Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First week of School

Losing my mind.

Running around like a nut.

First week of school. Gah.


My son is staying in school. He likes his teacher. He likes his aide. They are letting him do his own work at his own pace and therefore he's not that anxious. Although, he did have one upset when the class went outdoors to do an exercises together. His IEP says no PE because large chaotic loud activities get him overstimulated, but I guess it didn't occur to anyone that it also applied to classroom stuff? I dunno. Bit of a head shaker there.

Littlest daughter is, of course, loving First Grade. She has homework and she's so proud. She stays the whole day, and she's so proud. She brings Lunch (or even better -- BUYS LUNCH) and loves, just loves, eating lunch in the big cafeteria.

Not so great news:

Neo was really upset on her first day of school. Tired. Anxious. Felt as if I spent too much time with the other kids after school. Really upset. She wrote a "cry for help" on her own blog that evening, which was disturbing enough that I took it down and had to call Dear Butcher to come home early to be with her on the second day of school. Now she says she's fine and it was all an overreaction. OK, but, uh, I have to take you seriously when you say serious things. Right? Jeez, welcome to the teenage years.

Last night a parent called -- a friend of littlest daughter said that she had been punched on the playground. What?

"Phebe, were you punched today?"

"Uh. No. Not really."

"Were you scared today on the playground?"

"Um, yeah."

"Was Grant scared on the playground?"


"Did he get hurt?"

"Well, he didn't get punched. But this other kid came over to us and pulled his arm really hard."

"Did you tell anyone? An adult?"

"Well, we sorta talked about telling someone, and we were gong to, but then we forgot."

Got that all straightened out and had to go in early to talk to her teacher about the incident and maybe letting First Graders know that they had to talk to adults about stuff that happened so they wouldn't be scared on the playground. Her teacher was really upset. Poor Phebe -- she didn't want to get anyone else in trouble.

Last bit of odd news regards Saul. Why is this always so frustrating?

Last year we made it super clear that there was one staff member who was not to come near Saul ever again. This was the woman who assaulted him in the hallway. Now, he's worked with her after that incident in a small room with another adult nearby, and has never expressed fear of her nor has he ever been impolite to her. However, he still talks about her and this summer at camp he was screaming her name when he was being restrained by the counselors. Again at the beginning of the year, we said that we did not want him near her.

Problem is, she's an aide for another boy in Saul's grade. That's fine. Those two work well together, and I don't want to insert myself into that boy's education.

Except, that boy's mom is a teacher in the school and she requested that her son have the classroom teacher that Saul has. OK, that's fine. The principal told me in early August that she had already told the mother/teacher that she could have her choice of aide or her choice of teacher, but she couldn't have both. That aide was not to be in that teacher's class. She chose the teacher. OK, fine. So she understands that the aide will not be in the class. "Yes," says the principal. "Her son only gets the teacher, and we'll find another aide for her son." Ok, whatever. Don't really know why you told me then.

School starts. The other boy has NO aide. They never hired a replacement. The Spec Ed teacher comes to me and says that she's surprised to see the other boy in that class and could she place the aide with that boy?

"Look, I don't want to be putting myself in his IEP. But I've made it clear that Saul is not to interact with her at all."

"If she's in the class, she won't be working with Saul. She'll be working with her own boy. Saul only has to work with his teacher and his aide. That's it."

"I'm not going to tell you what to do for that boy. It's none of my business. But I've made my point of view really clear."

"But I've seen them together. He's fine with her."

"Yes, that may be true. He tries very hard to be polite, and I think he's probably OK with her in general. But you were in the room with them, and he feels safe with you. He's an unpredictable child. I can't predict how he'll treat or react to her. I know he's expressed fear of her over the summer, and I don't want him being with her at all. I will not set up an environment were he's more likely to blow." And from there the conversation veered off into other topics.

Monday, he brought home three math problems, 22 fewer than the rest of the class, since he had done so much work in school. Very proud of himself.

Yesterday he brings home his corrected Math. It's been torn in half, crumpled, and taped back together again. At the top of the paper the number of wrong answers (3) is written. Usually he gets the number of right answers written down. (Which would have been 22/25.) OK, I sigh to myself, someone hasn't been told what he's used to when correcting his work. So he got it back, saw the number of wrongs and tore it up in frustration. Damn. And he was so proud of it too. Oh, well. I'll talk to the teacher this afternoon about it, or ask the Spec Ed teacher to mention it to him. No big deal.

Come to find out that the teacher didn't correct the math homework. It was the aide whom I never wanted in the class who corrected the entire class's work. What? What's she doing there? And why isn't she Working With Her Own Assigned Kid?

Fuck Fuck Fuck. So she's the one who wrote the thing down wrong. And she's ONCE AGAIN stepped outside of her assigned work to do stuff that she's not supposed to do. This is why I didn't want her in the class. Dammit.

But, all sighing aside, all three of my kids are in school. It's shocking, really. Look at all the laundry I could get done. Umm, yeah.


CindyS said...

Bloody hell!! You know I would ask myself why the parent would pick a teacher over a teacher and an aide for their child but it looks like the school has once again screwed the pooch on this one.

I mean really, do you go to the principal and push to not have that aide in the classroom? Would this then force them to go to the parents of the other child and let them know that their child is not being helped as of right now? I know if I was a parent and I knew that an aide had created a mess of a problem with another child I would be asking a lot of questions.

I think the school is clearly trying to have it's cake and eat it too.

I'm glad your little one is loving school. My Godson is going to be out of sorts for weeks when he goes to school full time. Poor monkey. On that note, I'm going to talk to him about what to do if anyone bothers him while outside. They keep the kindergardeners seperate but now he will be in gr. 1.

I hope Neo is better and yeah, I would think it's only the beginning. Being a teenager sucked ;)


Doug said...

All in all, it sounds like things are MOSTLY working out for everyone. Everyone except for Neo, that is. She really deserves more column inches on your blog :)

Suisan said...

Cindy, i work the system too, but I'm very careful to live within the limits. I may be better informed than the average bear, but I don't push for something because I sit in a position of authority. This thing has that feeling, which gets me twitchy.

Doug, done.