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    #45852 - 04/28/09 09:43 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    The frustration is just part of the game, I'm afraid. You have a couple of options.

    Wait and see how the first few weeks of next year go.

    Follow the line and speak to her superior.

    Find a different school.

    Homeschool.

    Unfortunately none of them are great choices. It's sooo hard to try and define your child to people that just don't get it. And you're right about the teacher being defensive. Somehow they see it as a personal attack if their class isn't good enough. I don't have any great advice but ultimately you'll find something that works, have faith.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

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    #45854 - 04/28/09 09:47 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Quote:
    Now what? I am feeling frustrated.


    Look at it as a good start. This is an ongoing process and the door is open for another meeting when you have the achievement scores. Give her a little time to process what you've already given her and be ready to make more progress at the next meeting.

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    #45855 - 04/28/09 10:04 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    elizabethmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    Thanks all, that helps. I will wait and see and offer some achievement scores when they come in.

    We do have GIEPs, but 1) for us that only means the one day a week pull out program or magnet school (no HG just GT and far away and waiting list and 2) this is a private school so they do what they want.

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    #45857 - 04/28/09 10:12 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    BTW, what did she say about her teaching philosophy? Anything to connect with there for the next meeting?

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    #45861 - 04/28/09 10:22 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: inky]
    Artana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/10/08
    Posts: 227
    elizabethmom,
    Depending on your state, having GIEPs gives you a lot of legal backing. You can have your son tested, force them to have a meeting to discuss the results, and then use the GIEP excuse to push the teacher into discussing the accomodations she legally has to make for your son. In some states, it makes no difference if it is a public or private school. In other states, it makes a difference.
    Another option is to have another meeting with this teacher, and the teacher from this past year. That way, you have someone who dealt with him, who is also a professional teacher, to back up your concerns and help respond to hers. It is tiring and frustrating...I wish there was a way to make it simpler.:/

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    #45863 - 04/28/09 10:29 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: elizabethmom
    She listened to me, she talked about how much harder the curriculum was than the 3rd grade, talked about her teaching philosophy, and then basically said "we'll see" after the first few weeks.


    Remember what they taught the kids in preschool?
    "You get what you get and you don't get upset."

    When the teacher talks about how much harder the curriculum is in 4th grade than it was in 3rd grade, she may just as well be singing:
    "You get what you get and too bad for you if you get upset."

    Just thought that I would translate.

    Basically - you did just fine, and now it's time to go to the head of school and tell them that you aren't going to sign your contract for next year without a grade skip for both kids. Why? Because anyone who looks at those IQ scores and talks about how much harder the curricula is going to be next year has NO IDEA what it means to be PG, and is unlikely to want to learn.

    Basically - you can't tell a school that they aren't 'hard enough' for your child. You can tell the school that you child kicks and screams and rolls around the floor begging you not to send her back. You can tell the school about the psychosomatic stomache aches. You can get a doctor's note about all the stress poor DD is suffering. Then you tell them that the person who did your testing says that keeping a child so many years below her academic readiness level 4 days out of the week is causig her great stress, and that a full grade skip is a good first step. (BTW - weirdly the 'Achievement Test' scores doen't help with acutual schools determine actual placement, they just don't translate locally. If you want to do something now, request firmly that their own 'end of year' tests for 4th grade be given to DD NOW to determine next years placement.

    You notice that I'm acting like a grade skip is a 'no-brainer' and going to solve all your problems. Well, it is a no-brainer in your case, and no, it won't solve any of your problems. But, once the schools sees with it's own eyes that 'your kids are different' then suitable subject accelerations will follow. And yes, there are drawbacks, but if your kids are really lonely and miserable,AND not learning how to work at learning, then the drawbacks are worth it, and you'll solve tommorow's problems tommorrow.

    Sadly, in a few years, your older daughter will be at an age where it's very likely that she will be unwilling to put in more of a 'reasonable effort' and be glad that she can get away with 'just the minimum' and can focus on the social side of life.


    In my experience, the hardest groups to convince of the 'PG difference' are the groups that are well suited and comfortable with moderatly gifted kids. After seeing so many bright ones, they tend to think that they have seen it all. They have not.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #45865 - 04/28/09 10:38 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    DrH Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/15/09
    Posts: 40
    In general talking to teachers is about as useful as talking to paint chips. Schools determine what the teachers do or don't do. By and large teachers just do the song and dance routine that the school wants them to. SO if you find you have a school that isn't giving you the education you want for your child, just move them to another school. Yes it is a pain in the backside, and yes it cost you money to do it. BUT the only thing you can be sure of is if you talk to a teacher and in any way raise concerns about how your child is being taught, the teacher WILL remember that and it will impact how your child is treated by that teacher.

    There is a common fear that if you upset a teacher that the teacher will take it out on your child. It is a common fear because it tends to be quite true.

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    #45873 - 04/28/09 11:09 AM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: DrH]
    twomoose Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/05/08
    Posts: 127
    [quote=DrH]In general talking to teachers is about as useful as talking to paint chips. Schools determine what the teachers do or don't do. SO if you find you have a school that isn't giving you the education you want for your child, just move them to another school.

    Wow, that's cynical! I beg to disagree. I think talking to the teacher is a great start if you anticipate issues arising next year (and it sounds like that's a possibility). Communication is important, even if it doesn't necessarily lead anywhere right away. Then, as next year progresses, you can reference your previous conversation and show that you were being proactive and a good advocate for your child. Start slowly. They may or may not be able to accomodate your requests, but if you are respectful rather than confrontational (not that you would be - that was a personal reminder!) you may be able to work with the school. Say, "there is no perfect school" - repeat as necessary.

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    #45891 - 04/28/09 12:44 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: elizabethmom]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    So sorry. It's a lousy situation.

    Can you go to the principal to ask about a full-grade skip? Would that be a reasonable course of action? A private school should be much more responsive.

    ==> Have you already signed the forms saying you'll return next year? If not, you could try to (very gently) use her return as a bargaining position.


    Val


    Edited by Val (04/28/09 12:46 PM)

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    #45901 - 04/28/09 01:18 PM Re: How do I talk to the teachers? Want a good plan. [Re: DrH]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: DrH
    In general talking to teachers is about as useful as talking to paint chips.


    Ouch! That's quite a generalization. And I do cringe when I see comparisons of 'people' to 'inanimate objects.'

    But I do think that listening to teachers is a lot more useful than talking to them. Also one has to start with talking to a teacher before on goes up the chain to the next higher level. I think that my son got a lot from a wonderful 3rd grade teacher even in without the support of the school administration.

    Of course, what each child needs varies quite a bit. If a child only needs a bit of enrichment, then talking to a teacher might help. A little bit of talking with lots of showing evidence of what the child loves to do and lots and lots of listening. Other children are going to need solutions that require coordination between rooms or even buildings, and then of course, after getting the teacher's opinion, and hopefully support, one has to go higher.

    The main thing is to remember that for gifted kids, meeting their need for academic challenge IS a social and emotional issue, and not to let the schoolies make it an 'either/or' kind of situation. If one speaks in terms of the emotional needs of the child, then one might get a lot further rather than appealing to some outside standard or 'because it's decent.'

    I also think that it's important to keep in mind that the schools are under no obligation to provide the kinds of modifications that you might want for your child. I've been in the situation where I was resptectful, polite, kind and unsuccessful at getting my son the accomidations he needed at a school. They thought I was great, and often said they wish that every child had a parent like me. They still didn't provide more than 20% of the change my son needed. This isn't really a negotiation - it's begging. And begging has a highly variable yield. Was I depressed and self-blaming? I was for a month or two. But in the end, we found ways to reverse my son's underachievement, at least for the most part. No, there will never be a perfect school situation, but there are school situations that are bad and should be changed.

    Remember this one:
    "...Grant me the the wisdom to know the difference."

    The question of 'when is a school a good enough fit' is a great example of how much wisdom is required to 'know the difference.' Especially with many girls who often want to conform and please everyone around them.

    But - the topic of this thread is 'how do I talk to the teachers' which to me means that the parents knows that something has to change, but still imagines that the depth of change is something that can be handled in a single classroom. I've been there and done that, and for a kid with scores like that WHO IS ACTIVELY COMPLAINING, is unlikely to have their problems fixed inside a single classroom. For 2/3 of gifted kids - talking to the teacher is a great idea, and listening even better. Asking a few respectful probing questions - better yet. Plus, there is much more a teacher can do with a few moderatly gifted kids clustered together doing a special project. Sometimes a PG kid gets lucky with her agemates and finds a kindred spirit right in her own classroom, but it's more rare. Less rare in certian neighborhoods, but still quite unusual.

    Getting off soapbox now,
    Grinity

    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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