Sometimes, my being a former teacher is a detriment to my children. Normally, when they come home with stories and tales, I ask for or give them the teacher’s perspective before accepting their cries of injustice. They hate that. Always, I put myself in the shoes of the person at the front of the class before making any judgements as a parent. I KNOW parents get a different side to the story then what really happens. I know this, so I temper everything I hear from inside those classrooms with a heavy dose of perspective.
Sometimes, that may not be what’s best for my child.
We’ve struggled, all year with The Baby and his behavior in school. Simply put, (although, there is nothing simple about it) he doesn’t want to do much of the work and often acts out in increasingly loud and violent (to himself) ways in frustration. This frustration with school isn’t entirely new, but the behaviors have reached a level that must be addressed for the sake of everyone involved. As a parent, I want to wrap him in a blanket, carry him out and either begin homeschooling or fork over my entire full-time salary for a different school immediately. As a former teacher, I know there is more to the story, and so I go through the steps necessary to figure out how this kid can stay at this school without damaging himself or others in the process.
This is not an easy task.
We’ve been to the specialists. We’ve met with the teams. We’ve changed diet and routine. We’ve sought answers at every turn. We’ve hashed out plans and accommodations. We’ve read and written emails, some helpful and kind, some downright nasty. I’ve been proud of my behavior sometimes and others, embarrassed by it. I’ve been frustrated, confused, angry, sad, elated on the good days and just plain wiped out on the bad. Our big-hearted little dude has worked his head off trying to manage his moods and figure out how to best live in an environment that is clearly not suited to his character.
We’ve heard all the labels. We’ve even gotten one, this one from the second psychiatrist, in order to proceed with the special education process to hopefully make school a little less torturous for student and teacher. No one, most of all his parents, is entirely sure the label fits this boy, and the accommodations that go with it are inconsistent at best, but it’s there so we proceed.
Here is the problem, we, his mom (the former teacher) and dad, think we know exactly what’s up with our kid, but with my history in schools, I’m afraid to say it out loud, for it’s often a dirty word in education circles. Continue Reading