: school

Teacher gifts…to do or not?

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Our littlee attends a school we pay quite a bit of money for.  We are fairly happy with the school and the teachers, etc.  I do feel there could be a bit more diversity in the staff but I am not sure what can be done about it.  I cannot even get them them to makes changes in the uniform, let alone staff.

Anyway, I digress.
How do you feel about gifts for staff?  I am not stingy but I do think we cannot give gifts to everyone on every occasion.  Engagements, birthdays, weddings, babies and this is not just the teachers and the principal.  It extends to the assistants, admin people and ground staff, including the security people.  This is a heap of people to dish out gifts to on all occasions.
We do flowers, card and choc on Valentines and then something again for Mother’s Day.  We contribute to the birthday gift.  Last year the teacher received a R1500 gift voucher and a party that included helium balloons, expensive flowers, cake, cupcakes, juice, fruit and decorations.
For me this is a bit over the top.  Surely it is about a gesture, and should not have to cost that much.  Parents are also required to be at the birthday tea (like we don’t have jobs to go to).
I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but I just feel that while teachers and school staff are a larger part of the lives of our children, we do pay a large amount of money to the school already.
I also suggested to Hubby that if we are going to be organised enough to collect money for the teacher’s gift, we should take that money and donate it to a charity in the teacher’s name, or buy books for a less privileged school or milk for some babies. I am just not sure that teachers in a private school require expensive gifts and parties.
Maybe the public school teachers are more deserving…bigger classes, smaller salaries…
What is your view?
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Poison notes.

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And you think you are having all the problems with your problem child…and then you bump into other moms and you realise it is not just you.

You all know about our classroom dramas from last year.  It consumed me last year and I am almost over it now.  Over the weekend I saw a mom and I recognised the anxiousness in her.  I could see the stress in her body and the way she watched over her boy.  What happened?  She received a letter from the teacher about her son being a bully. To be honest, I myself have not seen the bully side of him in his interactions with HB.  He is bigger than the other kids, size wise, but just seemed like a teddy to me.  He is not fat, just bigger.  He loves to hug and he loves to try to carry the littler ones, like HB.  I know HB does not like it, but he lets the child know, and that is normally the end of it.  I think this happened with the girls and now there is a bullying letter.  As soon as this mom sees any sign of unhappiness with the kids, she wants to jump in and take her son out of it. She is so worried and stressed.
Another mom says she received a red slip.  I did not even know what that was.  It is a disciplinary slip. He son was not listening to the cricket coach and then he walked away while the coach was reprimanding him.  You could see the stress in her body.  You can see that she just wants to protect her child.  You can see she does not know where to go or what to do.
Those little notes from school so harmless seeming when that teacher hits send, but so devastating to a mom.  I cannot say what the dads feel. but I see the signs in the mom.  I have been there, and I feel like we need a support group.
In other news…Almond milk looks gross.  I would rather drink tea and coffee without.

School stuff.

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I am not sure why I do this to myself, OK, I guess I do it for HB.  This week we had two playdates.  For me that was a little too much, as the one was unplanned.

HB was invited out to swim (we have been having such hot weather) and I was reluctant to let him go alone to a house I had not seen, especially with a pool.  So I stayed for that one.  It was actually fine.  The mom and I always chat quickly when we fetch the kids, but at least now we got to know each other a bit better, and she is very nice. HB can go visit without me.  They are vigilant over the kids in the pool and HB is comfortable with both the dad and mom.
The one on Sunday was unplanned, but I have had the kid before, and it was not bad.  The mom and I sat and chatted for about an hour watching the kids play, and then I offered to drop him off later, since the boys thought they had not had enough playtime.
HB has a blast and was happy to reconnect with boys no longer in his class.
This meant that I was busy all weekend.  I was making pancakes and muffins and cooking and cleaning and felt like a full time job on top of all this was too much.
At nine in the evening I realised I had forgotten to cover HB’s book, with the dreaded contact plastic. I hate that stuff.  Why do teachers do this to us?  We don’t just cover a book, you have to cover over your kids artwork on the front, and it aint always flat artwork. The advantage of doing it so late was that I saw no bubbles 🙂
Hubby was working full long days all weekend, but he was nice enough to notice the clean house and complimented it.
My star child vacuumed the entire house by himself.  At this age, it is a fun thing to do.  I just have to keep an eye on him while picking up and he did it all.
I mopped the floors and HB was also very happy with his work.  I must say I was impressed.  He did the corners and a pretty good job.
The school uniform is driving me nuts.  I cannot get those white shirts clean, after only one wearing.  The have a blue and green embroidery and stripes in the collar, so it is not something I can stick in bleach.  Why does the school do this to us?
HB did well in the swim assessment, but my anxious mother heart cannot deal with him swimming unassisted in a 2m deep pool, so it is not an activity we have chosen. He swims outside school in a heated pool with an attentive coach, so he is not missing out. I was surprised he passed the assessment, as I did not think he had the stamina to swim 25m, but he did.
They grow so quickly, I want to grab him and say, stop, wait for me.

Bullet points.

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What I have been doing:

  1. Formatted hubby’s laptop and then the recovery disc did not work.  At least the store easily sorted it out for about R500,00.  I feel bad, but at least there are zero viruses on it now (well there was zero anything after I was done).
  2. I have another private job, yippee! and that means extra money on my car.
  3. Related to the above point, I finally bought a brand new car.  I have never had a brand new car before.  I finally decided that mine had done its bit and it was time. It is exciting for me.
  4. Sold my eighteen year old car, in less than a minute for more than I would have thought.  Dropped it off yesterday, after the money was in and I am happy it was to a dealership, not a private person.
  5. Still trying to get the party pics done.  I have made up the private post and I will email the info this week.
  6. So looking forward to holidays.  I counted the weeks yesterday, just under eight left.
  7. No lunch today…forgot about it, so guess I will have rusks and milo for lunch, maybe peanuts, because that is what I have in my emergency stash.  I have to relook at that stash.
  8. I huge, well hubby says no, but I feel huge and that is because I did stop exercising, there did not seem to be enough hours in the day.
  9. HB is almost done with Grade 0.  New uniform, new campus, new teacher.  Looking forward to it.
  10. Made a few new friends with the school gate Moms.  Even the stay at home ones.  We have visited with each other, had the kids play, eaten together, and looks like we could be good friends. It is possible, I think, if you make an effort to get together, beside the school gate, you can make firmer friendships. I think Marcia called this containers?
  11. Looking forward to December, did I say that one l already.
  12. I have so much work to do, instead I am typing a blog, because I need a break.
  13. Had my eyes tested, fully confirmed it is stable.  On the downside, they are stressed eyes so I do need to take better care at the PC.  Also, bad, the abscess I had in my eye actually did scar.  So I possibly am going to have a few issues later, but on the upside, I could have become blind from the scarring but I am not.
  14. HB is turning into a teenager at six…and it is not going down well in our house.  The backchat leaves me at a loss as to what is the appropriate response. I am speechless in the face of that backchat from a six year old.
  15. How to deal with a six year old teen?  I just send him to his room and we talk about it after.  We take away the screen time, and now we will have to start taking away lego, etc.  Children!
  16. I cannot wait to see my family in December.  Need to get going with their gifts.  I just do the kids.
  17. Hubby does not want not want to see his family.  I did say we should go, do the 12 hour drive and just see them, but he says, no, and he has asked me not to insist anymore.  Last year it was tiring, but OK.  HB only vomited in the car once.
  18. I should really go work now

I just need this post, for me.

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I will do the party post, I just need to collate the photos…I promise ladies.  Today I want to talk about something else that has been at the forefront of my mind.

There are all my blog posts about the school and educational psychologists, etc.I have been through it all.  The school said, we listened and then had to make the best decision for our child.  I will not allow anyone else to decide for us.  It is hard to decide and stand strong in the face of a “professional opinion”
We had a long meeting with the school principal, psychologist and teacher.  I aired all my unhappiness and the way in which things have been going and basically it was a meeting for the principal to cover her staff.
Hubby and I were clear that the contrast in the school services and the services we paid for was miles apart, hence we have no faith in their abilities.  We thanked them for bringing HB’s “deficiencies” to our attention. I also made it clear that they were lying about some stuff and I had had enough about this.
HB will progress to the next grade.  We have had him tested, he is receiving support for his “deficiencies.”  He is above average academically and between the private educational psychologist, and as parents, we know he is emotionally ready too.  For the sensitive child we have, keeping him back another year may not be the best thing.  Only you as the parent can know your child holistically.  Only you will understand their intricacies, their sensitivities, the things that make them happy and the things that make them sad and scared.  Do not be overwhelmed by all the professionals out there telling you the type of person your child is and what they think your child needs.  I am not saying ignore and not listen.  You should listen to all the separate pieces of information, but at the end of the day, make a decision you know is best for your child.
We have carefully thought about this.  Any delays related to sensory issues, have not translated to the academics.  He is not missing out on school work because of these apparent sensory issues.  Also, he is receiving therapy for these things, every single day.  The emotional problems cited by the teacher has only happened with the teacher.  Not ever at aftercare, not ever for the month he spent at another school over the holidays, not ever at home or anywhere else, but that teacher’s classroom.  In our opinion, the sooner he is out of there, the better.  I am sure she is an excellent teacher, but she is not the right fit for my child.
We will not be forced by any of them because they tell us their business is children and they know what they are talking about.  They have attached a label to my child and now that they cannot say he is behind academically, they say he has emotional problems.  Not sure what they are, but they are there. I advise, keep notes of every single meeting you ever have.  Write them down, because we as parents become emotional and forget. Just rite it all down.  Write down how you are feeling.
I know holding children back an extra year in Grade 0 works wonders for many children.  I was one of those kids that waited to go to school because of a late birthday.  I flew through school.  It was a breeze.  But socially it was always a problem.  I will not have HB have to do that when it is not entirely necessary. In his case, I do not think it will benefit him.  It is not as if they are going to create a special academic programme for him.  He is already becoming bored with some of the current programme, so what will happen next year when it is all the same thing?  He is just going to end up being a child with behaviour problems. he is going to act up because he is bored.  He is going to be upset when his friends move on.  I know he will get over it eventually, but why put him through it in the first place.
Be strong parents.  You love your child and your decisions come from a place of intense love for these little human beings.  Listen to the educational professional, but stand strong in your love and do the best thing for your child.  Your child is not a statistic, your child is not a number, your child is yours to love and protect.