Please allow me to introduce myself

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sarge, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. sarge

    sarge New Member

    I'm a first grade, regular education teacher. I'm not a parent.

    I came across this forum when I googled "emotionally disturbed label." That was right after I googled "school to prison pipeline" and "zero tolerance permanent records." That should give you an idea of my perspective on things.

    Recent events, in the news, at my school, in my classroom, have sparked a strong personal interest in the negative way in which educators like myself often exacerbate the behaviors of certain students and actually cause problems rather than solve them. And by "educators like myself" I am admitting that I have often found myself guilty of many of these things.

    Some day, I'd actually like to prove quantitatively that many of the problems that the parents on this board are facing have been made worse by the curriculum changes in public education that have caused subjects like art, p.e., music, and even science to be pushed out in favor all math and reading all day long. Moreover, teaching itself is being transformed as well. Programs like Open Court and teaching methods like "direct instruction" have greatly increased the amount of "teacher talk" that students must endure throughout the day. As one teacher I know put it, "Instead of letting the kids read, we spend all day lecturing them about reading."

    Then, on top of all this, you have the added stresses to teachers that have been brought upon by high stakes standardized testing. This stress is easily passed on to students, both intentionally and unintentionally, by educators. Now, we all know that adults can be pushed over the edge by workplace stress. Now, picture the same stresses placed upon a nine year old who doesn't have the coping mechanism that adults have and who has neurological predisposition that causes them to act out under such stress. The difference is when an adult has a work-related nervous breakdown, they usually take some sick days, or perhaps a vacation and return to work when they are better. But when kids have school-related nervous breakdowns, they get punished, detained, segregated, and labeled "emotionally disturbed."

    I could go on. Hopefully, I will.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome! It sounds like you are going to be one of the teachers that help.

    If you haven't already, I'd strongly suggest reading "Lost At School" by Ross Greene.
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Welcome. Hopefuly you can read some stories from the other side: parents and kids trying to navigate the school system despite invisible disabilities.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for recognizing that there is such a thing as "school-related nervous breakdowns".... we've been there done that.

    Some things to think about and/or research... These are hidden disabilities with huge impact.
    1) Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - developmental coordination disorder. There is really good info including school-specific info, here:

    2) APDs - auditory processing disorders. Most educators are at least somewhat aware of the classical form of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), sometimes called Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), that affects the processing/comprehension of verbal language. It can be missed in its milder forms. But there are other APDs too... and these are far more invisible. I don't know all of them, but one is "auditory figure ground" - difficulty making out the "important" sounds in the presence of background noise. Classrooms are noisy - even a very well run classroom is noisy from an auditory processing standpoint. Paper rustling, pencils dropping, the hum of the florescent lights, etc. With the increased use of verbal instruction, has come a reduction in backing this up with written in some form... on the black/white board, on paper, wherever. Just for your interest as an educator... the in-class symptoms for these APDs look exactly like the variations of ADHD!

    Thanks for wanting to learn and wanting to work with parents like us...
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Welcome and thank you for your interest. You will find many teachers on this board who are also parents of difficult child kids. (we are not immune of course) I agree you should read Lost in School (and his other books) as well as reading the archives here on this board. There are some amazing teachers in lousy schools and lousy teachers in amazing schools and all other combinations. Many of us find that the teachers may try but administration stomps on their efforts. Others have the opposite.

    It will be nice getting to know you.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Welcome to the board. I wish my daughter's elementary school teachers had been as interested and concerned as you. It may have very well made a difference had school felt like a safe place for her early on. Now, at 17, my daughter's school-related nervous breakdown has her being charged as a delinquent child for chronic truancy (for being absent without a "legitimate excuse") for missing school when she was psychotic and severely depressed. And for fun, they are charging me with aiding and abetting. I'm actually facing jail time. It probably won't happen because I have half a ream of paper of the printed emails back and forth with school officials during the time period in question, and we have documentation from a psychiatrist. But this gives you an idea of what we've personally dealt with with our school district, and what we're still dealing with even after I pulled her out of this district.

    I'm a bit jaded at this point. School has been hell for my child since the second grade. It wasn't easy before that, but second grade is when it completely fell apart.