By in Personal

4th grade, intelligence and anxiety.

I am sleepy right now, but it is the pleasant I could nap type of sleepy rather than my usual exhaustion. It's nice. This morning I took my son to an appointment with a councilor. It went very well. She gets it.

My son is smart, really smart. (That isn't just mama bias talking.) He also has some anxiety issues and a teacher that pushes every button he has. The teacher thinks his anxiety is all in his head and wants him to be "A lion not a turtle." The Councilor said because my son is so brilliant it is difficult for him to communicate in a way the teacher can understand when he gets stressed out.

Him shutting down and backing away from the situation is his way of stepping back and regrouping. Her not allowing him to have that moment to regroup is just making matters worse. The new communication plan is to use hand signals. Something simple that the teacher can see and register.

When my kid gets to the limit of his endurance he gives her the secret back off signal and she lets him have a moment somewhere quiet to get his barrings and regain his equilibrium. I believe we will eventually still have to switch teachers but we are going to give this plan a go anyway. At least we can say we tried everything.

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MegL wrote on November 25, 2014, 3:11 PM

It is such a shame when children encounter teachers who make them feel stressed and anxious. When we moved house, my eldest son had to move schools and went from having a teacher he loved to one who thought he was backward! He was put into the remedial class where the teacher was really nice and they realised he was well ahead of the rest of the class. I would have loved him to stay in the remedial class because he was happy there but once they knew he was capable of doing the work, he was put back in with the teacher who was always cross (she was old and retired the following year).

AngelSharum wrote on November 25, 2014, 3:58 PM

At least they are trying to find a solution. Some schools won't even do that. I wish him all the luck.

Feisty56 wrote on November 25, 2014, 5:15 PM

Good for you and good for your son that you're exploring all avenues before giving up. He can see that as a parent, you are in his corner, and that there are ways besides throwing your hands in the air to solve unpleasant situations. I really hope his teacher gets on board with the hand signal. S/he can learn some valuable lessons from this experience with your son. I am quite impressed that he realizes within himself that backing off for a few moments and gathering his thoughts and emotions is a healthy way for him to handle stress. That is very mature thinking.

maxeen wrote on November 25, 2014, 6:58 PM

She is getting him so frustrated ! She is a bad teacher and those hand signals are a joke ,different teacher I think ! Some people just have a personality clash

maxeen wrote on November 25, 2014, 6:59 PM

Almost the same story with my Grandson..

BarbRad wrote on November 25, 2014, 7:24 PM

I hope this plan works for the good of all concerned. Sometimes I need to remove myself from stressful situations to keep from losing it. Example, a screaming child when I'm standing in line at a pharmacy and I'm really tired or half sick. If I can't get out soon enough, I'd probably want to scream myself. I understand that the child is also tired, maybe hungry, and maybe sick, but understanding doesn't relieve the stress I feel at the noise level in a crowded place where it's not easy to just walk out. I'm glad your son now has a way to tell the teacher secretly that he's being pushed too far.

thecoffeefox wrote on November 26, 2014, 12:25 PM

I think another teacher is the best bet as well. However, we are going to try this song and dance to show that we are willing to play ball. I suspect she will be resistant to the idea or even ignore it. If that happens well...the principal is in the loop and she is still new at our school.