Saying SorryNovember 7, 2011
I went to collect Elizabeth on Thursday as normal and was called into the classroom to talk to the teacher. Basically what I was told is Elizabeth hurt a little boys fingers and the Reception class teacher (teaches 5yr olds normally) was covering at the time and asked her to say sorry. She refused so was placed in timeout. She was asked to say sorry again and she still refused she had a huge temper tantrum and was placed in timeout again. After this they kept trying to get her to say sorry but she wouldnt.
So I spoke to the teacher (her normal one) and explained that Elizabeth is usually very quick at saying sorry if she thinks she had done something wrong so I was surprised at this behaviour. I also explained that my very determined stubborn little girl would not say sorry if she did not think she had done anything wrong.
I discussed this with Elizabeth on the way home and she explained to me that they were together and he got hurt but that she did not mean to hurt him. So as far as I was concerned it was over with, she had been in timeout, she had been told off, so that was the end of it or so I would have thought.
Today Elizabeth went into school a happy child, she didnt whinge (unusual for her as not a morning person as all) so when I dropped her off I suggested to the teacher that maybe they should give her a sticker for being such a brave and good girl that morning, the response was “umm we shall see”. This in itself kind of irritated me a little bit but she was busy so I brushed it off.
When I collected Elizabeth she was puffy faced and miserable such a change from the little girl that I dropped off. The reception class teacher wanted to talk to me so I listened to her explaining that she had spent the whole afternoon trying to make Elizabeth say sorry to the little boy she had hurt the day before. I also received more information on what exactly had happened. You see Elizabeth and the boy in question were in the cloakroom unsupervised and then the boy started crying. When asked to explain Elizabeth didnt talk and so they suggested to the boy that Elizabeth hurt him and then suggested that she did it on purpose and I literally mean suggested aparently the teacher said “Did Elizabeth hurt you?” and “Did she do it on purpose?” The Teacher then suggested to me that they try again on Monday at which point I had to speak up and say no. I very politely whilst biting my tongue suggested that seen as she is so upset with the constant harassment (I mean reminders) that it might not be such a good idea. Reminding a three year old they did something wrong yesterday is not ideal but remining them they did something four days ago is just plain stupid. As annoyed as I was I made the teacher agree that seen as I had spoken to her and no one at the school had actually managed to find out from Elizabeth exactly what happened then the matter should be dropped.
Elizabeth woke up this morning and the minute I mentioned school she said she didnt want to go back and she didnt want to say sorry. Wow that had me thinking, what did they do on Friday to make her so negative about school?
She was very upset when I dropped her off this morning but her normal teacher was there so after a quick hug she was happy again.
On collecting her today I was greeted with my happy smiling confident little girl again. I spoke to her teacher and she had had a great day, she accidently stood on her teachers hand and said sorry straight away and when another child hurt someone she told them she had to say sorry. Her teacher was surprised as how easily she said sorry after all the issues last week but I wasn’t. Elizabeth is a loving caring child who is very polite and will say sorry very quickly if she believes she should .
Her normal teacher also filled me in on some details that I wasn’t aware off, you see the child who got hurt does not speak english as a first language, he doesnt speak or understand english very well either. She was not in the classroom for either the incident or the Friday afternoon and that at both of these occassions it was the reception class teacher who had dealt with her.
Ok so let me just clarify, a teacher who Elizabeth doesnt know (hence the shyness) accused her of hurting a little boy, who no one actually saw how he got hurt, and he doesnt speak good enough english to have explained how he got hurt and she was punished not just on the day in question but also the following afternoon? Seriously this is a three year old. Well to say I was annoyed was an understatement.
Anyway its over with now but it did make me wonder if we had done the right thing by putting her in school instead of her old private nursery.