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]