Since You Asked: sleep, preschool, and requesting teachers | On the Banks of Squaw Creek: Since You Asked: sleep, preschool, and requesting teachers
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Since You Asked: sleep, preschool, and requesting teachers

All right, readers, it’s time for a new feature here at the Creek.  “Since You Asked” is where I post (and answer) questions you’ve asked me.  And, 'cause it’s my blog, I get to ask you questions, too.  You can chime in here in the comments or on Facebook.


First up, my friend sent me this message via Facebook the other day.

Q1: How do you feel about requesting certain teachers for your kids? My sister had one bad one and she now always requests certain teachers for her kids. I always felt that I didn't want to "abuse the system" and I should just take what we get and not throw a fit. HA!! But now I’ve heard you MUST request teachers for your kids for them to get the most out of their education.  The note they sent home always said that you should have a valid reason academically to request and I kinda figured it wasn't my place. I don't have specifics that I DO want, but I definitely have some that I DON'T want. I'm kinda torn. Wondered if you had any input.

A1:  Do it!  I will certainly request teachers if I feel the need, and I will throw a fit and stomp my foot on the ground if I don't get the ones I want. How's that for an answer? (just kidding, sort of)

You have a valid academic reason: ______ is very bright but ______(fill in the blank) and needs a specific type of teacher to truly meet his needs. Based on your knowledge of (so and so) you do no feel that they would be a good fit for your son. You don't mean any disrespect - you just want what's best for your son.

It might be that your child is rambunctious, easily bored, timid, struggling with math, insecure, a bully, a bully’s victim, etc., and if you know of a teacher who would be sensitive to your child’s individual needs, request them!  It doesn’t necessarily mean the other teachers are “bad” but they might not be the best for your child.  A year with the wrong teacher is a LONG time. 

Any parents of older children have input?  Leave a comment here or on Facebook.

And now, I’ve got two questions for all of you:img_5980

Q2: Isaac (11 months old) has started waking up from about 12-2 every night.  He seems a little gassy and will NOT go back to sleep during that time, even if I nurse him.   If I put him in bed with us, he doesn’t cry – just rumbles around and pulls my hair out, literally.  He naps twice a day and goes to sleep between 7-8pm.  I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s making me CRAZY!  Ideas?  Please help me get some sleep!



img_5976


Q3: Adam is signed up for preschool next year (will be 4 in July) and I need to decide whether I want him in the morning class or afternoon class.  He does not nap in the afternoon, but does get a little tired/crabby at this point.  I think morning might be better for him, but afternoon sounds nice to me, because chances are that Isaac will nap in the afternoon and I could get a couple hours to myself.  What do you all think?






Please leave your suggestions/answers in the comments here or on facebook
Have a question you want to ask me or my readers?  Send me an email at katieolthoff (at) gmail (dot) com.

Shared at Serenity Now.

15 comments:

  1. I like this!!!
    my answer to Q3 is Morning - I purposly choose morning for my kids for preschool & Kindergarten (when it wasn't all day) because I thought the transition to waking up for school in 1st grade would be easier - that was my theory I went with with all 3 so I guess it worked, at least for us!

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    1. That makes sense. He doesn't like to get up early, so maybe that's a good idea.

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  2. Adam doesn't nap? Girl, I'd try out afternoon preschool so you can get some quiet time for yourself. My kids still nap (even the eldest, who is 4.5), and that time is precious to me because nobody's in school right now. Momma needs peace and quiet, even for a little bit.

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  3. Q1 - Having been both the teacher and the parent, I do not agree with actively persuing a specific teacher for your child. I can concede that there are occasionally situations that warrant it - but those are few and far between, and just being bright or wanting a teacher that the parent likes, isn't enough of a reason. Short of observing each and every teacher for an extended amount of time, how do you really know which one is the best fit? And even then, do you truly know what to look for during those observations? For every kid there will be great, mediocre and bad teachers. There is great social benefit in a child learning how to deal with different authority figures - including a teacher that they don't like. Interferring with that learning process - even if the parent thinks it's for the best - more often sends the signal to the child that you'll always fix things for them. And if you start doing that in elementary school, you'll probably still be the parent doing it to their high school student. Save that interferrence for situations that truly call for it.
    Q2 - Sounds like he is transitioning to one nap a day. Start waking him up earlier from the second nap and phase it out to one long nap. Then drink wine before you go to bed so you just don't hear him at night! Actually, do whatever it takes to ignore him during the night. He'll go back to sleep. He's in the habit of waking up now.
    Q3 - Purely your choice. By next year, he probably won't be that grumpy in the afternoons and being in school during that time will probably keep him from getting grumpy at that time anyway. If your kid isn't a morning person, then they aren't a morning person. Getting them up early to prep for future school years isn't gonna help.

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    1. Hey Marti, Nice to "meet" you!

      Q1: I totally agree about sending the message that parents can always "fix" things. For that reason, if a parent does decide to request a teacher, it's probably not a good idea to tell your kids that you did so. In fact, I will be very careful EVER criticizing a teacher or authority figure in front of my kids. I wrote about that in a guest post here: http://www.iamjustlu.com/2011/08/housewife-macgyver-teachers-wish-list.html
      Q2: lol on the wine! Unfortunately, he's still sleeping in our bedroom until his room is done (getting drywalled tomorrow.) It's bad enough that hubby is sleeping with our older son. Maybe I'll have to try that, too!
      Q3: Totally agree. :)

      Katie

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  4. Q1 - I come from an education family. My mom was a teacher (now retired), I'm a teacher and so it goes. So, here is my perspective. Teachers get all sorts of reputations, often for such silly reasons that it can be quite ridiculous. It is a good idea to try to find a good fit between a teacher and a child. But, the best way to get a good fit is to ask the teachers themselves. The teachers know who has a bad reputation, but is a good teacher or vice versa.

    Q2 - No idea! Good luck! I have 3 kids and 1 on the way and I still haven't figured out all their quirks. Perhaps play with nap times or reduce the number of naps.

    Q3 - Perhaps the question you should ask is when do you want to drive him to and from pre-k? Also, which option will be best for your entire family? Before taking our daughter to pre-k 3 days a week I had no idea how the whole taxi mom thing felt. We had a newborn and it turned out to be so hard on the baby's nap times and my exhaustion level that we ended up taking our daughter out of pre-k.

    So, with your son napping in the afternoon, will you be able to do all the parties and parent days you are going to want to do (there were way more than I ever expected)? Will you be able to drive him without interrupting your other child's nap times? If you do mornings, will having to get ready for school be a strain on your family in the morning? What will it be like to drive your kids home and get lunch on the table immediately? How will you feel having to drag your kiddos to school in the colder slusher and snower mornings in the winter? Etc?

    Good luck!

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    1. Hey Corrie! Nice to "meet" you, too!

      We're in a small community, so it's easy to get to know the teachers around here. Plus, my friend and I both have family members who work in the district and would be good resources to find the best fit!

      Q3: Great point. My mother in law is the school nurse and lives down the road, so the "Grandma Bus" will take Adam either to or from school, depending on what class we choose. I will just have to go get him at 11:30 or take him at 12:30. I am a bit worried that the 12:30 time would interfere with nap, but it might be possible that my husband could take him, or plan to come in for lunch and watch Isaac while I run Adam to school.
      We are VERY thankful for the Grandma Bus!

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  5. Q1- My mom was thoroughly invested in our education and became very involved at the schools we attended. For that reason she came to know a lot of the teachers well. When she felt it was important she requested teachers. She always presented it to us with the positives of the teacher being requested, never the negatives of the other choices. I will point out, she made many more requests for my youngest brother, the fifth child than for my oldest brother, learning about each teacher as she went along. That is probably the example I will allow. I'm with you- if you can improve your child's educational experience, why wouldn't you?

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  6. Q1- My mom was thoroughly invested in our education and became very involved at the schools we attended. For that reason she came to know a lot of the teachers well. When she felt it was important she requested teachers. She always presented it to us with the positives of the teacher being requested, never the negatives of the other choices. I will point out, she made many more requests for my youngest brother, the fifth child than for my oldest brother, learning about each teacher as she went along. That is probably the example I will allow. I'm with you- if you can improve your child's educational experience, why wouldn't you?

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    1. Kate B., were you in a fairly small school district, too? I think, in a smaller district, it's much easier to get to know the teachers. And yes, 5 kids would give you quite a bit of experience to draw on!

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  7. I probably wouldn't request a teacher before the year started, but I'd definitely request a change during the year if I felt the teacher and my child weren't meshing well.

    As for the kindergarten times, that's a tough one. At one point I probably would have said morning, but right now I'd want to do afternoon just so I had more time to get everyone around. So basically I'm no help there.

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    1. Jessica, thanks for your lack of help on the preschool issue. :) I would actually caution against changing mid-year. I think that would be very hard on the child and hard to explain. It can be done, but not without undermining the teacher's authority in the kids' eyes.

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  8. Yes on requesting teachers, but with restraint. Children need to learn to work with different kinds of people. This may be more important in high school, not sure, but if you have a challenging boss you still need to get your work done, you don't get to pick a new one (getting a new job notwithstanding). I believe it's a good exercise for parent and child to learn to work with different personalities and people with varying strengths and weaknesses. That being said, sometimes you land a poor teacher and the principal should receive that feedback, and you should request a better one.

    No clue on the night time gassiness - but I do empathize with being up at night. Yawn!

    Our pediatric dentist only takes the smaller tots in the morning. No appointments any later than noon. She wants them at their freshest, and especially for children who don't nap, afternoon is a tricky time for them (especially for my 4yo twins, ay yi yi). So I'd choose morning for his benefit and the teacher's, BUT, not over my sanity. If the day really goes a lot smoother in the afternoon, go for it. Everyone will adjust and often stimulation chases away the crankies.

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    1. I agree that it's probably more important to learn to work with different personalities as the child gets older. When they are young, they probably don't have the skills to navigate a tough relationship like that.

      "Stimulation chases away the crankies." I'm hoping that's the case. Leaning more and more towards afternoon.

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