Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: My child?

I went in for an impromptu conference with Miss K's school principal today. It went better than I had hoped it would and I'm looking forward to seeing if she can get me some answers. It goes with the territory, no one else is going to fight for your child but you.

Yesterday I walked up to the school parent pick up and Miss K walks up to me with a sullen look on her face. I know that look.
"What happened" , I ask her. "It's.... bad, mom", she says to me.
"How bad?" I question, hoping she didn't do something outright horrible.
" I got a, mom."
"Why? What did you do? Who were you talking to today?" , I press for information.
"Nobody mom. I was reading a book during reading time and Camren came over." Uh, I knew it, Camren. The child that will not go away.
"And did you tell him to leave you alone?" I questioned.
"I ignored him mom, I kept trying to read my book." she tells me, still looking very upset.
"So why did you get a red for behavior, K??" , I ask again. "Because Eric, the classroom monitor said I was talking and he moved my color down."

This is where I get mad. Why is another child in the classroom deciding her behavior? Where was the teacher?

I found Miss K's teacher at the parent pickup loop directing traffic and approached her. I asked her why did K get a red behavior report. Get this.

She doesn't know why. REALLY?? I explained and repeated what Miss K told me happened and she had no answers for me. She told me that she was out of the classroom and her co teacher was in there. I couldn't believe that a teacher wouldn't know why a child had a bad behavior report and would still send that report home for their parent to sign. I expressed my concern about this lack of information and wasn't satisfied with the answers she was giving me.

So after leaving the school I called my best friend who used to teach in the public school system. She told me that another student can be a classroom monitor but he/she MAY NOT decide their behavior color by their own choosing. I pretty much knew that and wanted to make sure I was right.

I hung up the phone and called the school. The principal was in a meeting so I spoke with her secretary. By now, I would say the secretary knows me by my voice. I have been quite an outspoken advocate for my daughter since she started going to school there three years ago. Patti asked me the reason for my call and I expressed my urgency in resolving this issue. She took my cell phone number in anticipation that the principal would call me last night.

Unfortunately she never called me. I don't "let sleeping dogs lie" and went to the school office first thing this morning. It definitely pays to be on the School Advisory Council and a school volunteer because I walked right in and was told I could find Patti ( the secretary) in her office. After telling her that I never got a phone call last night she immediately tried to schedule me an appointment for this morning, but the principal was going to be in evaluations all day. So Patti went to find the principal for me right then.

I got to have my parent/principal conference right then. I told her everything that had transpired between myself and the teacher, what Miss K told me and my concerns about another student being in charge instead of the teacher. She was concerned and about this issue. I know that my child is not perfect, but I know when she is telling the truth and not trying to get out of being in trouble.
I also got my opportunity to talk about next year and classroom placement without Camren in her class. He and Miss K must be separated. It is vital to her excelling in the classroom. He is quite the distraction. I am looking forward to what happens for the rest of the year. Only nine weeks left of school.

UPDATE: While picking up Miss K from school today her teacher approached me and told me that per my note request in Miss K's folder that it has been taken care of. Miss K got a blue today. (Blue is the top of the behavior chart. Which is where she has been 90% of the last semester.) The squeaky wheel gets the oil.


A Mom From The Burbs said...

Good Job Mom!! My son's principal knows him by name but not because he's bad or anything. He has ADHD and is on the Autism Spectrum so I have to have meetings with her annually. He's in 3rd grade and has had a couple teachers that just seem to not care or just seem to not have it all together. Like you said, if you don't advocate for your child, who will?

Natalie said...

Both of my boys are in middle school and have had several incidents where I've had parent/teacher meetings b/c I didn't like how things were being done. One time, my kid ended up being in the wrong, but I never would've known the whole story unless I asked. Which is also what I told my son.. that if I think they're right & the teacher is wrong? I will ALWAYS go to bat for them, but don't lie to me about what's going on.

singedwingangel said...

Yeah I am the Tiger mom they don't want to see coming either. I would have done the exact same thing

Shell said...

Oh, it's so not right to have another student be able to do that! One of the teachers I used to work with would do it, though. And I never thought it was right. If a child moved colors(or had their fish punched- one method we used- paper fish, hole punches when they did something wrong), I dang well better know why and it shouldn't come from another student!

You go, mama!