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How to make a kid grateful you're their teacher... (a nonfiction story)


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I occasionally substitute teach up at DD's school, usually in the preschool. DS typically comes along with me. The school is cool with this. I schedule an easy day for him, bring his work and put him in the teacher's office. I check on him often to make sure he's progressing or to see if he has questions, and when he's done with his work, he comes out and helps with the class. Most of the time I only sub for an hour or two, but they asked me a week ago if I could sub all day today. I said yes and told DS about it on Monday. He threw a fit and said he was done going to preschool and didn't want to come with me. He's 8. I get it. He's over the whole preschool thing, and he's in a funky place mentally right now anyway due to Christmas.

 

So I called up my MIL and asked her if she'd be willing to watch him since I didn't want to bail on the school on short notice. She was fine with that, so I wrote out a lesson plan, got all the books and worksheets together - I even packaged up the crayons that were needed for the SOTW mapwork since my MIL doesn't have ANY kid stuff at her house - and hauled the boy and all his gear over to her house last night. He was excited about having Grandma as his teacher, because he often fights me on doing schoolwork and has been especially bad the last couple of weeks, and he thought having Grandma as his teacher would be totally cool.

 

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I had a great day with 18 preschoolers. I told the school secretary that I wasn't sure if I would be available to sub any more if DS continued with his anti-establishment mentality, and she said to let her know. I picked up DD from her class after school, and we went to collect DS from Grandma. I arrived at the house, and my MIL said, "We had a long school day today."

 

I thought I had made sure the work was easy to complete and pretty self-explanatory, so I was a little confused. Then she continued, "We worked hard, and we spent a long time on science. But he can tell you all about rocks forward and backward!"

 

At this point, my DS chimed in, "I kept telling her that we didn't have to do all that, but she made me work."

 

"Oh?" I asked, trying not to laugh. "What else did you guys do?"

 

"I thought it was all too easy," my MIL continued, "so we did a bunch of extra stuff."

 

At this point, my laughter bubbled over. I had to ask. "So who's the harder teacher, my boy? Me or Grandma?"

 

"Grandma," the boy grumbled.

 

"We had fun, though, and I enjoyed teaching him," Grandma chimed in. "I'll be happy to take him any time you need a break, even if you're not subbing."

 

The boy's stricken look was priceless. I suspect between now and Christmas break, we're going to have no trouble at all. :lol:

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Love it!

 

Something similar happened the other week with my dh. He had the week of Thanksgiving off and that Monday he (being the sweet guy that he is), told me I could take the day off and he would do all the stuff I normally do. This included ds6's homeschooling.

 

Ds6 thought it was going to be a great day, since dh is usually the "fun" parent. I hung around the couch reading a book while dh was schooling ds and he was really making him do more than I normally do. Ds usually does one page of MM, dh made him do two..Ds normally does just one sentence in WWE copywork, dh made him do both..Ds normally does one lesson in MEP, dh made him do two, etc. I usually read him the word problems in math, but dh would make him do that over and over. His reading is still a bit labored so he doesn't always understand the first time he reads a problem.

 

Well, I was thrilled that ds6 was happy to have me back as teacher the next day! I'll admit with dh being the "fun" parent, I was worried ds6 was going love having him as teacherDad and hate having me back. I was secretly rejoicing inside when I saw how much ds wanted me back!

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Ack...when late dh did school for me one day, step dd had a blast and didn't want me back. He made everything "fun." They got it all done, but took FOREVER because he was adding in little stories, making voices, etc. Yes, it is more fun that way and I try to do it a little, but not with EVERYTHING. Of course, I know that would have changed if he had to do it everyday.

 

I used to send school work when late dh's mom would watch the kids. But, afterwards she would tell me how they should be able to do it "this" way. Or, "Why are they not doing ____ yet?" Or, teach them some way to do math or spelling that totally went against our method. Then I had to unteach it. Now, if I need her to watch them, I don't send anything. In the long run, it is easier and less confrontational that way.

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