Friday, October 26, 2007

I'd Love to be the One to Disappoint You When I Don't Fall Down

I just got home from a torturous Parent-Teacher Conference.

What should have taken 20 minutes lasted over an hour and half.

So... you want an update of how things are going with Griffin and our school district?

They can suck my dick. That's how it's going.

Griffin's "permanent" Kindergarten teacher says she likes him. And that's where the compliments began and ended.

It seems that everyfuckingthing is a problem. He doesn't have good fine motor skills. Doesn't sit in his chair. Tattle-tales. Holds his pencil improperly. Basically, he's such a fucking failure, he might as well drop out of school now and I should set him up with his own apartment in the basement and hand him a pile of pot.

Because, you know, he's a total fuck-up.

Argh.

Not to live in a make-believe world or anything, but isn't the point of Kindergarten to teach kids the basics like standing in line and getting use to social structure and, oh, I don't know, maybe have some fucking fun?

Not throw a damn hissy fit because he's not reading, not have your eyes roll into the back of your head when he can't cut with scissors perfectly smoothly?

Oh -- and my absolute favorite part: bitch, bitch, bitch about his behaviors and then have the audacity to tell me my child does not have Sensory Integration Disorder.

Hey, you dumbfuck -- all that shit you just described? SENSORY INTEGRATION DISORDER.

Because, yeah, sure. I'm gonna believe a Kindergarten teacher who's known my son for less than three weeks instead of the Occupational Therapists I've been taking him to for over two years.

Yeah, lady. You're totally right.

So basically, it was a really shitty hour and a half. Really shitty.

But we left with what should be an understanding that she needs to keep me informed and in return I'll work with Griffin on the eight pounds of paper I carried home.


Don't get me wrong -- I have a large respect for school. I love school, if someone ever wanted to finance me and let me learn forever I would.

But in that same respect, school needs to have respect for its students and not have a heart attack when a five year old doesn't make his art like the sample.

It's fucking art for crying outloud. Art.

And some children progress in different areas at a different rate. Don't put me down because my five year old can tell you the difference between botany and physics even though he can't sound out words yet.

We're raising children, not fucking robots.

39 comments:

Rachel said...

Ok, first, Griffin is a total sweetheart. Um, helloo! Have we seen the picture of our kids holding hands! That doesn't look like a fuck up to me. That looks like a sweet, charming, smart boy.

Second...dude, the kindergarten teachers told my mom that my brother was mentally behind because he couldn't color in the lines. Yeah, that's why he can play five instruments...cause he is slow.

Chickenbells said...

Wait...I thought school's main job WAS to raise robots.

I don't know of anyone who is "different" or "gifted" in any way having an easy time at school (Rich, whom we've discussed as having an above normal IQ was put in the special ed class because he couldn't color well or some such crap) It must be frustrating to listen to a teacher who has known your son for so little of a time try to tell you what's what...I wish that the teachers could work closer with the parents of kids...maybe that's what the 8lbs. of paperwork is for?

I don't know...all I know is, my good friend's little boy just started kindergarten this year and she says he has so much "homework" they're both totally overwhelmed...(see, that's all I know, and I have a college degree)

Mimi Jackson said...

AMEN!

As the Mom of an Autistic 2-year old boy, I can really appreciate a Mom who lets herself scream!!!!!

Keep fighting - for ALL of us with "different" kids!

Amber said...

Well, guess my kid is just as bad off as Griffin cause he can't do any of those things either. I don't know any 5 year olds that can cut straight, sit still for more than a couple seconds in a chair or doesn't tell on others about everything! If they can, then they are not the normal ones! Who expects a kindergartener to know how to hold his pencil correctly! I'm so sorry about the meeting..hopefully this weekend will be wonderful and make you forget all about it!

Nina's Mama said...

Hi,

Saw your post on Sew Mama Sew and breezed in. BTW hyperventilating over Christmas too....

Sheez I HATE teachers like that and I am one. Also very surprised that the Kindy teacher is uptight. But I have met them in my adventures as a K-12 Japanese teacher and the rest of the faculty have problems with them and wonder what harm that witch will do to all the bright little buttons that walk into their classrooms.... This lady needs to get a reality check.

A friend whose little girl has a sensory disorder had problems with mainstream and tried Montessori where she is thriving.

Tracey said...

It sounds to me like your son is a genius. Why aren't you homeschooling him? He could learn so much more from you. Besides, there is a book on just about everything you'd want to teach him anyway. You should consider it!

dee said...

Amen!

I can't stand that everything is devoted to teaching standardized tests. Whatever happened to creativity!

Mary said...

What a bunch of asshats. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Run, don't walk, to your school administrator and tell him/her exactly what and how everything was said. And then go to the school board. No one should have ever said those things IN THAT WAY to you. Every child does develop in their own time and I know several 7 year olds that can't do some of the things that she mentioned. As a matter of fact, I am watching 2 boys, ages 19 and 48 fidget in their chairs watching hockey! Get a new school if you don't get respect for you and your son. I wish I was there to have him in my class - it sounds like I would really like him!! Hugs, Lisa

lera said...

It sounds to me that Griffin is a normal five-year-old boy. Having had four (so far) of that age, I think I can speak with some experience.

When my oldest was five-ish, he did not have any interest in coloring or cutting. None. It wasn't him. He didn't have older siblings to watch nor the desire or skill. On the other hand, Jack & Mason love that stuff. They were repeating what they saw Taylor & Carter do.

It's normal. I can't believe a person in the field of elementary education doesn't know that.

Lala said...

I once had a teacher ask me on the 3rd day of school if my son (who was 6 at the time... 19 now) was mildly retarded... she was fired two days later... My son went on to graduate with honors from HS and is in his sophmore year of college in the Honors Program... NO... NOT MILDLY RETARDED... Just REALLY SMART...

That pencil posturing really puts teachers over the edge doesn't it? WHO CARES HOW they hold their pencils as long as they are writing... RIGHT???

I have also heard that Montessori Schools are really good for the sensory children... might be something to consider

Hope everything works out!

Lala :o)

Stacy said...

...sounds like the little guy has earned the position as scapegoat in the classroom. Those particular proficiencies (or lack there of) are not significant. (& BTW, my undergrad is in art therapy and I 'm also a Masters level social worker who has been running developmental assessments on kids with special needs for years). I'm sorry - but IMHO, I think you need to have another chat with your school administrator. And, if they can't meet your child where he is - then maybe this mainstream experience may not be right for him. Do you have any other options?

Alicia A. said...

Oh, good grief. That's ridiculous!

You need to go talk to the principal. If he/she can't help- find someone who can.

Frogdancer said...

Don't think about homeschooling... you need a break to recharge the batteries. I'm a secondary teacher and mother of 4 boys. They're all different. The teacher sounds like she's trying to cover her backside in case any of his behaviour gets out of hand. (I could be wrong, but it doesn't hurt to consider all possibilities...)

Chin up. As long as he's unaware of her attitude and still loves school then that's the important thing.

Catalyst said...

If Grif grows up to be as good a writer as you are, we'll all be laughing!

Keri said...

Yeah, I totally feel ya on the INSANE teachers. MY son's kindy and first grade teachers were, basically, just children themselves and sent him to the principal for EVERYTHING. Seriously, he went about 3 times a week. ALL. YEAR. LONG. And all they could tell me was that he was "really smart" and just finishes his work faster than the other kids, but they didn't want to give him more work so he'd have some free time. Um, then quit freaking calling me when he bothers the rest of the class!!! I think they want to put all the kids in this little mold and when they don't fit the teachers don't know what to do. And the ones we've had until this year haven't cared enough to even TRY. We have a WONDERFUL teacher this year, so just hang in there. It gets better.

Ali said...

Silly cow.

And hooray for non standard kids! And teachers who know how to nurture them.

LauraJ said...

Kindergarten was very hard for me too! I mean for me as a parent. All this constructive criticism can be shoved up their asses!
It does get better....slowly....over time. You know your boy best...so just humor that weirdo teacher and jus tkeep doing what you are doing at home.

Chara Michele said...

What about homeschooling or a private school, are those an option at all? It sounds like maybe he could use a teacher who understands your family's ideals and isn't just trying to follow everything by the book... Although it sounds like you are really trying to work with the school to help them understand this, so maybe it is good for him to be there since it will hopefully make the school/administration think a bit more about how things work...

LLA said...

Oh ugh - honey...

Sounds like the worst sort of robot to have as a teacher... I hate it when someone who is supposed to care about what is best for our children really only cares about making them conform into the "right" series of little boxes...

I can't even imagine how angry and frustrated you must be. Seriously, every kid develops at his/her own level. I think that the emphasis that is being placed on meeting this standard, or that one, etc. is just ridiculous. Remember when kindergarten was a place where you learned to share, not to eat paste and you got to take a nap in the middle of it? When did it turn into something so rigid??? When I was at the preschool, we had parents who would put their child into OT - to improve their scissoring skills before K'garten. I mean, really? Scissoring tutors?

In-fuckin'-sane.

You know what a magical, bright, funny and interesting kid your boy is. Sounds like the biggest job you have ahead of you is not letting asshats like this teacher snuff that out of him.

and remember: Illegitimi Non Carborundum

(and not that I need to apologize for this here, at NAB, but I do want to apologize for being a like potty-mouthed. I just am feeling angry and indignant on your behalf)

She sure is strange! said...

Oooh this is SO why we homeschool!! My son's pre-k teacher started sending home ADHD pamphlets in his backpack and told me that she thought he was retarded. Yeah right. We took him out after 4 months of that bs and the school had the nerve to turn us in to Child Protective Services to scare us into bringing him back. We have SUCH a ball with homeschooling now, actually we unschool which is even better! Something to think about.

Jessica said...

We had out parent teacher conferences this week also. Griffin and Bryce have a lot of similar areas that need improvement. That tells me that.. HE IS NORMAL. The teacher needs to take a pill and lay off. For the love of Pete they are 5 yr olds who are just starting their schooling. Continue to work with Griffin and give him lots of praise. Good luck!

robiewankenobie said...

do you have an individualized education plan (iep)? i gakked the verbiage below from some website...

Federal law requires every K-12 school district to maintain an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for each special education student. The document is a blueprint for how a child is to be taught. The IEP for each child is typically about 15 pages long. It requires constant updates to ensure goals are being met and to protect the district from legal challenges.

seriously...this is the time to be extra special super nice in a superficial i'm going to sue your ass bitchy way. 'cause this is just bullshit. if it were me, and it isn't, i would start with the principal...tell him that you're going to be working with the district special ed program on developing an iep. in the meantime? they need to figure out a way to make this work. assholes. they should know better.

kristi said...

I second the call for an IEP, if he doesn't already have one. If his fine motor skills are that bad, he should be getting OT for that at school. I don't think Griffin's issues are that severe or unusual. It sounds as if his teacher doesn't know how to deal with exceptional kids or their parents!

Wendy said...

It's crap like this that's convinced me to start homeschooling my daughter. She's in the gifted and talented class and the teacher told her that she couldn't read a book because it was too hard. At least my daughter knows that you can get the 'jist' of something and not the 'just' of it which is what her teacher said 3 times at back to school night.

And yes, they are trying to create a bunch of robots. I think smart kids that learn their own way scare them.

Read Dumbing Us Down if you doubt it.

jac said...

Suckhole. Seriously. I can't believe you made it through 90 minutes of that.

cheryl said...

Girl you are a total candidate for homeschooling. it's not all bad. Now we are getting into a rhythm and loving it!

Yes, school DOES raise robots. It is to raise little conformists who don't question things and grow up to be big conformists who don't question things.

If E was in school they would tell me to put her an ADD med since the girl cannot sit still.

And you know what? She's 5! They AREN'T SUPPOSED TO!

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I'm sorry. That's crappy. I am currently reading Raising Cain and they have a whole section on boys and school. Also Raising Boys. I have the authors..would have to go upstairs and get the books, but if you need them, let me know.
Basically schools do not embrace boys, they take their normal characteristics and shame them for those behaviors. It's not the boys, it's the schools. It tells how boys fine motor skills develope at a much slower pace, and it's unfair to compare to their girl counterparts. Most of the books I am reading right now about boys and schools, suggest all boy schools.
Good luck.

monica said...

yeah, my brother was meant to have 'problems'... that's why he got a law degree in 2 (that's two) years in English (not his first language)!

Teachers... sometimes I wonder why they do the jobs they do. Shouldn't they value the individuality of each child instead of looking for an easy day at work...

be strong girl, you're doing the right things with him!!

PS... isn't it HER job to keep the pencil in the right way?

happy zombie said...

I have so much respect for teachers. Almost all of them. My DS2 had a doosie of a second grade teacher. She wanted to hold him back a year. I was floored. My nextdoor neighbor who was also a second grade teacher was floored too. AS WAS his principal. Had him tested... turns out he was a genius (still is). Which I knew of course.

Stand your ground. No one knows your child better then you, especially since you've been around him a tad more then 3 effing weeks.

Heidijayhawk said...

move to topeka. now please. that is one fucked up school district. YOU know your boy and i am ever so proud of you for advocatihg for HIS best interest. good mama. good mama.

Jessica Chapman said...

Oh I am so sorry that your PC went this way. I am a teacher in a magnet program for students who are "different"... so I can totally understand how students can be put down in these type of situations. You need to ask yourself a few questions-- do you feel the teacher genuinely cares about your child and wants to help? If yes, then continue to deal with it and work with her as best you can. If no, then get the heck out of there as quick as you can.

Mia said...

and about that pile of pot.. if HE doesn't want it......

hehehehehe. Happy freakin' monday.

bitterbetty said...

What a stupid ass his teacher is.
I freakin HATE parent teacher conference. Make me want to fly across the table and smack people that is what they do.

I still deal with the fall out of the first grade teacher I should have had removed from my boy's sphere of influence who said he was bad because he asked how to spell too many words.

OH PLEASE!

I wish teachers would get a grip and do what they can to learn from us about our fantastic and deeply complicated kids.

We finally got a "good" teacher in 5th grade.

That was a brain numbingly long wait.

Neisha said...

I have an 8 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder and I've had a hell of time with certain teachers. Last year he spent 80% of the school year in the principal's office because the teacher didn't know how to handle him when he would break down or when he couldn't focus (he wasn't even misbehaving). Talk about making him more insecure and making him believe he was different and a bad boy!) I was furious. He's finally in special education due to behavioral problems (emotional not bad behavior) and he's very happy. He feels he has people who understand him and he finally has friends who don't judge him. I wish you the best of luck. Some people should not be teachers but they take these jobs because of the summers off and the schedules.

Angelina said...

That makes me angry. I'm not loving Max's teacher either. We keep getting spelling tests returned to us that he's failed with a photocopied note attached saying that these words are ones that ALL second graders should know already. But it's hard for me to care that much when my kid is finally reading to himself a little bit before bed every night. He's requesting a book in bed. That's huge for Max who has resisted reading.

Griffin's teacher doesn't know how to deal with children who broke the mold. Lots of teachers are like that. Max had one for kindergarten too who was deeply offended that Max refused to finish making the stupid turkey decoration for Thanksgiving. She actually brought it up in his conference as though this was major.

Griffin will do well though, because he has you for a mom. In spite of stupid-ass teachers, he will develop when he's ready to develop. The very challenges he has because of the sensory disorder are things that can give him a different kind of edge over the other kids as he matures. That's what I believe about Max.

I'll shut up now.

faithsalutes said...

You are fucking right and little boys don't ever behave well in kindergarten. My brothers are genuis and they told my mom that one was autistic and the other was disruptive (because he liked recess and making friends).

faithsalutes said...

oh and little kids should not have homework. EVER

Poppy & Mei said...

Hi. I just ducked over from someone elses link list. I do that sometimes.

I read this: "They can suck my dick." & I knew I liked you.

Then I read this:"We're raising children, not fucking robots." & now you're going on my link list.

Don't know if this would help any but I'd tell 'er to go fuck herself & then I'd yank 'im outta there! Is it possible?

Nice to find a new friend with some balls...;)