difficult child's teacher--no nonsense

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, *I* learned *MY* lesson, LOL! I emailed difficult child's teacher because he seemed confused about a paper he is supposed to write, in addition to creating a poster.
    I will butt out ... and also tell difficult child that he's on restriction with-the computer this weekend, since he lied to me.
    I should have known; he gets very angry and loud instead of using a nice voice.
    Here's the teacher's respoonse:

    C. was given the directions. I will give him another handout. The 2 page paper is double spaced and it should be about the topic he has choosen, Billings Montana. This shows a lack of responsibility on C's part. In addition he has failed to complete his Social Studies Sequence chart. The assignment was assigned on Wed 11/14 and due today 11/16. There will be a deduction of 10pts. If the assignment is not turned in Monday 11/19 it will be a zero.

  2. ShakinThingzUp

    ShakinThingzUp New Member

    I've been in a similar situation recently....

    My son (ADHD, Depression & PTSD) often writes things down,messes up and erases them to try and do over & then in confusion will either not get it right or not write it down at all.

    He'd never openly erased an assignment on purpose to avoid having to do it before... so I had given him the benefit of the doubt...

    I wrote his teacher and asked what assignment he had, and if she had been checking his agenda as his IEP requires the teachers to do....

    She wrote me back something like this:

    Hunter did write down his assignment correctly. I did check it to be sure he had done so. He erased it.

    .......... I learned my lesson too.....

    So did Hunter :smile:

    God Bless!
  3. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    my difficult child is only 6 and in k but this is good for future reference bc i could see my son doing this even though he is pretty honest about school for the most part right now i know difficult child's school has a website and some of the teachers put the hw assignments on there maybe their schools can too just a suggestion
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Christal, we used to get homework assignments for my easy child, in math. It was up to the teacher's discretion. I liked it because I could use it for ammunition when she asked to go out ... I could tell her she had a math assignment due and she had to finish it first or not go out. :)
    Now she has no teachers who do that and we don't find out what's going on until notes are sent home at midterm.
    Same with-difficult child.
    It's supposed to teach the kids more responsibility.

    Amy, OMG! LOL!
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Our teachers are REQUIRED by district policy to post assignments and general topics/areas of study for each subject. Often out teachers don't because they think it will teach the kids some responsibility to keep track of lessons with no supports. BUT it is district policy for all schools.

    Even kdg teachers are required, so when a teacher says she will not, we use the confused look. Say we were told by the Board of Ed it was policy, has it been changed?

    Then I ask the principal if it has been changed. If nothing is updated, I call the Superintendent of Schools. Our Middle School teachers have made a huge fuss about this, but even the university here has assignments posted on line as a Professional Duty.

    So the teachers here pretty much comply now. At least the ones my friends have dealt with.

    Sorry your son is doing this. It isn't any consolation, but not turning in assignments is "cool" somehow in many schools. Drives people nuts (teachers and parents) but it is the attitude of many kids.

  6. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    yeah how's that working
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    NOT. Working.

    He's been more forgetful lately, and then when things go wrong, it's MY fault. Grrr.

    Apparently when the teacher got my email, he got into trouble and she put him in Time Out for 10 min. LOL!!!!
    Way To Go, teacher!

    I told him he was grounded off the computer. He started to cry in the car and told me I was making his day worse. (Yup, my fault.) I said "Worse in what way?"

    "First it was the email, which I did NOT tell you to send!"
    (Not true, he shouted at me to do it because he didn't know what double meant. Double spacing?)
    "Then I got in trouble for not doing my Social Studies chart."

    (That's Mom's fault?)

    "Then I didn't eat lunch because the teacher and the principal said that instead of just raising our hands when our names are called, I should write down the lunch order and turn it in, and they would remind me. But no one called my name. So I talked to the principal and she said just the opposite--that no one should have to remind me!"

    (A bit of a "listening-to-instructions" problem here.)

    I asked him why he didn't eat the snack in his backpack.

    "Because I didn't know you packed one."

    (Uh, I've been packing them since kindergarten ...)

    And the crowning glory was my answer, "I didn't pack it. YOU did. It was in a brown paper lunch bag right on top of your backpack this morning and I told you twice to put it in there."

    He turned his back to me and pouted all the way home.

    He'll learn. Slowly, very slowly, but surely.

  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Would you consider keeping a "communication book" just for you and the teacher? Have difficult child continue to write down his assingments, yet also have the teacher do it. At least you can check that he wrote it down right, plus make sure it gets done. You'll also be made more aware of things on a day to day basis. Even if the teacher just writes, "difficult child had a great day." or something brief, and not too time consuming-the goal is success for difficult child.
  9. LitlPixy

    LitlPixy New Member

    I've actually considered doing that in the past. Right now, we have the agenda books that logs all homework from each class, the parent has to initial everyday. There is a block for communication also.
    The teachers also know to send me a brief email similar to what you wrote - "difficult child had a good day."

    Does the school have a website? Our teachers all have websites that state what's going on, homework, spelling words, assignments due, etc. Also we have "gradespeed" which allows us to check kids' grades, assignments, etc. online.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    It is as if you're describing Travis' school days.

    Finally I got tired of the battles, and somehow it being my fault, and stepped out of the picture.

    School issues stayed with the school. I took care of family/home issues.

    If Travis didn't turn in assignments I let the teacher handle it. If he acted up in class, again up to teacher. ect. If he failed, he would fail.

    Honestly, I thought he would fail. But since nothing I was doing was helping I didn't think I had anything to lose anyway. And I was sick of the school/homework battles.

    Travis did fine. He didn't fail. The world didn't stop on it's axis. He didn't do any worse without my input than he had with it.

    This drove his teachers nuts as they seemed to assume it was my job to force him to complete his assignments on time. I just kept tossing the ball back into their court. School issue, dear.

    It was worth it. No more homework battles meant a MUCH more peaceful homelife, not just for me but for Travis too. And I also noticed alot of his acting out and irritability also went away.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I sooo agree with the school stays at school business!! What exactly do the teachers think you have to do? As parents if what we are doing just makes things worse, step out. Let homework, failing, not failing all be handled at school. If he does not have the supports, to an extent you need to advocate, but you do NOT need to be the whipping boy.

    Not your son's nor the teachers.

    Keep communication lines open, but if you taking charge and making him do school work and dogging him gets old, you can stop and let him handle it. I know he seems young. But if HE is going to emotionally harrass you for it, well, it may make home more a war than it has to be.


  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He already has a schedule and ea day they copy things from the blackboard. I can see that every night. However, there is no way for me to know if he really did the assignment if there is no printout or handwritten sheet, for ex. if it's something he already turned in.
    The teacher will not initial ea day. They stopped doing that in 2nd gr. and they make a point of telling the parents that they will initial for the little kids but not the "older kids."

    They also send home a printout of the assignments ea wk. If difficult child loses it, I can access it online. But it is just a sentence, for ex., "Prepare poster for Trumpet of the Swan."
    I have no idea if it's regular poster board, 3-sided science project board, etc. and whether it contains graphics or something that needs to be obtained from my computer, since difficult child has no Internet access. So I need to know what kind of board to buy, and whether to let difficult child use my computer.

    I surely learned my lesson. But has my difficult child?
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If school issues are going to stay at school, then the parent needs to let the teachers handle it. No second guessing and no complaining about consequences (including if the child fails).

    Most parents start screaming if the teacher fails to notify the parent of school issues. I guess teachers just can't make everybody happy.

    Terri ~ I think that you are handling this just right. I think that it is great that you are putting the responsibilty on your child and letting him accept the consequences. I guess that is why we are both John Rosemond fans.

  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Very true, Kathy. If you let school issues stay at school you have to let the school dole out the natural consequences accordingly. It's not fair to a teacher to whine and complain, once you've made it a decision to be an issue between teacher and child.

    I still got notified of the school issues. But both teacher and Travis knew that those issues were to be dealt with between them. I was careful NOT to step on toes.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I do agree with school issues staying at school, but I do feel it is important especially with difficult children to keep the lines of communication open. If you are determined to continue hands off, it doesn't mean not being told about problems. It's another area where I think you need to sort out with the teacher, what you will do, what you want to know and what you are not going to do. And vice versa.

    Another connected issue - I found that my boys needed a lot more understanding when it came to personal organisation - they missed a lot of assignments (especially difficult child 1) because the teachers had unrealistic (ie normal) expectations. We had established an agreement that assignments for difficult child 1 were to be given to him on a full-sized sheet labelled with the subject, date, date due and topic clearly set out. If it was written on the board, the teacher had agreed to supervise difficult child 1 in writing it in his diary.

    But despite the agreement the standards began to slip. He lost all marks for one assignment, I remember, because he totally forgot he had to do it. It never made it to his diary, his pocket where he put all papers given to him had no record of it and when I finally asked the teacher (and other students) I was told the teacher hadn't actually announced it, she had just stood at the door and handed the students a slip of paper (she had made five from each page and torn them into strips to hand out) which had the details. difficult child 1 would not have known and with his faulty memory, he would have wondered why he was holding a slip of paper, and put it in the next bin without thinking.

    Not all the discipline or failing in the world could teach difficult child 1 to manage his time and assignments better. He just couldn't do it. He's a lot better now, needs far less help than I ever thought possible, but the problems we had were due to teachers not abiding by previously arranged agreements aimed at supporting the special needs in this case.

    When difficult child 1 went to college, they had no problems providing that support. It was only in high school that we had these problems!

    Some kids do need more support to be able to comply. And yes, some kids will try to use their disability as a way out, a handy excuse. But we found, if we could get the teachers to use the same system and to double-check, we had a high compliance rate with difficult child 1. When a teacher refused to comply, or didn't want to be bothered, we had failures. And for a teacher to say, "Oh, I didn't have time to print a whole sheet for each student; I didn't have time to announce it; I didn't have time to watch him and make sure he understood he'd just been given an assignment," and then penalise HIM for HIS lack of organisation - I felt that was a bit rich.

    When you have a kid whose personal organisation is much worse than his peers, you DO need some understanding from the teachers, PLUS you need a sort of 'belts and braces' approach to information about assignments. Despite our "school issues stay at school" policy, we DID help as far as getting information about work needing to be done. We did no nagging, we would help if asked. And with assignments, we also found "study buddies" helped a lot. We set up a few of difficult child 1's friends to remind him (and us) when there was an assignment set. We put reminders on the computer calendar and helped difficult child 1 break up the tasks into manageable parts.

    We did try to get the teachers to pass copies of assignments to us also, but this failed. They WERE supposed to let his aide know, but they couldn't even do that. It was made more difficult for the teachers because they were getting conflicting instructions - the aide was one of the teachers also, she would demand copies of assignments from her co-workers, but the vice principal was also making it clear that difficult child 1 had to learn to fend for himself (despite the IEP, despite the aide funding).

    It sounds to me as if C's teacher is willing to communicate with you - this is very good. At this age kids sometimes try to make it all go away by pretending problems don't exist. You may need to keep C's nose to the grindstone for a bit, to make him realise that trying to ignore the problem only makes it bigger and harder to handle.

    And erasing an assignment once you've already written it in - personally, I'd be setting another assignment of my own, on top of the one the teacher set. But I'm a meanie...

    The child needs to know that he WILL be caught, if he tries to be dishonest about set work.

    Something we tried to set up (only teachers refused to post a copy of the assignment home, for difficult child 1) - we asked for a copy to come home and told difficult child 1 that if HE told us about the assignment before the mail brought our copy, then he won; if we got news of it first, we'd dock his pocket money.
    These days we'd use reward rather than punishment - if he told us first, we'd give him a small reward. But as I said, in our case it failed because the school told its staff to not post copies home to us. (And you guys have a system where copies are supposed to be posted home, to ALL kids, not just the difficult children).

    It's a crazy world sometimes.

  16. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Oh...so very familiar. I email difficult child's teachers every week for a progress report.

    I am constantly asking difficult child if he has homework, if he did his reading, if he did his reading log. I told him I do not want him to start off this quarter playing catch up. Nope, all work is done.

    The other night I checked his reading log(does it on the computer) right after he told me he did it. NOT. Made him get out of bed and do it.

    He was out sick Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday is early release.
    Didn't go to religion class because he was "doing homework" (I was sleeping) Went to a friends after school on Thursday.
    Today I get progress reports.

    F in English. Two assignments missing and a test grade of A-.
    (way to blow that grade)

    Hasn't even started other assignments that were missing. I am so angry. I am sleeping when school gets out three days a week. He tells husband he does it and then plays on the computer.

    Why does he have to constantly do the work AFTER the fact and then not get full credit.???
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Kjs, I assume that was a rhetorical question? :)
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I totally agree that if you decide to let school handle school issues the parent MUST NOT complain about the consequences. When we did it, it was simply because our efforts to support the school were making life at home unbearably dangerous. The teachers were not at fault, not at all.

    Once my son saw that he would fail, and that failure meant that he could not attend activities like field trips, and that he would be held back, he started to comply, at least enough to pass.

    When he learned that the fun stuff we did with his grandparents depended on not having bad grades (and grandpa checked this with teachers, rather than with us) things got better.

    Our decision was simply to stand aside and let teh school handle things. We fully supported ALL of their efforts to helphim, and ALL of the consequences he received.

    The deal with the grandparents was THEIR decision. NOT ours, but we supported them with it.

  19. threeCs

    threeCs New Member

    "<span style="color: #FF9900">He started to cry in the car and told me I was making his day worse</span>."

    OMG!!! I thought our difficult child had invented this phrase! :nonono:

    Hang in there!
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Huh! Nope. MINE invented it. Never mind that yours was born 3 yrs b4 mine ... LOL!