Thoughts on The Florida Teacher who Voted a Five year old Off her Island

Have a new piece up on Moms Speak Up concerning the incident in Florida recently when a kindergarten teacher had her students vote another child out of the the classroom.

As a teacher, I can see easily that there is more to the story than what has graced the headlines and the news stories. There almost always is. As a parent of a little girl who has been stuck in a kindergarten class with several behaviorally challenged classmates all year, I would like to side with the parents of the children who have been trapped in a classroom that sounds less than learning friendly for them. As a teacher, I am torn between wondering what the real story is and why this teacher didn’t simply ask for some help dealing with the child that day (beyond what she had already done) instead of resorting to such a drastic measure.

If you have a moment and can skip over to MSU to read this piece and let me know your thoughts, I would be most appreciative.

8 thoughts on “Thoughts on The Florida Teacher who Voted a Five year old Off her Island

  1. There IS more to the story. This teacher didn’t know the boy had a disability since his parents didn’t notice their son was socially delayed and have him diagnosed earlier. I have a child with mild Asperger’s who was diagnosed at 2 and a half (mild Asperger’s and we noticed). Most parents notice their child has a problem is they pay attention. This boy doesn’t have mild Asperger’s. He wasn’t voted out of the class for good, he was playing up (throwing crayons at other children and yelling) and the other kids didn’t want him back in there “until he settled down” (that was the vote). His parents were contacted regarding his interrupting of class time and they took him home. They chose to not take him back to the school (so in essence, his parents voted him out of the school). Now they’re suing and will will probably continue to neglect their child.

  2. Hard as I try, I come not close to being a perfect parent. I have a lot of empahty for teachers dealing with other people’s kids 6 hours every day. I would hardly fault and would even admire a teacher for going to principal to say a child was unmanageable (assuming he was) and it was unduly impacting on the learning of the other children.

    But to publicly shame him and to seek to involve the other 6 year olds in the shaming is, unless there is more to the story, beyond redemption.

  3. Mr. Khan, I am flattered, but I am going to have to politely decline.

    Marsha, got the message and the email is on its way. I feel as you do about the mainstreaming. It’s part of the job and if you can’t do it – you learn or you get out of teaching.

    B, thanks.

  4. Now my comment on your post. The one you wrote for “Mom’s Speak Up” is a masterpiece. You conveyed your feelings so eloquently that it should be published. My thoughts on this subject are also multifaceted. I was given the opportunity to instruct future teachers at our local university for two years. Here is what I told them when I would hear comments like “If I wanted to be a special ed. teacher, then that is what I would have majored in” or “special needs children just aren’t my thing.” I would tell them then perhaps teaching in 2007 (at the time) just “wasn’t their thing” either, because today–this is what teaching is about. Now, you know as well as I, that theories in education are cyclical. I would imagine that in a few years the “powers that be” will determine that mainstreaming wasn’t such a great idea after all and will revert back to self-contained special education classrooms. But for now, classroom teachers must be every thing to every student—makes the job tough, doesn’t it?
    Marsha

  5. Annie,
    If you have a minute–would you mind logging into my blog and sending me an email from there–I have a couple of questions I’d like to communicate with in in a more private forum, if you are willing. Thanks a bunch–
    Marsha

  6. Interview Request

    Hello Dear and Respected,
    I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion.

    We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don’t mind. Please send us your approval for your interview at my email address “ghazala.khi at gmail.com”, so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.

    regards.

    Ghazala Khan
    The Pakistani Spectator
    http://www.pakspectator.com

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