Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alex's School Saga

I don't think I have written about what has been going on with Alex's fourth grade year here very much, or at all. To start at the beginning puts us back to August of last year. His new teacher, Mrs. G, was nice and friendly but within a month she started being inconsistent with assignments, homework, grades, and class discipline.

I had a teacher conference with her in October where she went over what we all ready know about Alex, that is he is friendly smart and loves to help in class. But through the entire conversation she wouldn't look me in the eyes. That should have been a red flag for me.

Then later that month a boy who we are on friendly terms with his family, transferred out of the class because the parents thought Mrs. G was a horrible teacher. I was slightly surprised but wrote it off to those parents being control freaks. Before we knew it Christmas break had arrived and at the class holiday party she was happy and upbeat and didn't say a single thing to the kids about the New Year.

Fast forward to the first week back to school in January and Alex's class has a substitute, a Mr. K. We found out later that week that Alex's previous teacher Mrs. G was taking an extended leave of absence that she had been planning since school started. We wouldn't know if she was coming back for a couple months, but in the mean time we had Mr. K. This new teacher seemed to be great and a HUGE improvement over Mrs. G right from the beginning.

In January we had to dealing with bullying and this teacher was very supportive of Alex during this time. The principle, who Casey can't stand but we both agree that he can be effective, thought Mr. K was a fabulous teacher. We were so focused on helping Alex with bullying and his self esteem that the teaching issues were pushed to the back burner.

The bullying issue stopped and Alex seemed happier, but I started noticing things when I would stop by the class randomly. In the morning the kids wouldn't be doing their workouts like they were supposed too and would be goofing off or sleeping at their desks. We never got any of Alex's work sent home, literally have not had work since before Thanksgiving sent home. Alex started talking about how Mr. K would freak out in the class and how many of the kids were doing outrageous things in class like coating their faces with pudding?!?!

I witnessed one of these freak outs one morning where he was throwing his hands in the air and yelling at the kids to sit down. Completely unprofessional, he looked shocked when he saw me standing in the door and realized that I had witnessed his behavior.

Early in April I had to deal with Mr K for taking away Alex's recess for helping a friend who was getting beat up. Alex helped the kid off up off the ground and told the other kids to leave him alone. For that Alex and the victim lost their recess, but the bullies had NOTHING done to them. All this happened inside the classroom and the teacher claimed he didn't know anything about the situation. When I talked to Mr. K he said he didn't write Alex's name on the board to lose recess and that Alex was making it up. Alex wouldn't make up bullying of a friend, especially since he went through it only a couple months ago. So Alex's recess wasn't taking away, and I started being hyper aware of Alex's class and teacher. Guess what was written on the board when I showed up in class the next morning? Alex's name on the board from the day before. Asshat teacher lied to me.

Then last month while the kids were going through state testing, Mr. K cursed at Alex for spilling a little bit of milk. He also made nasty comments to Alex about Alex's personality, eating habits, and friends. As soon as I found all this out I called up the Vice Principle and got Alex transferred out of his class. Luckily another teacher, Mrs. N, knew Alex and offered to overcap her class to take him. Thank God!

Alex's new teacher is AWESOME, we all wish Alex had her from the start. She has communicated with me multiple times through email and follows through on her promises of extra work packets and information. She contacted us earlier this week that a major math skill that Alex should have had down pat all ready, was lacking. She went through multiple testings and teachings and he got the skill down, but his promotion tests had the bad grade. Luckily all of his other grades at high 90's, so she knew it wasn't his ability but the teaching from Mr. K.

She brought up this issue to the principle because if Alex, who is really smart, didn't get this math skill, then many of the other students of Mr. K do not have it as well. HUGE No-No since this was the main skill on the state tests they JUST TOOK!! Regardless, Alex is back on track and is looking at straight A's for his end of year grades AND we get his work sent home!!! Yay!

I have all ready been pulling some strings to be able to request his teacher for 5th grade. I refuse for Alex to have to go through another year with another shitty teacher.

4th grade has sucked up until Mrs. N's class. God bless good teachers!!!


Lisa 1:04 AM  

What a bummer. I can't believe that parents and students were not informed of the planned LOA, and that the principal was not on top of the replacement teacher (who sounds like an ineffective sub). Alex deserves the best.

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