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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
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The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem. Lets go… 
30th-Jul-2008 05:47 pm
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem.

Lets go back 20 some-odd years to kindergarden. We were learning how to write our names. My name is spelled Jaime, as opposed to Jamie. Not only did the teacher tell my I was spelling my name wrong, she called my parents and threatened to fail me because I refused to spell my name Jamie. When my parents told her my name is in fact spelled Jaime, she refused to listen. She even took the time to yell at my parents and tell them they were wrong for teaching me to read and write before kindergarden(both activities that I loved to do when I was that young). The teacher then told the principal that my parents were undermining her teachings and filed a complaint with the superintendent of the district. This resulted in a meeting between the super, my parents, and the teacher. All was resolved when my parents showed my birth certificate that in fact had my name spelled Jaime.

It boggles my mind that the teacher had to go that far just to be told by her bosses' boss I had in fact been spelling my own name right. Then to tell my parents it was wrong to teach me basic reading and writing? I mean come on. Seriously.
31st-Jul-2008 04:50 am (UTC)

You can be failed... in kindergarten?!
31st-Jul-2008 07:34 am (UTC)
My thoughts exactly.
31st-Jul-2008 08:01 am (UTC)
As someone who almost was... YES! >.>

Of course, mine was because I started school a year early, and my teacher thought I wasn't developing language and social skills quickly enough.

Well, there's the part where English wasn't even my first language that might have helped that one. Which she knew quite well, since when I was younger I used to flip-flop back and forth between English and German without thinking.
31st-Jul-2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Actually, yes, and with sane teachers, this is actually quite sensible.

If a kid doesn't come out of kindergarten at the same developmental level as everybody else, it's much better to have them repeat the year then, when there's no stigma, than to push them ahead into the first grade when they're not ready for it.
31st-Jul-2008 10:10 am (UTC)
Really? I mean, I know that used to happen when I was in primary school and whatnot, but from some research I'd heard it wasn't really evident that being held back improved social skills.

I always thought (though I'm not a teacher) that kids being involved in out of school sports activites and whatnot was better for improving social skills than holding someone back in the school system - as they would then have to repeat the same material.

31st-Jul-2008 10:45 am (UTC)
It's not just about social skills, though, that's my understanding. It's about *everything*, especially academic skills, or those that will ultimately affect academic skills.

That's also why there's a push now to have children start kindergarten later - I just read an article in the NYTimes about this - if they're close to the cut off.

A lot of stuff is covered in kindergarten, and it's not all social stuff. There's pre-reading (and, for some kids, actual reading). There's pre-math (or actual math). There's fine-motor skills (overlaps with pre-reading), and gross motor skills, and problem solving, and socialization, and learning all the nitpicky rules for just being in school.

Edited at 2008-07-31 10:47 am (UTC)
31st-Jul-2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
I think where I live, reception class (our kindergarten equivalent) is the only real place children are actually held back (excepting, say, if they fail their GCSEs or A-levels and decide to repeat the year voluntarily) because there's less stigma and disruption involved for the child. It's better if they can catch up to the other children, rather than just falling further and further behind, which is what seems to happen otherwise.
31st-Jul-2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
From what my parents said, I almost failed kindergarten too.... for not being able to tie my shoes. Forget the fact that I had learned to read while in preschool (older brother learned by teaching me, so I got a lovely 2 year boost in knowledge). I do remember sitting on my grandmother's living room floor, with a shoelace wrapped around an armrest and learning to tie bows in it.
4th-Aug-2008 04:52 am (UTC)
It's funny, once I got older I got good grades, got into the "gifted" program, etc, but when I was young, I was always terrible with stuff like that. Tying my shoes, telling time, learning left from right. So I feel your pain. :P
31st-Jul-2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
There was serious discussion about me repeating kindergarten because I was showing some difficulty with fine motor development. I almost repeated kindergarten because I couldn't use scissor correctly. ^_^
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