26 September 2005

Eating Crow and Carpet, in Humble Pie Hat

Went to see 'the teacher'.
Explained that if Son doesn't get his statement of special educational needs he will sink without trace as soon as he hits senior school.
She agreed completely.

Expressed fear that the Education Authority would ask for proof that more help was needed than previously recommended, and that said teacher would indicate that none was used, nor needed.
Got corrected. He has his own desk, facing the wall as he likes it, and is kept company by a teaching assistant to keep him on track - all the stuff that costs extra money and that we want formalised so he can access the curriculum. The only things missing were his headphones - used in the past as earplugs, to deaden the noise of the classroom.

Explained this fear was partly based on Son insisting his homework had to be handwritten. It turns out that lots of children do their homework on the computer and are allowed to, as is he. The teacher's comment in his homework book was also based, she says, on knowledge of even tidier work he had recently done at school.

This, I guess, is why his note in lieu stipulates close home-school communication, because if news travels via Son it can be heavily filtered.

After all that fear - back on the same songsheet now. I'm still not sure that one of us isn't singing sharp, or flat; but we seem to be looking at the same piece of paper.

Maybe I need to take up meditation. Or possibly medication, hmm.

P.S. Ref BigSon post, below - if you look you can see his broken nose and broken, 'lopsided' shoulder. You can't see all the fisherman's scars up his forarms where spiked fish or crab have expressed their annoyance. He's 21. One day I'll scan one of his younger photos, from when he still looked like a cross between a choirboy and a member of the Royal Family / Christopher Robin.


Astryngia said...

Is this the book for you? http://www.angriesout.com/mads2.htm

Glad it's panning out OK.

I feel sorry for the teachers who don't get much, if any, training in special needs.

And I feel sorry for us having to wait at home, not having any idea what's happening, hoping for the best and thinking the worst. And having no idea whether we're going to make it better or ruin everything if we try to get involved.

Ally said...

So pleased that she's communicating with you - would it be possible to set up some sort of communication between you - a notebook that went to and fro to school that you could both write comments in, or something similar?

Dan said...

Like Ally (and you) said, communication is the answer. Glad to see the situation's nowhere near as bad as you feared it would be. However it's also important that your son understands the reasoning behind his teacher's comments on his written homework.

Cheryl said...

Thanks - I am still wary, and tired, as however unfounded some of my worries were (and we didn't even touch on the powerpoint project because I didnt want to push it) this is the sort of thing I will go through every year in Juniors, and twenty times over, each year, in seniors, unless he has his statement granted, and senior school teachers arent so easy to get hold of.
I am happy to have been wrong but also confident that I made logocal assessments given the information that (wasn't) coming out of the school, in contrast to last year.

Cheryl said...

or logical. Its been a long day. :-)

Astryngia - thanks, seen it, as the search engines throw that out often, when I look for my own blog (same name?). Not my cup of tea, however. I am typically English and typically passive aggressive so I am careful not to bottle the 'angries' and let them turn into angst and gut rot - most come out here on my blog and are diffused by good friends before they ever touch the real world, but thanks! :-)

zilla said...

Oh, Cheryl. With my older two I had to eat crow so often I grew rather fond of it with a side of shoe leather (my foot in my mouth).

I had them each tested by independent psychologists and social workers because the school told me, "If they are not violent or disruptive, the system will not pay for their testing." The results did not warrant EI or Special Ed placement, although each very smart child scored "borderline" on a couple of the scales. High school finished them both as opposed to their graduating from it.

They've got IQ scores in the 140s and in the mid-to-high 90 percentiles.

Still pisses me off.

It's not always easy, is it?

God's right; you're tough enough. You're engaged and resilient and that's what it takes.

fineartist said...

Oh Cheryl on my last comment I had typed this long ramble about how Samps had come home last year after about a month of school to tell me that his teacher HATED him, that he loathed school and he wasn’t going back. I had to drag him to school, into the building and made an appointment that day to speak to his teacher after school.

The previous year Samps had loved school. On the first day of the previous year he had asked me, “Mom, you know how it feels when you can tell that someone likes you?” and I said, “Sure Samps, why?” and he said, “Well, Mom, my teacher, she REALLY likes me.” So when he told me that his new teacher hated him, I became very disturbed.

I Worried about that meeting with the teacher all day long. Actually even made myself sick with worry over it. When I went into to speak to her I expressed to her honestly what my son had said, that he hated school and that he thought his teacher hated him. She was hurt by what I had told her, and I apologized for hurting her feelings but I felt that we both needed to communicate honestly in order to solve problems in the best way for everyone involved. She went on to make it clear to me that Sampses behavior was typically poor. That he would finish his work early and then, try and HELP the other kids. That he was always talking when he wasn’t supposed to be, and that he would display a less than desirable attitude when he was called down. No wonder he thought she hated him. She wouldn’t accept his behavior and so he decided she was the enemy. After the talk Samps straightened up his behavior and his teacher was a bit more understanding of him too. It worked out beautifully, but if I had went over hear head, or went up to the school raving, I am sure it could have become very ugly for everyone involved.

I am so pleased to hear that your situation is being taken care of with honest communication between the three of you. Rock on with your bad selves!

You know, in our situation, the teacher who Samps thought hated him ended up being his favorite teacher. He will love that teacher for life I am convinced. She took my little right brained artsy kid and gave him structure, granted he wasn’t used to it and he didn’t like it much at first, but he really grew to love her.

fineartist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J. Star said...

Sorry you're having such trouble with your son's school...I hope things can be worked out for the best. That's got to be hard.

Thanks for your comment on my story, by the way. I really appreaciate it. :)


Sam Freedom said...

Does BigSon look like Woody Harrelson from "Natural Born Killers"? or am I just imagining it?

I'm really amazed - I mean, on one hand we have you and your son going through some troubles I honestly couldn't completely follow, and then there's BigSon riding over mini-tsunamis to get his nose and shoulder broken playing a game.

And as if that wasn't enough, jellyfish are being sucked up by their equivalent of UFO's and having their luminescent fluid shot into hampster balls.

I'm really a sharp cookie most of the time, but I'm trying to just calmly reconcile these things. I think it's very important to reconcile these things before moving on like a fractured princess on the way to grandmother's house.

Ok, give me some time.


birdychirp said...

oh well done! its hard isn't it?

jane said...

hmm meditation & medication are so close. well, when spelled out.

glad you & his teacher are checking notes, now i don't dislike her so much. :)
my son was the same way, i'd get a different picture of what went on. but i also know from working at schools, sometimes teachers are the ones giving the distorted story.
sounds as though this teacher is fond of your son & that is a good thing! otherwise i'd fly on my broom & pay her a visit.

ME Strauss said...

Bravo for you. The thing most important from where I sit is to make sure your child remains a person--not just another student--in the teacher's eyes. It's easy enough for a teacher to lose sight of the difference when there are so many kids and only one of her.

You showing up and talking about things keeps her aware that he's a person with many dimensions, including his own thoughts and feelings--not just her perception of things.

I speak from the mistakes I have made as a teacher. I want the best for you.

Tanda said...

I love to see parents involved with the school. I'd call my son's teacher everyday if I didn't think it would tick her off. Now, I try to limit the number of notes that I send to school with him.

I think you're doing great. Chin up!

Milt Bogs said...

You must be very busy Cheryl. Either that or your BT connection's behaving like my Blueyonder one.

Cheryl said...

LOL Milt
I got my thingummy wotsit number allocated, so I can change providers without a break in broadband access.
I just have to send it off to the new guys, and with this new job I need to sit down and sort that at a weekend.
Point taken. I will let you know when I use what I recommend! Actually I also recommend BT,for broadband if not for their phone services, but its just so expensive.