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Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My five-year-old grandson is constantly in trouble at school. I know this sounds like I am defending him, but I do believe it's his teacher's fault. She has no personality -- she isn't even friendly to us. This is her first year of teaching and I believe she doesn't enjoy working with young children. He's bored in class -- he knows his ABCs, numbers, and all the other things they are working on. What should we do?

A: The job of teaching can seem so overwhelming when a teacher first begins that she forgets why teaching was her chosen profession. Some people begin teaching and then realize that they don't enjoy it; they leave soon after the first year.

Since it is so near the end of the school year, there's probably not much your grandson's parents can do about the situation now. They should definitely write a letter to the principal describing the kind of teacher (caring, supportive, motivating) they want for your grandson for next year. They should also make sure the principal knows about their concerns with this teacher, as the principal is responsible for evaluating teachers, especially novices.

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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


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