November 13, 2006

A tale of two bitties

I have been struggling with True's behavior at school. I am not excusing his bad behavior, of which there seems to be a never-ending supply. Sometime last week, I got my fourth phone call this year from True's teacher and she said, "I'm just worried that he's going towards the dark side.." and she sounded really geeked out and kooky. Then she handed the phone to True and, I guess, expected me to parent him from a million mental miles away.

True then came home with a bunch of extra penalty type assignments. First, to write a letter of apology to a girl in his class because he hugged her. I asked if he was rough hugging, like wrestling, and he said, "No, I thought it was nice. I like her."

On the next paper, True had written out "Holy Guacamole!" thirty times. I guess I don't speak teacher. This punishment doesn't make sense me. If it's offensive, you don't have them do repetitive exercise, right? He'll be singing "Holy Guacamole!" in his sleep. We had those repetitive writing assignments when I was in school, but it was usually the rules, i.e., "I will not talk while the teacher is talking," that kind of thing. Holy guacamole, what was she thinking?

Yes, this is the same teacher that told me the word "evil" was inappropriate for school. The same teacher that told me the penitentiary was filled with gifted talented folks. True came home with his report card on which she had marked through his typed conduct grades and hand wrote "unsatisfactory." Most of his subject grades had slipped considerably. My short fuse blew and I withdrew True on friday. He started today at a new school.

They didn't have room for the Alleycat, so for now, it's quite the sacrifice. Two separate school drop-offs and pick-ups fifteen minutes apart. I really didn't need more places to go and people to see, but I do want my True to love school again, so this is what I decided to do.

There are only 13 kids in true's class and grade. It is in a beautiful rural area of Texas, which means prior to the Robin Hood Rape, the school had a tremendously wealthy tax base and low enrollment (lots of retirees, less kiddos). The dollars went far. The teachers are well equipped and happy to live and work in the environment. The school is public, but it feels like montessori. They have the nicest computer lab I have ever seen (RSM-all mac, all the time).

I adore True's new teacher. She has one blue eye and one brown. She is cute as a jelly bean, but sweeter. True said he wanted to tell me how much he likes her, but he doesn't want to hurt his old teacher's feelings. Awe. That's my sweet true blue.

Anyway, today was a crazy long day. Tomorrow looks like the same. Much thanks for all the super cool unique comment hoe-ren you did. I loves you, supa fruitcakes. I truly do.

Posted by shoe at November 13, 2006 10:45 PM | TrackBack

sweet. And it sounds like a school full of wisdom if it is an all-Mac lab. Just this week all our support techs came to their own decision that they are getting rid of their Dells and just working off of Macs. They can still do the Windows support from a shell within it.

The world is getting better. At least in this area.

Posted by: RSM at November 13, 2006 10:57 PM

I certainly hope you're planning to discuss this teacher's less than appropriate behavior with her administration. Was this a public school? Accusing a child of 'going to the dark side' is not something that I would tolerate from a teacher for one second, even if it were an ultra-fundamentalist Christian school. He's well away from that kind of environment but somebody need to sit that teacher down and discuss with her what are and are not appropriate commentaries to parents -- I swear, I would've decked her -- through the phone!! Especially within earshot of my child! Good LORD -- that is SO not appropriate!! I hope you gave her administrators an earful before you pulled him out!!
The new school sounds great -- put the little guy down on their waiting list!

Posted by: Marianne at November 14, 2006 03:00 AM

I just loved his statement about his new teacher...and his old one. Dark side? Not likely. He just needed a little sunshine to bloom - that's all.

Posted by: Tammi at November 14, 2006 05:43 AM

Shoe, there's something we learn about while taking our education degrees up here in Canada, it's called how to be tactful with parents. I guess that teacher missed those classes. I've worked in the system for a while before leaving for university and I never witnessed a teacher saying those (bizarre!) type things to parents nor did I see them have a child write out anything like "Holy Guacamole" 30 times. Research clearly shows that those types of punitive measures are counterproductive. Obviously, this teacher is not up to date on using the best, research-based, proactive solutions to classroom management. Sorry, didn't mean to launch off into a rant in your comments. Crap like that really annoys me, too. A lot of times with a teacher like that, impartial observers will note that most times it's the environment the teacher has set up and/or his or her responses to the child that exacerbate the situation.

It sounds as though the change will be really good for True; the new school sounds wonderful! Sorry they didn't have room for Alley Cat, too. Let us know how it goes...

Posted by: Lisa W. at November 14, 2006 06:02 AM

I hope they can get Alleycat in soon. As for True's old teacher, I think you need to have a talk with the admin. Her behavior should not be tolerated.

Posted by: oddybobo at November 14, 2006 08:06 AM

With the Dims in charge and GWB having no spine, I fear the Robin Hood rape is gonna get worse. Glad to see that you were able to get True into a better school.

Posted by: Denny at November 14, 2006 12:24 PM

Good for you. That's about the only thing you could have done besides waged all out war on the teacher for being a dumbass. I mean...seriously. You want one with at least a SEMBLANCE of understanding how the mind of a child works. Although, she is right...the jails do have a certain percentage of the gifted..that tells me they had teachers like HER in school.

Posted by: Kelly at November 15, 2006 06:32 AM

Man, that must've been one heck of a dirty dancin' kinda hug for his teacher to go "dark side" on you...

What happened to "I'd like to buy the world a coke" kinda luv?

Posted by: RedNeck at November 15, 2006 05:57 PM

I think that first teacher's guacamole was goin' off a bit.

A few peppers short of a jar?

You really should share these comments ..uhm I mean the teacher's comments with the administration. If the principal won't listen.. go over his/her head. Hell.. leave boot marks.

Those comments are so beyond acceptable that I feel like slapping her myself!!

Posted by: Nancy at November 15, 2006 09:40 PM

You are such a good mom!!

; )

Posted by: Christina at November 17, 2006 06:34 AM

Seems like some teachers forget why they started teaching in the first place. From what you're saying, this former teacher was trying to instill her morals on her students. That's just WRONG. As for True, I'm glad he likes his teacher and that he is starting to like school again. It's good when kids like to learn. :)

Posted by: Karen at November 17, 2006 06:40 AM

Holy crap. What a mess. I cannot even imagine how much sleep you lost over that. True didn't do anything wrong. That teacher was a WHACK and was going to damage him. It takes a strong parent to stand up and say 'No More'. It really does. And you did it.

I haven't even blogged what my eldest did at school the other day. And it was pretty 'not so good'. I got a call from the Vice Principal who could very well have said, "He is going to the dark side" (it was really really 'not so good') and instead I got, "I raised 4 boys. One of them was bound and determined to get more detention than any other kid at our school. Your son will learn... that's what its about." Thank God. I still have not slept in two days... but Thank God she didn't tell me he was going to the dark side or I would have f-ing freaked.

Posted by: Bou at November 18, 2006 07:08 PM