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Monday, September 20, 2010

Red Letter Day

Jackie got her first red note today.  Red notes are not good. 
I got Jackie off to school this morning and in a good mood.  No meltdowns, no crying, although I had to prod Jackie to move more quickly.  Ben and I hung out at home until noon when I had a personal training session at the Y.  My day was incredibly busy from that point on.
Jackie's school dismisses at 3:00 so Ben and I got there a little bit early to wait for Jackie to be dismissed.  Once school was dismissed, the doors opened and kids started to file out and wait in groups for their rides.  Ben and I spotted Jackie right away but as soon as Jackie came through the door, I knew something was wrong.  Her little friend, B, appeared to be holding on to Jackie in an effort to comfort her.  As soon as Jackie saw me, she just started sobbing.  I immediately got down to her level and comforted her and asked her what happened.  Jackie was so upset that she couldn't even clearly tell me what happened.  Her friend, B, tried to explain.  All I kept hearing was that she "got a red light."  Now I should explain that the Kindergarten teachers use a green, yellow, and red light system for the kids' behavior during school.  Jackie's teacher puts a sticker chart on the students' folders.  Each box represents each day of school.  So, if the student exhibited good behavior all day, s/he gets a green mark.  If a student had to be warned, a yellow mark.  If a student continued to violate rules, then a red mark is issued. 
So, I immediately looked at the front of Jackie's folder but there was no mark.  Jackie was still inconsolable and kept saying something about the "red light."  Then I realized that she wasn't saying "light" at all.  She was saying something about a red NOTE.  So, I looked inside the folder and there it was, a red note explaining the reason for the red note.  Apparently, Jackie and 2 other children ran from water fountain to water fountain to drink water while they were supposed to be on bathroom break.   
I got Jackie and Ben into the car.  While in the car on the way home, I asked Jackie to tell me exactly what happened.  She told me what happened and even included the names of those involved.  I have no clue who these children are but I was pretty sure that Jackie was not the leader.  She is definitely not a leader type and is more of a follower.  It was obvious that Jackie was very, very upset because she called her teacher mean, stupid, and not fair.  Then she begged to go back to Zion Lutheran School because she never got into trouble there.  I had to explain to Jackie that her teacher was not mean nor was she stupid but that she was doing her job by teaching students that they had to obey or face consequences.  Of course, I explained it on her level.  I do have one question, though, and that is, did the kids get a warning or were they disciplined immediately?  These are just 5-year old kids and most kids that age, if left to their devices, will play around like these kids did today.  Jackie was just so upset that she messed up and that made me tear up.  My heart ached for my little girl. 
Jackie pleaded with me not to tell her daddy because she was afraid that he would be mad at her.  I reassured her that he would not be mad at her but he would be a little disappointed.  I told her that he had to see the red note because the note explained that we, as her parents, needed to talk to her and explain why today's behavior was not appropriate. 
By the time we got home, Jackie had stopped crying.  We immediately left again for my Zumba class at the Y.  After we got back home from that, I took Jackie to her friend B's house for a Girl Scout Daisy meeting and I immediately left from there for another meeting regarding Girl Scout cookie sales.  After that meeting, I went back to B's house to finish out the Daisy meeting there and retrieve Jackie.  B's mom, N, was hosting that meeting at her house and since we live just 3 houses apart, Jackie and I hung back for a few moments until everyone else left.  I started to tell N what transpired at school today but Jackie had already beaten me to it.  Jackie told N about the red note and N was so sweet when she explained to Jackie how she can't follow what everyone else does unless the teacher tells her to.  N was pretty sure that Jackie was not an instigator, either, especially in light of the fact that her daughter, B, had previously told her mom that one of the culprits from today's episode is always in trouble.  That probably explains why there was probably no warning given to the kids.  Since one of those kids seems to always be in trouble, then it would not seem fair to give one or two of the other kids a warning while the ringleader got the red note.  So, they all got the red note.  It bothers me but hopefully, Jackie learned the lesson of not copying what other people do.  
Hopefully, Jackie will love her teacher again tomorrow and ignore the troublemaker.  I really like Jackie's teacher so far, and I'm sure she felt bad about giving Jackie the red note. 

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