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Update on last weeks problem

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Mar 08, 2002 at 11:00:51 PM
Subject: Update on last weeks problem

HI, remember last weeks problem,it's always somethng! Anyway, you know the problem where the principal called my son and said tell your mother we aren't going to fax science homework to her anymore....etc, etc.
WEll, finally after 2 days of unreturned phone calls from the special ed director, I heard from her. She said" oh my, I'll go the school today and talk with them and get back to you" That was 2 days ago, today the LD teacher called me at work and ask if I could come for a meeting with him (the LD teacher) and the science teacher next week, concerning the problem with my son and science. He also said he thought my son should be in the meeting. Well, I don't! The meeting is suppose to be to find ways to help my son in class. I've met with this teacher numerous times and she is always very negative toward my son....he doesn't try, he doesn't pay attention, he needs to be more responisble, he doens't follow along in his book when the class reads (gee, wonder why, maybe because he can't read). I don't think he needs to be in a meeting hearing all these negative comments about himself, he already has very low self esteem. My son hates confrontations of any kind. I feel like it would be best for the adults to met, and then I will discuss with my son at home, what he needs to do to help himself. Am I being unreasonable, by not wanting to put him in this meeting? Is there a anything that says he has to be there? I also plan on showing the teacher examples of times I have ask for help, so I can help him and she has ignored my requests. I don't think he needs to hear this either. He already has little respect for this woman, because of the way she treats him, and I can't help but think, hearing mom confront her with these situations, will only worsen the problem.

I've already decided that if things don't go as I want at this meeting I'm asking for mediation. I'm just going to say that maybe I'm expecting to much or maybe the school is so I feel we need an impartial 3rd party to evaluate the problem and give us direction. Is this the right approach? I've got to find a solution, because he'll have this same woman again next year and there is no way around it. Also,does anyone know if I can homeschool him for one subject only. I have thought that if I could just homeschool him for this one subject he would have to learn more. I'm sure I could spend a much more effective hour a day on this subject and teach him more than she is. Does anyone know if this would even be an option? My other problem is he would still have to be at schol during that time, because it's right in the middle of the day, and I work.
I'll welcome any suggestion, as well as your thoughts on the meeting/

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 30, 2014
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 12:04:31 AM

I agree that your son should not be at the meeting. Since this is middle school and credit is not the issue I would go for a change of placement for science. Have your son assigned to a resource/study hall class and homeschool him for this subject. The teacher will not change.

Once you get this issue behind you I suggest that you make an appointment to view your son's special education file. Get copies of all reports of testing that you do not have. If testing is old either ask for reevealuation or an IEE. I know you don't want to think about this now but you need to get a handle on your son's current level and ability and develop a program plan where he will get remediation. He will drown in high school.

Helen

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 7:25:32 AM

Have the meeting including the special education director, without your son, and ask at that meeting if all present think your son can be successful in these classes; say you would like a review of your son's previous testing, IQ and achievement. It is possible that this program may not be appropriate for your son, but you won't know without accurate testing to settle the matter.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 8:48:28 AM


Hey Kathy.
What is to be discussed? The conversation with the principal or discussion of homework?If this teacher is being negative to your son in school without you being present,is it possible that seeing you standing up for him in regards to this,would be empowering to him?
You know your son better then anyone else,but seems like your son has developed strength and preserverance. I firmly believe he got this from his Mom:-)
Maybe he needs to hear that he has the LEGAL right to expect an educational enviroment that is free of harassment,negativity,and discrimination. Maybe this teacher should be told this in front of your son?
Maybe you could reinforce your position of insisting that they legally follow your son's IEP?

You could insist,in writing,that if a meeting is to take place that it be an IEP and that all players are present to discuss the implementation of his IEP.Not just the LD teacher and reg ed teacher,but the sped director and the principal.If a refusal to fax homework home is being made,and this is was decided would be the way for him to get homework assignments home,then you could request that they put this refusal in writing.You could insist that this be placed on the IEP,or what other way they want to make sure assignments get home.
One thing I always came back with when they would insist that my son be responsible for it,was that yes,he should be,let's figure out a way to help him learn this skill.When you want a kid to learn something,you teach him how to do it,you don't expect a skill,without teaching it first.
If they want to play games,they won't stop playing them with your kid when your not present.This is my biggest concern.Give him a hug for me.And by the way give yourself one too!

Now homeschooling. A lot of people have homeschooled part time. It would depend on your state's laws in regards to homeschooling. I would read these very carefully,lot's of people have been told other things besides what their state exactly says regarding this. For example in my state parents have been told they are not qualified,or that they would be arrested for truancy. All of which is BS,our state states that they can homeschool and the kid has a right to participate in any other class in public school they want to participate in.
Don't know,it sounds like a great way to circumvent this teacher,check into the possiblity of homeschooling for science,might be a way to not have to deal with this teacher next year.

No matter what happens,no matter what they say,no matter how far off the track they go,remeber Kathy you are the parent,and they can not impose anything that hasn't been discussed in whatever venue you want to discuss it in. YOU are an equal member of your kids educational team.The P in IEP stands for program,not plan.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 10:25:17 AM

Just out of curiosity I looked up Ohio's Homeschooling. Here is an address for you.
http://www.ode.state.oh.us/school_options/home-schooling/admincode.asp

Good Luck Kathy. My prays are with you.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 10:36:13 AM

Thanks everyone for the comments. This meeting is suppose to be so we can figure out how to help my son in science class. The LD teacher says he's seems to have given up. Which is probably true, because as the prinicpal told him, it doesn't matter what we do you fail science anyway. Now, I'm sure that comment really helped to motivate him. At the last meeting I had with this teacher she said things like, there are all kinds of kids in this class that have learning difficulties that have never been addressed, what you're asking for isn't really fair to them. Well, I hate to sound cold, but I'm not there for those other kids, I"m there for mine. I wish I could fight for all those kids, but it wears me out fighting for my own. At the last meeting, she finally just said I don't know what you expect, you tell me what to do and I'll do it, so we decided about the faxing homework, well then she didn't want to do that. By the way, this teacher told her class the other day, that she was there to teach and if they didn't want to learn, she didn't care, she'd still get her paycheck. When the special ed director told her my son's IEP stated he was only responisble for 50% of his homework, she said fine, whatever. I ask if she would mark what problems she wanted him to do and she said no, just pick 50%, if I mark them then you'll complain about what ones I picked. The problem with this is I end up doing all the homework so I can help him study.
So in the meeting I'm asking that she mark the 50% he is required to do and that be the only material he is tested on. Someone else suggested I ask for completed study guides, tape recorded notes, and he only be tested on that material. I thought about asking that the class be taped, so he could study from that, since he doesn't have the advantage of being able to re read the material. I bet the old battle ax would love that request. Then I'd have proof of her ineffective teaching methods. And, just to show you all that I really think it's the teacher..not the child. The only modification he uses in history is have the tests read to him, he completes 100% of his homework and all I have to do is read him the questions, he has a C in this class. He won't let me help him study for tests because he says I jumble up his mind, so he gets this C on what he hears in class. Hmmm, not bad for a kid that doesn't try, or is lazy or doesn't pay attention.
WEll once again, I've went on and on.....but where do I find homeschooling rules for my state. And if I do chose this option, can I request the teachers lesson plans so I can keep him on the same track as his class?
I'm having surgery on Monday, so I'm not even sure I'll feel like having this meeting on Friday, but I hate to put myself before my son, but I told the teacher I might not be able to do the meeting that day and if not I'd let him know.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 10:57:38 AM

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8259/local.html has some state info -- this is a great site, even though it doesn't get updated as much as it used to.

http://www.nhen.org/LegInfo/state_list.html

You may have to probe deeply for the specific laws -- and don't, don't, don't believe any one source whether it's in print or on the phone or whatever. There are lots of homeschool support groups and homeschool websites; many of them have special agendas and that tints (okay, sometimes taints) how they present information.

I know here in Illinois homeschooling in one subject is allowed, having evolved from serious athletes who didn't have to take P.E.; there was some controversy in the past year because other people were starting to take advantage of it in academic classes so credit and accountability issues came up.

It really sounds like you're at loggerheads with this teacher. I have, however, stated exactly that line about "you learn or you don't learn, I still get my paycheck" to students. I can lead students to water but I can't make them think.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 11:08:21 AM
Subject:Teachers

I know there are a lot of teachers out there who are really trying hard and do care about kids, and there are also a lot who "know it all." There are a lot of attitudes that need to be changed, but the problem lies deeper than that.

Put yourself in a position of a class of 20 kids, 5 have IEP's in which each call for different modifications, and 2 have attention difficulties. Multiply this by 6 different classes a day. Add on lunchroom supervision daily and recess duty twice a week Onto a regular work day, add on 2-3 hours of schoolwork nightly plus an extra 10 on the weekend and 2 after school meetings weekly. No wonder there are some teachers who are just plain tired out. There are no perks in teaching. Just a lot of comments about what we should be doing and that we do it because we like it. Teachers are also expected to be miraculous and take care of all problems. Some Sp Ed classrooms use very outdated materials (20+ years), or they use regular ed books as there is no money to buy the latest.

Teachers are so inadequately trained, but that is not their problem. Colleges are not up on the best strategies. Any extra training for teachers once they begin their careers comes out of their own pocket.

We think we have a teacher shortage now; just wait a few more years.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 11:25:01 AM

Kathy,
check my second post.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 2:00:55 PM

My son's art teacher in 7th nodded and agreed to everything at the IEP meeting, but she would not or could not accomodate him because she was clueless about how those issues impacted him in class.

IMO, she would never change enough for him to have been successful, but I didn't realize this until after much heartache.

Should your kid be at the meeting...I wouldn't. You can already read the writing on the wall with her unwillingness to communicate daily and effectively. She is not clear about what your son needs or how to help him and obviously wants to put the blame on him, rather than calling a meeting about how he can be successful.

REMEMBER - YOU are in charge. If I were you I would call the Sp.Ed. guy and tell him you are looking forward to hashing out this issues at the meeting but you are not allowing you son to attend because you do not feel it would be productive. If he pushes you, an emphatic NO is all you need. You husband may want to attend as well to provide you with that extra person moral support.

Prepare for the meeting. Make a written agenda and stay focused on YOUR issues. Check off each issue and be matter of fact, polite, but not warm or "nice". If you get crap from the teacher, let the sp. ed. guy know (in front of the teacher) that you want your son moved to a teacher who can accomodate his learning issues and provide a safe and non-hostile learning environment. Be clear and forceful about your son's issues and make a stand.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 2:22:36 PM

I'm sure teachers are overworked and stressed out. But so are most employees in other professions, but that doesn't give them the right to make a child's life miserable. I too, in my occupation, am overworked, stressed out...etc, etc. But that doesn't mean if I have a patient that is unable to walk, I make him run, or unable to see, I let him walk into walls. Regardless, of how much work anyone has to do, it's still your job to do what is best for the student, patient,customer or who ever.If teachers are that unhappy, overworked or stressed out they need to find another job.....maybe one where you are overworked, stressed out and unhappy for 12 months out of the year instead of 9.

By the way, for those 5 kids with IEP's, there are probably 10 more who requires nothing but the teacher to supply them the information, so that leaves her time for the other 5. I know, I have a child on each end of the scale.

Sorry, if this offends you, but I don't care how overworked, stressed out...etc, a teacher is, my child still has the right to
a FAPE.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 3:09:41 PM

I am just a little tired of all the blame coming down on the teachers. If all this board can do is bash teachers, maybe it's time I quit reading it. I came to this board to get ideas to help my students. Parents have responsibilities too. Maybe our overworked parents need to spend more time with their children. Our educational system in this country is in big trouble, but parents have responsibilities too. I really am tired of all the different labels that are getting diagnosed for kids' learning and behavior problems. I believe our morals are deteriorating and it is so easy for everything to be everyone else's fault. Parents also feel better is there is a label, excuse, for their child's performance. Schools can't do everything.

I read on and on about parents wanting their kids tested and given services. I hope they all realize that many times the services they do get will not remediate their child- too many kids thrown into one group and too old of materials used. If I had a child with a problem, I know I would have to take it upon myself to help him.

Oh, yes, I do have several children who really don't need my attention, but is it fair to them to never have any time with them? I don't think their parents would be too happy either if I never challenged them.

By the way, it sounds like you need a new job too.

Maybe a better approach would be to try to work with the teacher. Defenses go up right away when attacked. It worked on you.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 3:32:52 PM

You sound like a teacher who's set in her ways and unwilling to do all you can to help children who struggle. That's sad, because a teacher can make or break a child with LD. Tell me, do you have any children? If so, do any of them have learning disabilities or some other types of disabilities? If the answer to both questions is no, then before you bash parents and struggling kids, please try to put yourself in their place.

If all you want to hear from parents is that "teachers can do no wrong," then you have, indeed, come to the wrong place. This is a forum where parents come together to exchange ideas, to vent, and to ask for advice and moral support when their teachers and/or principals are either too inexperienced or pigheaded to give children with learning disabilities the help they need to succeed. Sadly, too many school systems don't care about these children and would prefer to forget them. And, while there *are* many caring, competent teachers with teachable attitudes where LD kids are concerned (and I say, God bless them!), there are others who are inflexible, set in their ways, and who frankly don't care about children who struggle.

I wonder if you're one of those old-hat teachers who are convinced that there's no such thing as LD, just lazy kids and bad parents. If so, then, unless you're willing to learn, you are DEFINITELY in the wrong forum. You won't get far here by telling the parents who frequent this board that they are just bad, irresponsible parents of bad, irresponsible children, and that they are being unfair to teachers by expecting them to at least try to give their children a free and appropriate education. They get too much of that from the teachers and principals they deal with, and it's a lie! The parents who frequent this board have got to be among the most caring, committed, dedicated parents I've seen--they care too much to just stand idly by and watch their children drown. They want their children to become successful, both in school and in life, and they're trying to get their children the help they need in school so that they'll have a fighting chance of both. If a child has teachers and a principal who are committed to helping him succeed, as well as caring parents, that makes a world of difference, believe me, and it doesn't have to destroy the education of children who learn without effort, either.

Yours truly,
Kathy G.


a teacher wrote:
>
> I am just a little tired of all the blame coming down on the
> teachers. If all this board can do is bash teachers, maybe
> it's time I quit reading it. I came to this board to get
> ideas to help my students. Parents have responsibilities
> too. Maybe our overworked parents need to spend more time
> with their children. Our educational system in this country
> is in big trouble, but parents have responsibilities too. I
> really am tired of all the different labels that are getting
> diagnosed for kids' learning and behavior problems. I
> believe our morals are deteriorating and it is so easy for
> everything to be everyone else's fault. Parents also feel
> better is there is a label, excuse, for their child's
> performance. Schools can't do everything.
>
> I read on and on about parents wanting their kids tested and
> given services. I hope they all realize that many times the
> services they do get will not remediate their child- too many
> kids thrown into one group and too old of materials used. If
> I had a child with a problem, I know I would have to take it
> upon myself to help him.
>
> Oh, yes, I do have several children who really don't need my
> attention, but is it fair to them to never have any time with
> them? I don't think their parents would be too happy either
> if I never challenged them.
>
> By the way, it sounds like you need a new job too.
>
> Maybe a better approach would be to try to work with the
> teacher. Defenses go up right away when attacked. It worked
> on you.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 6:02:08 PM

The intent of my first post was to make you parents a little more understanding about a teacher's job. I do believe there are teachers out there who put down kids and do not try to do what is best for them. I've seen it and work with some. It is not right and should not happen. I spend hours trying new things with the kids who struggle in my room. I want to help them and that is why I read this board occasionally.

What I want you parents to understand too is that there are limits to what a teacher can do. Physically there is only so much time. I've been there. It is not that I don't want to, but I just do not have enough time. I can look back at just yesterday. Yes, I should have rewrote the math for 1 student, but I honestly did not have time. I had to run off an extra study guide and partly fill it in for a couple of other students. I do the best I can.

Our education system is in dire need of a lot of repairs. Colleges do need to start training our teachers in programs and techniques that really work to teach our kids. Federal and state money has to be spent in ways that are truly helping kids learn. Look at all the money that is spent on achievement testing. After the testing, what is done? Teachers need to be continually trained. Yes, there are teachers who don't change their ways. Believe me, I am not one of them. I am the first one to search out and try a new program.

I do believe parents have responsibilities too. The school can only do so much.

Yes, I do believe that there are way too many kids diagnosed with learning problems. What's the deal? I believe that this is from kids not adequately ready to learn in the first place, and it is from using methods in the schools that are not most effective. A lot of the kids learn no matter what method is used. It is the others that we truly need to teach.

I apologize if I offended anyone. I got a little too defensive myself. I just want others to be a bit more understanding also.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 6:16:53 PM

I don't think parents are ever bad mouthing teachers as a whole. I think the ones they have problems with are the ones who give kids a hard time. For example my son had a sixth grade teacher who called the students rug rats, baby, and other terms of endearment. She also had them get down on the hands and knees and beg for papers they forgot to put their names on. She was especially hard on the kids who had IEP's calling them lazy and a drain on society. This teacher was reported and everything else. The response we got back was she had tenior and could not be fired. If we did not like it then we were as thin skinned as our children. I had big problems with this lady but it does not mean I think all teachers are this way. I have run into wonderful outstanding teachers who give it everything and even buck they system. I try to help these teachers out by donating to them what I can. Sometimes it is time in the classroom and sometimes it is supplies or information. I think for the most part it is not the teachers that are the problem but it is the system. My youngest son had a teacher who fought for her students--for summer school, programs to help remediate ect. She was paid back by being removed from her classroom and put in the district as a traveling LD resourse-needless to say she found a new district to work in. I think what needs to be done is the system needs to be over hauled from the TOP, adequate money needs to be provided for resources, adequate training, and the teachers need to be paid more. I think it is a SAD state of affairs that we pay sports people more money then our teachers. I can relate to being understaffed, over worked, and over stressed. The military does not pay well either--but I enjoy my job and feel defending our country is an important task. I think we would all be well served if parents and teachers worked together to help ALL children. Just my humble opinion though.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 7:55:34 PM

Well, I'm a teacher too but I'd disagree there are no perks in teaching. I have some great benefits and I love my hours and my summers off. I like my two week vacation at Christmas and another week and a half at Easter. I like that I don't have to travel for my work or work weekends or holidays.

And I love the kids. I admit I love hearing them say they enjoy my class and I love their parents' compliments. It's a boost. Not every minute of my job is perfect by any means but it does have its benefits.

I think in teaching we lose sight of what's important and we're often encouraged to. In these sad days of standardized testing, teachers do feel pressured and we're encouraged to see the tests as more important than the children themselves.

What mystifies me about teaching is that teachers complain about the need to teach. Does a doctor walk through his/her office and demand that all the sick people get out? My dear colleagues and maybe yours too devote a lot of time and energy to complaining about the children who need us the most.

I think the deepest problems are attitude problems. I know mine hasn't been great but through it all I still feel great about the kids.

Good luck to you.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 9:34:09 PM

I think I'd rather have you teaching MY kids ;-)

Karen

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 10:17:58 PM

Thank you for your concern, but I don't want a new job. I enjoy helping patients who need me....that is my job. I think every occupation has people who are overworked and stressed out,but that doesn't give us an excuse to not do what is best for those we are there for.
As for spending time with my child, believe me...I do. I spend hours everynight, after I work all day, teaching what the teachers failed to teach him during the day. And, as for getting
him help, I would love to do that too, but as we live in a rural area, where there is no help available, that is not an option.

Yes, there are a few good teachers out there, but sadly there are more who would just rather sit around an whine about how overworked they are. Also, people in jobs like mine, don't get tenure, so if we mistreat someone we lose our job, unlike teachers.

Sounds like our kids all need a teacher like Sara, she seems to truly care.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 10:22:24 PM


I too, got mad reading your post. Number one it was very defensive not to mention patronizing. The person you are responding to has been there too many damn times with this mistake for a teacher. Has made every reasonable suggestion,THIS teacher is lazy. Now you might not have known this,but you did know by the posting that she is fed up and with good reason. Why would any reasonable person suggest that she must look at the teacher's side?
I know the job must not be an easy one,that teacher's are not adequately trained,why is it,you all seem to only want to admit this on a bulletin board rather then at the IEP meeting?
Frankly speaking, if this so called teacher actually admitted that she needs training,she needs help out loud at the IEP,then this mom would readily make suggestions.She,I am sure, would happily cooperate. But they don't. Instead,they sit there staring defensively at the mom taking out all their inadequacies on her. Hell,what if I was told to give shot to you,and I honestly didn't know how to do it,instead of asking for help,should I go ahead and try anyway?

The bottom line is. Laws that protect are children were not developed because a bunch of school's got together and said,gee we really should educate children with disabilities.Hell they didn't even want to educate kids of different colors together.Times have changed,thank god.
Having to fight to get what the law says your child has a right to,is appalling,it's nauseating to be a parent knowing your kid is being harmed.Treated differently,because they might make the job a little harder,it is a feeling ONLY another parent or person who has stood in her shoes could feel.

Practical suggestions,ideas on how to solve the problem,all welcomed by the "parenting an LD child" community. I can assure you that,philisophically making no possible solution,but venting on how hard teacher's have it, isn't.One very good thing about these kind of posts,it is quite cathartic to vent to you, may I say,you are my kids teacher,you are for me anyway..

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 09, 2002 10:43:01 PM

I strongly believe also we have way too many kids labeled. We need to be doing more (parents and teachers) early on. There are few real learning disabilities. Mostly it is that skills have not been adequately developed. In my book that is different than a disability.

Please stick around. Everyone has a right to an opinion. I can see your points. It sounds like you have been working very hard to help the kids in your class.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 10, 2002 11:08:04 AM

My husband's great-grandfather was a cheesemaker in Russia. When the Bolshevik's took power they ordered that he double his cheese production. However because of the war and lack of shipping there was less milk than before. Then the government edict came down that the production was to double every 6 mos and if he as the factory owner didn't comply he would be shot. The gun was at his head when his wife produced a bottle of vodka and got the bolshevik beaurocrat drunk. They then escaped with the clothes on their backs.
Aren't teachers and schools in a similar situation. Maybe what this teacher is saying is parents should be more proactive. Maybe the U.S. should look at a more even and equal way of funding schools than property taxes. Maybe parents should look at lobbying school boards, state and federal government for the means to carry out what the schools have been told they have to do. The politician's who passed these laws are the heroes. The people who have to make cheese out of nothing are the bad guys.

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