Thursday, November 6, 2008

Okay friends.....

That means all of you....but ESPECIALLY my educator friends this one is for you.......

*please disregard the cussing...I am in a cussing mood today. Very unusual for me. But it is one of those days and the children can't read, so I am good*

I still consider myself an educator. I know I have been home now going on 3 years, but it is part of who I am. I spent 6 years becoming one, 6 years being that is a lot of who I am. I taught 6 years in special education (3 in high school and 3 in middle school).

My hubby is also an educator...A damn good one at that. He is going on like 9 years teaching. One in special education in Maryland and 8 in Loudoun County as a 4th grade teacher. People...he is good (sorry gotta do some bragging on hubby...I am so proud of him).

Enough background stuff cuz most of you know me by now. I don't hide much about me.

So, my kindergartner came home with a form from the school stating that they would like to see us for a conference.

This is good because we like to be informed. I like information and to be involved as MUCH as possible.

But on the stupid ass form it has 3 places for the teacher/parent to check mark.

One states: Your child is doing well. We do not need to conference at this time.
Two states: I have some concerns about your child's progress. We would like to schedule a conference. (or some shit like that)
Third states: This one states something about the parent requesting a conference even if it is not required by the teacher...blah blah blah.

So....the second one is marked by his teacher.

As a parent of ANY background....tell me your reaction. How do/would you feel???

As for us.....Our hearts sank. The thoughts flooding our brains.....

What could be he doing?
Is this behavior? Is he withdrawing? Is he being shy? Is he not listening? Not following directions? Not doing what he is supposed to be doing? Not up to "par" with the other kids or the standards??
Is this mandatory for all kindergartners' parents? (If not it should be anyway regardless of their "time" and how they are doing. ALL parents should be see even if they are doing well.)

Breathe could be "nothing" big .

It could be that they know we are high maintenance parents. We are the ones emailing 24/7, writing notes, you know the ones "we" can't stand as educators. We are hard on Noah and expect him to do well in school.

So if there is some major issue, I should have been contacted BEFORE conferences I would imagine.

His papers all come back with stars, good interim report, good comments about his knowing his sight words., blah blah blah....

The main issue here is me. Can you tell??

I know I am being hard on myself. But why is it so hard to be an educator/parent?

I guess if you were a pediatrician and took your kids to another pediatrician you would expect them to do things are thorough as you do in your examinations, or if you were a bus driver and took the bus from point A to point B you would expect the same if not better trip as a passenger...etc. etc......

So teacher friends how can I do this and still make sure the teacher sees my respect for her? Because I do. She is excellent and Noah has learned SO much already! He already knows close to 50 sight words and is starting to read. I am so proud of him and what he is accomplishing.

I guess this is why I am so careful with "forms" and approaching parents because this is my WORST nightmare for parents to go through. The uncertainty is enough to drive you crazy!

Enough venting. This parenting thing just gets harder and harder. It was so easy when they were babies. What the hell does them turning into teenagers mean for me?? Lol


supah ~d said...

Lish maybe it's just an archaic form that hasn't been changed to meet today's conferencing "needs." It swings from : no conference to ; CONCERNS RED FLAG RED FLAG. There's no middle ground.

So take it in stride and get in to meet with her as soon as you can so you can settle your heart down. If there IS some issue she sees, regardless of how she did it. You guys will handle it well even if you the process wasn't handled as you'd like it. Get in there, figure it out. :) On the other side of the fence: I HATED WHEN PARENTS sent in a note requesting a conference with no details. IT WAS TERRIBLE. I always immediatley called to ask what I could prepare for and maybe you should do the same. Then you'll know if it's a major concern or he's eating crayons or some shit!

supah ~d said...

Now... when you tell us later what's really happening once you find out.. then we can roast her over the bbq if she indeed has used a form.. to express concern over a major thing. In that instance: phone call first.. form last.

Staci said...

I am sure its nothing and you are worrying for nothing... I know what you mean though. I overanalyze my kids because I "know too much" if that makes sense. When Anthony was 15 months old or so he lined up everything in neat, straight, disgusting lines. It screamed AUTISM! I obseessed for months because I just knew I shouldn't have given hhim the MMR... (I was crazy and would always mess up his neat lines and rows of cars, ducks, blocks, etc. They drove me crazy and frightened me) Now I think most parents would have been like "aww look he is lining everything up nice and neat" but most "educators" would scream RED FLAG RED FLAG!!! Anyway, I am sure its not a big deal! It sounds like he is doing great... Keep us updated!
PS: I am so going to be "one of those parents" too :)

Cameron said...

Lisha BREATH IN...BREATH OUT.....the first clue that everything seems to be going great is that Noah comes home happy (if he was getting yelled at constantly, I doubt he would want to load the bus each day.) The second clue is that his work is coming home with stars and he is progressing nicely in Kindergarten. Like Debby said it could be an old form with no middle ground and maybe every parent got the request for a conference because after all it is kindergarten. They shouldn't do it just for those who need it. I even got the request checked for preschool and we go next week. I didn't question it because I WANT to get in there and discuss him with them enlight of everything he has been through. Plus, I am sure that is why they want us in there too. Even if it is something they want to discuss, you two will be able to tackle it at home and get the situation under control. I would not stress though. If I were you, I would place a call in to the teacher and ask how you can prepare for the conference. Let her know that by checking the box with no explanation (behavior, academic, etc), you are concerned and would like a bit more detail since you thought everything was going well. It is your right as a parent and you shouldn't be left hanging till conference time. She will know you respect her but it is important you let her know how you both felt receiving it. Maybe she just is not aware how it feels on the opposite end. I know with the things Cameron is going through and his IEP's etc, though I was sensitive to it when I was teaching, it has brought a whole new awareness for those parents and how they truly felt across the table from us. I will be sure to always carry that with me if and when I go back into the classroom. It is sometimes hard to feel how the other shoe feels on the other foot but once you have been there, you can't forget. Noah is a smarty and I wouldn't get overly concerned. Like D said, if at at a later date, we need to grill her, then we are all on board. (=

Lisha said...

My guess is that form is used to get the parents in that are so hard to get in to see them b/c they are problem children. Since that is the ONLY place to check to see us, then I am going to just wait and see. We wrote an additional note to her about the conferences. It went with Noah this morning so I should know by this afternoon what it is about. Thank you guys for listening! You just wait till yours get in elementary school!! LOOK OUT!! lol I didn't realize how many SAHM teachers I had lol.

Jen said...

I agree with everyone else in saying I'm sure it's nothing. If his schoolwork is coming home with the stars and all, I wouldn't think that that would be the concern. Maybe he's ahead of everyone else in his class and she wants to know if it's ok to give him extra work or something to that effect? I don't have a background in education although I wish I did, but I'm sure everything will be fine!! Keep us updated!

Tracy said...

alicia ......just breath. It could be something so small....we as mothers freak out ....i know, i have been through it...dom's kindergartden teacher told me she thought he had add....i cried and cried and a far he dosn't be if he does i will love him all the same and we will deal with it...but i totally get with not wanting anything to be wrong with your child. im sure its something really small or she would have called you by now?