As parents, we always want to see our children grow the most they possibly can. Last year, I saw Squeaker made phenomenal educational gains, especially in the areas of math and spelling. Heck, even writing could be considered a huge area of growth for him since he went from not writing to writing words that were at least a little legible. It was nothing short of amazing. We work really hard to maintain as best we can with him. We do our part as parents. I’ve even gotten him some extra Occupational Therapy (outside of the school system) to help with his fine motor skills since he only gets 30 minutes once a week at school (and the more I think about that, the more ludicrous that feels to me considering the huge delay he has there).
Anyway, this year he has a new teacher and he’s at a new school. And when I say new teacher, I don’t just mean new to him. I mean she’s only in her second year. Now, that doesn’t mean she’s automatically going to be a bad teacher. I was a first year teacher once. Even a second year teacher. And my students made tons of growth–just ask my old boss, who was soooo upset when we moved away. His teacher last year was a first year teacher, too, and she did a fabulous job with him. But, you know, it just makes me nervous.
On top of that, professionally I’ve seen some of her work because she used to work at the school I’m working at currently. Perhaps I shouldn’t base her teaching ability on her paperwork, but it makes me a bit leery. I try to give everyone a fair shake, because, well, it’s only fair. Preconceived notions are not always true, and she seems really nice, but I am not a patient parent. I’m always watching and wanting more for my child. I’m patient with him, but if I feel like something isn’t quite right, I start wanting to dig for information.
So, when my son comes home from school multiple days out of the week telling me that he’s watched movies at school, I start to worry. So far it’s been Cars, Scooby Doo, and today it was Monsters, Inc. He did have one note in his agenda about him being able to read the words in his unit, including the word “different,” but I’ve seen no other indication of educational work being completed. When I ask Squeaker concrete questions like, “Did you do any writing today?” He answers “No.” He acknowledged that some reading was done today, but not by him–by his TA.
|First sign of any work done!|
He’s smarter than what it seems like he’s doing, and I’m terrified that he’s going to fall farther behind. I was worried about it with the new teacher. And I was even more worried about it when I heard that he was in a class with mostly Kindergartners. There is one other first grader in his class, and I don’t know what kind of academic level that child is. All I know is, if he’s watching movies and not being pushed at all, of course he’s having green days. That makes total sense. But what happens if the movies stop all of the sudden? What if he gets used to that? If this goes on too long, she’s gonna have a fight on her hands.
I know I’m putting a lot of stock in what my child is reporting and communication is not his strong-suit, but I brushed aside his telling me he watched Cars and Scooby Doo because he watches those at home fairly frequently. Monsters, Inc., though, he does not. So, I guess now I will have to ask his teacher about the movie thing. I also want to make sure she’s aware that he wrote at least a little something every single day last year. He needs to practice. If we are to ever hope to get him out of a self-contained classroom, he has to be able to do his work without meltdowns. And he needs to be moved forward often with reasonable expectations.
I am a parent that wants results. I want to see my child do more and more and more. It’s fine if what he’s doing is the best he can do. I am not unrealistic. But last year I got a taste of just how far he could go, and I know how smart he is now. I want him to do what he’s capable of, and continue reaching and stretching just a little bit farther and closing those gaps. It’s his Special Education teacher’s job to help him with that. And Elementary School is the prime time to do that.
And maybe fixating on his education makes me a worry wart, but it’s so important. And when Big Guy goes to school, it will be the same with him. I am involved. I care. And that is not changing.