Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last time I was in the Principal's Office I threw up on her shoes.

So, I realize I left you hanging. I promised to let you know what happened with yesterday's school meeting. But I fell asleep last night on the floor of baby E's room with my arm in his crib and only woke up an hour and a half later. My arm was still asleep and I just went to bed. So, here it is.

Settle in, this is gonna be a long one. Although, since we've had stuff happen today, and will again tomorrow (to be further explained at the end), this may be lacking in some details.

Alright, so basically this is how yesterday's meeting with the counselor and principal went. P (principal): So, tell me what's been going on. Me: (blah, blah, blah - all that stuff y'all already know about). P: So, is he kicking, or hitting, or biting, or throwing desks? Me: Good, lord, no!!!!! P: So, I don't think he has this disorder. Let's call a spade a spade. Basically, what you're saying is that you don't like the way this teacher treats your child and that's why you wanted a 504 plan. Me: Um, well, he does meet the diagnostic criteria for an Adjustment disorder. P: (cuts me off) But all he's doing is just talking in class? So, obviously there's not big behavior problems. Me: Right, hitting and biting, etc... are not the diagnostic and behavioral features of this disorder. That might be oppositional defiant disorder or ADHD, or something else. This is Adjustment Disorder, and again, he does meet the diagnostic criteria. But, no, I don't like how she's treating my child. And yes, the 504 plan was a way to get my child's needs met, with trying to preserve our relationship with the teacher as best possible. P: Yeah, so, basically what you want is for her not to take away your kid's recess, not make him write sentences as a punishment, her to communicate regularly and for her to like him? Me: Yeah. P: That's reasonable and I expect that, too. Me (enormous sigh of relief, thankyoubabyjesus) Yeah, I thought so, too.

Then he said he'd like to talk to Mrs L before deciding what to do. He said he'd do that Friday afternoon because "I know all you parents think that if I talk to a teacher she'll treat your kids different". Me "I don't think it matters a bit what you say to her. She's not going to treat my child any differently. And I'd prefer that if we're going to switch him, it be decided by tomorrow, so we can discuss it with him and he can have Friday to process this change and say goodbyes to his classmates and teacher (and the assistant). "Oh. okay."

The plan was then that he'd talk with her today and call me and let me know what his decision was. According to him - and I don't know whether this is per policy or what - he has the final say so regarding whether or not we can get the kid's classroom changed. Overall, though I'd felt a little defensive and that he was pretty ticked off, I came away feeling like it was Mrs L he was irritated with (not me) and fairly satisfied with the whole thing.

So then I waited all day to hear from him. By 330 (school was out at 230 and the office closes at 3), I called to leave a message. He actually answered and said he hadn't had a chance to talk with her until the end of the day. He said she was "quite surprised and taken aback" by much of what I'd said. She didn't remember the emails we'd sent (other than one) or either of the notes I put in his folder for her. She confirmed that the reasons the kid gets in trouble is for talking when he isn't supposed to be. She was so confused because she assumed that "no news is good news", I guess as far as her not getting communication from us (though that's not accurate, as we made several attempts) and as far as her not contacting us.

P said he's not ruling out changing classrooms, but would like us to sit down with her tomorrow to talk. I want to do this even less than I want to get a shot. And the dear lord knows how much I hate me a shot. At this point, I don't care what she has to say. I want him in a different classroom. Nothing P says, nothing I say, is going to make Mrs L nurturing. Or like the kid. I like conflict as much as the next girl. So if this is going to get us nowhere other than in an extremely uncomfortable spot, what's the point?

Oh, yes, and the (very important!!!) thing I forgot to mention, is that I did meet with that other parent. She confirmed nearly everything the kid's been telling us. (And I really liked her, too! And not just because she said what I wanted to hear either, lol.) The short of it is that Mrs L has little group of her favorites, and her little group of not favorites. And she treats the two groups very differently.

So, if an independent set of eyes is getting this same thing - the exact same thing my 5 year old is telling me - seems like there's about a 99.9% chance that it's true. Not that I can/should say that to her. But I'm pretty sure it's all I'll be thinking about.

Okay, so here's what I've come to after an hour of talking all this over with my mom and hubby. I will be going in and flat out saying that I'm not interested in making things work for the kid in Mrs L's room. her environment is not in which my child is being successful, or happy. I am going to ask and if necessary demand that he be moved to another room/teacher. I can only hope that it will be that easy. I know it won't. It's going to suck. Mostly I know that I don't want to cry.

Today's lesson: Sometimes you really don't know how much you'll miss something til it's gone. For us, that means the kid's Montessori school. Dear lord how I miss that place and the wonderful people in it.


Peg said...

Good Luck!!! Stick to your guns. She is in the wrong and listening to her excuses, etc. isn't worth your time. Your sweet "kid" deserves so much better.

Sending you positive "anti-cry" vibes tomorrow morning!

Elizabeth said...

oof! I just read through a bunch of back posts to get up to date on this story - wow. You are your child's best advocate, you know him best, truly, and you are a rock star for sticking to your guns against this dismissive, disrespectful teacher. It really sounds like she's just decided not to like him and has written him off. Hope you can get him out of there stat!

(aka E Phantzi)

Special K said...

Good luck to you! Also sending "anti-cry" vibes!