Bullwinkle, what we know DO know is that for this teacher they are too violent. She doesn't want to see them in her classroom: wadda ya gonna do? Is it worth going over her head because of it? Having a parent/teacher meeting or meeting with the principal?
For right or wrong that's her position. If you want to change her mind, all the power to you, but I wouldn't know where to begin.
For example, if somebody brings a song into music class with 'inappropriate content' who makes the call - the teacher or the parents??
Teachers can be as narrow-minded as anyone else, subject to the same limitations as anybody. It's unfortunate but that's the reality. On the other hand, nothing is stopping the child from pursuing these books at home, if they're deemed ok by the parents. So read them at home. School is about more than just doing what you want.
She doesn't want to see them in her classroom: wadda ya gonna do?...For right or wrong that's her position. If you want to change her mind, all the power to you, but I wouldn't know where to begin...School is about more than just doing what you want.
scissors, Jeff, on these points I agree with you completely. If you look at my comment on the previous page, you'll see at the end that I specifically do not suggest trying to change this woman's mind. May as well try talking to a stone. Rather, I think Sag should try to find some happy medium, whether it's a different focus or a different work, that his boy will be willing to work on and the teacher will accept.
But, also as I said, one of my main concerns is making sure the boy understands that what he likes is good, despite what a person with power over him thinks. Too often do I see the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways in which teachers shame something out of the discussion simply because they don't like it.
I think dudes have already covered it pretty well but as an actual teacher (albeit one who's not working as one right now), I'd like to reiterate that you should not go the mat with the teacher over this. Being "right" just means she'll be more critical of the kid and less engaged with the parents; a shit situation even if he "wins" and gets to keep doing 40k book reports. If this really is a sort of last ditch effort do-or-die kinda thing (literally impossible to not do 40k book reports) then you need to bring it up to the teacher as that, NOT a question of the appropriateness of violence. If you try and engage on moral arguments or who decides what's right for your kid, you lose. But if you engage on the grounds of "well, we'd love him to broaden his horizons as well, but while we are working on that together both in school and at home, can we take little baby steps away from this material rather than a big leap so we don't lose the momentum we've gained in getting him to engage in reading and writing?"
I especially like the idea that the learning one does in a US public school is primarily about learning how to put up with a bunch of bullshit and make the most of it. And this is a perfect teachable moment for that.
Also, even the best teachers are fucking terrible about a few things and/or with a few sorts of kids.
Recently my child told me something that her School Counselor said to her. I was quite shocked and asked my buddy Paul who is a School Counselor “what do you think of this?”. Paul said: “Call her and ask about it, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had parents upset by something that I never said”. He was completely right. Sometimes kids hear the words that we say but don’t always completely understand the important part of the message. What gets communicated is the part that was important to them.
So, what is really going on here? I sense that part of your frustration lies in the fact that it has been difficult to get your boy to read in the first place. If so maybe you should be calling his teacher to talk about her concerns and yours. Nothing serves a child better than when Teachers and Parents work together.
Nothing serves a child better than when Teachers and Parents work together.
That's a lovely sentiment.
I wasn't posting so much out of any particular frustration but instead as an observation of the state of things. Today brought verification that the issue is indeed about violence. As I said earlier I'm ok with that and will find a way to make it work.
My wife's observation was this -- the schools aren't built to cater to a four-child family and this is another example of that. With three boys very close in age competition is a full-time theme in our household. She's in the school all the time and she sees other parent volunteers pop a gasket when boys are running and banging into each other on the playground. They intercede during what my wife recognizes as normal play.
My boys are playing Beyblade as I type this and taking it seriously. Earth hangs in the balance. It's the nature of boys in groups to play army and compete directly with each other. Neither my wife nor I encourage this; it just happens. It's situation normal for us in a house with three boys. A young woman with no children has not walked this path and cannot grok the concept. I'm ok with that, but it means we need to adjust. It also means that this award-winning teacher, like all of us, still has room to learn.
He said, "you can go sleep at home tonight, if you can get up and walk away."