Preparing to do Battle

Today I did something I wish I could have done sooner. I've begun battle with one of Christopher's teachers. He's been struggling in one of his classes. Some of the issue is of his own making. Last quarter he didn't turn in 10 assignments and got zeros. However, we contacted the teacher to try and do something about it.

Here's how it went: Ellen email the teacher. A week went by with no response. She emailed the teacher again and this time copied in the guidance counselor. Instant response! But a STUPID response. The teacher's comment on Christpher not understanding material was confusion that a student could have difficulty since the teacher has worked with 6 consultants over the years to put together the lesson plan to make it effective. I read between the lines to hear "I'm such a good teacher no one could POSSIBLY have trouble in my class".

I then went to "Take Your Parent to School Day" with Christopher and saw this teacher in action first hand. First of all, the teacher did not say anything to me or acknowledge the conversations we'd had. Second, the teacher spoke to the 9th graders like they were 4th graders. I was not amused. So the teacher told Christopher he could make up half the assignments he missed. He got a few turned in but needed the teacher's help on the last couple. He set up an appointment for the last day of the marking period but the teacher told him they'd help "unless I have a conference". Not wanting Christopher to wait until the last day and then have something come up, I emailed the teacher to let them know Christopher would be trying to get with them earlier in the week. Here's the response: " I set friday as a deadline for those with circumstances that need more time. I have through this friday before the book really closes. I am not collecting any more work form this marking period. We have a good enough representation."

What the fuck is that supposed to mean? We have access to a web site that shows the kids' grades. All the zeros are still there. I beleive this teach flat out lied to my kid. We'll see how the quarterly grade goes but I'm not happy. So today, I sent a nice email to the teacher stating I'm expecting them to email me weekly with updates and immediately if an assignmemt is not turn in. While I said please, there was nothing in the tone of my email that implied it was an option. It was a command prefaced by a please. This teacher has until Wednesday to acknowledge my email or the next one includes the guidance counselor. If I don't get an update, then the next will include the pricipal.

If this teacher thinks I'm an asshole after this first round, just wait. I have no problem marching down to that school and dictating what services they will provide to me and my child. I don't give a rat's ass about their policies or desire to teach the kids to be independent or prep them for college or whatever lame ass excuse they want to give. If I want progres reports from the school, the will damn well give them to me. Yes, people, I'm THAT parent. The one everyone whispers about while staring with eyes wide. Make no mistake, these teachers work for me. My taxes go to pay their salary. Their reason for being is to provide a service to me and my kids. And they will provide me with what I need or else.

I told Christopher that he HAS to do his part and turn in everything so I can back him up. But if this teacher wants to go to war with me, they're going DOWN.


Jammie J. said…
Is Christopher going to be able to turn in those last two things he was working on? That seems like an inappropriate response on her part, if Christopher has been working on them, but needs her input to complete them.

If the student, parents and teacher are all supposed to be a team to guide kids through their learning, it doesn't seem as if she's doing her part at all.

Also, wondering if it might be more beneficial to start including the principal right away. I don't know the hierarchy (is her supervisor the guidance counselor?). Her responses (or lack thereof) seem appropriate to bring to the attention of her supervisor.

Just my thoughts.
sydwynd said…
Jammie: Christopher turned in the assignments last Tuesday. He was told by his teacher he could do so. If he couldn't, then why stay after school with him to help? Makes no sense. I'm going to hold off on getting the principal involved for a very short time. Then I'm done. Too bad Christopher didn't get it in writing.
Jude said…
I agree with Jammie, this teacher doesn't seem very interested in doing her part to help the kids along as needed. She seems more interested in her own rules than in the students' needs.

You go for it Vince, rattle a cage or two and make yourself heard. It's what the kids need! Best of luck!
sydwynd said…
Jude: See the update. I'm still not hip on this teacher but the assignments Christopher handed in were refelcted in his final grade and I'm getting the response I want. So I'll simply be a sleeping tiger right now.

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