Tuesday, October 28, 2008

AND it never ends.........

I send an email to the principal telling her a teacher emailed me at home.....WILLING to do whatever it takes to help Noah in the science lab tomorrow....asking for helpful hints.etc. I gave praise......then I get an email back from her about my last response below......

Again, this is not meant to sound "attitude" y I am just explaining it to you as they explain it to me. The staff feels thwarted when the days events are described to you (sometimes even positive events). It is perceived that you immediately become defensive and find fault with them in their teaching or techniques. Then numerous emails come from home and again, I am not trying to be harsh, but many of them are condescending or include barbs to the staff. They are trying very hard and they just feel kicked and beat down at every turn. It is taking a toll on the health of some of them.
When you talk with _____ _____ , you may want to talk with her about the autism scholarship if you think this isn't the best place for him (per your comments, "This is not acceptable. This cannot possibly be the "best" of scenarios for Noah.")
We are trying.
My response........

That is interesting because I feel many (including your own emails such as this one) are condescending to me. Sorry..it is what it is I guess across the board. EVEN in the IEP meetings when you have NUMEROUS times voiced your strong opinions about being against homeschooling. The WAY you said it was extremely condescending like you feel there is no way possible a homeschooled child could ever get all he would need to succeed in the world or I or any parent could possibly teach them. See...it is a funny thing isn't it? How one perceives things. I chose to not let that bother me or stop me from doing what was best for Noah. I ignored your comment and left it as YOUR opinion which meant nothing to me.

I had just sent a word of praise via email to you about _____ _____ and her extra efforts in keeping a line of communication open.....and her willingness to do anything she can to help Noah within her class...etc.

Then I get this. This only adds fuel to a fire that need not be flamed any further and I am doing my best to avoid that.

As far as all this taking a toll on THEIR HEALTH? Well what about MY health or Noah's? Come on......I LIVE with Noah. I also work from home. He and I both pay the price for these emotionally overloaded days and it makes it nearly impossible for me to work. I won't even go there as far as things taking a toll on their health. Please do not get me started.

AGAIN I am NOT receiving ANY communication from the staff. I have NOT now for a long long time (until today when _____ _____ emailed me). I do not understand how I can have any reaction to anything if I am not being told anything. However...by NOT being told anything it sets me up to have a bad attitude yes. It would anyone. I resent not being informed of things pertaining to Noah or his needs within the school.

I also find it interesting we had NONE of these types of issues over and over again last year.

I inquired and received information 2 years ago about the autism scholarship. Unless a provider is listed for our area......it does me little good unless I get a provider added I would want to use with Noah. It is not like I can send him to some private school and they pay for it. Are you hinting to me that this is the only other option the school district has for Noah if your school cannot provide for his needs?

These are the types of issues we need to discuss at the IEP. Again I ask you what options the school has for Noah if we cannot come to some resolution. I ask it now as the 30 minutes in the IEP meeting if we can have it....is not going to be enough time to also discuss all these options.

Also just a reminder that I will hold off on signing any amendments to the IEP until I can come home and look the paperwork over thoroughly to make sure we are not missing anything.

BUT I have to be honest and say this _____, at this point you have now unfortunately made it very difficult for me to send Noah back to the school because unfortunately HE will pay the price for disagreements between you, me and the staff. That is not fair to Noah and not a very professional way of handling the matter. Unfortunately the ONLY communication that has remained open is the one feeding all the negativity back and forth.

and her final response:

I will not respond to you via email any longer as I have obviously upset you and that was the least of my intention. I only mentioned the autism scholarship because it was spoken about at a meeting I attended approximately two weeks ago. I am not the expert on that, but _____ would probably have more information. I hope you can talk with her.

NO answers again provided to me about WHAT OPTIONS the school has for Noah......if we cannot meet a resolution. See the sudden CUT OFF of anything when I confront them with direct questions? I am a parent who gives a crap about my child's grades and when I email a teacher asking WHY he got a D on the response letter thing for reading did I EVER HEAR BACK??? NO.......NOT EVER!!!! That is UNACCEPTABLE TO ME. WHAT? Do they think it is none of MY business?? That I am not allowed to be informed of WHAT they teach him or HOW they teach it or question their grading system? Come on....... I email asking for explanations of what happened on a given day when Noah went from the green zone to yellow to red and they cannot tell me? EVEN A WEEK LATER NO explanation????? I cannot accept that. That makes it appear they are hiding crap even if they are not. My tax dollars are paying their salary and you damn well better believe I am going to make sure they are TEACHING.

They probably rarely get a parent asking any questions about their child in school. Most just send their kid off for the day assuming their child will be taken care of and taught whatever. NO questioning...no checking up on the system.....etc. I guess the teachers feel scrutinized? Well they should by the way they are acting. They don't like to be checked on to make sure they are doing their jobs I think is what it comes down to!

if their goal was to royally piss me off they have succeeded. The sad thing is this does nothing to help Noah.


Jack and Joann said...

Well, they need feed back from you and they need to stay on their toes. A demanding parent is a good parent and it will make every educator a better educator--from the principal on down to the brand new student teacher.

They need to realize that if they can't take the heat, well they better get out of the kitchen! Most parents should be a lot more envolved with the education of their kids and educators.

I am afraid many times the teachers stick around in the classroom long after they have lost their effectiveness. It is like they can't think of anything else to do in life.

Teaching is very stressful. That's why I think that teachers should be able to take a several year sabbatical and allowed to come back refreshed.

Another thing I think would be good. Treat educating kids like being in the military for 20 years. They should be able to retire with a retirement salary and then go on to another profession just like the military do. No questions asked as why the military are doing this very thing.

And can you imagine a doctor or lawyer or pilot or even a real estate person saying I can't meet with you or send you an email because I am all stressed out. What a cop out!

Betsy said...

I'm so sorry! I can't believe you sent a complimentary email and got all that crap back. :(

Maddy said...

Oh dear what a sorry state of affairs. I find that in my younger sons class all the parents are involved and the communication between staff and parents is brilliant.

In my older son's class I appear to be the only parent 'harassing' the staff. I wish I had something useful to say, but I can only send my empathy.
Best wishes to you and Noah.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

When I stop by to read your posts, I keep hoping there will be some improvement in the school situation . . . you must be at your wit's end, after all the attempts you've made to communicate with the staff. I hope you're able to come to a resolution soon. Take care.

Anonymous said...

why do you think that last year was so much better?

Anonymous said...

I meant that in a nice way-I was just wondering what is different this year.

Melinda said...

the staff was more willing to tolerate the differences in Noah and accommodate for his needs and they were willing to educate themselves further on autism. I found out today it is LAW that the teachers and anyone working with a child with autism in a public school ...have specific AUTISM training and education. MOST if not all the teachers he worked with this year are not qualified..some never having any experience with an autistic child let alone undergoing any formal education which the principal told me was VOLUNTARY on their part.......I have since found out it is REQUIRED in order for them to provide an "appropriate" education for your autistic child.

Noah also was not in an inclusive classroom ....where he never got pulled out to go to a smaller-sized classroom which is one of the main things he referred to yesterday that bothered him. Being in the big classroom all the time with all the kids and all the sounds and sights, etc...was overwhelming to him. Last year he got pulled out from time to time to go to a smaller resource classroom setting which provided him a break. They did not feel he needed that this year. Academically he does not....but emotionally....behaviorally....etc....
he does.