Let me just preface this by explaining a little fact. My daughter is in 4th grade. During 4th grade at her school they start to transition the kids into changing classes. Many schools do it differently and I am not sure what is 'better' or 'worse'. I know the children at the elementary school seem to enjoy it and the teachers can focus on teaching one specific lesson rather than an entire book.
With that said, My daughter's class has been changing classes for science. Every unit is done with a different teacher. Every school has a teacher who kids dread, our elementary school is no exception. For privacy sake and so this post doesn't come back to bite me in the @$$ I will call her Mrs. X
Mrs. X has a history of being Mean. The students say she yells a lot and gives out lots of "unfair" punishments. These types of rumors circulate, they always do. I am sure if I searched hard enough I would find rumors that Mrs. X isn't even human. She probably prowls around during a full moon looking for children and figuring out ways to torture them.
My daughter has been dreading this Science Unit. All I have heard for the past month is worry for the next science unit and horrible stories of the unjust practices of Mrs. X. Like most parents I tend to take everything my daughter says with a grain of salt. I know if I were locked up with 22 nine and ten year olds for 8 hours I would probably also yell.
The week finally arrived, and I was time to have Mrs. X. My daughter came home surprisingly peppy. She said Mrs. X explained to them that she only yells when the children don't listen. She told them her rules and how she expects them to behave. She explained her 'rules' to them in a way, that I believe is much like brainwashing. She felt the need to justify her behavior to 10 y.o. She stated she HAS to do these things to punish the children who don't follow the rules. While the kids seemed to take this all in stride I found the wording slightly disturbing. It started to sound more like the scene from Misery, where Kathy Bates breaks James Caan's ankles stating, "Trust me it's for the best."
I took a step back, took a breath and thought, "Remember she is paraphrasing what the teacher said. Maybe she misunderstood. Maybe she is using her own dislike color her wording." I vowed to keep an eye out for more red flags from Mrs. X.
Then last week my daughter and son (who had Mrs. X 2 years ago) told me of one of Mrs. X practices. Once a class she asks the children, "Who knows Everything class?" To which they, the class full of CHILDREN is to reply, "Mrs. X does." Okay, now I am very unnerved. This has been going on for 2 years maybe longer and not one parent has felt the need to contact the school?! What type of head case is teaching my child and what exactly is she teaching them. It ain't only science, I can tell you that. This is one parent who won't be quiet.