Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Angry! (Warning: Rant Enclosed)

I am very angry at Jamie's new teacher. Even though it is documented in his school file that he gets migraines and has a note from his neurologist stating that Jamie must be allowed to go to the nurse at the first sign of a headache so he can take his medicine and wait in a quiet, dark place for it to take effect, she wouldn't let him go when he told her he had a headache. This has happened more than once, which then resulted in me having to go pick him up early because he wound up with migraines so bad he was crying. Then she had the gall to send a note home that she felt Jamie was missing too much classroom time by going to the nurse's office. I fired one back stating that - considering his asthma, G.I. problems, migraines and allergies - he'll probably be spending a lot of time there, just like in previous years, and so long as his grades weren't affected (which they aren't), I didn't feel it was a problem to let him do what the doctors have stated he needs to do. She didn't like my reply at all.

Not only that, but it is also documented in Jamie's file about his ADHD, and that he must be allowed to take tests in what they call "The Fish Tank". Basically, it's just a quiet room where there are no distractions. The class had to take a test one day when there was a substitute (which of course means the class was more rowdy than usual). So Jamie asked if he could go to the Fish Tank to take the test, and the sub showed Jamie a note his teacher had left stating Jamie was not to be allowed to go to the Fish Tank.

Furthermore, Jamie has reported to me that she is often very derisive towards and dismissive of him in class, especially when he asks a question about classwork, can't get one particular student in his class to leave him alone, or needs to go to the nurse. Jamie has never had a major problem with any of his teachers in the past. Sure, there was one who didn't seem to "get" Jamie at first back in third grade, but by this point in the school year they were good buddies.

I've sent notes to school explaining about his migraines, reminding her to look at his Educational Plan on file in his records about his ADHD, telling her to look in his file at his notes from the G.I. doctor, the neurologist, the psychiatrist, etc., and to please follow their instructions, to no avail. I'm supposed to have a conference with her sometime soon, and I will definitely address these issues. If that doesn't help, my next step is to go to the principal. If need be, I'll demand that he switch classrooms. But, geez, Louise, this woman is pissing me off!


Geron said...

i think that this is one of the shortfalls of our educational system. It doesn't take into account the real needs of students and it's more interested in producing cookie cutter kids than real learning.

I'd be pissed too.

Tooz said...

As probably one of the few teachers who read this blog, I, too, was pissed off. That woman gives us all a bad name. As a former Special Ed teacher, I've seen people just like her. How were your dealings with the principal in the past? Was s/he supportive?

WHENEVER that conference is, don't go in with a frown on your face. Go in with as pleasant an expression as you can muster. You're a good actress, you can play that role. Ask her what she recommends. Kill her with kindness. Let her say her part before you start countering her. Not because she is right, but because that's probably going to be the only thing that will work with a b----y teacher like that. Sometimes when they think you're on their side, they start changing. Something else: if you DON'T feel like you've gotten anywhere after the conference, don't even go home until you've talked to the principal.

I've already prayed about this, honey. Don't leave us hanging as to what's going on!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

She sent home a note last night stating that she looked in his file and saw nothing in his IEP (individualized education plan) regarding being able to go to the fish tank to take tests. I find that hard to believe, considering that the IEP meeting was held back in 2nd grade, and his last three teachers have had no problem sending him to the fish tank. Seems to me if it wasn't in the file, they wouldn't have sent him. I put in a call to the IEP coordinator to request another copy of his IEP plan (can't seem to find mine; however, if I hadn't needed it, I would have found half a dozen copies by now), so that I may highlight exactly where it discusses test-taking and send the damn thing to her. I also fired back a note saying I found it odd she couldn't find it, when the last three teachers were able to find it enough to send him to the fish tank. I wasn't that bitchy about it, but my meaning was pretty clear. I do NOT like this woman!

Suze said...

Can you switch teachers if you have to? Sounds like this woman is totally unsympathetic to kids like Jamie. I remember my brother's whole 5th grade year was completely ruined by a teacher who didn't understand him and refused to try. It sucks. Good luck, and do your best!

ann said...

I say go ahead and contact the principal before the conference--and document your conversations. From now on make copies of all the notes to and from the teacher and even take notes on your conversations with her and with Jamie about her. It's okay to go to the principal before the conference--hopefully at least the principal is on Jamie's side even if the teacher isn't. I wouldn't feel guilty about asking to have Jamie put in a different class. She obviously can't handle the class she has and might think one less body is a blessing (though we all know that losing Jamie would definitely be her loss!!). You'd just be blessing Jamie and another teacher.