Thursday, October 02, 2008

Off to the Principal's Office

This morning, at nine, John and I will be meeting with Mr. Nelson to talk about Brayden's behavior. Scary, huh? We warned him that there would be consequences for beating up smaller kids on the recess field, but did he listen?! (Actually, he just couldn't find any smaller kids!!!!) Ha ha - y'all know I'm kidding about that - and when I say we're discussing Brayden's behavior, that's partially true - moreover, we'll be discussing what can be done to help him out the most this year.

Our school is one of many that doesn't allow you to specify which teacher (out of the three or four options each year) that you want your child to have. As a former teacher myself, I see both sides of this argument. As a parent, it kind of ticks me off. Instead, they give you a "Homeroom Placement Information Form" to fill out, so that you, as a parent, can supply as much information as possible (without using teacher's names) to have your child appropriately placed in the classroom that best fits his needs and learning styles.

I was very detailed in filling this out (shocker, huh?). "Brayden absolutely needs a classroom with a teacher who excels in classroom management techniques as any distractions, Brayden will play right into. He a respectful student, but very "otter/sanguine" personality, so if there's a chance to play/socialize, he'll take it." There were many other descriptions as well - but this one is the major crux.

So, guess what? He's in the classroom that has the most distractions, with the teacher least equipped to handle them. From the Japanese ESL student who is constantly playing hide and seek under desks, or getting up to go to the coat rack for no reason, to the boy who is just downright mean in his constant one-liner responses to the teacher, it's just not pretty. To add icing to the cake, yesterday Nancy informed me that she watched Brayden and another boy (the one Brayden told "you're not a good influence") be in the same reading group. Apparently, this boy so craves Brayden's attention that he is non-stop in talking to him, bragging to him, and yes, semi-mauling him - and of course my little angel doesn't budge at all. (Nope, on the contrary, he plays right into it).

When I went in to help with the math hour, I estimated Brayden was listening to the teacher maybe 40% of the time. On occassions such as these, I wonder how he gets along at all if I'm not in the room whispering in his ear what he's supposed to be doing. Fortunately, he's a bright enough kid to "get by" on this 40% attention span, but we all know, that even if I was content with him just being mediocre, the road is not going to get any easier.

So, best case scenario, we'll leave the principal's office with instructions for Brayden to be reassigned to a new teacher. (One I'm really hoping for). At the very worst, we'll have the chance to really get to know our new principal who is so inviting to be around, you just feel like shooting the breeze with him any chance you can get. (A COMPLETE 180 from our previous principal). The last thing I want to do is berate Brayden's current teacher. She's trying, and I really appreciate that, it's just not working out so good for our little boy.

There you go. I dreamt about it all last night. In one dream we had a female principal who decided to have a conference with not only us, but about 40 other parents and kids simultaneously. After she got through with us, she said, "Ahh, Lilly, a child completely unlike that other one (Brayden) - I'm so happy to have a good kid like you around" And, in the dream, I LOST it, ran out of the room, demanded transfer materials from the front office, and eventually cooled down enough to listen to her humbly eat crow in apology from the entire group. Hmm, do you think I have a little anxiety over this whole thing?


Family O'Foxes said...

I hope it went well with the teacher.

We are dealing with "Mean Girls" in middle school right now. Not fun.

StephieAnne said...

Well, we didn't end up walking away with the easy answer. Brayden will be remaining with his original teacher. The ramifications of trying to switch teachers at this point with class sizes already at 36, and certainly, other people behind us wanting the same thing are very hard for him to justify.

HOWEVER, I did walk away with utmost faith in our new principal. He's literally everything I would want a principal to be right down to his heart for God (which was discussed "off the record"). This road is going to be the longer/harder road, at least for this year, but I think the results could end up being far reaching - and like I said before, at the very least (which is more like the very most) we got to know an amazing guy.....

Growin' with it! said...

is it ever gonna be easy being a mom? hope today went good for you all!?

Growin' with it! said...

so yea...just read your comment on here. bummer. sounds like at least more attention will be paid to the situation.

thanks too for such encouraging words today!

Growin' with it! said...

okay, 3 in one day...i'm an official stalker! hey, i'm taggin you tomorrow. hope you don't mind?! i'd love to hear your answers.