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teacher troubles


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Mar 08, 2002 at 5:43:10 PM
Subject: teacher troubles

Hi-

I know many of you have been here before, and just reading the threads have made me feel better already, but I am still facing a teacher who is blaming my son for 'not learning her way'.

He is currently in the third grade and has been diagnosed LD since the first half of first grade. Other years have gone OK, but this year he has a teacher who has a rough class with lots of kids who need special help. To make matters worse, we live in Texas with high-stakes testing (TAAS) starting in the third grade. This puts a lot of pressure on the teachers.

We have a notebook, where the teacher and I write notes back and forth about every other day. Today's note came home saying, once again, that he doesn't listen, she explains and he doesn't get it, she is giving him too much extra help and modifications and he (and us) are not doing our share. This is despite all the pre-teaching we do, the hour or more of homework a night, etc. She knows we do all of this and we are trying alternate teaching methods at home.

What do you do with a teacher who won't do anything any other way? Everything is always negative- there are no good comments. She makes IEP modifications (to a point) but doesn't seem to understand the reason behind them. If he isn't reading on a third grade level, then how does he read the questions on the test? She never thinks of this. Oral assessments? Of course but she doesn't have the time to do everything orally with him. (Just ask her).

We are at wits end and thinking about moving to another teacher- but it would only be for the lst 9 weeks. Has anyone tried this? Any thoughts? I am so glad spring break is this week- it will let the emotions die down and let me get organized.

Thanks- Lori

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 08, 2002 8:26:35 PM

Obviously, it's a bad situation for your son and you have an aggressive teacher who is probably incompetent as well. You are not the ones who implement his IEP. It is the school's responsibility to implement. First thing I would do is request an immediate IEP meeting. While they are busy scheduling that...weeks in advance...you can get on this board and figure out your presentation. Request the IEP BEFORE spring break, in writing, certified. Perhaps you ned more testing...that can be hashed out as well, but please, for the sake of your son, don't delay.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 08, 2002 8:57:40 PM

I can understand your frustrations but it sounds like you are not going to get anywhere with her, sounds like she is either burned out or too set in her ways. Have you thought about trying an assistive listening device to help him with paying attention in the classroom? An auditory trainer will help with his auditory memory too.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 08, 2002 9:22:51 PM

Boy do I sympathize. We also started the year with a teacher with the same attitude. No matter how hard my son tried it wasn't enough. She couldn't bring herself to say anything nice. She had him so stressed out that he was failing tests when he knew the material cold.

We switched him to a new class in late January. It was a hard decision... In the 5th grade, our kids have 2 general ed teachers, and of course my son also has a SPED teacher. We liked the SPED teacher and the language arts teacher a lot, and he was doing fine with both of them. But the teacher for math/science/S.S. was setting a negative tone for every day that was not only ruining his school days, but spilling over into our home life as well.

It was one of the best decisions we have ever made. The new teachers are a breath of fresh air. The home work load has been cut drastically, just by changing classes. In the old class, his home work was modified by half, plus he was working on homework in the resource room for a total of 130 minutes a week AND spending an hour and 1/2 at night. Now he's still doing homework help 30 minutes, 3 days a week after school, but no more resource during the school day, and on the days he has homework help, he often finishes his homework so there's nothing left to do when he gets home.

Funny thing, in the class with all the homework, he failed a number of tests. He hasn't gotten a test score below 90% in the new class. Was the homework helping him? I don't think so.

Best of all, these teachers just have a totally different outlook. They don't see every piece of his IEP as a "bother" but as common-sense things to help a bright kid with a disability learn the best that he can. If he gets something wrong, instead of writing "unsatisfactory" across it in scrawling read letters, there's a note saying, "I think we need to go over this again, see me later, OK?"

The teacher even went to the trouble of getting a new class photo taken that includes him. He has been welcomed into the class by both the teachers and the other kids, and he is blossoming there.

Even if there are only 9 weeks of school left, if you have a good teacher you can put him with, you can leave this grade with a good taste in his mouth, hopefully making him look forward to coming back to school in the fall. I'd do it again in a heart beat.

Karen

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 8:13:09 AM


Karen,
what an outstanding teacher! I am so glad to hear this:-) This lady deserves roses at the end of your school year:-) May god bless and keep teacher's like this.
Glad things are going so well for your son:-)

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 8:18:33 AM


Lori,
I would suggest that possibly request another IEP meeting. This can be a time for you to discuss his accomodations and whether they are working or not. This teacher,might be overwhelmed,she might be toxic,she might just be plain mean. Bottom line,she is LEGALLY obligated to follow his IEP,period. can't stop her from being negative,but you can certainly discuss concerns about your child's self esteem,and write additional goals to prevent her from exposing your son to anymore of it. If she is indeed overwhelmed,then the team will have to address it. Make sure you tape the meeting.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 11:02:59 AM

NT

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 11:06:12 AM

... I think I'd make a copy of the notebook -- with all those pleasant comments -- it should speak for itself so you don't have to say the lady's a bad teacher, just let the notebook make your case that gosh, the teacher is obviously as frustrated as the child and the situation is not working.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 8:00:44 PM

If the school permits you to switch him to a different classroom, by the time it's all said and done, you'll have only a few weeks in the year. It might be better to devote your time and energy to 'scoping out' next year's teachers. Find out if there's a teacher in the grade ahead you'd like your son to have. You have the right to go and observe any teacher. Put your ear to the ground and see if you can find a teacher in the next batch who has a reputation for really liking their work and valuing each child as an individual. One good teacher can make the taste of a bad one go away pretty fast. Then certainly request that teacher from the principal.

Teachers such as the one you describe are frustrating. As the parent of an LD son myself, sometimes they've even made me cry.

Good luck to you and your son.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Posted:Mar 10, 2002 1:51:21 AM

I would agree with Karen in moving him out too. My son had a terrible third grade - I call it the wasted year. The teacher, like yours, would just not cooperate. She called him lazy, disorganized and one time flipped his desk over because she said, "no wonder you can't find anything". My son could no longer take it and I could no longer take it. There comes a point where the spirit of the child should account for something. We moved him into the only other 3rd grade class at our school - in the last quarter. His spirit flourished, it didn't matter that he had to catch up on how the class operated, he wasn't learning anything in the other class. But being with a teacher that treated all the kids with respect and fairly- It made him work harder and He did learn alot in a short time. He also learned that it wasn't okay to be treated the way his first teacher treated him. It really also connected an "educational" bond between my son & myself - that he trusts me to help him and be on his side, that has lasted 6 years.(he is in 9th now). My only regret was not doing it sooner.

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