School is already causing so many headaches for me, I don’t even know what to do anymore. (Side note: thank you so much to the Army and his old commanders for sending us to this hell-hole of a post with archaic rules for a school. After spending their entire school existence attending high-level DOD schools, they’ll spend 3 years at non-DOD run schools, where not even basic Social Studies is taught, just Louisiana’s history, only to return back to DOD schools after this tour here is over and my children end up being 3 years behind. Thanks for that.)
(Side side note: I plan on helping them ‘keep up’ at home, but it’s aggravating to know that I even have to.)
Yesterday, I get an email from my older son’s teacher, who is trying to tell me my older son is a disruption in ways I’ve never heard of, from any other teacher ever before. This email and phone-conversation thereafter seemingly proves my earlier intuition correct about her ability to teach my son. He is a brilliant child, smart as a whip, but sometimes needs redirection and guidance because he often completes work too quickly and gets “bored”. He is also uber-impulsive, often acting without thinking, and as a result, gets in trouble by teachers who don’t take the time to see he’s a good child, just needs guidance. Yesterday, while speaking with her, she wavered between unwilling and semi-willing to be the type of teacher he needs; Compassionate. Caring. Considerate. One who won’t just look at him, stone-faced, and say “Good job!” One who will go the extra mile, pat him on the back and encouragingly say “I’m proud of you, good job!” (Am I asking too much? Apparently so.)
I discussed the situation with her. She confided she has many “resource” children, implying “too many” and that my son was making it more difficult for her. No patience with me, she’s the type who seemingly wants a quick fix, wanted me to wave some magic wand and make him become a yes man, or something.
After this disappointing talk, I met with the principal, who was already aware of my nervousness about how she related to children in her class, and after promising me to help if I gave it “a couple of weeks” (okay, so it’s been a little over a week), I was met with his steely response that he didn’t feel he could switch my son, because all his teachers are “that way” – strict, don’t put up with anything, cut and dry, black and white. Well, then sir? We’ve got a problem. Because that’s not going to work. My son is not a black and white child, he is very much a ‘gray’ child. He needs someone who understands and can embrace the ‘gray’.
Outside the principal’s office I met with his former-third grade teacher who nearly fell off the chair when I told her what was happening with him. She is very much a well-seasoned, ‘gray’ teacher, one who sees each child for who and what they are, and can adapt accordingly. One who had that classroom eating out of the palm of her hand, with her sweet-southern hospitality and way of commanding the room in the gentlest of southern-accented tones, calling each of them her ‘babies,’ telling them she loved them. He excelled in her class. She was disappointed to hear of the school’s seeming unwillingness to give him someone a better fit for him, agreeing he will “not thrive” in that environment.
Which leaves me with choices I was afraid I was going to have to make – another school, or homeschool. More on that in a bit..
Just this morning, I dropped my proud Kindergartner off to his lovely class. Every morning I get to have a (usually) lovely chat with his spectacular teacher (who is a God send to this nervous mother, by the way), only to find out that I’ve been counting down the days to September 15th for nothing. September 15th is the day parents can start volunteering in his school. (Volunteering, however, without young ones with you. You either find a babysitter or you don’t get to volunteer. Nice huh?) September 15th was going to be the day that I get to see my son in all his Kindergarten-y action at school with his friends and fall even more in love with him for being such a big boy, just as I’ve done it with each of my kids, volunteering in each of their classes, helping out at their schools. Only his teacher laid out a bomb for me this morning, one she, herself, doesn’t agree with – the administration took each teacher’s volunteer forms and announced at last night’s faculty meeting that we parents will only volunteer in other classrooms. I won’t get to observe him in class, according to her. He will be my first child EVER who’s class I won’t get to volunteer for.
I. Am. So. Heartbroken. I can barely think straight.
I am so angry, so hurt right now. Both elementary schools are failing me at present. (Yes, there are 2 elementary schools – one for Pre-K to 1st grade, and one for 2nd to 4th grade.) I just don’t know what the hell to do anymore. I am trying really hard to make it work, here. It’s been just over a year since we’ve moved, and we’ve been through so much while already here. I really am trying to make this place seem more like a home for our family, but it’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, no matter what I do, it just isn’t going to fit. And neither are we. We have to be here for a little less than 2 more years, can this place give me a damned break just once-in-a-while? Please!?
There are other schools in the area, other schools who may be different, with better teachers for my fourth-grader, ones who will listen. But they are far, and still under the umbrella of this parish’s so-called “guidance”. But what about my Kindergartner, who’s teacher is absolutely PERFECT for him, a teacher I don’t want to leave, it’s just the school’s administration screwing everything up? How do I let him continue to attend, knowing they are completely ruining what is usually normal for our family?
Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Please be kind with your words, I’m kind of a wreck right now.
*EDITED 10:29AM CST* My older son’s principal called – they will move him to a new teacher starting Monday. He said that is the best he can do, and should this not work, he will not get to move to a new teacher. While I am thankful for his willingness to help me, I’m still afraid.
*UPDATED 8/27 4pm* My son will be withdrawing from his elementary school. I will not have the Principal call me and my son “liars” saying everything he says is “hearsay” when he’s clearly being emotionally abused by his so-called “teacher”. She wrote him up for “not staying on task”, “interrupting” and much more, saying he mouths off to her, IS SHE KIDDING? That is NOT my child, I stood there with my mouth dropped, and the Principal BELIEVES her and will NOT listen to my concerns! I won’t have it, he’ll be withdrawed from the school first thing in the morning.
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