My 7 year old has always struggled a bit with some of his motor skills. For example, he was nearly five years old before he could even peddle a bike, and even that was a challenge. So when it came to teaching him to tie his shoes it was no surprise to me the challenge that we faced.
Here is my story.
His feet are very narrow, so any Velcro shoes are out of the picture for my little guy. Now that we got that one important fact out of the way, we recently had to switch him to laced shoes. I had worked with him prior to my surgery to try to teach him but it always ended with us both frustrated and him nearly in tears feeling like a failure. I hated seeing him so upset because he couldn’t learn something that he felt should be easy, so I started avoiding this task. I would soon discover giving up (temporarily!) was not a good idea.
Over Christmas break I had my surgery so things around here were chaotic at best. My husband was taking care of me and the house so shoe tying was the last thing on our mind. When I was getting him ready for school his first day back he informed me that his teacher told him he had to learn before he came back to school, and I snapped (like I do) and said “well then tell HER to teach you!” Well, he did.
That day when his shoe came untied his teacher told him she was not going to tie his shoe, that she had told him to learn while he was on break. So he says “well then my mother said for you to teach me!” Wow, I really didn’t think he’d do that. So, she started a protest on the two boys in the class who could not tie their shoes. I was livid.
He came home and told me she wouldn’t tie his shoes anymore and that most of the day he was running around with his shoes untied, all I saw was danger! I don’t think you have to be a genius to know what can happen when a child is running around with untied shoes. This was enough for me to put my foot down and say okay fine, we are going to do this thing.
Well, we met failure again.
I was already upset with his teacher refusing to tie his shoes, but she crossed the line when she isolated him from the rest of the class. She put him and the other young man who also cannot tie his shoes aside at the end of the day for snack time and the end of the day activities, and told them this is where they would be every day until they were able to tie their shoes!
When he told me this I was seeing red, spittin’ fire, I was so angry I got a headache. Of course, I go into a fit. I just could not believe she did this to my son. To isolate him from the rest of the class because he is unable to tie his shoes. He is only in second grade.
When I take time to think about the situation, I get even angrier. She never tried to contact me regarding her frustration, she didn’t even shoot me a simple one or two sentence e-mail to address her concerns. I received nothing from this woman. So, I marched into school today and had a sit down with his guidance counselor.
Of course, she asks why I did not address this with his teacher at first, and my ignorant response was “because I don’t want to go to jail for assault!”
Yeah, that was really mean.
Anyway, she was appalled at the teacher’s behavior and response, and assured me she would sit down with her and address my concerns. Within an hour I had an e-mail apologizing for her actions.
Regardless, I spent about a week being livid over this woman’s treatment of my son. My head hurts just writing about it!
Angry teacher photo available from Shutterstock.
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Last reviewed: 5 Feb 2012