Expecting to Fail

Maks is in grade three with the same teacher he had in grade one. This has me anxious.

This is the teacher that broke him down big time. She called him lazy, called me into her class weekly to tell me how badly he was doing and that he should drop out of the French program, and towards the end of the year she just stopped teaching him. She would not read with him and did not go over any of his assignments with him. He was basically ignored for the last month of grade one.

It broke his spirit and he thought he was so dumb because that is what she kept telling him.

Last year his teachers helped him. He did phenomenally well and he thrived.

Now he is back with the teacher that doesn’t like him and even worse, won’t give him a chance to prove just how intelligent and imaginative he is. She has him pigeonholed already and I doubt she is going to change her mind.

When I went to see him off this morning, she pulled me aside and told me how surprised she was that Maks was still in the program. She had not expected him to stay past grade one and I should know, up front, that this year is going to be extremely difficult and she has very high expectations for all the students in her class. Maks is expected to do well because she does not want a repeat of grade one.


I let her know about Maks’ outstanding grade two experience and even though she said she was happy to hear how well grade two went, she wanted me to know that she was going to push Maks as hard as she could this year and I was to be prepared for it because grade three would not be as easy as grade two was.

It was ten minutes into the school year and she was already telling me how she was going to put a lot of pressure on my son. She didn’t even give him time to get his pencils out before she had her mind made up about his abilities. It is frustrating.

I want Maks to do well. I want him to know he has it in him to do well. But telling him as soon as she sees him that he will have to work harder than he has ever worked because she only likes having smart children in her class is a bit much.

She is the only grade 3 French immersion teacher in the entire school so I cannot have him change classes. If I had that option, I would have switched him as soon as I saw who his teacher was but I cannot do that. The only other option I have is to have Maks drop out of the French immersion program. I don’t want to do that either because as much as he complains about having to do French work, he was actually improving last year. He understands when people speak to him in French; he is catching up with the others when it comes to reading and writing. He is beginning to get it and I don’t want him to quit just as he is beginning to get it. He has worked so hard and he has earned his knowledge, I don’t want to just throw it all away over a teacher.

I am hoping in my heart of hearts that I am being too judgmental and overreacting over a couple of trivial comments. I want this teacher to give Maks a valid chance so he can prove himself to her. I am hoping she gives him this chance.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the world is full of people that don’t like you and don’t want you to do well. I just wish Maks didn’t have to experience that at 8 years old.

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