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Kindergarten- the awful year

Posted on May 21, 2016 at 11:25 PM

Jared began Kindergarten excited! He was able to ride the big bus and see his brother at school. He loved the social aspect!  It wasn't long before he didn't want to get on the bus and got off the bus crying- he hated school.  It was devastating to see my son who was so bright and excited to learn come home and tell me he was stupid...at 5 years old.

We would practice letters M-R-S-T over and over every chance we got...he just couldn't get it, I never saw a kid try so hard- he was paying attention, he still loved to be read to, he loved to color and do other kindergarten activities....however he COULD NOT reliably tell me any letters with consistency.  He attended school all day, we practiced letters for at least 1 hour a night and he was read to every day. Sometimes we woke up an hour early to practice more....surely practicing more would help- right?

I met with his teacher and was told he wasn't trying, and to be perfectly honest- I was not impressed with this teacher.  She described him as lazy, not trying, not paying attention and sometimes he was a distraction when he waved at his brother in the hallway.....This is the only teacher in Jared's academic career so far that I can say that about.  Eventually I met with the principal and the teacher and told them if this wasn't a good fit, we would need to move Jared from her class, a 5 year old shouldn't come home crying daily because his teacher was mean.  The situation changed enough at that point he stopped crying. To this day he remembers that teacher and how she made him feel.  If I had it to do over again- I would have moved him. The emotional damage this women caused is still carried to this day.

Jared made slight progress by the end of the year- in hindsight- he memorized enough books to improve test scores.  He was pulled out for reading throughout kindergarten, yet had no 504 or IEP.  We repeated phonics, we practiced AR books, he took a computer based reading program- yet wasn't catching on.  We made the decision to place him in Transitional First- a class for those who needed to repeat kindergarten or for new kindergarten students who were closer to first grade.

While today I believe this was a mistake in some ways - retaining him did not help him learn to read, write or spell...it was a blessing in another way...We found Mrs. Clifford- the most amazing teacher.  She recognized something was wrong, yet she didn't know what. What she did do was build Jared's self esteen back up....she made him love going to school again. To this day he will tell you Mrs. Clifford is his favorite teacher.


Maya Angelou — 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Categories: Jared's Story

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