difficult child's school messes up again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    so, difficult child's teacher and i have been battling it out this past few days. First because she is not "reporting" to me when difficult child utilizes the nurse due to her anxiety, and is making no mention of it in the notebook or in phone calls. I told her as a parent I have a right to know and I want to know, I keep daily logs of her behaviors since she is on a medication now and I need to know this. She proceeded to act unprofessionally etc. saying she had no clue why she had to tell me.

    Than today difficult child comes home totally upset and mad. I ask why she goes on to tell me how her teacher suddenly pulled her into the hallway and asked her to go to another classroom. difficult child had no idea why and asked why i dont' want to?? The teacher said oh well you need extra help with your math and i want you to go to this room, alone.

    So, I just spoke to the teacher yesterday nothing was said to me regarding this at all, no mention of her needing extra help in her notebook that goes back and forth from school at all. This school, moreso this teacher has a "god like" complex and refuses to recognize difficult child's anxiety due to I believe her thinking it 's a direct correlation to her either abilities or lack thereof.

    Plus it seems to me with the upcoming cse meeting they dont' want to admit that difficult child is struggling somewhat academically.

    So, difficult child was placed in a situation where she had to go down the hallway alone in a room where she knew none of the kids and had to stay there for an hr. difficult child will hold it together best she can in school yet when she comes home she undoes herself and her anger and upsetment comes out.

    So, i just wrote the teacher yet another note stating how wrong it was that no mention was made of this to me, how they have no right to do that with-o asking first and even giving me the the mother the opportunity to get a private tutor for difficult child, i also told the teacher that I can now see that she obviously has no understanding of difficult child's diagnosis at all!

    This as many of you know has been an ongoing issue with this teacher, dating back to november where she told me i shouldn't drug my daughter and she should take herbal remedies in order to assist her and she does not believe she has bipolar.

    so, do you think that type of letter is on target, did i miss anything???

  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Hi Jen! Does your difficult child have an IEP? If so, this needs to be addressed through the IEP that you are notified of any reasons (nurse visits, changes in curriculum, changes in scheduling) difficult child leaves the normal routine of the day. It is not up to this teacher to question your need for details about your daughter's day. If she had difficult child's best interest in mind, it would never be a question of withholding information from you. She needs to work with you, not create her own agenda on what is best for difficult child.

    You can ask the doctor who gave the diagnosis for some literature that you can give to this teacher.

    I hope difficult child doesn't have a terribly hard time getting to school tomorrow morning. This newest event will add to her already school refusal level since she can not plan her day ahead of time if the teacher is going to pull this on her. The teacher could have atleast walked her to the classroom.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Jen, I often get better results when I approach school administrators/teachers as one part of a partnership that wants to work with them, not against them.

    To that end, I word letters/emails/phone calls in a direct, non-accusatory, matter-of-fact way. In your situation, I would write something like this: "difficult child came home upset this afternoon because she was told to go to another classroom by herself to do her math. From my reading of the situation, the change to a new classroom caused her a great deal of anxiety and stress. I'm wondering why she was sent to this other classroom during math time. Was this a one-time occurrence, or will this happen every day? I'd like to talk to you at your earliest convenience about this situation."

    I realize you have ongoing issues with this teacher -- she was absolutely wrong to try to influence you on the medication issue -- and you do deserve to know what is going on with your daughter's education. But if you look at this objectively, maybe the school is recognizing that your difficult child needs extra help and is offering it (I would think you would want to have her get extra help at school rather than pay for a private tutor).

    In terms of the nurse visits, can the nurse herself provide you with a log of when difficult child goes to the nurse and why? Our school nurse provided me with a log when M was required to eat snacks at school while recovering from her eating disorder.

    by the way, what is a CSE?
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi andy no we will be having the mtg. soon to get the iep in place, so this is their way of getting difficult child up to speed with her academics to than deny services and provisions to her. their response will be "difficult child is doing fine, see" she doesn't need help.

    smallworld. I have soo tried so many times for over a year now of dealing with them on a "human" level i truly have. yet when they turned on me and started saying how this was a "home issue" and not a school difficult child issue. i just spoke to the teacher today on phone and on mention was made at all. and get this their retesting difficult child on her test because the ela standardized test i just found out from boyfriend who was talking to difficult child today. they told difficult child it was because she did so well on the test?? omg.

    i can soo see what they are doing. their trying to claim 'difficult child isn't having any school issues" so that they can deny the iep or 504. i know i probably sound paranoid lol, yet i hate this school district with a passion and this point. i'm thinking of transferring difficult child out when she transitions into middle school into a specialized school i found.

    cse is a mtg. that commences for either an iep or a 504 here. than we'll have random meetings to update or discuss the objectives or goals once it is in place.

    i tried the nice way for so long yet that gets me nowhere at all it seems. so now the claws have to come out i think, what choices do i have??
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    oh and cse is committe of Special Education. just seems to be that they are doing all they can to make their "numbers". new york is very much into the number game. it's how the schools are rated, not sure how it works in other states. so if difficult child gets a 3 or 4 on standardized tests it looks better for the school and overall percentage rating. so if difficult child does badly which she obviously must have which is why their retesting her without my consent as well it doesn't look good for them.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    well thanks small and andy. i was hoping for more input but i guess that isn't going to happen. lol. i'm just sending my ltr. to the teacher.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm coming late to this one.

    My main concern with the letter is it could be seen as inflammatory. However, you do have legitimate concernsand this teacher is not giving you the information she should.

    Even in those times when I wanted to shake the teacher so hard that she rattled, I kept my letters as supportive and positive as I could. If I felt too angry to do that, I sent my letter up the chain of command - principal first, then district speical ed people, then state head of dept, then minister for education.

    IN this situation - I would first spell out what I wanted. I would gently remind that I had already made this request clear and that I required it, it was necessary, not just a "nice to have". I would then desribe past consequences of failure to meet this requirement. I would then describe what I would do in the event I didn't get it this time - usually "I will have to take this up with someone senior". There have been times when I made it clear that failure to comply with these requirments was discriminatory, in that it was reducing difficult child 3's ability to access the same education as his classmates. He had needs that had to be met, due to his disability - failure to meet those needs was preventing him coping in the classroom, in the same way that a blind child who was refused access to Braille would be discriminated against.
    I then put in the carrot, the constructive stuff - I offered my services to instruct school staff on difficult child 3's needs, I offered information on seminars, conferences, books etc so they had NO excuse for not understanding. I then finished with the sugar - "I know if we pull together on this, we will see how well difficult child 3 can do and we will all be able to take credit for his progress." OK, I almost puked as I typed it, but there was no way they could accuse me of being difficult or negative.

    What a good letter needs, is the problem stated, what you want done to sort the problem, and any positive suggestions you can make to deal with it from the other point of view. Where possible, try to keep it to under a page (so they don't have to exert themselves turning the page). I was told by difficult child 3's former pricipal, that he never read the letter if it was more than a page. He would put it aside to "read later" and generally never get to it.

    Now, to practical things - this should be in the IEP. If it is, you can call her out on her failure to do it. If it isn't, you dont have much to stand on, unfortunately. For now. But you CAN fix that!

    Other suggestions I have are sneaky and underhand. That is why I like them. YOu cultivate the nurse, get her to let you know when difficult child is using her services. Also if possible, cultivate some classmates of difficult child's, use them asyour spies in the classroom. NEVER blow their cover, but just let the teacher think you have eyes in the back of your head (ie play her at her own game). But you need preferaly two spies as a minimum, kids who you can believe and who don't have their own agenda to get the teacher into trouble. Choose carefully and try to not lean on them too much. But having someone you can ask, at a pinch, what happened - valuable. If they will proactively contact you with information - that is gold. In our case I used kids from our church, which is more like a family. On Sundays the kids would all be playing together after church often with families staying at the church for various activities all day. They migt have hassled difficult child 3 a bit for being different (the only boy, for a while) but they stuck to him like glue, at school. Most were in different grades so we got very different opinions on events, but sifting through it all I was always able to get to the truth of a problem. At least, getting a lot closer than if I just dpeended on just one source.

    Even the best teacher won't tell you everything. Some of the most important snippets of information about difficult child 3, I only heard about by accident, or in passing. The teachers won't tell you, if THEY don't see it as important. They're not mind-readers, so we do have to spell it out Occupational Therapist (OT) them. Of course, some of them just won't listen, so you have Occupational Therapist (OT) tell them again and again and again... but if you do this in writing and keep acopy, you can always point to your copy and say, "I first told you to do this on... and you still aren't doing it. It is needed because... You time with him will be improved if you do this. Mine will also be improved. It is now in the IEP. Please fix this."

    Good luck with this, it sounds like a chronic problem which won't be easily solved.

  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    marg thanks. i cleaned letter up a bit and took out anger, tried to handle it like she wasn't my kid if that makes sense and it was someone at work.

    even with that, i recvd. a return letter from teacher stating that if i want difficult child out of resource rom she was put in with-o my consent or knowledge i'd have to talk to the principal. it took 2 hours of fighting to get difficult child out the door today and into the school bldg. it did indeed add to her already huge school refusal and anxiety. so now class is supposed to be trmw i have a ten a.m. mtg. and can't make it to school to address this before that. difficult child has no friends again so i can't work on the friend level.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would by now be talking to the principal, purely on the grounds of urgency.

    As for the spies in the classroom - they don't have to be friends of difficult child's. It's often better if they're not. The kids in difficult child 3's case didn't particularly like him, but they disliked injustice even more. It helps if you can be friends with the parents of these kids. That is the place to start.

    I hope your meeting goes well.

  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    you know i have to say at this new job i can be objective and thoughtful and see things for what they are. Yet when it's my little difficult child i am so emotionally wrapped up into this i get caught up in my emotions.

    they still see this as no big deal. i have tried so hard wtih these ppl to help them "get it" and her. provided them with books, documents, excerpts from books, past history diagnosis and nothing nothing makes a difference at all.

    by the way they also put difficult child through a second round of ela standardized testing in school unbeknownst to me as well! I think that was due to fact difficult child's score was low and all their concerned with is their grades and scores and overall school rating. i think i feel in my gut i'm onto something with them and have been edging closer for a while they know it and are once again stone walling me. another mom at school about a year ago said maybe you will be the one to change things here and educate them to what our special needs kids require. her son was autistic they treated him horribly she pulled him out and put him in private school he's been great ever since.
  11. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    How well I know the teacher who "makes wrong" the parents choice to seek a medical professional rather THE TEACHER (?).
    Have you contacted the DOE about these matters?
    Also it is not your job to tell teacher she is wrong as well. More directly meet with the principle and let that authority know that you want the nurse to call on days your daughter sees her for any reason to keep you posted. Speak to the nurse and let her know how much you do appreciate that your daughter feels comfortable turning to her when she needs help, and that you want a call when she does so you are aware of what is upsetting your daughter each time she does visit.
    Not that you want your daughter to call, but that you want the nurse to do so after she returns to class to call.
    What I would caution not to do is engage in a power struggle with the teacher. If she has something worth listening to then listen. Defending yourself is not in order here. Of course you want to know when your child has anxiety, is left in a room for and hour, or is not learning a subject well.
    What are your daughters grades in her subjects? All A? not learning issues. Any cdf scores and , you do as you like, but I will be in meeting with the teacher. Every time.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Jennifer--

    Sorry I am late coming to this...but believe it or not, it is because I have been having a similar battle with my son's teacher. My son has an IEP--it has been in place for years, and of course, it has been modified each year as we go along to reflect his current needs. Past teachers have implemented accomodations for him without any trouble.

    THIS year, his teacher started the year by basically announcing that she really doesn't believe in using some of the "accomodations" that other instructors have tried (like stress balls to keep his hands busy)...and that she has tons of experience with ADHD kids and she knows how to keep them on track.

    And, you guessed it--at the first available opportunity to speak to me in private, she recommended medication for my child. She called a parent-teacher conference about his "behavior", and then again, recommended medication for my child. After it was clear that she wasn't going to convince me on the medications issue, she dropped his IEP altogether, began penalizing him grade-wise for disorganization, and sent me emails complaining about his behavior. I almost felt like she was trying to "blackmail" me into medicating him.

    The only good news about this is that because she played this game a little too hard--I now have solid evidence that dropping the IEP causes a dramatic drop in grades. I was able to get the special education services coordinator to examine what was being done for my son in the classroom...and sure enough, they found that the teacher was NOT following the IEP...and they got right on her to re-instate the accomodations that had been determined for him. Yesterday, I submitted a "checklist" of organizational, educational, and behavioral goals that is supposed to be filled in and signed by the teacher every day. And because of the IEP, I didn't have to confront the teacher directly with this...I've just been incredibly friendly and sweet to the coordinator.

    I think that once you finally get a plan in place, whether it be an actual IEP or just the 504 plan--things will go more smoothly with the school...and clearly, if the teacher has been sending the child out of the classroom to work--that is eveidence that something special needs to be in place for your child to do well. I'm sure the teacher is not sending the other students away!

    Sending you plenty of support and wishing you Good luck!