Don't be a poor sport?
When did it become okay to pout and cry when children do not get their way??? Since when do we chastise children who are athletic and competitive? Are we sending the message to our children that being a leader and wanting to win is bad?
I received a phone call on Friday 2-12-16 at 3:18pm (18 minutes after school let out) regarding my son. His teacher calls me to inform me about his "behavior" at recess. She first tells me that my son is not in trouble, but she wanted to inform me about the last three days on the playground...She proceeds to tell me that the first incident, she consoled the other child that she found crying, the second day she consoled another child she found crying, and the third day (which was Friday) she consoled the child that she found crying. The first incident she said she just chalked it up as boy issues, BUT after the second day she started to observe my son more closely and on that third day she felt there was some concern...by now I am sure you are wondering what happened, and it also sounds like my son must be a bully...UMMMM NOPE!
My son is very competitive and my husband and I do not have a problem with that. You have to be competitive in life to survive in this society. We teach him to how to take a loss and we also teach him to have good sportsmanship when he wins. Knowing how to win and take a loss are both equally important. Being a good sport is a life skill that should be learned early on. Apparently this is not a priority at his school...
I'm sure you are still wondering what happened, so let me fill you in. Come to find out the big ordeal occurred on the foursquare court. After my phone call with the teacher, my husband and I ask our son tell us what his teacher said to him and what is going on at recess. Keep in mind there are always two sides to the story and then there is the truth. I will first start with what the teacher told me. She said that on the last incident, she consoled the crying child and then she pulled my son to the side and told him "It's ok not to be the leader sometimes, and it is ok to give other children a chance to be the leader." She told me that she has seen kids in the 4th and 5th grade sitting by themselves because no one wanted to play with them because the previous years they always wanted to be the leader. She informed me that my son was not in trouble, but she just wanted to let me know about her observation and she will be observing him more closely on the playground, then she asked me if I had any questions. I proceeded to ask her if my son knew that these other boys were crying, she said no, so I told her I don't know how I am suppose to approach this "issue" since my son was not even aware that he was making people cry. I told her that yes my son is very competitive, but he is also compassionate and considerate to people's feelings if he is aware that he hurt their feelings. She agreed that he was competitive and she agreed that he is compassionate, but NOT when it comes to sports. Her exact words, "when it comes to sports, not so much." Our phone call ended with me informing her that I would discuss with my husband and we would sit down with our son together and talk to him about the playground issues.
My husband just so happened to be in the car, considering we picked our son up together and as mentioned above it was right after school. He heard my end of the conversation, and I informed him of all the details when I ended my call with the teacher. We then, both proceeded to ask our son what happened at recess.
His version was a little bit different...OK...ALOT different. His account was that she pulled him to the side and told him that she had been observing him at recess and that "it's ok to NOT be the leader sometimes" she told him that he could be a little bossy and he should just let other people be the leader. Exact words from the teacher to my son, "if you keep being bossy, people are not going to want to be your friend." She then referenced Kobe Bryant and told him that Kobe thinks he is a one man team and thinks he can do it all, but sometimes he needs to let other people be the leader. Come to find out, she did not even ask him about his experience on the playground, she only went off of what the other child said. Had she actually talked to my son instead of talking at him, she would have found out that the child was crying because he got out in foursquare. She would have also found out that my son actually handled the matter in a fair way...my son got the other child out in foursquare, the boy did not agree so my son said let's have a do over/play again...my son got the other child out again, the child sat down next to the foursquare court and started crying. Apparently the teacher only saw the aftermath and went from there.
WAIT...WHAT!!! That is NOT what she told me she said to my son. She couldn't tell me about the whole ordeal because she didn't bother to ask my son for his version of what happened. Considering there were quite a few details left out of the version she told me, later that Friday evening, I emailed her to request a conference with her for the following week.
I first started typing this post shortly after the incident happened back in February, but I didn't decide to post it until today 032816. I had the meeting with the Teacher the following week after the incident. I will just leave it at I am SO not happy with my child's school right, and no it is not because of this one incident.
I am not in the business of telling other people how to raise their kids, nor am I in the business of telling teachers how they should handle playground issues, but I will say that the kids and teachers these days are COMPLETELY different from when I was in school. I do know one thing, had I been the teacher on the playground, if I felt that children needed to be talked to, I would find out both sides of the story, and I most definitely would not have been calling the parent of the child that actually handled the circumstance appropriately. I don't necessarily feel that the child that started crying should have had his parents called, but I do believe that he should have been talked to about his poor sportsmanship. I would have told the child that sometimes it is ok to lose, and I would have also told him that it's important to be a good sport when you win too! Children have a tendency to gloat when they win and pout when they lose, both are bad sportsmanship. As adults we have to guide them and teach them how to behave appropriately and be good sports and good friends, good leaders, and just overall good people. Children need to see consistency of treatment of ALL students otherwise they will begin to lose faith in the leaders that they look up to such as teachers.