June 6, 2007

Ever have those moments, where at the end of the day you’re left wondering, “What was it all about?” “What am I to learn from this?” Well, today is one of those days. What am I supposed to do with the past 12 hours?

The day actually started off with subtle excitement. Awards Day at the school for our son. “Mom, Dad, are you coming today?” He’s excited. We assured him we’d take off and be in the house. We arrive on time, get our seat, grab a program…We knew he didn’t make the straight A list, we knew he didn’t make honor roll (darn those two ‘C’s)….Ah here we go, Most Improved. I see….hmm…list of about 12 students. As my eyes scrolled down the list –no son. As a matter of fact, he was no where on the program at all. What?!

So…what is the criteria for a ‘most improved’ student….He brought D’s up to a B in Math. Check! Teachers and counselors had him slated for summer school, for fear of not passing the standardized test…heck, we had to fill out his “summer school” paperwork early, to ensure he’d have a seat lol. Passed standardized testing against the odds. Check! Not nearly the calls and notes from his teacher…conduct must have improved too. Check!

We finally saw him (he must have been sitting behind us) at the end of the awards program…long face, sad eyes. I KNOW he worked hard to pull all of that off, surely he had earned something! Before you know it, with parents and teachers everywhere, I’m off to the teacher’s lounge, looking for tissue to wipe my eyes. Couldn’t help it, man. My heart hurt so bad for him. By the time me and hubby reached his classroom, his head was on the desk, tears soaking his notebook paper.

After encouraging him, telling him how proud we were, I think that’s when hubby decided we’d better leave. I guess he saw 1999 in my eyes. I didn’t feel like I was going to do anything crazy, but he knows how passionate I am about my kids..hurt them — it’s hell to pay. (I talked to my mom later, she too was thankful hubby was there…something about saving her money and my bail). I think I was hurt that the teacher didn’t recognize 1) his improvements, and 2) how hard they were for him to accomplish. Was she blinded by his conduct (which we later find out was not so great), or was this a slap in the face to the parents who had HER in the Principal’s office in January explaining her constant punitive attitude towards our son? Waita minute, she dodged that meeting and we met with her at a later date. Hmmm.

Now before we go into how hard teachers’ jobs are these days, let me assure you — we recognize that. We’ve seen it with our own eyes. And, our son is not a total angel. But neither is he a total hell-raiser either. We were appalled to discover her moving him to a desk in the back of the room, off from the rest of the class, was not until he got his act together….But lasted the entire first half of 3rd grade! Hello! (We missed this one terribly) What’s up with the solitary confinement! What incentives was he given to move back to general population…What?! So we met with the principal to get him out of that corner, treat him as a rightful member of the class, stop the “Class…., and you too, A” mentality, which by now the other students had picked up on….Good grief.

The deal after the Principal’s meeting was this: “If you have problems or issues out of our son, CALL US anytime! We want to partner with you…you give him a good education, we’ll get him back in line if he’s out of order, disruptive, whatever the problem may be.” Cool.

Here we are, two days from the end of the school year, with a couple of calls in 5 months, and you’ve got a problem with his behavior..really? And we were supposed to know that how? Where’s the calls? “Well, I thought by the time I call you, he could just sit down, get it together, and it’ll be over.” Is that all it was anyway, “A’s talking…A’s out of his seat” Are you teaching plants or 8 and 9 year olds? Geesh. But that’s not what we agreed upon, now was it? Even if the calls were too tedious, I told her, 1) You should have never agreed to do it, and 2) where were the notes you coulda sent home…how ’bout an e-mail? “Well, I guess I’ll do that with parents next year.” And then she stood silently in front of me, like that’s all I’m going to say…try again next year.

My emotions are coming back together slowly. Part of me is disappointment in the teacher. I feel she gave up on my son, he wasn’t important enough to her to keep the bargain…help us help her, and him. I’m disappointed in our son’s conduct — the (very) old “is that how we teach you to act…” …not getting the truth of what happens at school…the WHOLE truth. Guess I had bought into too many stories about being falsely accused (“A” did it…easy fall guy…when he really didn’t). I want to show my babies I believe them and in them, when the world doesn’t. Alas, to everything, there is a balance lol. And a lot of discerning.

As for me, all I could hear today was WIP!…Work in Progress. I don’t know what hubby saw in me…I was too emotionally charged to care at the time…but I know I gotta keep dying…keep old, ugly, turn-it-out-in-a-minute me buried at all costs. Itsa daily death, doggonit…daily!


4 Responses to “Mother(Over)load”

  1. refinedone Says:

    hmm Sis’ …it’s ok, i feel you. we just dont want our kids to feel hurt, we can not have anyone make them feel less…cos we know they are not…
    …just breath. you righty said its an adverture alright ….good o’l motherhood.

  2. asheselah Says:

    Girlll…somebody help me lol! It’s so crazy…I saw ur comment just now after guess who called…the teacher AND the principal! (The principal was following up on my request for a closing meeting). More drama! Can you say new beginnings in 4th grade…in a new school…our prayer is fresh start…clean slate =)!

  3. […] when I typed those four letters, I remembered last year’s testing season. Remember all the challenges my son had with his grades and 3rd grade teacher? Remember how she arranged for him to have an early seat in summer school, cos she just knew he […]

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