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TALK ME DOWN, O wise Flist

I don't know if y'all are aware of this, but I have a medical condition known as "flying into a Royal Snit when provoked." I usually medicate myself with copious amounts of minty-rum beverages, per doctor's orders. (Dr. Spaceman.) Current provocation: my son's history teacher who so visibly hates my child, it's a wonder she hasn't woken up tasting my arm pit, due to me jamming my fist down her throat.

Here's the current sitch: she emails me her agenda every week. Twice. Which, that's fine. I guess. Once is sufficient, but hey, I'm just a stay at home mom, right? Anyhoodle, Buttface Giant (as I call her) makes my son call me every time he a) fails to complete an assignment, b) fails to bring in the red folder that assignments are to be carried in, c) bothers her in some fashion. And he's called me twice in a row before because she didn't believe he was speaking to me on the phone. (She is not an old biddy, either, but in her early 30s.)

Friday they were assigned to memorize a "history rap" that she concocted. Every day they are to write down from memory a few stanzas. My son doesn't learn from rote, at all. "Why, just sing it, Stoney!" you might be saying. And then I would counter with, "I've told him to, because the child is FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, AND I'VE ALREADY GONE TO SCHOOL.'" There's only so much behind-powdering a parent can (and should) do.

Today I get an email wanting to know if I even got her email about the project (and my husband REPLIED TO HER from said email, so....) and to inform me that my son is failing at yet another aspect of her class. Here's my email, saved in draft, and this is where you come in. To be noted: he is not failing, he has a high C. The child has never missed a question on his standardized tests. Ever. The boy is not stupid, in other words. He just has learning differences (OH. AND GUESS WHO HAS NEVER COME TO AN ARD MEETING?)

[ETA] The full email is under the cut (I added to it) and I hit send. And CC'd the Principal and my son's special ed Team Leader.

[weirdname] = hiding the real names used.

[Harpy Monster Poo Poo Breath]:

Seeing as [Mr. Stoney]replied to the weekly email you sent informing you of [My Son's] inability to find the homework information on your web portal, you'll note that we did receive your update. I usually get two copies of your agenda every week.

[The Boy] spent a good portion of his time after school yesterday attempting to learn by rote, which simply isn't a way that he's ever been able to learn things - his brain just doesn't process data that way. There's a disconnect between his normal strengths in learning and the processes employed in your classroom that is causing this failure to produce high grades in History. I can only do so much as far as insuring that he's working on the class materials - I cannot climb inside his brain and rewire it, as much as I'd like. It certainly would make life better for all concerned.

I know that he's been an incredibly frustrating student for you, but all I can do is to continue to show him the emails that I get every week and to make sure that he is spending time on all of his classes. Believe me, it's frustrating for me to be constantly reminded of his failures in your classroom. The boy is also 14, and has to learn consequences for his performance, be it good or bad.

Not all children learn in one way. Every adult doesn't excel at every task put before them, ergo every child won't, either. He will continue to do the best he can in your classroom, I can't offer you anything other than that and to point you to his ARD files, detailing strategies that help in the classroom. I do know that [The Boy] is incredibly intimidated by you, and feels intrinsically that he will not be successful in your classroom. Children with autism succeed when they are shown what they've done well, however; they tend to be told more often than not all of the things they've done wrong. That creates an atmosphere of defeatism. Why try when it doesn't matter, in other words.

I know that you have your methods that you stick with in your class, as is your right. But it seems that [The Boy] is just not thriving in that curriculum. It should also be noted that - while he is not receiving the best of grades, which I would prefer - he also isn't bringing in a D. Obviously I want my child to succeed, but the constant barrage of negative commentary on his performance might need to be changed on the dial.



Signed, [My actual name]



Comments

( 84 comments — Leave a comment )
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oatmellow
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
first off:
"it's a wonder she hasn't woken up tasting my arm pit, due to me jamming my fist down her throat."

LOVE!

secondly...

I'm the wrong chick to be asking because frankly, I would have hit send as I was callng the principal/superintendent/school board/God.

What a douche nozzle she is.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
The principal is such a great lady, and I just have this worry about being That Mom that's always got a problem (even though I don't think I am. But I have guilt issues. Because I'm broken.)

I'm leaning towards hitting send. Imma go outside and sniff a flower for a second and see if that helps.
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withoutwords
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Actually, if I were you, I'd hit send. And I'd make sure that it was CCed to the principal. Does the principal know what an asshat he has for a teacher? Because if he/she doesn't, he/she should know. This is NOT appropriate behavior for a teacher. NOT AT ALL.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
This teacher is so fucking aggravating. I don't expect every person to love my children. Hell, they don't have to like them. But she OPENLY dislikes him, and he's not an asshole. GAH.
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inkandchocolate
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC)
I would have hit send already. It's a perfectly POLITE way to point out that Buttface Giant does in fact have her own skull inside her own sphincter.

Send. Send. Send.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
That's three for send. I'm stepping outside to breathe deep, pet the cat, and come back in.

...and probably hit send. After CC'ing the Principal, his team leader, my husband...
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cat_eyed_fox
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
I actually think this is a pretty solid email. I assume this teacher is well aware of your son's differences, and her responsibility to make the class environment as compatible as possible for all her students. If not maybe explain, clearly, and possibly in duplicate just how your son's brain works, and then suggest an alternative for him- like something that isn't super hard for him (or any kid. Remembering by rote is so 19th century grammar school!) to do. My point is you have a right to be crabby, this woman sounds like an uncooperative teacher who inflexible when it comes to MODERN teaching methods.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
She's aware that he has a file that says he has Aspergers and learns in a certain way, but I don't know that she ACCEPTS it as fact. (Another reason to not like her.)

And seriously, what you said! Rote is OLD SCHOOL and doesn't work for everyone, good lord!
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stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Mari, she called FOUR TIMES last week, making my son tell me what he did wrong. HE IS FOURTEEN WITH CHIN HAIRS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. He's not a 5 year old that ate paste in the classroom!
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wolfshark
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Speaking as someone who was an education major (even if I decided teaching wasn't right for me), hit send. The woman has her head up her ass and needs help removing it!
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
I LIKE YOUR POSITION OF AUTHORITY.
julia_here
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Wow.

You're so polite and measured, there.

That's me when I've edited out all the offensive stuff.

Julia, possibly having zero social skills, ever.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
What I wanted to say was "FuuuuUUuuuuUuuuuuCK YOOOOOOOOUUUUU." But I couldn't remember how many O's and U's were in it...
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stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
It's no Schoolhouse Rock, let me tell you.
menomegirl
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
If it were me, I would have already sent that email. Plus, I'd have added something about the ARD meetings.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
Just did. ANd added the ARD meetings/info, to boot.
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a2zmom
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. I feel for you.

Every kid has one teacher who hates him for no good reason, Aaron's was HS bio. The guy used to constantly send home nasty e-mails. The guy told Aaron that he was fail him if he missed 2 homework assignments (Aaron was pulling a high B I believe).

Time passed, he sent home an insanely gleeful note saying how Aaron was going to fail because he missed 2 HW assignments. We made sure that Aaron had kept every assignment and he walked in the next day, demonstrating the two graded assignments. The creep did not apologize.

We went to school and told them that under no circumstances were they to put Zachary in this teacher's class, when it was time for him to take bio.

Make sure your son knows that this has nothing to do with him, how smart his is or anything else. Some teachers feel the need to single out a student every year as the scapegoat de jour. It gives them a sense of power.

a2zmom
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
And yeah, hit send.

The teacher is an ass and the administration needs to know this.
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furikku
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Other than the signature, that looks reasonable to me!

I assume you've already listed for her ALTERNATE ways for Boy to learn; either way, it might be good to relist there, just to say, "Yeah, here's the way it works for him." Though I guess if she's already being such a butt about it, she'll just be like, "OH LOOK MOM EXPECTS ME TO SPOIL THE BOY WHEN WHAT HE REALLY NEEDS IS BOOTSTRAPS" and then keep on bein' a butt. :///
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
If she ever would have come to the many, many meetings we've had this year detailing ways to make the classroom successful, SHE WOULD KNOW. bah.

I added to the original, I thought everyone's suggestions had merit. BAH.
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gehayi
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
Add ways that The Boy CAN learn and that have been proven to work with him to the e-mail--that way she can't tell the principal that you're not being cooperative or that you're not interested in The Boy learning anything**--and then hit send.


**I am unnaturally cautious about this, as my mother got hit with it a few times by bitchy teachers who claimed she had no interest in the fact that I was lousy at math. She poured thousands into special tutoring and special books. We both sweated blood over math...and I continued to be lousy at it.

Teachers don't like to admit that a person can expend enormous effort trying to accomplish something and yet get very little return.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I added a point to the original about how all adults don't excel at everything, and we shouldn't expect children to, either. BAH.
enigmaticblues
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
Hit send. It's a perfectly polite email, and given what the teacher is putting you and your son through, I think it's time she has her ass kicked, if only verbally.

My only suggestions would be to CC the principal, and to suggest an alternate project your son could do in place of learning the history rap. Maybe he could do an extra report, or a book report, or something else that works with his learning differences.

(I still remember the name of the bitchy teacher who hated me and called me up in front of the class to dress me down for the heinous sin of reading a book after I'd finished my homework.)
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
I just did (after adding some more, CCing certain people, and making sure every I was dotted and T was crossed.)

WHEN TEACHERS GET MAD AT YOU FOR LEARNING ON YOUR OWN, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG THERE. (Unless it was a Playgirl magazine you were reading, lol.) Gah. Bad teachers are BAD.
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turnonmyheels
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
I applaud you for such an even, calm, and polite missive to this asshat. I see from other comments that you've cc'd all the appropriate people. Good for you.

WTF is up with making your kid call you from school? Since when did classrooms have phones?
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
yeah, the calling me constantly thing is SO WTF I don't even know where to begin. I think this is her Passive Aggressive way of saying that's she's trying to keep me involved, or some shit.
tabaqui
Apr. 21st, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
HA. Sending it was the right decision. And even though i know this doesn't help *right now*.....

There is only, what....five weeks of school left? Something like that...he won't have to put up with this asshat next year, and he's *almost done*. If he can hold onto his high C grade then he can forget about her.

And yes - constant negatives are *not* the way to go. Grrrrrrrrr. I loathe teachers like that.
stoney321
Apr. 21st, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, dude. We have a countdown on his school calendar showing how few weeks we have left with her, so believe me: it DOES help. (And great minds think alike. *g*)
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( 84 comments — Leave a comment )

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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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