20 April, 2007

Losing my faith in humanity...

S had a field trip this morning. And shortly before it was time to leave he had a meltdown of biblical proportions. A tantrum so awe inspiring that it rivaled the bombing of Hiroshima just for sheer energy expended and incandescent afterglow.

It took a while before we finally discovered its origin—apparently S’s wonderfully warm, caring teacher described to the class in gory detail what would happen to any of them if they weren’t paying attention and happened to get separated from the group.

I have no idea if her scenarios included pedophiles, evil flying monkeys or years of solitude, but they were apparently scary enough to cause S to crumble into a thousand tiny pieces.

I am still so angry I’m having a hard time processing it all.

Figuring it was best to have him face his fears, we forced him to go and armed him with 3 sheets of paper with our mobile numbers on them. (One for each pocket.) Needless to say he returned without being physically lost, but I’m afraid that the damage Frau K has done this time will take some time to heal…


Carol said...

She sounds like a WITCH, Betsy!! Is there any way your son can be transfered into another classroom? This woman obviously terrorizes him -- and from the sounds of your various blog entries, she seems to either be clueless or get some kind of sick fascination from it! I think you should find out what she threatened the kids with and take it up with the principal!


Lisa said...

It's a difficult situation, I admit, trusting another person to do the right thing for your children when you aren't there.

In the pretty little suburban area I live in right now, two children, siblings, went out to play in a residential neighborhood and never returned. It's as harmless looking a place as you'd ever find - friendly people, mothers and fathers everywhere, everyone looks out for the children, cars drive slow. And yet a monster lived here that kidnapped and did horrible things to those kids before he killed them.

I can imagine the teachers in my area warning the children to stay together too, warning them strongly. But even if your only intention is the children's welfare, how much info is too much? If I were a teacher in your son's teacher's position, and lived in my town, could I hope to convey the type of seriousness needed with a vague, gentle warning and a solemn look? Would that protect them? All of them? I tell you, I wouldn't want that job. It's much too easy to step over the line.

As for transferring the little guy, I'd definitely look into that. As far as I know in Germany the child's teacher is his/her teacher until they graduate. My oldest has had the same teacher for years. If this woman is damaging his peace of mind - and I remember the situations before this - she'll have years to work on him if something isn't done now. If I had to transfer him out of the school he was in to get away from her, I'd do it. She'll always be in a position of authority over him, and her superiors will stick up for her (I find the German educators a pretty close knit bunch) and be in somewhat of a position of authority over you both until he graduates and beyond.

If you chose to transfer him I wouldn't cite the exact reason you're doing it, either. My advice would be to give them a satisfactory excuse that doesn't involve fault with the faculty or it'll shadow his move into the next class or school. When I moved into the next town my son's old teacher called and 'prepped' the new school and teacher.

When he didn't make an appointment and show back up for the surprise farewell party they were planning for him, the old teacher called and complained, and tagged my son for being inconsiderate. I'm sure the new teacher used that opinion to judge his personality until she got to know him better. So you see where I'm going with this.