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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Frustrated... what would you do?? *Update*

Posted by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 12:43 PM
  • 29 Replies
Hi ladies,

*Update in my bottom reply.. Thank you everyone that has been offering advice, I have been writing it all down and talking about it with DH*

I have a question.. but first, a little back ground.
My step-daughter is in the 3rd grade, turning 11 this May. At the beginning of the year, she started to strugle a bit in class, but managed to pull in 2 A's, 2B's, and 2C's, this is down from her high A's from last year. We got the kids into martial arts for an after school activity, and when she saw everyone get rewarded but her, she basicly stopped all trying.

Her teacher called me in for a conferance, so I went. She basicly told me to get my daughter tested for ADD/ADHD or she would go about getting her tested by DCS.. So, we got her tested. Her results came back Inattentive ADD. In other words, if something gets to hard for her, she shuts down. The doctor told us to start up a reward program, give her a visual daily reminder, then at the end of the week, a reward for doing good in school. To set a grade goal and give it levels.

So, with my husband's help, we created a goal chart for her. She was to bring her papers home daily, I average out her daily grade, and put it on the chart. If she got 80% or higher, she got a star. If her weekly grade average was 80% or higher, she would get to go horse back riding..

During my last meeting with her teacher, she stated she would be more than willing to send papers home daily instead of on the Monday of the following week.. so I took her up on the offer.. That week we started to have problems. She would only send one, maybe two papers home. I know they did more then two papers a day! So I sent a note to school, telling her of the reward system and ASKING her to please send home the papers daily.. I heard nothing back and the papers slowly came to a hault on coming home. The day I planed on calling the teacher, the teacher called me, looking for a form I sent to school two weeks prier, but magicly got lost, giving my child a 0 in grade. While on the phone, the teacher asked about if I had recieved the writen review on the testing, which I haven't.. So, since the teacher brought it up, I finished up with again a plee for the papers..

The teacher tells me, on the phone that I should NOT do what the doctor said, I should not reward daily, and instead of horse riding, I should let me daughter instead go ride her bike for an hour if she got good grades. I kinda just said whatever, and asked again for the papers.. She said she would see what she could do, though she saw no reason for me to keep a grade chart when she does daily in class... The next day, my daughter, looking forward to her ridding lesson, and wanting papers home so she could see where she sat, asked her teacher for her papers! Her teacher told her that she doesn't grade the papers daily, and she will get her papers on the following Monday!

Now, with the long (and I am sorry for how long this is) history out of the way, what would you do?
Would you just change the reward to what the teacher said, after all she is a teacher and should know??
Would you continue with the riding lessons, if her papers for the preivous week were good?
Would you go to the principal, knowing that the pricipal always takes the side of the teachers and you will probably get no where very fast with her?

Without the daily reminder of her grades, she has started to slip again, not even trying with her work. For the one week where we got the one to two papers a night, she pushed herself with her work. She brought her math grade up from a 35% to an 80% in that one week.. And she was even asking for help instead of just zoning! Now with no daily reminder, she has started to zone, it has started to take hours to get her homework done again.. I am just at a loss.. Any advice would be very helpful!
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 12:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
debj49
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 1:36 PM
First of all go to the doctor and explain to him what is going on and have him to write to the school what needs to be done and send you a copy also, so they can't say he said something he didn't. Talk to the principal and if that doesn't work go over his head. They have to provide your daughter with what  is needed to educate her. especially if she has been diagnosed with some type of learning disability. Go clear to your state level if necessary. Look up your state education laws they should be posted on line. We used to have this problem too until One of the special education teachers got behind me and now the two of us together are unstoppable. WE finally have everyone on the same page working together for my son and granddaughter. You can't be miss nice sometimes when it comes to your child's education. Most of the time your children teachers are very cooperative and want to help the child all they can but sometimes you run into some that think they know it all and don't believe there is a such thing as learning disabilities. If you know other parents with children with learning disabilities hook up with them and find out how they got things done.
Kellyn
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 1:39 PM
I would definitely talk to the teacher again.  It is not her choice how you handle things at home, especially if it is working for your child.  And obviously it has been working for her.  If she is not willing to step up and work with you on this, you go above her.  Talk to the school psychologist and the principal.  Call for a meeting with all the parties and make it know what you want, and what works for your child.
We went through this with my ss, and ended up going to the superintendent in order to have it written in stone what is needed.  Now every grade he is in, the teacher must comply, since the order now comes from the superintendent.
Good luck!!!
tampachelle
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 1:46 PM
I'm having my son tested this Wed because I see things with him that just don't add up.  He's also in 3rd grade and having issues.  I spoke with his teacher and this last time we did a daily smiley/frown face for him as to how he does in school.  He gets a chance to mark how he thinks he did and there's a place for her to mark how she thought he did daily.  If he gets 80% he gets to watch/play tv/games that night.  I know the teacher can't grade things that day so this is our way of making it easy on everyone and giving my son a chance to "rate" himself as well.  It has worked!  We also did a folder for papers that weren't completed in class - part of his issue.  He knows he can just put them in it and bring them in the next day for a grade w/o being embarrassed by telling her.  Maybe something of this nature would work for you.  I also think that a daily or weekend treat is great - it's up to you what you decide to do - not the teacher!  I would continue to push the issue at school.  Our AP is who does the curriculum mtgs with teachers/parents and he's awesome!  Please keep us posted and HUGS!
RArnold18
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 2:15 PM
Have a meeting with the principal, the teacher, and the school guidance counselor/ social worker. Have as much written "proof" from the doctor as possible. Also bring the chart and a brief description on how it works and how well it was working before the teacher decided to stop helping. If this doesn't get the results your looking for, go to the school board and/or superintendent. Good luck I had a similar problem with my son's teacher last year, she wouldn't give him extra work while she was reviewing with the class. During reviews of lessons that he had already mastered he would zone out and the DR said ask the teacher to give him extra work.... she wouldn't until I got the Principal and guidance counselor involved.
Lady_Gem
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 2:37 PM
First I can tell you from experience (something I'm going through with my daughter's teacher and school right now) is that the teachers don't always have the children's best interests in mind. Most schools simply worry about keeping test grades above average because most of their funding is placed on these test scores.

At the beginning of the year, I told my daughter's teacher that my daughter has ADHD and what we have found that worked best with her was a reward chart, similar to what you are doing with yours. At first the teacher was very helpful sending home "good notes" each day she did good and bad notes when she didn't do so well. After about a month, they suddenly stopped. I have tried talking with her teacher to no avail and then a couple months later, they call me in for an IAT meeting to discuss my daughter's academic progress or lack thereof and tell me they want to do testing on her to see where she is academically. I consented to the testing and last week I was called in for another meeting and bombarded by 4 faculty members telling me my daughter needs special education.

I know better than this because I see the work she does for us at home on her homework and things we give her to see what she is able to do. I'm getting ready to go back to the school tomorrow with a family liason (sp) to speak with these people. The liason (sp) will be there as a voice for my daughter and neutral party.

If you wish to talk more, feel free to send me a message.
twjbkw
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 3:10 PM
I would deffently take it to the princepal and guidance counsler.. I have two boys with ADHD.. ANd they need that daily reminder and praise to make it through the week.. A I would not listen to the teacher you know what is working for your child.. And you have to do what is best for her.. I had problems with my oldest kindergarden teacher. on the same lines.. I kept telling her I need to know what is going on. And requested a behavior chart and she did thet but just for herself and not one to send home. ANd then she wondered why my oldest behavior never changed.. Well I did not know how well he was doing because I was not getting no feedback from her so I never knew whether to priase him or what. Yes I found out later that he had ADHD but that was after I had talked to the princepal and had him transfered into another class with a teacher that understood better how to handle my son. Because she understood the need of the constant reminder. Kids with ADHD ADD do not have the attention span to remeber such things and they need rewards and reminders when they do good and such.. THey actually thrive off of that. It kinda goes with that  saying " give attention to the good not to the bad" it something along them lines I believe.
Mi_Chelly
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 3:34 PM
Thank you ladies... It has been a very frustrating two weeks... Sometime this week I should be hearing back from the doctor with the writen review.. I don't have another meeting with him until the end of this 9 weeks to hear how she has done this time around. Getting in to see him is next to impossible because he is the "best" in the area and everyone wants to see him. So getting in to talk to him about the teacher not helping wont happen for a very long time.. If I had realized before I started this process just how hard it would be to contact him for advice, I would have chosen a different one..

I planned on using the writen review from the doctor as a way to get the teacher into a meeting.. telling her I want to go over everything with her. The behavier chart wouldn't work because she has no behavier problems, it is just all acedimic.. I have thought of different things to use instead of the daily grades, but nothing really comes to mind. Her teacher is also very strict, and does not allow unfinished papers to come home, they are just graded as is.

I had thought she didn't know how to handle children with learning disabilities, but then I found out, she has the highest amount in the 3rd grade in this school district. She is also better "qualified" in helping them.. but I just call BS on that..

Thank you again for advice, and please keep the advice coming... I am making a list of things to bring up because some of you have offered different ideas I hadn't thought of.

-Chelly
singlemumof3
by on Feb. 19, 2007 at 6:29 PM

Quoting Mi_Chelly:

Thank you ladies... It has been a very frustrating two weeks... Sometime this week I should be hearing back from the doctor with the writen review.. I don't have another meeting with him until the end of this 9 weeks to hear how she has done this time around. Getting in to see him is next to impossible because he is the "best" in the area and everyone wants to see him. So getting in to talk to him about the teacher not helping wont happen for a very long time.. If I had realized before I started this process just how hard it would be to contact him for advice, I would have chosen a different one..

I planned on using the writen review from the doctor as a way to get the teacher into a meeting.. telling her I want to go over everything with her. The behavier chart wouldn't work because she has no behavier problems, it is just all acedimic.. I have thought of different things to use instead of the daily grades, but nothing really comes to mind. Her teacher is also very strict, and does not allow unfinished papers to come home, they are just graded as is.

I had thought she didn't know how to handle children with learning disabilities, but then I found out, she has the highest amount in the 3rd grade in this school district. She is also better "qualified" in helping them.. but I just call BS on that..

Thank you again for advice, and please keep the advice coming... I am making a list of things to bring up because some of you have offered different ideas I hadn't thought of.

-Chelly

Just curious, does your daughter have an IEP?  Even if she doesn't, she would fall under Section 504 (look it up in your school handbook) because she has ADD.  You can contact your school's 504 coordinator  as well.  I agree with everyone else that talking with the principal, teacher and school counselor is necessary. YOU are your daughter's advocate and you have to do what is in HER best interests and the teacher/school needs to be helping not hindering the process!  

Good Luck!

Take Care,
Cat
Mi_Chelly
by on Feb. 28, 2007 at 9:44 PM
Well, I had a meeting with her teacher today.. two main points stuck out at me out of the hour we talked.. 1: She does not have the time to offer my child the guidence and opertunities that my daughter needs.. and 2: She is one stuck up teacher!! She sat there and told me to my face that she will not help with daily grades, but yet I should set up a reward system bases on her daily grades!! When asked how she thought I should manage that, without her help, she would change the subject! She also, after reading the report for my daughter's ADD, she said she could accomidate one of the suggestions, and that is the preferd seating, that she has too many other children in her class that she has to give one on one attention too and can not afford to help my daughter, so just suggest she go to summer school!

My husband wants me to call the principal tomorrow to set up a meeting with her.. He wants to get our daughter moved out of that teachers class and into one that can and actually does care about helping the girl! But I feel this might be a bad idea on the social aspect of our daughter, which she struggled with greatly all year.. She was always intimidated to have friends her age, but this year, she has 4! All from her class... I am scared that if we take her away from those friends, she will shut down.. I am soo torn. I want her to get the same rights as other kids with the same learning problem as my daughter, but I fear the consequences of pulling her from that class...

Does anyone have any ideas?
Kellyn
by on Feb. 28, 2007 at 10:37 PM

Find out if your daughter qualifies for an IEP (individual education plan).  When you see the dr ask him about that.  That is something that he would write up, and you would bring to the school.  They then HAVE to follow that, they have no choice.
Also, I would go to the principal without the teacher, and talk to her about the situation.  We did that in regards to my ss kindergarten teacher, and things soon went the way they should. 
You HAVE to be your child's biggest advocate, especially if the teacher is doing a crap job of it.  While your child may have friends, she won't if she gets held back, starts struggling again or acting up to get the attention the teacher refuses to give her.
Talk to the principal first, as the school psychologist to come too, they would be a good in between.  The fact that you have the review from the dr will work with them.

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