Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Well, now Luey's teacher is no longer in any doubt about what I think of some of her interactions with Luey! And neither is the school Principal!!!

We had our meeting today, and I spoke calming and quietly and mostly with a smile on my face. I said I understood the demands of the classroom - being a teacher myself (I said this twice actually under I got an acknowledgement of being a teacher) - and I said I'd heard glowing reports from other parents about how Luey's teacher had helped their child. However, I said I was not happy with being told almost at the end of the year that there was a problem with Luey and Liam in class together, and that Luey wasn't keeping up with his schoolwork, and that the only solution being offered was to move one of the boys. I wasn't happy that there had been not discussion between both sets of parents and the teacher at once, and that the boys themselves had not be consulted and at least given the chance to improve their behaviour before being seperated.

I also said that I'd already considered having Luey removed from the class mid-year after the teacher misrepresented him in the crab incident effectively causing me to reprimand him a second time over something he had been told was over and done with, and that he had apologised for in writing.

The teacher said she'd told us about Liam and Luey, and I said she'd only ever told us about Luey's behaviour and not in relation to Liam, she didn't have a comeback to that.

She said that while she understood that in our family we did not require our children to SAY sorry, it was something she felt was important for Luey to do, for the class' sake. I said, Luey had broken down in tears in the Vice Principal's office, and shown remorse, but that he was shy off speaking in front of the class. That he had instead WRITTEN his apology and that she was in possession of that written apology when she told me that he HADN'T apologised, and that in doing that, she'd risked that I might have seriously punished my child - which of course I didn't, but she couldn't predict whether I would or not, and another parent might.

She really couldn't argue with that, it was the truth. She might have liked him to SAY sorry, but she should have acknowledged that he WROTE sorry, and that he FELT sorry, even if he didn't say it.

We went on to discuss other stuff, with me mostly then talking to the Principal, and I noted that a few minutes after the discussion about the crab incident, she was struggling to maintain her composure. She wasn't saying much, and I sensed this was because if she did speak she might have to leave the room, so I continued to speak with the Principal about how Luey, being the child he is, reacts to downward authority by becoming very defensive, oppositional, stubborn, and so a teacher with a different approach might bring out a different reaction in him, and while we didn't expect the entire school to turn inside out to meet our family's philosophy of dealing with children, we felt that perhaps a change in teacher might be a good thing. And we discussed how much of a say Dave and I would have in which class Luey would end up in. This gave Luey's teacher enough room to pull it back together, though she remained quite quiet after that anyway.

I felt sorry for her in a way. It's hard to have your professional conduct questioned infront of your boss. She obviously sees nothing wrong with how she interacts with the children in her class. I know she is quite condescending and shrill with any child she feels is overstepping the mark, but I guess what I've seen of the other parents is that they either don't see a problem with this, or feel it's not their place to intervene. The two or three parents I've asked their opinion of her have all said they think she's great. Even Liam's mum, who feels she is a bit unrealistic in her expectations feels she means well and that is enough, and besides she's suffered so much loss in the past couple of years in her family so it's understandable that she's a bit highly strung. I'm sorry, I just don't feel that way. This is my son's self-esteem at stake...

I guess I'm persona non grata with this teacher now, LOL. Not that that changes anything...

There was so much else I could have said, but at the time it didn't seem necessary, what I said was plenty.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You know, she was probably also emotional as she realised that she didn't have the emotional understanding/connection that she might have thought she had with Luey. I remember watching a very hard-arsed teacher crying during a school performance as she was so moved by the kids, but to see her in action, you would never have known...

Anyway, can't wait to hear the longer-term outcome, and glad you got your point accross.

Good Job!