Friday, February 12, 2010

One Is The Loneliest Number

Yesterday Riley came home from school with a grand total of one valentine.

I thought there must have been some mistake. He had written out his valentines earlier in the week, one for each person in the class, including the teacher. I had told him to do this, since that was the valentine protocol when I was growing up. He was pretty upset, claiming the other kids got "piles". Today was a pedagogical day so I left a message at the school office for his teacher, asking her to call me. Since I didn't hear back from her, I tried to compose an email but can only come up with some pathetic, whiny mother-script complaining about the unpopularity of her son. I'm wondering if Riley is having some social issues in his class, I know there are a couple of kids who pick on him because his French is not always correct, they make fun of him for that. The last parent/teacher meeting went swimmingly though with no mention of this. Wouldn't I have seen the signs before now? How does a mother glue her son's heart back together in time for Valentine's Day? Am I so off the mark thinking that at this age kids should give all the other kids in their class a valentine, leaving no one out?


Beth said...

Some kids got “piles” but did others only get one as well? That happens. I just checked with my youngest – he said the giving of Valentine’s Day cards in public school could be brutal. Like a popularity contest but with no apparent rhyme nor reason as to who got them and who didn’t. I had my boys take cards for all their classmates but not everyone did the same. (And my eldest eventually couldn’t be bothered.) I think the teachers should monitor this – it’s not something we can do from home.
I know this kind of thing breaks a mother’s heart but if Riley were having any social problems, you’d know – both from him and from his teacher.

Kim Mailhot said...

What ???!!! This is unbelievable! Riley must feel so hurt. I totally blame the teacher for not making things more fair - in my class, a card for everyone or no cards handed out ! Yes, some kids gave more "special" cards to spcial friends but everyone got something.
So sad...I think I would speak to the teacher directly about why she handled things that way.I don't get it at all! So sorry that Riley has to feel this kind of hurt in his first grade of school. And sorry you have to feel such pain for him as well...

Sherry said...

Oh Kim. My heart is aching for Riley and for you. Issues? You'd have noticed, he'd have said something, surely the teacher would have said something at your interview if there were issues. I put a pox on the whole thing. In kindergarten the list came home and everyone was to give to everyone on the list or not at all. By grade 1 that changed. It was do as you like though the children were encouraged to give to everyone. If my boys wanted to do Valentines they were told to make one for everyone, even if they didn't really "like" the person. If there were some they didn't like then please don't do any.

I have never condoned this being done (that and giving birthday party invitations in the classroom..please leave that to the moms to do). These are children and they don't have the social skill set or the maturity to understand. Why do we put children in these situations?

There is nothing wrong with Riley and yet he was singled out and maybe there were others who were as well.

What matters now is the conversation you have with Riley and what you teach him from this lesson...and yes, a conversation with that teacher is definitely in order.

Hugs to you and to Riley. We feel our children's pains and joys as if they were our own. ♥

oreneta said...

Oh, poor kid.....I would talk to the teacher, not because he got so few Valentines, but more likely because you should have a little chat about dynamics in school and if Riley needs some help.

When I was teaching in a school with kids we did monitor it quite closely and it was truly a horrific day. Hearts everywhere! There is no easy solution.

So sorry for Riley.

Snap said...

This really sucks. When I went to school (middle ages), everyone in the class made a box to hold their valentines and EVERYONE got a card. No one was left out .. 20 in the class, 20 valentines in the box. I don't remember when *we* stopped celebrating Valentine's Day in the class room. Funny, I only remember that one time, with the special box. Hugs to you and Riley. People can really be mean ... seems to be taught early.

Cheryl said...

Children can be ruthless! In an environment that has zero tolerance, the teacher should have mandated one for each child in the class. Instead, she silently condoned bullying.

There are no issues for your son!

My heart is breaking for Riley. And for you!

Paula said...

Hugs to you and yours...big big hugs. In our school, it's one for everyone or don't bother! Yes you need to talk with his teacher.

Kate said...

Oh so sorry about this I feel for Riley. When my daughter was in school kids had to bring one for everyone in class and I think that is the way it should be. I would talk to the teacher so this does not happen to another kid.

Hugs to Riley,