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    #240223 - 10/25/17 07:59 AM Incompetent teacher
    Archie Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/08/16
    Posts: 48
    Just a rave and rant from me...

    My son skipped 3rd grade and is now in 6th grade. His teacher has been useless in providing subject acceleration or even differentiation for maths and spelling, which is written into his ILP. One thing also added was for him to be assessed with an above level achievement test so he could join a vocational school for 10th graders and above. This was supposed to have happened in the first semester. I found out that she did the test and received the results two months ago! I asked her today and she told me through gritted teeth he was in the 9th stanine for 9th grade. It's as though she doesn't want him to take up this program.

    I'm so angry and want to cry. She's known his scores for so long and has still refused to give him harder maths. The school itself is very academic and usually very open to subject acceleration.

    I've just really had enough. I don't know how much longer I can advocate; I feel like I'm meant to be grateful that he received one grade skip but I'm so upset that this teacher can just do whatever she likes and ignore his ILP. I feel like I want to file a formal complaint with the education department. It's not like it's that hard to differentiate-- he has his own laptop and maths program online.

    Ironically, my younger son with the behavioral problems has had a great teacher who's let him read whatever he likes and do whatever maths level he wants. I've been focusing on YDS when I should have done more for ODS. So I feel guilty about that, too.

    :'(

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    #240224 - 10/25/17 08:34 AM Re: Incompetent teacher [Re: Archie]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Originally Posted By: Archie
    It's as though she doesn't want him to take up this program.
    ...
    She's known his scores for so long and has still refused to give him harder maths. The school itself is very academic and usually very open to subject acceleration.
    ...
    Ironically, my younger son with the behavioral problems has had a great teacher who's let him read whatever he likes and do whatever maths level he wants.
    Are you in the US and do your children attend public school? Unfortunately what you describe is not unusual now that teachers and schools are increasing evaluated, rated, and ranked based on equal outcomes. This includes capping the growth of students at the top. The teacher may not be incompetent, but may be focused on achieving equal outcomes in the classroom in order to have a positive performance evaluation and remain employed. Classroom performance is stored in a longitudinal database. Here's a brief roundup of old posts discussing various facets of equal outcomes:
    1- ushered in by common core
    2- educational plank of party platforms
    3- rationing opportunities
    4- Nature versus nurture
    5- supplanting gifted students in "Gifted" programs
    6- counterpoint statements
    7- The Gifted: Left Behind?
    8- Grading practices (which tend to produce equal outcomes)
    9- list of grading practices
    10- policies which lack transparency

    Kudos to you for inquiring about your child's test scores. Follow-up is so important. smile My thought would be to let go of emotions which accompanied learning that the teacher has been withholding sharing the scores until your inquiry. Focus on facts, and enforcing any applicable state laws, school policies, and previous written agreements (such as the ILP). Take an approach which will find you to be logical, unemotional, positive, and blameless as you create documentation which may help the education department find in your child's favor if you should need to file a formal complaint in the future.

    There is a collection of advocacy resources and discussion threads in this roundup.

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    #240225 - 10/25/17 08:59 AM Re: Incompetent teacher [Re: Archie]
    Archie Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/08/16
    Posts: 48
    Thanks, Indigo.

    No, I'm not in the US.

    The school recently published in their newsletter how they're focusing on giving all children individualized maths programs and not holding any child back-- that all children can do advanced maths...

    i'm finding it very difficult at the moment to not be emotional. I feel like if i have to talk to the school about this I'm going to wind up crying and screaming at them. I don't get why it has to be so hard; they've know for a long time that he is extremely advanced and he is the first child they've skipped in 40 years, so I don't know the teacher is being so difficult. His results weren't going to cause problems for her as we all know his IQ and achievement scores; this would have only benefited him doing harder maths in an outsider program.

    It's so frustrating, and I'm dreading a new teacher for the next grade and having to go through all of this again.

    And I've been advocating for over five years and I know all the information. The school and principal have been good, and they have received all my info and accept it; it's the individual teachers who have absolute freedom to run the class however they like. Each teacher has a different policy on differentiation, homework, and if giftedness even exists. No matter what I show them, in terms of articles and proof of gifted needs, they still get to decide if they believe it or not.


    Edited by Archie (10/25/17 09:07 AM)

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    #240226 - 10/25/17 10:03 AM Re: Incompetent teacher [Re: Archie]
    howdy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/13
    Posts: 279
    I have been in a similar situation with a teacher with that attitude. It is very unfortunate.

    My immediate question is, can your son change classes? I say this because it may be unlikely that her overall position is going to change. Even if you have the administration force her to take the appropriate action regarding math, she may retaliate in other ways.

    My second thought is, if you havenít already, send an email to the teacher following up on your conversation regarding the test scores and encompassing the year and how it follows or does not follow the ILP. Include dates so the time lost to inaction is obvious. Then, have someone read it before you send it to make sure it communicates what you need to, but is not adversarial. Then send it and copy the principal. This will make it possible to continue advocating without talking in person.

    In my case, we did get some action, BUT I felt it would be better to change schools to one that cared more.


    Edited by howdy (10/25/17 10:05 AM)

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    #240227 - 10/25/17 10:27 AM Re: Incompetent teacher [Re: Archie]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Originally Posted By: Archie
    giving all children individualized maths programs and not holding any child back-- that all children can do advanced maths...
    Sometimes "all children" means specifically those children who may belong to demographic groups which have been previously under-represented in gifted education and/or advanced classes. For example, this may refer to: girls for advanced math, boys for advanced reading, those living in poverty or low SES (social-economic status) for any/all advanced coursework, those whose ethnicity may be in the minority, those whose native tongue is not the majority language, recent immigrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, those with a disability, etc. Equal outcomes is the goal, closing achievement gaps.

    Originally Posted By: Archie
    I feel like if i have to talk to the school about this I'm going to wind up crying and screaming at them.
    You may feel that way, but you also know that is a fruitless approach. Said another way, it is a bit like spitting into the wind... it will come back to you and/or your child.

    Write down your advocacy plans, in a stepwise, logical, follow-the-laws-policies-and-agreements manner, and make it a WIN-WIN scenario for them to be compliant... not a WIN-LOSE.

    I agree with howdy's suggestions... both the advocacy approach... and possibly requesting a new teacher.

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    #240228 - 10/25/17 11:05 AM Re: Incompetent teacher [Re: Archie]
    chay Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/13
    Posts: 448
    Loc: Canada
    When DD was in grade 2 we encountered some unwilling teachers. I arranged a meeting and they looked at the 15 page psych-ed assessment, put it on the desk and told me "we don't see it" and then said that "she doesn't need anything special".

    I then proceeded to outline the behaviour we were seeing at home that coincided with the start of that school year - crying every day, resisting going to school, lashing out at us and her brother, etc. She had completely changed personalities and it was only getting worse. I emphasized that this was the reason I was looking for advanced work. This is what she was begging for at home and the lack thereof was at the root of her angry outbursts at home. They might not see that she "needed" it but we did.

    The teachers looked stunned and eventually agreed to our request. Distancing myself (as a "pushy parent") from the whole thing was key. This wasn't about me, this was about DD and her needs and that is all.

    In DS's case the only way we convinced unwilling teachers was that he was a royal PITA when not engaged. We eventually managed to convince them that it would likely make their lives easier if they made a teeny tiny bit of effort to give him some enrichment. Once they saw that it worked they were more likely to put in the extra effort to keep him occupied.

    I'll also second/third? the opinion above to see if you can get moved. Advocating 15 minutes every single year to be matched with the teacher that was most willing/capable of providing gifted differentiation was the most productive advocacy I ever did.

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