Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Perspective. It's not easy.

I am so fucking angry right now. I was all set to go into this I.E.P. meeting (Intervention Education Program) to see how to set new goals for my youngest daughter and to see where her dad and I can help her succeed.

Turns out she needs more help than we thought. As a parent you want what's best for your child. As a parent you want them to succeed and you want the world for them. You don't want them stuck in a dead end job making minimum wage.

If there is one thing I wanted for any and all of my kids (step-kids included) is I want them to be whatever their hearts desire. I don't want them thinking that all they will be good for is a menial job working for minimum wage whatever that is at the time.

So we went through all the stuff they wanted us to know like where she is with her reading skills and everything else. Her math skills are not where we want them to be, She has a low threshold on tolerance for math and when she doesn't get something she has just started recently to give up. Ken and I have to fight tooth and nail to get her to do any of her math homework.

She is a second grader and as all of us know the way they are teaching these kids now isn't how we all learned growing up so its all new to us too. Their teaching methods are different, they are implementing things that we didn't learn until later; now. Its somewhat of a jumbled mess.

So her test scores were severely low, she is way under the national and district average on those test scores where it basically means her comprehension and everything is below what a normal second grader is.

Now I understand that they want her to perform at a certain level but you would think it would be different for each kid based on their independent needs and personalities. But it seems as if we are raising a bunch of rocket scientists or robots where learning is just one style and you can't work at your own pace and you can't do it in a way that makes sense to you.. you have to do it their way.

So here she is struggling along doing the best she can and it isn't good enough. They can only give her so much help. Her speech language pathologist and the other special ed teachers are helping her and I believe them when they say that they are doing everything they can to help her but when they look you straight in the face and say.. its not good enough... its enough to tear your heart out.

It's even worse when the school principle looks you dead in the face and patronizes you and tells you all the redeeming qualities of your child yet with a backhanded compliment tells you "Bottom line, your child is one point from being considered mentally retarded." And then goes on to say she hopes we understand what they are saying.. I guess she was using the royal implement because the main teacher and each of the aides said otherwise. They knew I understood it. Makes me wonder if she was doing it for Kenny's benefit.

All the keeps running through my head at this point is how much I love my child and how much these teachers mean to her and to have to break my heart by telling me that if it weren't for one point they would consider her no better than a child with Downs.

We have more goals set up for her to help her with her Speech and Language. We have ideas running through to come up with a plan to give her an incentive to not give up. We are going to step up our game but try not to burn her out of school before she has a chance to see that this is important.

NOW I will tell you that she is a smart child. We just have to figure out a way that makes sense to her and at the same time lets us adults know that she understands it. I believe that she can and will succeed and not end up like they said where she has to have a job where repetition is key for her to succeed. I want her to do and be what she wants to be... SCREW what every one else says and I will keep praying that she proves the principle wrong.

Because of the NCLB act they are going to pass her into the third grade because they can't hold her back. Not sure holding her back is even gonna help her in the respects of having her understand that its to help not punish. They were talking about a behavioral plan and I strongly and firmly told them they need to make sure she knows its not because she was bad. It is just to make sure she is focused on the school work. They were thinking of an incentive plan like rewarding her after she does five problems or questions and I thought and told them what a horrible idea because then she would be like Pavlov's dog and expect a reward after every good thing she did. Kenny and I can't afford to do that. Because we would want to keep up with the reward system it will break us. It will turn her into a spoiled brat as well. So I said that I didn't want her relying on getting something all the time for a job well done. I mean praise her for what she did and for the work she did but having a material possession is like a crutch and if she knows she will get that crutch its not teaching her anything but to get that prize. If that makes sense.

We found out tonight that they are going to move 3rd grade to Rendezvous school so instead of k- 3 it will be k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 in our schools.

She is terrified of change. Our son will be in 4th grade next year. Had they not made the decision to move 3rd up to the other school, my daughter would be at her current school by herself while her brother would go on to 4th and put them in separate schools. There is a 14 month difference between her brother and her and its like they are twins and to separate them is torture on them even when they don't get along.

So now that they are moving 3rd grade up there it will keep her and her brother together and hopefully be easier on her to accept the change. She was told of lockers and changing classes and you can imagine what that does for a little kid who is used to having her materials like pencils and books in her desk. Now the burden of a locker makes it to where she will have to be responsible for having all her materials for that specific class with her at the appropriate times. While I am confident she will learn how to be responsible for her things it also makes me mad that they aren't transitioning these kids better so that they will know how to work their locks on their lockers and make sure they have the right things for the class.

 Bottom line is We want her to succeed. The aides want her to succeed and the principle doesn't want us to be disappointed when she can't succeed so she tells us I guess as a comfort that our child isn't destined to succeed and we need to be aware of that. It's like she is setting our child up for failure before she get a chance to prove herself.

Thank you for reading this far. This day has been long and horrible in respects to stress. Probably shouldn't go to work tomorrow because of the massive migraine I am sporting today but MY success at attaining my goals would be that much further away and I can't afford to take off from work.

Parents tell your kids how PROUD you are of them no matter what. That is the most important thing besides telling them you love them and wanting what's best for them. Your praise to them means more than ice cream and candy even when they don't see it that way, they will learn to know that it is. If there was anything or any one thing I could teach my kids, it's that they can do and be whatever they want and that they can change something they don't like by working hard and asking for help. They have my support in anything they pursue no matter how frivolous. 

1 comment:

handflapper said...

Whoa! As a special education teacher who has written many behavior plans that included incentives or "rewards" for student achievement, I have to argue that this would not turn your daughter into a Pavlov's dog or spoiled brat. Incentives don't have to be big things. They don't even have to cost money. And kids who are not succeeding and not enjoying school need something extra to motivate them. How often do we, as adults, keep trying something that we continually fail at? Not often. How many of us get up and go to our jobs just because we love our workplace? We don't. Our incentive is a paycheck.

I think a WELL-WRITTEN behavior plan is an excellent idea to help your daughter with her math difficulties. It's not so much to change her behavior, but to change what has to be a negative experience for her into a positive one. I would be happy to offer some suggestions you could in turn give to her teachers if you are interested.

And that principal should be slapped. By and large, administrators are administrators because they couldn't cut it in the classroom, don't like kids, and don't know the first damn thing about teaching.