Monday, March 22, 2010

Ride of the Valkyrie Mother..

"The hand that rocks the cradle
is the hand that rules the world"
W.R. Wallace



You know, I'm not much of a yeller. I don't believe that shouting and arguing are very effective ways to change anything. I think they just make you "feel" like you are doing something. I'd rather use humor. The problem with this is that people don't always take you seriously. Or, as I found during last weeks parent teacher conferences, they think it means you are weak, easily placated...gullible. Au contraire!!..Big mistake! Oh ye of little faith..or in the words of Mr. T.."I pity the fool.."

I have to say, for the most part, my kids have been blessed with wonderful teachers. People who have been more than willing to make simple accommodation's so that my kids were comfortable. I in turn have always made myself accessible to them..offering anything in the way of support, information and guidance. I think it is important to have open communication with your kid's teachers. I look at it as teamwork. Unfortunately, this year Sammy's teacher is not a team player. I was warned at the beginning of the year to watch out for her. I was told that she didn't always follow the rules..didn't always do what was best for the kids..had more interest in spending time with her husband (the other fifth grade teacher) than in actual teaching. I was told to make my presence known-in a big way. I thought that I had. I thought wrong.

Last week, I had a conference with Sammy's teacher..Mrs. Dragon Lady. I call her that because of her ginormous (at least 4 inch) press on artificial talons uhh.. I mean nails, and the fact that she uses said nails to point out various things i.e. charts and diagrams, and she clicks them either together or on the table while she talks. It is disconcerting to say the least.

Mrs. Dragon Lady-I'm glad you came in..I have concerns about Sammy. (click click)

Me-Concerns? What about?

Mrs. DL-well, he seems happy enough..click click...but he is failing math..

Me-What do you mean failing math?! Isn't he getting the help he needs in the resource room?!

Mrs. DL-Yes.. Finally...I've been trying for months to get him help...(click click.)..I THINK HE'S REGRESSING. click click click..

Me-Excuse me??..I came to see you in October. YOU stated that Sammy was doing well. Furthermore, I said that if there were a problem, you were to call me immediately and that I would do my best to help fix it.

Mrs. DL-(click click click)..I can't go against I.E.P. protocol..

Me-(at this point my face is burning,my blood pressure is through the roof) What do you mean?
I came to see you in OCTOBER. I told you to CALL me if there were problems. In December we decided to get him help in the resource room..and now you tell me that you've been trying to get him help for months?? Which months??

Mrs. DL-well I (click click) have to follow protocol..

Me-WHAT in the hell are you talking about??? Please don't talk about I.E.P. protocol to me...I have been doing I.E.P.'s for over eight years..I am well aware of what the rules are..You are really starting to piss me off. (yes, sigh., I said that)Why didn't you call me? What do you mean by regressing?

Mrs. DL-oh uh well..yes he is in the resource room but he has to have his work modified (click click click) He is going backwards..he doesn't seem to be able to grasp what is being taught in the classroom..

Me- perhaps if you didn't combine both yours and your husbands classes together, putting over fifty children in one tiny room..perhaps he would not be so distracted..In college even most of my lectures had less students..and I was an adult. Sammy has auditory processing issues...too many people distract him.

Mrs. Dl-(click click) yes the room IS small..uhh..(click click) I told them that we need another fifth grade teacher (rapid clicking) another room..but they don't listen,,uhh well, yes, Sammy loves science and history..he's doing well..uhh..yes, I'm glad we straightened that out..

Me-I am going to call a team meeting.

Mrs. Dl made small talk..totally ignoring the idea of a team meeting. Telling me how great Sammy is..and creative..just a lovely boy etc.etc..I bantered with her..told a funny story about him..it calmed the situation..it didn't however change it..

Mrs. DL- Thanks for coming in...sorry for the misunderstanding..(click click click)

I left there on a positive note. My boy does have to spend seven hours a day with her (and her husband...and her talons) . Besides, you do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. What Mrs. Dl does not realize is that I am far from finished. By nine thirty this morning, I had already arranged for a team meeting, spoke with the principle, and arranged to speak with his caseworker and his classroom aid. I have every single one of his I.E.P.'s in triplicate. I have his speech and o.t. evaluations. I am waiting to hear from his counselor. I am gathering every piece of information that I can. I will go into that meeting armed to the teeth. Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyrie" playing in my head. They will not know what has hit them. Oh I might be the "nice" mother, easy going, quick to make a joke. But we are talking about my boy here-my son. And you just don't mess with a mother. At least not this one. Regression my ass! I'm thinking I may even bring a nail clipper .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNl1ykMm1X0 Here is a nice version of the Wagner piece.

5 comments:

denise said...

WTH? IEP protocal my butt. At work right now, so can't type much. Love the new picture btw, but I can't resist.....don't you know what happens to kids playing on traintracks in Maine? :) SK makes a story about them, and how fun and cool they are.Think I'm going to call tomorrow.

Clay said...

What happened to the "zero tolerance" rules in schools? Those nails are dangerous, could put out somebody's eye.

I may be an Aspie, but I know that anyone clicking their nails on a desk is actually attempting to assert their authority, just as keeping you waiting before being allowed entrance to their office. I've made a stink about that second trick a couple of times.
A appointment is an appointment, and I don't have to wait 15 minutes in the lobby cooling my heels, as if I were some kid in trouble waiting to see the Principal!

kathleen said...

Hi Denise! thats right those kids on the RR tracks find a body...my kids will just find mine...a worn out husk..:) Yeah-I'm in the process of raising hell..

Hi Clay-that's why I'm going to bring an entire manicure set to the i.e.p. meeting. Yeah...she didn't want me there..both she and her husband are not real fond of doing beyond the bare minimum..I know the whole assertion of power thing. The making you wait..sigh It just doesn't work with me..what happens is that I'm nice, I make jokes..I'm pretty easy going. Somehow people equate that with lack of intelligence-big mistake! I just feel so very frustrated for my Sammy-he is the one who has to live with any repurcussions..at least for the next three months..

KWombles said...

Kick some tail. I'm sorry I missed the post. :-( Make sure you bring Louise's purse with you; I'm sure she'd let you borrow it if you ask. I hear tell it's mighty darn heavy (umm, and contains some mighty interesting things).

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