Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where have I been?

You may be asking yourself this very question. I've been asking myself! I actually wrote a couple blogs, but never posted them, because I'm trying to learn how to do something with them - I'll probably post them in the next day or two. Otherwise, the last week has been a bit of a blur.
Some things have come to light at Jordan's school that disturbed me - and I've had to become much more "involved," shall we say? Anyway, its a really really long story, so I'll try to stick to the short of it. In a nutshelll, the special ed teacher sucks.
So, maybe you're wanting a few more details...ok...the semi-short story: I learned that a process I asked them to use with her the first week of school (as recommended by the PreK teacher from last year) was not implemented until late last week (that's TWO MONTHS into school). So, that started what has now become quite a storm. I began emailing, calling and visiting the school. Upon observing at school, some other things came to light in terms of what the expectations are, some behavior issues that are not being dealt with appropriately, etc. Upon further observation, things in the classroom, in speech therapy and with Jordan's aide are going well - but Jordan is pulled out twice a day to work with the special ed teacher on reading and math. This woman is just negative - and sadly, has no passion for REALLY teaching kids. As I see it, she's there to "do her job" and collect her check. That might fly just fine in the corporate arena (although my husband would probably argue that point when it comes to his employees), but I just think that if you dont' have a PASSION for teaching, I mean, truly want to do what is best for each individual kid, go bag some groceries or greet at WalMart. Don't jack with my kid's potential just because you've become cynical and lazy.
Anyway, I got all of our stuff together from our most recent NACD evaluation and took it to the school - I provided Jordan's teacher, aide and special ed teacher with information. Everyone is excited and open to implementing her program activities at school, EXCEPT...yep, you guessed it...that sorry special ed teacher. She is totally prideful in her "approach" to teaching and has this attitude that she's been doing this for however many years and I'm just a dumb parent, how could I possibly think I'm an expert on anything school-related? Of course, none of those words have been spoken, but I'm not as dumb as she thinks. Not only that, but I do consider myself an EXPERT on my kid! (well, maybe expert is a little strong, but I do KNOW her - and I know her well. I'm not one of those parents that just accepts whatever "they" want to tell me about what she's capable of and drop her off at school everyday, just so I can have a break). Today, when I went to observe, she came out to the hallway and proceeded to tell me how Jordan began acting out very badly when she tried to do some of the activities with her. Through our conversation, I realized, first and foremost, she was doing the activity WRONG and secondly, she didn't even bother to read the written instructions or watch the DVD that explains every activity, even though I was VERY clear in my instructions that anyone doing any program activities with Jordan needed to watch the DVD FIRST! I was soooo angry! I explained it all to her again and reminded her to watch the DVD. This woman is so darn resistant to anything she didn't think of herself. She also believes (I mean, she REALLY believes) that she's spent the last two months teaching Jordan how to count to 5! Give me a break! (and she wonders why Jordan acts out for her) She thinks I'm one of those completely neurotic parents that believes my kid can do things she can't. I left - so I could go bawl on the phone to Eddie. I felt really bad, because he was in the field today with his AD (meaning he was driving in the car with one of his employees!!! yikes!!!! sorry, honey!!). I knew I had totally lost it, but I was so frustrated and had to vent. Unfortunately, my outlet when I'm mad is crying. Poor guy...I can only imagine the conversation with his AD that followed!
I can say that we've been extremely blessed with the aide we got. She has a 4th grade son with autism and has very high expectations of him. Because that is her life, she understands the importance of what goes on in school and she has been an awesome source of help and encouragement! If we only had her and the classroom teacher, we'd be in good shape!
Suffice it to say, I'm none too happy with how things are going at school. I've requested a meeting with the "team" - but it takes a couple weeks to pull that together because the state agency has to be involved, yada, yada, yada. Sadly, I don't have really high expectations regarding the outcome of the meeting, but God may have something else in mind...we'll see!
Parenting a kid with special needs is hard enough all by itself - when you have to deal with MORONS that refuse to see potential in your kid, it makes it that much harder (and sadder). This situation is precisely why I never wanted to put Jordan in school to begin with! And, for as much good as they do, this one 'bad apple' is ruining it!
So, aren't you glad this was the semi-short version? Just imagine the long...and you have my week! I know God has a plan in this and I've been praying that He will give us really clear direction in the midst of so many decisions to make and difficult people to deal with. One way I want Him to use me in this, is for my faith to be reflected in my dealings with them, even though my flesh wants to take over (and does sometimes). I want Christ's love to shine through even though I may be upset and angry.
Regardless of the outcome in the immediate future, this will be an ongoing issue for us. There will be future battles to fight. My prayer is that God will continue to build us up so that we are prepared and able to stand up for her - and so that we can teach her how to stand up for herself!


Rays Family said...

Angela: I'm so sorry! I sent you a e-mail before I read your blog and then I had Bob (my hubby) read it and he said we sound so similar. I can't tell you how many times I've called him when he's been with a client and just balled my eyes out. We understand and you will be in our prayers tonight and every night.
Things always seem better in the morning. Our kido's need us to be their voices right now and nothing will stop us.


Judy said...

Amen to your last sentence... you will stand up for her and teach her to stand up for herself!!! You are a great mom and dad!!!

Sarah said...


Jordan is sooo lucky to have you! Imagine if she had a complacent, submissive, docile momma! This sounds terribly exhausting and frustrating. I think it is good that you are being so assertive and direct about what you want from the school. Stick with it. Things will get better. However, it is unfortunate that you have to go to such lengths. Uggghh!

Dara said...

Dear Angela,
Im so sorry that you are having to deal with a bad teacher. There is nothing worse - I remember having a terrible teacher as a young 5th grader - my mom pulled me out and homeschooled me - it was a huge deal since the school was attached to our church, that my grandpa was the pastor of - but mom put us first and made the right decisions for her family. I will never forget it and I have had to do it for Awnna in Pre-school. It is not the same frustration that you face - but all of this to say - stand strong - you are an Awesome mother and I am challenged by your example. Love you