Posted by: Kathy | December 8, 2011

The Missing Dog

Note: A few hours after I wrote this, my daughter’s teacher called. I had a chance to express how I felt, how my daughter felt and what she told me about what had happened, and why this entire situation had upset me so much. The teacher listened and assured me that she would do everything in her power to find Nikki’s dog.

On an even bright note, when I came home from picking my daughter up from school, there was a box waiting for me. The box contained handmade Christmas gifts for my children. Memory Bears. I couldn’t wait to open the package and when I did tears came to my eyes. The bears are beautiful and I can’t wait to give them to my kids. I hope they see these bears as a memory of my mom. For more informaton on Memory Bears, see http://memorybearsbybonnie.wordpress.com/.

_____________________

I’m very angry and hurt. Every Wednesday my daughter brings a stuffed animal to school for a type of show and tell. Nikki brought in a dalmatian that was given to my son by my mom several years ago. Unfortunately, she did not come home with the dog. Nikki was upset as she explained how she had gotten up during this time to use the bathroom, leaving the dog in her spot, and when she came back it was gone. She said that her teacher really didn’t try to look for it and even threatened to send another girl to the principal for helping Nikki look for the dog. How does a stuffed animal just disappear in a circle of kids? I try to teach my daughter respect, especially to respect the feelings of others, but I don’t feel like Nikki’s feelings have been respected.

This feeling of disrespect was reinforced when I asked Nikki’s teacher about the dog this morning. She was quick to tell me that “oh, it will turn up.” That’s the same line she gave me over a week ago when Nikki’s study words, which are always in her folder in a plastic bag, went missing. They have not been found and she hasn’t received another copy. Hindsight tells me that I shouldn’t have let Nikki bring that dog to school, and this was reinforced by her teacher, who told me that I should have never allowed Nikki to bring something special to school. But my daughter wanted to share this dog with her class and we’ve never had any issues before now. The teacher blames Nikki for the loss, telling me that my daughter should have kept that dog in her possession. So Nikki was supposed to bring her dog to the bathroom with her? She has gotten in trouble for “playing” in the bathroom, so I’m sure she thought leaving her dog in her spot was the right thing to do. The teacher also blames me for letting Nikki bring a special stuffed animal to class to share with her friends.

I don’t know what to think. My daughter’s feelings have been dismissed and so were mine, and the blame for this loss was placed squarely on my daughter and I. The teacher told me that I shouldn’t be so upset over this. But how can I not be? My daughter was hurt by a lack of caring by her teacher, and her stuffed animal just disappeared and she’s being blamed for it. I was also told by the teacher that she just couldn’t stop the class to look for it. How long would it have taken to ask each kid in the circle about the missing dog? Five minutes? But as I’ve found out since my daughter started school, nothing seems to matter if it deviates from the teacher’s plans for the day, even the feelings of a child.

I know this may seem like a stupid post. A stuff animal is missing, so what. But something special that cannot be replaced is gone. Somehow it just disappeared and I truly believe it will not be found. More importantly, my daughter was hurt by her teacher’s lack of caring. That’s not right. You can’t teach young children and not respect their feelings, especially if you expect them to show you a high level of respect.

I hold what my mom have given to us, material and otherwise, close to my heart. Nikki won’t be bringing anything special to school again. We’ve “learned our lesson” so to speak and also how unimportant our feelings are. My daughter has been called “flighty” and is probably viewed as being irresponsible in school. But as her mother, I know she wouldn’t have just left that dog anywhere, and at age 5, she’s trying to be a better student.

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Responses

  1. Thank you, I hope this dog finds its way back to us too. I just can’t believe it’s missing. The Memory Bears are incredible. I got a chance to really look at them last night after the kids were in bed. There are little details on them that really make them special. The woman who makes them has a true gift.

    Take care, Kathy

  2. Glad the memory bears brought smiles and I hope the dog finds its way home again!


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