Monday, September 28, 2009

And so it begins....

I sat down to check my email once I got home from dropping Madeline and Ellie off at their schools. As I scrolled through my email I noticed Madeline's name in the subject of one of the emails. I found that rather intriguing until I saw that it was from her teacher. Can that possibly be a good thing? Anytime I get an email from her teachers with her name as the subject it's usually not a good email. Sadly, this email fell into line with all of the others.

We have an ongoing problem with Madeline at school. Some years are better than others, but the truth remains that I am the parent of one incessant talker. She does not care if the children around her are trying to learn, she doesn't care that the teacher is trying to talk, she couldn't care less that everyone is trying to concentrate on a test. The child likes to talk. In many ways, she's like Donkey from Shrek. In most cases, I believe she lacks the capacity to be quiet. On Thursday night when I picked her up from her first CCD class for the school year, my neighbor, her catechist, informed me that she had to separate Madeline from her friend because she wouldn't stop talking. Quite frankly, I'm thrilled that one of the CCD teachers finally made it clear to my child that she is not there to talk to her friends. I let my neighbor know that I have had to reteach every lesson for the past two years because of the talking issue, and if she wants to make my child sit all by herself so she can't talk to anyone and I don't have to teach what she should have learned in class that I'd be happy with that arrangement.

So back to the email from the teacher. Turns out that dear sweet motormouth Madeline talked so much when the substitute was in her class on Friday that she lost several good behavior tickets and the substitute left a note. That's never a good thing. Even worse, two children who sit near Madeline went to the teacher this morning and asked if they could be moved to another seat because Madeline talks too much and they can't focus because of it. I feel their pain. I have hurt myself on numerous occasions because a certain someone couldn't just shut up for 5 seconds. Sometimes I think Madeline is afraid the world will end if her voice isn't resonating around her.

I think it goes without saying that I'm not happy at the moment. I have been reminding her since mid-August that she needs to be quiet at school and that school is not a social club. I put notes in her lunch reminding her not to talk in class, and to make sure she brings her homework home (another issue we have). It's frustrating. She's a totally different breed. I was a talker in school, but the prospect of a detention or a letter home to my parents was enough to keep me in line. I was the kid who sat up at night worried that I might have forgotten my homework (even over the Summer I worried about this). I worried that I'd talk or call out at the wrong time and get detention. (I got a 2 minute detention the second week of second grade because I called out that I wanted a strawberry scratch and sniff sticker. I'll never forget it.) I don't get Madeline sometimes. The child does not fear consequences at school. She just wants to socialize and have a good time. This drives me insane and makes me worry.

Last year, we solved the talking problem by having Madeline clean up the tomato garden. She had to go out there and pick up all the rotting tomatoes. It took her about an hour to do and left quite the impression on her. Our tomato garden is once again at that stage. After hearing the news about the teacher's email, Bryan has declared today tomato garden clean-up day. Guess what lucky girl earned herself the job as the rotten tomato removal specialist?


  1. I wonder if her talking is apart of her "learning" style. :) I forget all of the different learning styles, at this moment, but that might be something worth researching on your end.

  2. I agree with SAHM and wonder if the talking is really something that she can control or if it's a part of her. Not that she shold stop trying to "control" it but maybe re-directing it is a better way to look at it. We struggle with school issues too. Seems like every other day I get a call or email about one of my kids.

  3. Good behavior tickets? That alone would make me want to homeschool. And all good teachers know you don't pull positive rewards away. You have to have 2 separate systems for good and bad behavior.


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