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    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Yes, when DS was 6 and acting out, I wrote a supportive e-mail to his teacher expressing my concern over my son's bad behavior at school, told her that I was on her team and if there was anything I should be doing to nip it in the bud, that she just had to name it. Oh and "by the way," I said in my last paragraph, "could you send home some more challenging books for his homework?" I didn't say he was bored. I didn't excuse his behavior. Just please grab a different book and shove it in his bag instead. No extra work for her. This was not even an advocacy message!

    Well.

    I got back a 9-paragraph *ranting* e-mail about how she didn't think I trusted her with my son, how she *knew* he was smart but that didn't excuse his behavior (huh?), and that there are lots of good books that aren't chapter books (double huh? Oh, and could you send some of those along then?). Well, after that, she was right: I *didn't* trust her! eek

    I went in to see DS6's test scores at that point, realized that as bad as the teacher was, it didn't really matter, and we pulled him out to homeschool a couple of weeks later.

    So, yes, Crisc, you're among friends on the angering teachers front! I still have no idea what her problem was, but after having several neutral parties read my e-mail and her response, I was pretty sure she had issues way beyond my kindly little message. It's why I don't have advice for you. It would be a case of the blind leading the sighted if I did, I'm afraid! blush


    Kriston
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    Quote
    It would be a case of the blind leading the sighted if I did, I'm afraid!
    That was the phrase I was looking for and couldn't find! wink

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    LOL! I started to write "blind leading the blind," but the fact is ANYONE here is going to be better at advocacy than I am, I guarantee it! And Crisc is, for sure. I've met her. She'll be great! smile


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by gratified3
    When we had a teacher threatened by one DS, I learned (eventually) that she didn't have to agree with me and she could continue to believe that 1/2 her class had PG scores and I was just a hot houser. I didn't have to convince her or tell her how wrong she was. But she *couldn't* continue to teach my kid nothing and that was something I could work on with the help of counselor, principal, district or anyone else I needed.

    Excellent point. Here we deeply understand gifties, overexcitiabilities, LOG, 2E, and we know where to get help understanding those test scores if we need it. We have the experiences of about 50 kids, that we can ask each other about at a moment's (ok a few hour's maybe) notice. Many of us have family members who are somewhere in the gifted range. Most of us have about 1000 real life experience hours with even moderatly gifted people for every hour that most elementary school teacher have.

    Elementary School Teachers only get to see a 1 out of a thousand kid about once in a career. Of all the local families who are facing what you are facing, some don't even try the public school system, and some homeschool.

    A very few minus some minus some more equals 'almost none!'

    ((How do you like my Grin-a-Math?))

    Unfortunatly, the longer a person has been doing something, the more likely they are to have developed a lot of pride and trust in what they are doing. Even if what they are doing happens to be dangerous to your kid.

    So - vent your anger (which is justified, only not useful in that setting) here.
    Adopt G3's 'one point policy' above that she doesn't have to change her mental attitude, only her teaching.

    Digression 1: (There is something to be said for how her internal thoughts are affecting your highly able kid, but I can't remember if HSing or private is an option for your family right now. It is certian that my son's well meaning 2nd grade teacher's opinion that there was something wrong with him affected is self image, at least at the time. He is too intelligent in that particular way to spend 6 hours with someone and not 'get' how she feels about him. In her case, she didn't get asynchronous development, so when he had a difficult time with 'writing detailed sentences' she was quite convinsed that 'he could if he really tried' and that 'he has really really severe ADHD.' On one hand, even very small changes make a big difference to these kids, on the other hand - do you really want your child to be stuck there while you go through this difficult process. You can do everything right and still lose. DH and I played by the rules and used all our formidable people skills to advocate, and in the end, we moved him to a private school for two years where we got the grade skip and lots of help in overcoming the 'enforced underachievement.' Many have won in the public school, but this isn't a negotiation as the only obligation they have to help you is moral. You are doing a sales ptich here. Even if it goes well, it may take years!)

    However, most people change their attitudes AFTER they change their behaviors. Illogical but a fact of human nature.

    Then there is the question of how to assess a child. It is best if a school uses tests and above level tests that they are familiar with. It is a scientific fact that human beings doing test will find the data that supports the ideas that they already have. That's why experiments use 'double-blind studies.'

    Which reminds me that writing samples can be helpful, handwritten and dictated. Complicated Math sheets are good. If you kid does powerpoints about any interesting topic, pet care, planets, etc. that can be helpful. Use Kriston's links of 'For those asking what is ND for Kindy' post to get ideas of stuff to try to demonstrate various gradelevels. Don't use their assigned grade levels, as that will come off as presumptions, just the activities.

    Digression 2: You know how when you go to the doctor thinking that you have strep throat, (for example) you are much better off saying: 'I have the worst sore throat of my life and the kids are all on antibiotics for strep' than saying 'Please do a culture for Strep Throat.' This isn't the best example, because lots of doctors are somewhat relaxed about doing cultures, but when the diagnosis get more complicated, it can make a huge difference. We have a family member who is a doctor, and when another family member is sick, them might call the MD over the phone to practice which parts of their story are the most 'useful to doctor ears.' Anyway, your goal is to present data that will give them reason to revise their ideas enough to be able to gather new data without the old ideas.

    Crisc ((hugs!))
    I really feel for you. I know you must be blaming yourself for angering the teacher, but if you get a meeting, and do some careful listening (love the 5W + H + E idea!) you will get to see if you have something to work with. This isn't ideal, but it isn't all bad. Try to take on the role of 'how can I help you' rather than the role of 'How could you?' Bring any other availible adult to help you stay calm and to take notes. Take lots of notes. If you can't get into the role of a 'partner' perhaps aim for an investigative journalist. I'm picturing you with the '60 Minutes' TV show graphic of the stopwatch as backdrop. I've found that it's hard to change people's minds, but at least possible to facilitate people exploring their own minds and adding the one or two relavant facts that might help them 'see things differently.'

    Sorry for all these words and digressions. This topic is still a hot one for me. PM me if you want to know how much our 2 years of private school cost, ok? LOL! But yeah, it eventually did get that bad.

    You didnt' cause this situation, you only stepped in it.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity



    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com
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    Crisc, when's your meeting?

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    Originally Posted by master of none
    Another piece of advice. PRETEND THE EMAIL NEVER HAPPENED!
    Focus on what the meeting is about. It's not about making her mad or her having a class with other needs. It's about your child and his needs and how to best meet them.


    Oh! That's GOOOOOOOD, MON! Wow! Pretend it never happened and keep the focus on the child, where it belongs.

    Wowsa!


    Kriston
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    Well, I certainly wouldn't focus on it, anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if teacher brings it up, then you could say something like:

    You know, I was really frustrated and I'm not the greatest at expressing myself through writing. I think that note could easily be interpreted to mean something that I didn't intend, sorry.

    But, actually since you bring it up, I do have a question for you. What are the (insert grade) students expected to know at the end of this year and does my DS already know it?

    Said non-threateningly in a very thoughtful ponderous way. Seriously, this is a valid question but should be lobbed as sincerely and respectfully as possible.

    Than sit and wait for an answer. Do not speak until the teacher has responded. I don't care if she/he stares at you for five minutes.

    The point is not even to get a workable answer from the teacher. The point is to get the teacher to really think about this. That would be a successful meeting. You regroup later and go from there.

    If she/he fires off a list of things that are necessary that you child is supposedly not doing, write it down, don't address it, gracefully end the meeting and talk it out with DH.

    Live to *fight* another day.

    I wish you much luck and success Crisc

    Last edited by incogneato; 01/15/09 08:55 AM. Reason: spelling, glasses are upstairs and I'm too lazy to retrieve them now!
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    Smart!


    Kriston
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    I don't know about that.......I just know that strategy worked for us. And I'm always happy to share the mistakes that backfired in my face....for *the cause*


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    But I do agree with you and MON's concept. Always gently re-direct it back to THE BOY. He is a child and it's very easy for our adult ego's to forget about that(and I mean teacher too) in the heat of conflict.

    But when we all keep reminding ourselves that we are speaking of a child and this is not a pissing match, things tend to be more productive.

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