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    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Well, I should have mentioned that DD8(almost nine) has only recently gotten a true understanding of her educational needs this year! So maybe age eight is the magic number.

    I did bring in DD's WJ and I think it was very beneficial in stating her case. However, our principal is very knowledgable concerning these things.

    Even the teacher could understand that >age 23 in one of the subtests was significant.

    I say, look over that test and see what section scores really pack a punch and focus on those if you do bring the achievement testing in.

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    No matter what happens, keep you cool. Better to say nothing and regroup at a later date. I feel for you Crisc. I don't know about you but I've definatly had that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach at times when dealing with teachers from school.

    Good luck at that meeting.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    I finally sent my reply e-mail to set up the meeting for next week. I asked for the school counselor or an administrator to be present. I also asked the teacher to review the IQ and achievement testing prior to the meeting.

    I doubt I will be able to bite my tongue during the meeting...I also agree on the whole pit of the stomach thing. This really should not be this hard.

    I also have never told DS6 that the school was teaching to his level--he was smart enough to figure that one out on his own. smile


    Crisc
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    Good luck at the meeting. I could have easily written and received the same email from DS's teacher. She continues to tell me that no Kindergartner she's seen in 20 years can "actually" read and that DS needs to practice coloring or he will not be able to complete elementary school. She has told me that I have overestimated his abilities and when she saw his test results, she actually said "Well since you paid for them privately, you can buy anything these days...." Uh.. yeah whatever. I bought an IQ score???

    We have had less than stellar results so I'm not good at advice. I can tell you that we always have the Principal or the school learning specialist in any conversation now. If your district has a learning specialist, psychologist or other person who generally would sit in on an IEP, you may want them to participate as a third party.

    Now as a teacher, I can say that the part where you said that she can't teach him at his level, would have seriously pissed me off. I KNOW what you meant but it does imply that she does not have the ability, not the time. Like she's not smart enough... which she very well may not be! Try to deescalate- perhaps even apologize so that you may be able to have a conversation.

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    crisc Offline OP
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    Thanks CAMom,
    I guess I didn't realize that it would come off like that. I know she can teach to his level, she just can't due to time and having a class of 20 kids. I thought that by putting that statement about the other children that she would know what I meant. Oops. I will apologize for that.


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    We were in a similar situation with DS6 last year in Kindergarten. Unfortunately, his teacher refused to meet with me and referred me to the Principal, who also refused to meet with me (she said, specifically, "There's no reason for a meeting, we have nothing to discuss because we aren't doing anything differently"). So, I would say that just the fact that she's actively pursuing a face to face meeting is a great sign that things aren't too far gone and she really wants to find a way to make it work.

    Good luck!

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    You've gotten great advice. I just want to say good luck!


    Kriston
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    It took some of the others until DS's SAT score passed theirs
    Ha!!! grin

    Crisc,
    I similarly have a natural talent for stating the obvious, scientific, and logical facts to a teacher... and instantaneously pissing her off. DS8 has a very kind and sweet teacher this year for Language Arts. At a parent/teacher conference in November, she gushed about how wonderful it was to have DS in her class, and how he brought such insightful points of view to the class discussion. I thought that I had a teacher that really understood my son and was supportive. About a month later, DS started to actively complain about the level of reading material in his 4th grade class. They were reading a book that was 5 grade levels below his reading level. Even the private gifted counselor that we see recommended that the teacher allow DS to read above level books and do similar writing assignments on those instead. So with great confidence, I fired off an email asking if she could give DS more challenging work. I tried to phrase it politely, and offered to do any of the additional legwork necessary, so as to not impose upon her time.

    Well, I got a serious smack-down reply with the typical remarks..."The work was appropriately challenging for DS. There are other kids in the class with higher reading levels than DS." etc... I must have wrankled some nerve in this women by unintentionally implying that she was not a good teacher if she was not challenging a student in her classroom. But she really has no clue, even with her own reading assessment in front of her, that DS needs something more than the average student. She knows he is bright, but she teaches bright students every day. He is no different than any of the other "bright" students in the class.

    So I don't have any words of wisdom for you. I would happily take any offered for you, though. Somehow, you have to teach the teacher about levels of giftedness. All bright kids are not the same. And if the teacher is convinced that she is the reigning expert on teaching, then nothing you can say will change her mind. <sad but true!>

    And as for test data, I agree with all of the above when they say that WJ III and WISC-type scores don't really help. They may have not ever seen scores in that ballpark before, or they just don't understand the statistics involved. They are more likely to understand things like an end-of-the-year assessment test for a particular subject in a particular grade. All teachers give a test at the end of the year to measure how their first graders mastered first grade math. You could ask her to give your child that test now. If he passes it, then she has to admit that there is very little left in the standard curriculum for her to teach him. We have also suggested in the past that the school allow our son to sit in with an older grade for the state achievement tests. These tests are meaningless to most of us, since they measure bare minimum performance. But the school pust great stock in them. If you child passes the 3rd grade math state assessment for example, and you would be horrified at how basic these tests are, then somehow the school seems to sit up and take notice.

    Try to find whatever assessment that the school puts the most stock in and go with that. In fact, ask sweetly for them to come up with a way to assess the educational needs of your child. Let them brainstorm a bit and if they come up with the idea, then they are more likely to accept the results. wink

    I really feel for you Crisc! We went through a similar painful stretch, with both the teacher and the behavior issue, in first grade. DS had a teacher that knew he was bright but didn't understand why he didn't want to do all of her coloring assignments. DS was terribly frustrated and his behavior at home, and occasionally at school was less than stellar. That year was a complete bust for DS, and he suffered terribly for it. We just didn't know enough at that point in time to really fight for what he needed. You are in a much better position than we were to be even fighting these battle in 1st grade, awful as they are. On the behavior side of things, we fought our share of battles with grounding him, taking away his computer/tv time, and even taking away his precious legos for a two week period. (He was left with very little to do for two very looooong weeks!) There were also times when he lashed out at us at home in frustration. The situation improved greatly when he was grade accelerated, but even then there was a period of transition where the social friction caused behavior problems. Even now at age eight, there are days when he comes home from school in a major snit. He has, for the most part, learned how to go up to his room and "vent his frustration" in an acceptable manor before coming back down and joining civilization. That level of restraint just takes time, and lots of love and support. (and he still has moments when the frustration just gets the better of him, but they are becoming less and less frequent.)

    So I know, to some extent, what you are going through. Hang on tight and try to ride it out. Somehow the battles seem to change from year to year. But I'm not sure that they get easier. I looked at DH the other day after a particular snarky comment on DS's part (after a hard day at school, even with a grade acceleration and subject acceleration!) and said , "If DS is a 14 year old mind stuck in an 8 year old body, then does that mean we have a teenager now or for the next seemingly eternity years?" It was at least worth a laugh! And laughter is the only way to get through this sometimes!!


    Mom to DS12 and DD3
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    Oh my. I'm sorry you upset her so much. I got into similar situation when DS6 was in K and I asked for better LA for him. Perhaps me saying that he could spell the words she kept giving him at the age of 2 wasn't the best way to say so but it was true. Ok, I might have skipped the part about the words being fine but for DS3 (he was at the same classroom) but not my older one wink Honestly I couldn't understand how anybody could ask him to spell "cat" and "dog" after knowing him for 2 months and telling me how gt he was.

    I pissed her off and she gave me a parenting lecture a few hours later when I came to pick him up. Something about perfectionism, whole child (I cannot here this phrase anymore), him learning only because of me, pushing him ... It was bad. Needless to say it didn't sit well with me either but I didn't argue. It was so ridiculous and off that I didn't even know what to say. It was the conversation which made us have him tested (he tested at 4th grade at spelling at that time). She ended up apologizing to me the next school day (Monday) but the damage had been done.

    I took samples of his math work to school at one point and it helped some but math was taught by the other class teacher. Perhaps it will help in your case too. It's quite possible she might have never seen your son's scores and extremely likely she has no idea about his math abilities. In our care the scores helped a lot, at least in math.

    Obviously I am no help with any diplomacy when it comes to schools. I just wanted to show that you are not the only one who upsets teachers.

    Good luck


    LMom
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    Ask how his "academic level" has been assessed by the teacher. How does she know she's teaching him at the right level?

    Great advice and it may received as less provocative to word it as "What do your test results show us about his academic level?"

    I'd also add: be prepared to hear "academic level" assessments that don't make sense for your child. This happened to me and it turned out the school's interpretation of my DD6's assessments were way off base. I was given hand written MAP data that was actually erroneous. Ask for official copies of the test reports.

    Also I was given an SRI reading score that the teacher said put DD6 at the beginning of second grade reading level. When I looked at it later, I realized she had used the Lexile Text Measures to interpret DD's score (middle 50% of materials found in a typical grade classroom)instead of the Lexile Reader Measures (middle 50% of students at mid year). Using the Lexile Reader Measures made a significant difference.

    It's been frustrating that they misinterpreted the data in such a way that made DD6 look less capable than she is. Take their test results with a healthy amount of skepticism if it seems significantly different from what you know about your child.

    I hope the meeting goes well. Since the teacher requested the meeting, it may be best if you start off in "receive mode." Show her with body language that she has your full attention and you are receptive to hearing her.

    When it's your turn, you can get her attention by leading with something she's not expecting: an apology for how your e-mail may have come across or a compliment about something that's working for your son in her classroom.

    Here's some other quotes that may help to keep in the back of your mind during the meeting:

    �The essence of advocacy is to keep a conversation going.� Bob Babbage

    You must always play the role of Ms. Manners (who merged with Peter Columbo) and ask lots of �5 W�s + H + E questions� (who, what, when, where, why, how, explain). (From Wrightslaw)

    I'll be hoping for the best and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who upsets teachers (...and the PTA...and the principal... and the superintendent). smile



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