It’s hard to believe that we’re almost halfway through the school year! This summer, I wrote about the anxiety of Cohen starting a new school year. Last year, his kindergarten year (you may remember) didn’t go so well. He received numerous safe seats, hated school, acted out and wasn’t the kid I knew.

But this year is a completely different story!

Noticing a Difference

At the beginning of the school year, I was patiently waiting for an email from his teacher. Expecting her to say “Cohen is in trouble for…” But I was pleasantly surprised when I never heard from her.

While at parent-teacher conferences, she informed me that she had the wrong email address for me. My heart dropped, I assumed that meant she had been trying to get a hold of me to tell me how awful Cohen had been doing. To my relief, the teacher stated that Cohen is a sweetheart, and he’s had no problems!

My heart rejoiced! Finally, a good report that he was doing well. I knew something changed because he actually liked going to school, and I got less complaints while doing homework.

So I started thinking…maybe Cohen and his kindergarten teacher were just a bad fit. I know it affected his social, emotional and academic growth. I can see the red flags now, but I should have realized this last year to confirm Cohen’s accusations.

Recognizing the Signs of a Bad Fit

This year, he’s psyched about all the books he’s reading and is acing his math homework. Last year, his attitude about school took a turn for the gloomy. I realize now that he’d had a drop in self-confidence. He had called himself “dumb” or “stupid” and was anxious about homework. His teacher may have been at the crux of his crankiness, but he was unable to tell me if his teacher was the root of the problem.

At some point this year, I will probably receive bad news from the teacher regarding academics or behavior. But I feel, with this teacher, we will be able to work together and not play the blame game.

So if these signs ring a bell, it’s important to tread lightly. I wish my first step would have been to request a classroom visit so I could have observed the interaction between the teacher and all of the students. I also wish I would have had Cohen talk to a counselor or I had talked to the principal. Luckily, this year he and his teacher seem to fit! And his first grade experience is going a LOT better!

Has your child ever had a “bad fit” teacher? How did you cope?

Mallory Connelly

Mallory Connelly

Babies & Toddlers

In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!

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