difficult child's teacher called again the other night. Turned into a very frustrating 45 minute conversation. I swear I just wanted to stick a sock in her mouth. I had a difficult child moment, several even, I was extremelly irritated, angry, disappointed and frustrated beyond belief with his teacher. Ok, so when difficult child moved home with me back at end of November, for the first time EVER he was failing, his report card came home 2 days after moving home and he had a 35% average. At March break his 2nd term report came back and he'd pulled himself up since living home to a 67% average. I was so impressed that difficult child managed this while also managing to maintain positive behaviours, adjusting to living back home, death of his uncle at Christmas time, some painful learning experiences about grandmonster #1 and #2 and about bio-dad. Now difficult child indeed DOES need to do something about getting organized, not procrastinating on assignments, bringing his agenda home to be signed every day from school etc. To me, this needs to improve but is small potatoes compared to old difficult child issues. He is making progress, slow but steady. As a mom who is learned to really appreciate the hard work difficult child has done to make great changes, they are super small potatoes. Not to the school. NOTHING will satisfy this school. Because difficult child is very intelligent, his main teacher and the principal continue to call his current B- grades "sub-standard based on difficult child's intellectual capabilities". Ok, they have a point, to a degree. difficult child, in another world, maybe just another time (baby steps, he's getting there) he could be a straight A student. However a person is not only made up of intelligence but also emotional capabilities, mental, etc etc. I have tried over and over to help the school understand that difficult child has made huge strides, and that rather than pointing out over and over that difficult child "could get better grades because he is smart enough", perhaps they could try encouraging difficult child to continue the current path and praise him to a degree for the progress he has made. I believe that it is working at home, that approach is building difficult child's very low self esteem and confidence and helping him try a little harder than normal, thus the huge improvement in his grades. So anyhow, I get this call from his main teacher. She was all over the place and after about 5 minutes where she basically ragged about difficult child "compared to other intelligent boys in the class" I stopped her mid sentence and asked her to please explain the actual point/reason for her call since she was all over the place and I was unsure what the purpose of the call was about. Was difficult child in trouble? Is he being difficult? Acting inappropriatly? Late assignments? Incomplete homework? Well no, not at all. The problem? "difficult child is capable of much higher grades and we are tired of watching him not work to his potential and continue to hand in work that is not reflective of his true capabilities". HUH???? This AGAIN? I had just had it with this teacher. I told her difficult child was working harder than he has since he was very young. He is not happy in this school and is not encouraged by the school in any way, nor are his efforts acknowledged in any way. Rather he is being discouraged by constant comments from teacher and principal that he is "capable of more" and that what he does is never good enough. Self esteem and confidence are addressed as serious issues in difficult child's IEP, and there are tools in the IEP that are effective with difficult child to help with these areas. I told her that difficult child often comes home with a new assignment and once completed with my approval after I check the work, he will tell me that "Mrs. M and Mrs.J are just going to say that this isn't good enough anyhow, I shouldn't even bother". This has gotten worse from him the harder he tries. He has a assignment due today that is a fairly large one. He put quite alot of work into it, more than any assignment all year. He told me he bets it will just be criticized. Sadly he is right, he will be. difficult child's teacher refused to believe that it wasnt' "helpful to push difficult child with this technique which will help him reach his true potential". Are you kidding me? He put alot of effort into this assignment to make a point, that it still wont' be enough for this woman. She'll still want "better". He has such a loathing of school at this point and is counting days till school ends because he'll switch to high school next year and away from this teacher and principal. Well the teacher carried on and on and I asked some hard hitting questions. She had no responses, got defensive, starting listing all of the things she's "gone out of our way to do for difficult child". I finally got so ticked off I asked if she was done now, because if she would quit repeating the same opinions over and over just in different words, perhaps I could respond. She shut up. Thank God. I explained again how it was in fact harming difficult child and was unacceptable to put difficult child down for his work and that it was making difficult child feel like a "loser". It was embarassing him in front of his peers and that in turn was making him angry and definitly is not goign to provoke more efforts from him to satisfy her of all people when he now sees her as someone who will never be content. Then came a big issue that I'd been unsure of how to handle but had to be dealt with. This teacher is acting principal when principal is away. In her place is a teacher that used to be MY teacher when i was a student at this school as a child. This guy has humiliated difficult child often in class. He was asked the definition one day of a certain type of angle in math class. He'd missed the previous class due to being at pediatrician for his hand tremors. He told the teacher he did not know the answer. This teacher snapped at difficult child (in front of entire class) that if he can't figure out the definition of a simple angle in grade 8 math, perhaps he won't be progressing to grade 9 at all" then he went further and said "it's bad enough you got expelled last June from the last school with how many suspensions? How often were the police there for you? How many times did family kick you out? When will you learn" etc. difficult child walked out of classroom and left school and came home to me in tears. He was suspended for leaving grounds. Nothing was done regarding the teacher. He continues on tirades like this pertaining to difficult child. So this came up talking to main teacher during this call. I told her what the heck do you want from a 14 year old boy? Why does he even have a IEP? Because certainly you do not treat your special needs students as "individuals", that all kids are obviously meant to be straight A, perfect children who hand in top notch work every time. I asked if there was room in her school for students who are a work in progress and who need "individual" consideration. If not, I recommended that perhaps her and I attend the school board office to see head of Special Education department and explain the director how her school is incapable of balancing the needs of students academically, emotionally, behaviourally etc. I was ticked off everyone. This school gets away with humiliating my son in front of the classroom, nothing is done about it. I told the school difficult child has my permission any time this particular teacher crosses that line to public humiliation and violating school policy by stating confidential student information in front of other students (ie. talking about difficult child's history at old school in front of class), to just walk out of that class room. Originally it was that he was to quietly walk out rather than act out (ie. telling teacher where to go), go to office and speak with principal or acting principal (difficult child's regular main teacher) about what just happened. Well quickly difficult child realized he had no voice in that office, that it doesnt matter what the teacher says, he is to shut up and deal with it, and if he was being the A student he is smart enough to be, he wouldn't hear comments like that. So our deal switched to just walk out and walk home when this teacher does this. If I force difficult child to listen to that I am first sending him a message this is ok, it is NOT. And second, difficult child is going to blow up and end up out of control either swearing and screaming at teacher or throwing something or whatever. Not fair to set difficult child up that way. And I don't agree with this teacher even being in a classroom, let alone being allowed to continue acting this way. This school will never get it. I at one point told the teacher to lose the condescending tone because I am not some intimidated pre-teen sitting in her office to be scolded, I was her peer and she should speak to me as such or we could try the conversation another day when she was willing to treat a students parent with dignity and respect. At one point I told her that for a Catholic school supposedly basing their teachings on Christian values, I am stunned they continue to refuse to practice what they preach and teach by example in their treatment of students. I was told difficult child is 14 years old, he is a man now, he should be challenging himself. I told her 14 is a "young" man, not a grown mature woman such as herself with restraint that comes with maturity. I told her she would quit a job where she was treated like she was no good in all of her work, but difficult child is a child with no power at school and in my mind humiliation and constant negative messages was a abuse of that power. I told her that it IS a challenge very single day for difficult child to walk into that school and hear things like he isnt' good enough, his work isn't good enough, he "could be" a good student if he only produced more, did more, gave more, etc. I said it is a challenge every day for him to not tell you all to go to hell and refuse to ever walk back in the door to her school. I told her it is a challenge everyday and testement to just how hard difficult child is working to do well that he continues to show up and do work at all. Given difficult child's behaviour history she is lucky that he is at this point maintaining himself out of respect for me, but definitly not out of respect for her or the other staff at this school. God, I was boiling. Yes, I turned difficult child. I finally told her look, if difficult child beats someone up, fails to do homework, is swearing or breaking school code, call me. That we have to deal with each other for 2 more months until summer break and that I would not listen anymore to how difficult child isn't living up to "her standard" and finished by saying that I especially won't listen anymore to those in glass houses who throw stones. She said she was confused and didnt' know what was meant. I told her well I happened to read about one of her children on a MSN conversation and perhaps she best use her energys at home for some positive intervention before her 13 year old girl gets herself pregnant. God, that was below the belt for me, I dont' feel proud of myself. But there it was just sitting in my wealth of information (ammunition?) about what is actually going on amongst the other students in difficult child's school, including her children. I then stated that perhaps when her and her husband go out for an evening she might install some computer cams to catch what is happening because difficult child wasnt' at the party at her home but alot of other students were, and perhaps her husband should check for diluted liquor in his cabinet etc. I asked if it would be appropriate for me to spread this info around to humiliate her daughter and her personally? Of course not,and I was woman enough never to do it. COuld she start using some common sense with my child in return. I hung up. I crossed a line, I was pushed but it doesnt' make it okay. I am counting the days along with difficult child till this school year is over. I said more, she said more, it is just much along the lines of all I typed already. By the end both of us were beyond frustrated and angry. I don't like her, I could care less if she likes me. I have worked with this school, difficult child has worked with this school, but when does it become their job to work back with us? Argh! I thought I was over losing my cool with people in situations like this. Even worse, this call was after school and difficult child came in during the middle of the call and got an earful of the conversation, from my end anyhow. *deep breaths* Just a vent!