I’m not a teacher. I’m a mom, and while I feel this position falls under the umbrella of “Mom”, i’m not a certified, educated, professional teacher.
I am not an expert on children, I am simply an expert on my children.
My son has managed to get to the 4th grade. We got here only recently understanding he has ADHD. Mid-3rd grade was when we got the diagnosis, and the summer before 4th grade we began medication.
Unfortunately the medication that worked caused an annoying, repeated dry deep cough that was constant during the day and right up until he fell asleep at night. So now we are trying yet another Rx.
Conference time today left me feeling very very frustrated. I will preface this by saying his classroom teacher until now has been great. She’s been responsive, concerned, and seems to actually care about my kid. (unlike his 3rd grade teacher) My son goes to a separate room for a couple of subjects to get one on one instruction and always has. Both teachers were at the conference – something I had to specifically ask for during an IEP meeting.
Today I had to bring up that there is a kid in class harassing my son. I didn’t use the word “bully” because I think that’s being thrown around willy nilly these days. I will use “harass” because that’s what’s happening. My son has told the kid to knock it off, and now momma needs to step in. The kid happens to be the son of a teacher at the school, and it’s very tempting for me to yank this child aside and have a little heart-to-heart with him. He seems to be the biggest kid in the class, and as it happens, i’m the biggest mom. Let’s even the odds and see how long he continues to bug my kid.
But I refrain like a good adult.
The teacher seemed concerned, they wrote some stuff down and we talked about how Gage can try to further resolve it without making the other kid feel like he was tattled on. Fine. But if it continues, I will not be patient and nice.
Next on the docket was the ever-present convo of, “he just sits and stares off into space… it’s like if he disappears, he wont be expected to do work.”
The nature of the conversation isn’t surprising. My issue is when the teachers act like they have no more answers as to what to do with him.
Again, I am not the professional. I am the parent. Is my kid really that much of an anomaly?! Have you NEVER seen another 4th grade boy that tries at a genius level not to do work?
Teachers have been beat so far into submission that they feel they have no power to do what’s right to teach our kids. Parents have abused and neglected their responsibility to let the teachers use the tools they acquired in school to do what’s best. I certainly don’t have a clue what’s best for my sensory-challenged, ADHD son to sit and learn in a classroom that is always noisy, always moving, always changing while simultaneously having to listen, retain, process, write, follow directions and comprehend information.
If I knew how to make all of that work, I’d become a teacher.
So when they look to me for answers on how best to teach my son I can only shake my head and leave feeling like my son will continue his education being nestled firmly between the cracks. His teacher even said to me, “You know I don’t worry so much about 4th grade, but it makes me worry for how Jr. High will go.”
No shit, Sherlock! It terrifies me! And if the professionals in charge of him on a daily basis now have no clue or idea how to make it all work, what am I supposed to do ?!
I sent an email after the meeting asking her if maybe thinking of him as an ESL student might help. Afterall, language is one of the problems. Giving him more language, more directions, more more more is only going to add noise. At a certain point it’s all just noise.
Basic directions and arrows is what he needs to start, then you can add steps once he has the routine down.
In laymen’s terms, I don’t have any fucking idea.