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Reply To: Dealing with the School System

Reply To: Dealing with the School System2013-11-08T21:55:22+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace School Dealing with the School System Reply To: Dealing with the School System


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Hey, @sdwa, a few things:

1. Knowing the purpose of that letter would help. Is it the first time they are contacting you re: his troubles this term? I hope not. I am starting to suspect it’s a CYA letter because he’s failing. (Cover your a** – make sure you have informed parents before failing a student. )

2. Your numbered points are great. Though #7 – by high school, child also shares responsibility and should take part in planning and reviewing accommodations. That said, being a teenager is tough enough without throwing in the added role of self-advocate…not everyone is ready yet at that age.

3. Definitely, I would approach it as a squeaky wheel who more than anything in the world would love to work together with school professionals to help a struggling child. And yes, it may require a LOT of acting on your part not to let resentment creep in, understandably. Is there someone who could play the role of advocate for you and attend meetings with you? Either an advocate with an organization like CHADD (if they exist), or a friend or family member (in addition to you and husband). Sometimes those school meetings get over-populated with school staff, which can be intimidating, even if it’s not meant to be. Having another body there sends the message that this child has people behind him. Counter-intimidation, if you will 😉
4. I know it’s hard, but try to remain positive. The situation is *not* working for your child. Everything you describe – the teacher attitudes, lack of knowledge, etc. – it’s like he’s walking through school life wearing the wrong glasses. But he needs to know that there *is* a right pair of glasses out there for him….just you haven’t found them yet. Yes, yes yes!! find out what is working for him and ask for help so you can help him build on his strengths. I don’t know what “study hall” is – is it a learning skills class? If so, try to talk to that teacher. Fingers crossed that they are knowledgeable and are seeing capabilities in your son.

My hope for you is that you make a connection with just one staff member who is willing to work with you.

The online school – if you explore that route, what about asking them how they assess if that mode of learning is a good fit for a particular student? And yes, school is still about socialization at this age – so how do they address that need? Or is that assumed to be the responsibility of the student and the family? I’m not discounting it at all as a possibility – but if they can provide meaningful answers that show there is a plan in place for those significant issues, then you would have more assurance of success if your son chose that route.

Lots to think about with lots of emotion attached, decision making and follow-through. Blech. I’d prefer to go through childbiirth again than to deal with that. Childbirth is so much easier. (Says the mom who is getting a concussion from banging her head against the wall in frustration over her son’s attitude towards homework – and his attitude towards her for insisting he’s not exempt from homework just because he doesn’t like the teacher.)

All of this is semi-solicited, semi-professional advice…feel free to use the bits that help and toss the rest. Lots of great insights on this thread. Good luck.