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Can I send this to my coworker?


renmew
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My stepson was raised by an addicted mother who deserted him 3 years ago. He's a big mess. Severe ADHD. Ps did not work for him. He had early issues of inappropriate playing doctor, but has received help.

 

I put him at my school for 5th grade, hoping a better environment would help. One teacher has been a problem for all our "special" students. She refuses to try anything innovative for kids who need a little extra because she "doesn't have the time" (comes late/leaves early every single day), doesn't think we're paid enough (yes, said that several times at several staff meetings), and thinks these kids don't belong here. Today I get this email.

 

 

Dear Mr. M and Melanie,

I'm writing this email to the both of you regarding Mack because I don't want Melanie to think that I'm going against her back and not telling her about her step son. First of all, I think Mack needs to be enrolled in Anger Management classes. Today in class, even after several warnings, he was playing around with things in his desk like he always does. This is something that happens everyday. He is never ready for my class and is always missing supplies. He spends the first 10 minutes of class looking for things. I have even told Mrs. Lara that from now on, before he goes to recess, he needs to have everything he needs for my class ready on top of his desk because I have 5th after recess. I have even given him supplies because he says they are missing or he doesn't have any. Mrs. Hungerford is a witness to that because she saw me one time giving him red pens.

This is the second time he gets really angry in my class, and Mrs. Lara said he does the same thing in her class. The first time was when they were up in my room one day and I sent him out because we were correcting work he missed. I told him to sit on the desk that was outside the Art room. He had a pencil with him and he stabbed the board outside the Art room with his pencil, and we told Melanie about it. Today, I took away a notepad he was playing around with in his desk. All of a sudden, he starts crying and hoofing and poofing in class with a very angry look on his face. I told him he needed to calm down because I would have taken away anything that any other student was playing around with in their desks. I did not yell. I took it away and put it on the desk and concluded my lesson. I gave him back the notepad at the end of class.

What I'm trying to say is after he threw that tantrum in class and I was telling him to calm down, he had his spelling book in his hands, and he kind of strangled the book with his hands, and then ripped it. I have noticed that all his books are ripped right in the middle. I really felt scared because I thought what if one day he decides to bring a knife or sharp object to school and because he gets so angry, decides to use it on me or any other student? He did it to the board outside the Art room, so why wouldn't he maybe do it to whoever gets him angry? I really talked to him in a calming voice to get him to relax, and at the end of class he seemed ok, but I should not have to deal with this in class or have to be afraid while I'm teaching. I hope that the 2 of you can talk to him and come up with some kind of agreement on what to do, or what you want me to do because I don't know how to deal with Mack. I don't want to sound like I have something against Mack because I really don't and I'm trying to be patient with him, but I should not have to put up with tantrums from someone of his age. If I wanted to do that, I would have taught preschool. Thank you.

 

 

I said

 

 

Nicole,

 

I do understand your concern. Mack does have difficulty dealing with anger at times, but I would never have put anyone in this position if I believed there was any risk of danger. Mack has never attacked another child, including his siblings. In fact, he is a sensitive kid and has very strong emotions. I know it does not seem this way to you, but Mack has been working very hard these last five months, and I never expected him to become a star student in less time than that after 10 years of next to nothing.

 

With Mack's severe case of ADHD, his brain has extreme difficulty connecting actions with consequences. I am not trying to make excuses; this is medical fact documented by years of study by neuroscientists. Add to this his constant figiting (hardly controlled with meds) and love of all things mechanical, and all the pencils we give him barely last him through the week. This is the first time he has ever been held responsible for bringing his own such supplies. He is humiliated time and time again when asked to leave the class to walk across the school to sit in my classroom. Most kids aren't going to respond positively to repeated humiliation for things that are largely out of their control. I will gladly supply a small pencil bag you can keep for him. This way he will have his supplies in good time every time. Since I'm sure every student will be made aware of the situation, he will have plenty of reminders to return the supplies before leaving the classroom. It's more important for Mack to be present for his lessons than wait for a cure to his medical condition.

 

I realize, though, that it might be too much work to keep a pouch of pencils in your desk. In that case, I request that Mack be sent to my room for every lesson his class has with you. He can work independently in the back of my room on the regular classroom assignments, assuming you would provide me with the lesson plans. It would not cause any additional distraction, as he is already sent frequently to my classroom. I also get small groups of older students from neighboring classes several times a week, so my students are used to it. I have never felt threatened in this way when teaching, so I don't want to be the cause of that for you.

 

Melanie

 

 

 

She said

 

 

okay well, let's wait and see what Mr. Marasco thinks. He needs pens for my class, not pencils. I hope I'm not offending you, because I don't mean to. I just want to try to do what's best for Mack. I'm not trained to deal with Mack's ADHD, and if I didn't think he was capable, I would not push him. I don't see how sending him to you to do work is going to change things. I just don't understand how to get him to do his work and not be a distraction because in 5th they sit next to each other, they don't have their own individual desks like in my 6th-8th classes. Do you think it would help if I just moved his desk to the back of the room and had him sit alone? I do repeat myself over and over when it comes to directions and write it on the board, so Mack can maybe process it better if he sees it written instead of me just telling them, but that hasn't been really working either. You have asked about Vocab before, and I don't even teach Vocab to 5th. Does he write down all his h.w. assignments and do you check to see he has it all written down every day before you guys go home? Basically, if he is playing with things in his desk, that means he is not paying attention, so it doesn't matter if he is in class or not, because he still isn't doing what is asked of him and he is distracting himself. That is what I don't get. I will wait for Mr. Marasco's decision. Thanks Melanie, and just remember I do respect you no matter what. Have a good night.

Nicole

 

 

 

Can I send this?

 

 

Nicole,

 

I'm sorry, but I do know you do not want him at the school. You can't say one day he doesn't belong and it's punishment, and then the next claim you're pushing him because you think he's capable. Also, I don't know where you earned your credential, but in California a credential program must include at the one class in special needs education. We have an entire book upstairs filled with thousands of ideas to try with kids just like Mack. But anytime things have been suggested for any kids who need something different, you've always said we don't get paid enough and these kids don't belong here. That doesn't sound very compassionate or inclusive. Maybe that is not how you mean it to sound, but that's how it is heard.

 

Yes, I understand I made a mistake with vocab. He's got quite a few different teachers, and somehow I incorrectly remembered you speaking to me about missing/incomplete vocab cards. It was a mistake. I do check his homework daily, and sometimes he writes in it and sometimes he doesn't, but it doesn't matter, because once he leaves that room he is not allowed back in for anything he may have forgotten. I can't pick him up personally, because I am stuck in my room until the gates close. I have to rely on him, and he has been improving in that area tremendously.

 

This kid has had 10 years of miseducation in life and school, and when it doesn't fix itself in 5 months, I think it's a little too soon to give up on him. I'm expecting the full 3-4 years of struggle to get him ready for a decent shot at high school.

 

He's received a few decent grades on tests this year, in a subject that has always been his worst, so I can't imagine that he is isn't paying attention at all. He has a stress ball, so I will have him bring it in so he can fiddle with that instead of paper or pens. Distracting others is a major problem, but if he is simply distracting himself he can makeup the work on his own time. Since the end of September he has only had one or two days of free time outside after completing homework. Every other day he is in my room working on his homework until we leave. His activities at home are very restricted, since he is not following through with his responsibilities at school.

 

He's a work in progress, like all the other kids we teach.

 

Melanie

 

 

If you read all that luvya.gif Now, am I totally out of place?

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Can I send this?

 

 

Nicole,

 

I'm sorry, but I do know you do not want him at the school. You can't say one day he doesn't belong and it's punishment, and then the next claim you're pushing him because you think he's capable. Also, I don't know where you earned your credential, but in California a credential program must include at the one class in special needs education. We have an entire book upstairs filled with thousands of ideas to try with kids just like Mack. But anytime things have been suggested for any kids who need something different, you've always said we don't get paid enough and these kids don't belong here. That doesn't sound very compassionate or inclusive. Maybe that is not how you mean it to sound, but that's how it is heard.

 

This bit sounds a bit confrontational, but the rest where you are trying to come up with some solutions to help him in class seems fine to me. I'm guessing that she is a general ed. teacher and not a special ed one? I wonder if that is what she is meaning when she says she doesn't feel like she can handle him, maybe she fills ill qualified?

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I agree, it is confrontational, and so unlike me, so I actually have not sent the message. I'm going to wait until I speak with our principal. I was just so angry. We are all general ed; it's a small Catholic school, but we've always included kids with special needs. We're trying to do even more, but a couple of the teachers, especially her, are completely against any flexibility for these kids. We have offered her ideas already, but she only complains she's not paid enough and it's the kids' problem, not hers.

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I agree, it is confrontational, and so unlike me, so I actually have not sent the message. I'm going to wait until I speak with our principal. I was just so angry. We are all general ed; it's a small Catholic school, but we've always included kids with special needs. We're trying to do even more, but a couple of the teachers, especially her, are completely against any flexibility for these kids. We have offered her ideas already, but she only complains she's not paid enough and it's the kids' problem, not hers.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this. Yes maybe it is best to wait to have a meeting with the principal and for him make the decision. Sometimes it's best when someone who is not emotionally involved can come in and offer insights. It's hard I know to not go into "mama bear" mode when it involves our kids or step in your case. :grouphug:

 

Your anger is understandable. I know how frustrating it is when you feel like no one is really listening. I hope that your meeting will be productive and that your principal will listen to your complaints with a fair ear. I hope that you can come up with a solution that will benefit Mack and help him thrive.

 

God bless you in your efforts. :grouphug:

 

Jennifer

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It sounds like you guys definitely need a mediator. You also need to talk in person with a mediator. The teacher seems very rough! She is confusing. And the whole being scared thing seems completely out of left field! One second she wants him gone and the next she wants to help him? The teacher needs some help and direction. It would also seem pretty simple for her to write down his work and hand it to you personally! I would write down a list of ideas you think would be helpful for her and bring it into a meeting. If she won't stay for a meeting, then have the principal make her.

 

Good luck.

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I'm no help - I'd be LIVID if this woman were my son's teacher. (Even if he were "only" my stepson.):angry:

 

And I'd be frightened if her e-mail is an example of her writing abilities that she's supposed to be passing onto her students.:ohmy: (Kind of like the fear I feel when I read my education classmates' writing. LOL)

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Oh ! :grouphug: There is always one in every school:glare:
 for your sake I'd say don't email her or even talk to her with out the principal/mediator present. And print a copy of every email she sent you to take. If possible just pull him from that class.

Argh if I had to have my dd or ds not fidget they would never remember anything, fidgeting does not mean you are not listening, ds can't even look in the general direction of a speaker - but can repeat what was said. Dd has to be tapping or twirling but is still learning. Both are very messy loosing pencils and yeah we have a few pencil holes in the walls too.


Hang in there you are an awesome stepmom!

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It would also seem pretty simple for her to write down his work and hand it to you personally!

This is exactly what my mom had to have done for my brother when he was in school, otherwise she never had any idea what his assignments were and no work ever got turned in. Once the assignments/homework were written down, my mom could go over it with my brother and make sure he did it. After that, rarely did my mom ever get a call from a teacher again that T had not turned in his work or completed the assignment.

 

((hugs)) I understand your frustration totally and hope the principal will step up and help get this resolved in a way that works for everyone.

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My son was enrolled in a Catholic school before we took him out to homeschool. He was diagnosed with Aspergers his last year of school, and we tried to keep him in that school over enrolling him in the public school. I can honestly say that the teachers in that school, while wonderful, were just not equipped to deal with special needs kids. I don't think many private schools are unless they are specifically for special needs kids. We tried very hard to work with them, but met with resistance everywhere we turned. Ironically, that school closed along with many other Catholic schools in the area, and now they are a school for kids on the autism spectrum. Anyway, if my ds were trying to function in a regular classroom without any of the standard supports that should be available to him for his diagnosis (if it was a public school) he would react with anger, frustration, and most likely would completely shut down. We figured out early on that it was either homeschool or public school. Or pay the $45000 yearly tuiton on our own for the school of our choice if we couldn't get the ps to pay for it.

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I've decided to pull both boys out of the school. The oldest one from the OP will be out pretty soon, as soon as I can figure out where to put him. My other son is 7 and PDD-NOS. I brought him over this year to repeat 1st for behavioral reasons, but he is also having a difficult time with his teacher. I will let him finish the year, and then move him to the ps near my mom's house.

 

Thank you for the support and encouragement. I thought too much of my coworkers, apparently... sadly.

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I've decided to pull both boys out of the school. The oldest one from the OP will be out pretty soon, as soon as I can figure out where to put him. My other son is 7 and PDD-NOS. I brought him over this year to repeat 1st for behavioral reasons, but he is also having a difficult time with his teacher. I will let him finish the year, and then move him to the ps near my mom's house.

 

Thank you for the support and encouragement. I thought too much of my coworkers, apparently... sadly.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: Did you have your meeting already?? What did the principal say?

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I'm no help - I'd be LIVID if this woman were my son's teacher. (Even if he were "only" my stepson.):angry:

 

And I'd be frightened if her e-mail is an example of her writing abilities that she's supposed to be passing onto her students.:ohmy: (Kind of like the fear I feel when I read my education classmates' writing. LOL)

 

:iagree: My thoughts exactly!!! Her e-mails are unbelievable - on several levels.

 

I am so sorry for you dealing with this, and your response was much nicer than mine would have been. It makes me so sad to think of her sending him (or any kid who is distracted or misplaces things) out, or to sit alone in the back, etc. I hope things work out - you sound like a great mom!

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: Did you have your meeting already?? What did the principal say?

 

No, we haven't had the meeting yet, but today his Religion teacher suddenly drops a detention slip on his desk because he wasn't prepared for her class on 12/3, 12/14, and 1/6. This is February... Coincidence? I've seen other people leave over similar problems with these people, so I've decided to give up here. My girls will still go for preK and K, but that will probably be it. I'll still work there, of course... Oh, fun!

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No, we haven't had the meeting yet, but today his Religion teacher suddenly drops a detention slip on his desk because he wasn't prepared for her class on 12/3, 12/14, and 1/6. This is February... Coincidence? I've seen other people leave over similar problems with these people, so I've decided to give up here. My girls will still go for preK and K, but that will probably be it. I'll still work there, of course... Oh, fun!

 

That's just awful and not very Christian either. :glare: I'm so sorry you're having to deal with all of this. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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No, we haven't had the meeting yet, but today his Religion teacher suddenly drops a detention slip on his desk because he wasn't prepared for her class on 12/3, 12/14, and 1/6. This is February... Coincidence? I've seen other people leave over similar problems with these people, so I've decided to give up here. My girls will still go for preK and K, but that will probably be it. I'll still work there, of course... Oh, fun!

 

When ds went to school last year, he had "sudden" detentions for similar reasons. The kids were told at the beginning of the year (and parents signed a handbook that gave the same info) that they would get a detention after 3 "unprepareds." Forgetting his homework or not having his books with him would count as being unprepared. It was cumulative, but they started each quarter with clean slates.

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