Here I Go Again...ARGH

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Just checked my email and voila!, there was an email from a teacher about difficult child. Surprise!:surprise: NOT.:mad: Okay, so here is the situation THIS time. Every quarter, the kids rotate "specialist" classes: art, gym, health, keyboarding. difficult child started keyboarding today. Last Wednesday, this teacher saw me in the hallway and asked if I had any advice for dealing with difficult child's behavior (he hasn't been in there to have any yet!). I told her to follow his BIP and if that doesn't work, talk to his SpEd teacher.:confused: The email today was from this keyboarding teacher. difficult child had been sent to the office for not following her directions and she explained his behaviors and asked for my advice because SpEd teacher is gone today and tomorrow. He refused to type when she told the kids to and when she set his computer up herself, "he started purposely typing the wrong letters". When I asked him why he refused to type when she told the class to he said "she always yells at me for looking at the keys when I type but I don't remember where they are so I have to look." I asked him if she did that today and he said not today, but she has for the last 2 years when he's had her. When I asked him why he typed the wrong letters on purpose (her words) he said "She said that 7th graders can usually type like 35 words a minute so I wanted to see how fast I could type without looking at the keys." His BIP states that they are supposed to ask him WHY he isn't doing what he's supposed to be doing. She apparently didn't do that. He is also supposed to be given a choice of doing it or going to the office and then some time to make his choice. She apparently didn't do that either.

    The email I sent back to her started with those 2 questions. Did she ask him why and did she give him a choice before she made him go to the office, after a big ruckus. I also told her that SpEd has difficult child working with a voice-activated computer program to do typing for him. I reminded her that with his memory issues, he won't remember where the keys are and will pretty much always need to look and explained to her AGAIN about his avoiding tasks that have caused "criticism/failure" in the past. I just hope she gets IT soon. She has been like this as long as I've known her (she goes to my church so it's been a WHILE). How do I get through to these people? :biting:I feel like such a broken record sometimes. :clubbing:

    On a positive note. I talked to the principal and he said difficult child handled talking to him about it very well and was able to go back to class (a different one) after only a few minutes. When I talked to difficult child about it at home, he actually talked to me about it. :bigsmile:
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Well it sounds like, at the very least, difficult child handled the situation well... I wish I knew how to get thru to these people. Unfortunately, I don't.
  3. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Each time this teacher emails you or the principal contacts you qbout that class or your difficult child mentions tension in that class; Send the teacher a carbon copy of your email to her explaining what she is supposed to do in bold print. Maybe if the email gets sent back to her a handful of times over a few months she will finally get the point. Maybe her memory will kick in better than difficult child's, lol.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It is refreshing, but still frustrating, when your difficult child shows more sense and maturity than the ADULT in the situation.

    All I can suggest is what worked for us (well it worked as well as anything could) which is to continue to kowtow to the teacher while getting your point across. "Thank you for showing sufficient foresight with difficult child to ask how to assist him even before you had him in your class. I am very happy to continue to assist you in this, since I know it can be challenging to teach a child whose brain is wired differently. difficult child is generally very compliant but needs to be asked why, if he fails to comply. There are always reasons and these need to be worked with in order to use his capabilities to get the outcome you want. He cannot be managed with 'because I said so' methods, as if it comes down to a battle of wills, he will be stronger. However, his strength of will can be used as an asset, if you succeed in engaging his support and cooperation using the methods already spelled out in the paperwork. Again, thank you for caring enough to be prepared to adapt your methods to support a special needs student."

  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Marg, you always give the best advice .... I plan to use the last line of your paragraph in the near future !
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Great advice from Marg! Worded perfectly!

  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You're right. Marg, you always have just the right words. Do they just come spur of the moment or do you think things through first? I wish I could come up with wording like that on my own and spur of the moment. I am so jealous. Maybe if I hang around this board long enough, I will start thinking that way. I can hope anyway. Thank all of you for your input and advice. I truly appreciate every word.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    How frustrating!!

    Marg has excellent ideas. Maybe you could meet the teacher at church to discuss this? Sometimes neutral ground helps. I would start cc'ing the sp ed teacher and the principal. They need to know what is going on if the teacher needs encouragement or retraining to help difficult child. So often the teachers read the BIP, IEP, etc... and the ideas seem fine then, but they forget them or get caught up in other issues and don't take the time to remember how to best help each individual student. As taht is part of their job, albeit a difficult part, the polite, kowtowing reminders are an excellent idea.

    It might even help if you could work through some of the methods of helping difficult child at a time when she doesn't have a class full of other students to teach. She may get overwhelmed or have similar memory/processing issues as your son, and have a hard time seeing past her problems to how to help him with his in the heat of the moment.

    It also helps to remember that a little bit of honey goes a LONG way toward having a teacher WANT to go that extra bit to help our kids. Teaching isn't easy, esp during the junior high years/middle school years. So if you can send her an interesting or uplifting book/card, or plate of cookies or homemade granola or something, she will think more kindly to you and your child. You may have to deliver it yourself as kids are less likely to want to and to remember to deliver gifts to teachers. Your son also might be afraid of getting teased if he does that.

    If nohting else maybe for Halloween you could send in something for the class. If not food, maybe pick up some fake vampire teeth? I went to a big party warehouse type place and got a bag of a couple of hundred of them and they were a big hit with the teachers and kids. His computer teacher esp loved them because the kids were quieter with them in AND they didn't pose a crumb and spill risk to the computers.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I always tried to grease the wheels of communication with teachers, even if I had personal difficulty with this or that person. The teacher from Grade 4 whose own son was in the same class - that was a bad year. She & I had been friends socially before this time but our friendship was strained to breaking point and there were a lot of times when I had to soothe her ruffled feelings and re-phrase what I said. But I found that if I backed down ("sorry, I shouldn't have said that at all") it made me seem like a wimp who didn't know my own mind. So when she said, "How could you insult me by complaining because I only say negative things in the communication book? You ASKED me to tell you everything that is going on!" I replied with, "I do want everything, within reason (I don't want you to spend your entire day communicating with me, that takes your time away from the other students). And of course some of that can't help but be negative. What I meant was, I think it will be healthier for both of us and help us cope emotionally a lot better, with the load of coping with this child, if we can also try to include something positive about his day. I realise this could take a lot of mental effort on some days!"

    In other words, while I didn't back down, I did choose to soothe her ego because I needed her on side. In return, she was often more frank with me than was wise, and her opinions about alternative placements gave me more confidence to seek these out. However, our friendship has never been the same. I lost respect for her integrity (or lack of) when her discipline in class became tainted with her 'need' to protect her son, who was actually bullying my son (and others). And she probably now feels less comfortable about me as a person, if I can't maintain good discipline with my wayward child.

    There have been a lot of times when I have had to grit my teeth and choke back what I really want to say. My child's support and welfare is the main focus always, and while we need to work as a team for this, that is what we must do. If the teacher is making it clear that he/she is refusing to work with me, then I go to the principal. If that fails to work, I keep going higher. With conflict with teaches, I've never had to go higher than principal. Mostly I've been able to get things at least to a satisfactory compromise, through my own communications.

    Looking back I estimate there are maybe three teachers from the past who would be happy if they never crossed paths with me again. However, all three are polite and friendly when we do meet, and will sometimes stop me and ask how difficult child 3 is going. Only one is really cold with me; her husband is one of the other two and the friend I mentioned above is the third. Of the others - I have been maintaing contact on a very friendly basis even after they have left the school where they taught, in some cases.

    That doesn't mean we always agreed when they taught my kid. But it does mean that when we had a problem, we resolved it, and I always did my utmost to see the teacher's point of view, even while keeping my own needs for my child at the forefront. "I understand how this teacher's job is so difficult; but these things MUST be done for my kid."

    It's a lot more difficult for a parent to attack you for being too demanding and unrealistic in your expectations, if you have already anticipated the teacher's problems and provided your own solution for them.