NOW she wants a meeting?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hound dog, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yep. been there done that. Drove me batty.

    When you DO have the meeting, make sure you remind them that YOU wanted one earlier, but got the "wait and see" line.

    Travis had one teacher that kept telling me he was wonderful clear up til spring. Then I get a 3 page letter telling me all of the problems she'd had all year and requesting a meeting! She got an ear full at the meeting, let me tell you. sheesh

    I'm so glad the school years with my difficult children are over. :dance:

  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Go overboard with nice.

    You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    Then come here and vent as much as you need to.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Dear mrs Beelzabi Tch.,

    I am so very pleased that you see the wisdom in meeting before Beaner's parent teacher conference. As I know I do not need to tell YOU, clear and timely communication between parent and teacher is one of the building blocks for a successful school year.

    I know we both want this year to be super-successful! I will be pleased to meet you right after school today!!

    I can't wait! I will bring the cookies and coffee. After a long day of teaching I am sure you will enjoy them.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Beaners Mother
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    No, you cannot bring ExLax Cookies.

    Jeez, can we take you ANYWHERE???
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    :devil: make them using prunes!!
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Do you want advice from a teacher?

    Take out the capital YOU and write in in lower case letters. I would also take out the "finally" in the first sentence.

    I would write it as:

    I am glad that you have suggested a meeting to discuss Beaner's behaviors.

    I know that you are frustrated but an "in your face" letter might make you feel better but is not in the best interest of your child. I liked your ending about working as a team.

    Good luck with the meeting. by the way, my take on the situation is that the behaviors may have worsened since the original contact and that the teacher now feels it would be better not to wait.

  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    With Kathy's editing, that's a super letter! :bravo: :warrior:
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good suggestion, Kathy.

    I heartily endorse a super-nice letter.

    I know some people may see me as adversarial at times - but only when I have tried absolutely everything else, and only as much as I need to be. And even then, I stick to POLITE. I might get firm, I might even get sarcastic (if met with stonewalling or absolute denial of there ever having been any problems) but in general, I try to keep the main aim in mind - the child's needs getting met.

    The teacher has needs too. So does the parent. Approach this meeting with an air of "let's sit down over coffee and talk through what we can do to help each other, to help this child" and see where it goes. Once the teacher stops being defensive, once you stop feeling like you want to strangle her, you should be able to cooperatively work on a plan.

    Something that has worked for us, sounds like it could work here - a communication book between home and school. It travels in the child's bag but in no way can getting it out of the bag or putting it back be made a responsibility of the child. It is too important. In the book, you write the sort of things you need to know, or feel the other party needs to know. Support each other. Tell each other interesting things as well as the problem things.

    Sometimes it will seem almost irrelevant, but often looking back through the book you can begin to see patterns and identify triggers you may not have recognised before.
    It's putting two heads together, instead of each of you (teacher and parent) playing catch-up and guesswork.
    It also is a time-saver and energy saver. A teacher does not want a daily classroom step[s conference, especially if she has had a bad day teaching YOUR child. She wants to get home to a relax, a massage and maybe even a stiff drink. Using the book helps her do just that, but it communicates as effectively as a daily conference.

    I have had some good teachers for difficult child 3, and some really bad ones. Even with the bad ones, who I knew before we even got started, that they disliked me intensely (it was mutual) I still managed to have a civil, somewhat helpful, relationship. It actually was husband and wife - I get on OK with the husband as long as I don't think of him as a teacher; I give the wife a wide berth unless I'm avoiding the topic of teaching and kids. But we used the book well (apart from the husband trying to make difficult child 3 responsible for the book, which I stopped - we were losing the book and thereby losing the communication).
    Despite my personal feelings about this pair, I had to accept that even the wife really did care about helping my son. Of course, she didn't want anyone (no experts, no supports, no counsellors etc) to tell her how to help him, she wouldn't accept any expert reports at all, but she still did care. And I used that as our meeting ground. We both had this in common. Most of our meetings involved her telling me what she felt I needed to understand, and me listening (I knew better than to try) plus me telling her of my own observations (no judgements permitted) but it all was still better than no communication.

    So if I can do it, with those rather unhelpful teachers, anyone can. And you can imagine how well the book worked with the really good teachers difficult child 3 has had! It made such a big difference.
    That woman's husband at least kept the book working well (when he had it) and as a result of his input, we noticed a number of very important patterns which became predictors of the problem behaviours. We never would have had that without the book. And they both made sure to provide us with work at home, when difficult child 3 began to be so ill (from anxiety, it was eventually determined).

    Being polite to someone doesn't have to mean being submissive, or agreeing with them in everything. You can be polite and still successfully stand your ground. Avoid anything accusatory, be as pragmatic as possible, stay calm, do not use any bad language (even if you do normally, purely as slang) and make "I" statements instead of "you" statements. For example, "I was concerned when you said that," is better than, "you shouldn't say that to me."
    An "I" statement is simply you expressing how you feel about something, the person you're talking to has the option of taking it on board, or not. If they choose to see your statement as getting at them, that is their choice. But a "you" statement is unavoidable, it is clear and unambiguous. It is a challenge which must be answered and it can change a productive discussion into a futile argument, very quickly.

    When easy child 2/difficult child 2 was just beginning school, I got government permission f or her to be accelerated in. I do not recommend this for everyone, but in this cases it was believed to be the best option, by us, by her therapists and doctors. But these teachers did not agree. I requested a face to face meeting with them to discuss this, to give them the chance to say to me what I knew was being said behind my back. I made darn sure I used all "I" statements during that meeting! I was bombarded with a lot of "you" statements, such as "You are traumatising that child," "You are a bad parent to want this," and "What makes you think your child is so special?" but I still very much value that meeting, and also value those teachers who had the courage to take part and say what they thought. I had invited that, and I had to wear it.

    And yes, the teacher I mentioned was at the head of the pack, I think that is one big reason for her dislike of me. Which doesn't bother me at all, since she did NOT let it affect her management of my child. And again, I value her for that as well.

    Good communication can rise above all this sort of disagreement and dislike. As a general rule, your child's teacher has the best interests of your child in mind. If ever you feel it is otherwise, you need to sort it out pronto. But always, listen first, pay attention, gather your information and sleep on your concerns (if you can).

    Good luck with the meeting, I hope you and the teacher can find a meeting of minds for the ultimate benefit of your son and his classmates.

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I sincerely hope that things work. Kathy and Marg have excellent ideas.

    I know I sounded like I don't like teachers. I really do. I even understand that there may have been reasons to wait, reasons that now you know have changed.

    I figured tossing something out would help as it would get you started. the name was PURELY to get a smile. It is hard to write a pleasant sounding letter when you are growling. I know. been there done that.

    Hope you got a smile, and I think you may well be on your way to a productive meeting!!


    ps. This is a name my dad used to describe a fellow teacher years ago. A woman who truly did NOT have anyone's interests at heart. Glad it made you chuckle.

    pps. Prunes can be pureed and used to substitute for the fat in many baking recipes.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Susie, I love prunes. I can eat large quantities of any fruit with no ill effects whatsoever. I used to buy a case of oranges and leave them in the cool room at work, and eat six at a sitting for morning tea. My boss was horrified - he just had to sniff an orange to get the runs. Me - no problem.

    Same with prunes.

    husband can't handle too many, but his favourite thing - buy a packet of prunes, quarter fill a jar with them and top up with a good port. The prunes will swell up, soaking up the port. Keep topping up as needed, they really do take up a lot of room. You might have to eat one or two off the top to make room...

    I don't know many teachers who would say no to a bottle of prunes/plums in port.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Um they are having a meeting about YOUR child and YOU cannot go. I would have a problem with that and put it in writing. Is this to keep from having an IEP meeting that they HAVE to include you in??

    If it involved my child and his treatment, I would insist that I be there. Of course a tactful request might be all that is needed.

    Be sure to ask over in Special Education about this type of meeting and if they can keep you our.

  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Sarah has not said anywhere in this thread that the principal or teacher said that she wasn't allowed to attend the meeting. I also did not see anything about the school trying to avoid an IEP. If they were trying to do something sneaky as you imply I doubt that they would have told her about the meeting ahead of time.

    Why does everybody have to always assume the worst? Let's take this one step at a time and encourage ILMS to work with the school until we see <u>evidence</u> that the school is doing something wrong.

  13. ShakespeareMamaX

    ShakespeareMamaX New Member

    I agree with Kathy about the editing.

    And it is a great letter!

    Don't forget to make copies and have it time-stamped. :wink:

    Good luck with the meeting! &lt;3
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    At our SST (student study team) meetings parents are always invited. Sometimes they show and sometimes they don't. Any decisions made at our SST meetings are non-binding and are really just suggestions about the next course of action. It sounds like it is similar to what your school calls a child study meeting. They are not IEP meetings and are held for both regular education and special education students.

    In this case, I would simply email the teacher and copy it to the other people involved and state that you want to be included in any meeting about your child particularly if they will be forming a plan of action.

    Again, do it calmly but firmly. Simply ask what time you should be there for the child study meeting.

    Let us know what happens.

  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wonderful news! I'm glad that the meeting went well.

  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Answers to what I know are above!

    Great job!

  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They shouldn't need another report so soon. They might want more detail, though.

    As for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - if you want to dig a little deeper for your own interest, do the online questionnaire on You can't use this to diagnose, but you CAN print the results to show to a teacher or doctor, purely for their interest and to show what YOU think about some things.

    This would explain so much about Beaner.

    And do check out Explosive Child, it worked brilliantly for us.