Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's elementary

I thought I was nuts. Making a mountain out of a mole-hill, as my dad might say. But Sam brought home his report card yesterday and I'm just so confused that I think it's pointless to even worry about it anymore.

In the notes section, it says, "Thank you for attending parent conferences. There has been a marked improvement in Sam's behavior." In the columns specifically concerning behavior, where Sam received check marks last time (indicating "needs improvement"), he now received check minuses with "better" noted beside the check minuses. Huh? If a check mark indicates "needs improvement" what does a check minus indicate? and what does a check minus with a "better" next to it mean?

I swear...I never thought first grade would be so difficult...for me. lol!

Somebody please pass the secret decoder ring. Thanks!
Along the same storyline...I have to tell you about a conversation I had the other day shortly after the parent conference that concerned me so much.

I was talking about my concerns with one of the secretaries in the criminal office (who I consider a friend) when one of the other secretaries who sits behind her said, "It's not Ms. C----, by any chance is it?"

I said, "Uh...(hesitating)...yes it is...why?"

This other secretary rolls her eyes as she says, "Oh, she's just a b****!"

"Why do you say that?" I asked (of COURSE I asked...unsolicited strong comments like this always make me ask!).

The other secretary starts with, "She should NOT be teaching little kids. She has absolutely no skills for dealing with them." But that wasn't all...she went on to tick off three additional points on the fingers of her right hand, "My three little cousins were in her class and learned next to nothing. She has no control over the class and she has no idea how to relate to little kids. She should be teaching fifth grade or older, for sure."

At least I know I'm not totally crazy.


marcia said...

Nice to get validation like that...but you are NEVER nuts re: your own kid, Catherine!
Seems like you have simply NOT had good experience with that school. Any chance you could look into getting him tranferred elsewhere next year? Do you have what we call here, "schools of choice" where it is possible to request a tranfer to a different school, either in the same district, or elsewhere? Schools may limit how many such tranfers can be made...but it seems to work well for some. Or perhaps a charter school nearby? Our son works for National Heritage Academies...taught for ten years and is now an assistant principal. He is so convinced they are doing a great job of educating kids....and challenging other public schools to better performance in the neighborhoods where they are. I know they have schools in your state....but not sure how close to you.
Neither you or Sam ( and eventually Myles) should be this frustrated in elementary school!

lorem ipsum said...

Too bad that talk is just circulated among moms. One teacher puts a friendly arm on a kid's shoulder and gets branded for life, but a true incompetent continues to keep her job for years.

Penultimatina said...

Kate, I am so crestfallen by my experience too, especially with all of the "projects" that obviously have to be completed by parents. Once the project I made wasn't good enough, and she had to redo it. I'm at such a disadvantage since there are not many moms who are also the head of the household.

The communication...don't even get me started.

You are not alone in this!

Pipsylou said...

If I had a guess, I would say that she partied her way through college and got an ed degree because it was the least likely to interfere with her partying (oh, and she loves kids.)


The Nanny said...

That teacher sounds nuts. She should NOT be teaching.

But--could the check minus really have been a check (dash) better? Does that make sense? She checked it, and then put -better (as an explanation), not a check minus. I have no idea if that's true or if that made sense, but it could be!

kate said...

A's first-grade experience was very similar. Volunteering in the classroom is what convinced me that his teacher was inexperienced and also did not have the temperament to deal with young children. We changed to a private school for 2nd grade. And this was in a 'good' public school district.