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Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My daughter started kindergarten this year. She was very excited in the beginning, but now she doesn't want to go. At first she said it was because she misses me during the day, but today she said her teacher sometimes gets angry and mean. When I looked around I saw other children crying also and after speaking with other moms I was told their children were saying the same thing. Can I request my daughter be placed in a different class?

A: First, talk with the teacher about your concerns. Whether or not the teacher is actually angry and mean, something is going on when there are several children in the same class crying. Ask the teacher what she can do to make the situation better.

Also talk with the school counselor. He may be able to observe in the classroom and give you an objective opinion of what is going on there. The counselor may also be able to talk with your daughter and the other children who are upset and help them feel better about going to school.

If the situation does not improve, talk with the principal. Most principals do not like to move children to another classroom once school has started. Kindergartners especially get attached to their teachers and classmates very quickly, and changes are difficult for them. Ask the principal to work with your daughter's teacher to improve the situation in the classroom, and to move your daughter to another class if that is not possible.

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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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