Divorced Family with Children

My neighbors are in the middle of an ugly divorce and her children are friends of my children. It is too ugly for my oldest child to become a part of, so I am trying to pull back from the friendship. I am thinking of having my child moved to another class as they are in the same class right now. It might be better, but I am not sure how the principal would react to this request. It is a little late to ask to be moved. Are you sure this needs to happen? In class, the students will have the least amount of time to talk about home issues. On the playground and before and after school is when the children will talk. If you are not moving homes or schools, then I would say moving classrooms probably won’t help much. There are many kids in this same situation. Kids cannot hide from divorce these days and many will know friends who experience it. Those kids in the middle of the divorce probably need a friend, and I remember being one of those kids myself. But I do agree, it is not your kids’ job to save them. Still, be mindful of how sensitive this issue is. It is their parents who are fighting. At least from what you wrote here, it does not seem like the kids did anything wrong.


Are kids as mean as everyone says they are?

Do you find, as teacher, that kids are as mean as everyone says they are?
No, I find, as a teacher, that kids basically want one thing: someone to care about them. I have found that kids who try being mean are often mistreated at home in some way, either by neglect or with bad examples of how to treat others. I have also found that kids experiment with how to behave, sometimes making bad choices, but when they are punished properly, caught, and taught better, they are better off. I find, in my classes, each and every year with no exception, that children learn how to work together nicely, understand one another, and feel comfortable being themselves. I have never had a class or a student who was “bad”. They are too new to this earth to be “bad”. They are learning and in my 14 years of teaching I have never found a child who couldn’t learn to be kind.


A Preschool Student's Unusual Behavior

I am a toddler teacher. I have been seeing an unusual behavior from a child in my classroom and don't know how to deal with the situation or if I should deal with it at all. There is a child who is social with teachers/adults and will talk to children maybe once a day. All the children in the classroom play together in small groups but this child only walks around an item in big circles all day long. If we go outside the child will begin to walk around a certain toy out there as well. It's very strange and I have never seen this behavior before. Is this normal? I spoke to the parents and they think it's the child's personality and that the child is shy. I don't believe so because the child doesn't play by himself either so it doesn't make sense that he is shy. Has anyone ever had a child with the same actions? The child speaks very well and is very smart.
You owe it to these parents to urge them to have their son evaluated. Ask them to talk to their pediatrician about this specific behavior. It may only occur in school, and the parents may not see it at home, so they need you to tell them about the unique behavior not found with other children his age. There are also free options that will help evaluate this child. If he is under 3 years old, have the parents call the Orange County Regional Center and describe the behavior and ask for guidance. They will probably also ask for a doctor’s evaluation, but they can give assessments and offer suggestions as well. If he is over 3 years old, have them contact their local school district. The school districts will assess children as young as 3 and offer services if he qualifies for any. You may need to put your concerns in writing, simply describing the behavior and your concerns along with your recommendation that they seek the advice of their doctor.


My child has a summer birthday, is that OK for Kindergarten?

My child has a summer birthday. He turns 5 in June. Is that still OK to start kindergarten then?
I would not recommend holding a child with a summer birthday out of starting Kindergarten this Fall. If you are worried about your child and he or she is notably more immature than other children at the same age, talk to your child's preschool teacher for additional guidance. Generally, I would not recommend waiting a full year with summer birthdays.


Ask a Question

Parents and teachers can write to ask questions here. You can post anonymously or leave a name - your choice. Other readers feel free to post comments and help as well. We are all here for each other. If you do not want to post the question you can email me directly to goasktheteacher@yahoo.com


We want to move to the best school district, can you help me compare schools for new homes?

I am trying to find out information that is useful on schools in different areas. I remembered reading someone asking you about schools when they were moving. We are moving and I need that information now. How can I find information about schools when I am looking at houses from Irvine to Dana Point? The real estate agents all tell you “great schools” so how can I compare them to pick the best we can afford?
There are several things you can do: First, you should bookmark each district’s web page in the areas you are searching. For the areas you described, you are looking at Irvine Unified (IUSD), Saddleback Valley Unified(SVUSD), and Capistrano Unified(CAPO) school districts. These districts have school locators on their web pages. For IUSD, go to http://iusd.k12.ca.us/asp-bin/whichschool/. For SVUSD, go to http://www.svusd.org/Locator/. For CAPO, go to http://webapps.capousd.org/sls/schoollookup.asp. You simply type in any address into these locator sites, and you will find the schools your child will attend for each address. Once you have that information, you might want to try a new web site launched by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called the California School Finder (http://www.schoolfinder.ca.gov/). This is a great site for parents to easily find and compare schools. For some more in-depth reports, I like to find School Accountability Report Cards (SARCS). The California Department of Education has a reference page for all Orange County public schools. (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/sa/ap/sarclink2.asp?County_Number=30)


Write to Stop Mid Year Budget Cuts this Nov '08

If cuts must come, they must be planned for and schools must prepare.

Our leaders pile all letters in piles FOR and AGAINST to see what the electorate think. We all need to tell them. Here is all the contact information I have so far:

The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor (R)
State Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph: (916) 445-2841; (213) 897-0322 Fax: (916) 445-4633

California Senate Districts Senator Dick Ackerman - Senate District 33 (R)
17821 E. 17th Street, Suite 180 Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 573-1853 • FAX (714) 573-1859
e-mail: senator.ackerman@sen.ca.gov

Sacramento Office—Room 4066 •
(916) 445-4264 • FAX (916) 445-9754

Find your representatives and assembly members here:


Click “find my district” on this page http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/defaulttext.asp

Other Contacts

Senator Tom Torlakson
Senate Education Committee
7th Senate District State Capitol Building,
Room 5050 Sacramento, CA 95814 Fax:
(916) 445-2527

Assemblyman Fabian Nunez Speaker of the Assembly
California State Assembly State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94249-0046
Fax: (916) 319-2146

Senator Don Perata
President Pro Tempore California
State Senate State Capitol Building, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 327-1997

Assemblyman Michael N. Villines
Assembly Minority Leader
California State Assembly State Capitol, Room 3104
Sacramento, CA 94249-0029
Fax: (916) 319-2129

Special Education Funding Congressman John Campbell House of Representatives – District 48 610 Newport Center Drive, Suite 330 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Fax: (949) 251-309 Congressman Gary Miller House of Representatives – District 42 1800 E Lambert Road, Suite 150 Brea, CA 92821 Fax: (714) 257-9242

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