Alf Proysen’s “Mrs. Pepperpot” or punishment?

This week is the first one, when “Boo’s” ‘old’ teacher is back from maternity leave, and on her own with the class. I feared it all, tremendously, and so did the head master, “Boo’s” assistant and his teacher, who he has him for over a year now. From day one, in zero class, this one teacher hated “Boo” from moment one. Every day there was something new to complain about. I finally resented it so much, that I stopped going up to the classroom fetching my son, but just waited in the car. When she went on maternity leave in February 2012, I was so happy I could have done a somersault. Well, technically not, but in my mind. The new teacher, was one who had had lots of experience with children who do not fit in to the regular pattern. Children with ADHD, with learning disabilities, you name it. She stopped the punishing of “Boo”, which was a daily feature of his school day and school experience. She tried to meet him half way. She has bent over backwards trying to understand him and making things better for him. He’s loved her and so have I. It is always helpful when your child gets a level-headed teacher who uses common sense. Who sees the child as a child who needs help and not an evil trouble-maker. And who realizes that too much negative feedback will alienate the child and break the parent.

We all hoped that through a miracle, she would get to stay on. But not so, the teacher who was supposed to have come back from maternity leave in August, decided to come back these two weeks before Easter holiday, out of the blue. We were all in shock. And wondering of course, how “Boo” would take it. His teacher told me that he is so behind in school, that he really should re-do his first school year, but it is not an option, because the parents in the now-zero class, are ninnies. They scream as soon as someone as much as touch a hair straw on their children’s heads. “Boo” does more than touch a hair, when he is angry/upset/feels bullied/feels threatened/feels sad. So, if he is to stay in that school, he is forced to continue with his class and with his old teacher, even though he is behind and need to get away from her.

Last week, she came back and worked alongside his wonderful teacher, and I held my breath. For some reason, the honeymoon lasted all week. And of course, he felt secure as did the others, since their sensible loving teacher was still there. Thursday, she had to take a course, since she will stay at the school as assistant to the headmaster. That is when “Boo” had his first reaction. At the pool, during their last swimming lesson. He had started a fight with someone else, and the teacher and assistant decided that he would not be allowed to go on the Easter walk in the Cathedral, with the zero-class, as he had been promised earlier in the week. He loves going to the Cathedral with his assistant and he gets along fine with the zero-class pupils for the most part. I must say, that I was upset and went home thinking about it and then voiced my opinion to his soon-to-be-gone teacher. I told her how I learned at the course for ADHD children, that you can’t set goals or rewards too high. And if you have reached a certain level, you can’t start to subtract from it. Our example in class was: If a child is promised to get Saturday candy if he hangs up his clothes every day, then you can’t say come Saturday, that “you don’t get candy today because you did not go in to the shower yesterday when I told you to!”. I also asked her, if his other teacher and assistant clearly had told the consequences before he went in to the pool, so he knew what the punishment for misbehaviour would be? We don’t know if he has ADHD or is Autistic, but we do know that he must know what the consequences of his actions will be, BEFORE he makes a choice of how to act.

His now-gone teacher, went in and changed the punishment and told everyone that “Boo” would be going on the Easter walk as planned because for the majority of the week, he had behaved in a very good way. This week, so far has been a good one as well. He has had emotional outbursts but they are always short and do not really effect anyone else. So his assistant promised him in the imagecar, that if he had another good day tomorrow, he would finally get to sit down with her and watch “Teskedsgumman”, a DVD he brought for them to watch weeks ago. Poor thing has waited and waited to get to see it. I bought it for sentimental reasons since I loved this old advent calendar, made from the Norwegian author Alf Prøysen’s book. I watched it in the 1970s and loved it SO much. A couple of years ago, they started selling the old advent calendars on DVD. This year, I found this old one and bought it so that my children would get to see what their mamma watched as a child, because they always ask. It’s black and white. It’s not full of excitement, like many of today’s children’s programs. But it is cute and charming. And “Boo” has come to love it. So happily, he brought it weeks ago, to watch during his and his assistant’s end-of-the-week-cozy-hour. But so far, he has not “deserved” to have a cozy-hour and watch DVD with her. Please “Boo”,image behave so you get to see it tomorrow. On Friday, the school has a study day, so all children are off school and then all of next week they are off for Easter. I want the film to come home again, because there is another little person, who is fascinated by the funny lady, who becomes tiny like a teaspoon and who then can communicate with the animals. Her poor husband is so embarrassed by his wife’s “accidental shrinking”, which always happen at the most inopportune times. They do everything to avoid people finding out about her. It’s one of my favourite children’s books!



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10 responses to “Alf Proysen’s “Mrs. Pepperpot” or punishment?

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