Thursday, April 21, 2011
In the beginning of this school year, I was really struggling to get my son on track. He was being completely lackadaisical when it came to his schoolwork which caused his teacher to request that he be tested for ADD and ADHD. It not only turned out to be a false alarm but the tests showed that my fifth grader was reading on an eighth grade level. These results didn’t shock me but it did make me proud that there was now proof that there was nothing wrong with him. On the inside I basically chanted “Ninny ninny boo boo!” and “I told you so. Now shut the fuck up and teach my kid!!!”
Although his grades were improving, his dislike for his teacher became more and more defined. Many days the boy would come home and as soon as he would walk through the door he would began ranting about how awful his teacher was. We would sit down and discuss it. I would try so hard to help him see her side even though I was grappling with some of her ways myself.
He’s expressed to me that he feels as if she is always picking on him and singling him out. I explained to him that he is partially to blame. He gave her such a hard time in the beginning of the year that she now has her eye on him all the time. So now if he farts crooked, she’s going to know about it. It’s not fair but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, little dude. I told him the best thing to do is to stay off of her radar and the way to do that is to not give her ammunition. Trying to convince him to work harder and keep his mouth shut and his nose clean is like trying to convert the Taliban to Christianity.
Little by little I am finding out that this teacher’s way of solving the problem is by separating him from the rest of the class. At first I thought this consisted of her having to sit him next to her desk or something like that. That doesn’t bother me but I’m discovering through more and more conversations with him that she is sitting him outside of the classroom; I’m talking in the hallway or in the empty classroom next door. My concern is how the hell are you teaching my child if he isn’t even in your class?? I don’t understand how this can be helping his grades.
Yesterday, I went to speak to the guidance counselor. I expressed my concerns about the way the boy has been feeling in regards to how he is being treated. I explained to her that I am noticing a shut down on the horizon and I didn’t want it to affect the improvement he has made so far. I asked if she would maybe talk to the teacher and explain to her the affect that her style of discipline is having on my child.
The only reason have not gone to the teacher myself is I don’t think I can remain calm. Let’s face it. If you haven’t noticed my “mother bear” is showing. My child feels picked on and I’m ready to defend him. I don’t think I can talk to her without being very confrontational. Another reason I felt the need to bring a third party into the situation is simply because if this teacher truly is “picking on” my kid, I don’t want matters to get worse for him.
I also asked the counselor to talk my son. It concerns me how angry this has made him. When we talk about his school situation, you can see the fury in his eyes as they well up with tears and he clenches his fists at his sides. I thought maybe if the counselor tried to help him understand the teacher’s stance a little better, it would help. She agreed to have a conversation with him.
Later that same day was the last straw. He was late coming home. When I questioned him as to why, he said that she made him sit in the empty classroom next door. Since he was being punished when the bell rang he didn’t get up. He figured she was going to come over, lecture him, and then dismiss him. Apparently, this wasn’t his first rodeo.
When she didn’t come to speak to him after a few minutes of waiting, he said he peeked around the corner. She was sitting at her desk on the computer. It seems that she actually forgot that he was there. This infuriated me to no end!!! I called the school. The counselor answered the phone. I let her know what had happened and she advised me that I should meet with the principal. Hopefully, I’ll get a meeting soon and I keep reminding myself that this is all almost over.