Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More Overreacting... or not

Here I am, not blogging again. I have much to do and no time to blog. And my sick child? He wants me to lay with him and watch a movie. But I am too busy. See? No time to blog. Only time to sweep, and dust and empty the dishwasher and reboot the laundry. NO. TIME. TO. BLOG. Sheesh! What do you people want from me? And the sun? She is waiting for my basking to begin. I MUST go bask in the sun's glory before she decides to hide behind some clouds again because I've hurt her feelings. I'm serious. It's happened before.

I must tell you that I just got off the phone with Dylan's teacher. Yes, just now. I was a bit nervous when I realized it was him because after the message he left me on my answering machine yesterday I was not sure I was up for handling the conversation I was sure was going to happen next and this is a really really long and improperly punctuated sentence. Whew! So yes, he called me Friday and Tuesday and now Wednesday. Apparently he missed the letter I sent. Did I mention he needs to STOP CALLING me?

The call Friday was about the missing glasses. The call yesterday was about how I was overreacting about Dylan being behind in the reading program and he would speak to Dylan's aunt who also happens to be a second grade teacher but I was totally overreacting and if I wanted to talk to her about it, it was fine (thanks for the permission Mr. Teacher) but I would have to sign a paper about him speaking to her and why, WHY am I speaking to everyone but him about my son?

Except that I spoke to him about Dylan at the conference. Then I spoke to him on the phone about my concerns and THEN I called and spoke to other people, who in turn wanted to speak with him. Now, I have to say that I think he is doing a great job with my son. My son is behind because of his behavior. We ALL know this. He has "holes in his learning" because of this. He is doing well catching up. BUT apparently I am overreacting because I do not want him entering third grade behind.

In the words of Mr. Teacher, "I think you are getting ahead of things. He is not years behind, only months. And he is catching up. Let's wait and see how he does before you get all worried."

In my mind, months behind is bad enough. In my mind, every month he is behind just puts him further and further behind as the years go on. In my mind, I am not overreacting but trying to be proactive and fill in the gaps in his learning NOW. Before it puts him behind in other subjects. We all know how as the kids get older the curriculum relies more on their reading ability. This will eventually affect all areas of school. I think we should start helping him catch up now. Not when he is YEARS behind. I am not faulting the teacher (although I think he is, all at once, arrogant and insecure - he seemed to know all and now seems threatened by my wanting to help fill in the holes in Dylan's education).

So tell me... all you experienced parents and teachers:

Am I overreacting? Is it wrong to want to get a second opinion from a family member who knows more about this than I? Is it wrong to want to find ways to help him catch up now/over the summer? I'm not talking sitting him down and drilling him day in and day out. I'm talking about having a plan to work with him over the summer to bring him up to speed so he can begin third grade where he needs to be. I'm talking about learning some tools to use to help him. And I'm definitely not talking about spending hours at the kitchen table trying to teach him. I may have mentioned I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon and never read again rather than work with him. But I'll do what I have to do. I'm not feeling so panicked anymore. But not being a 1/3 through the curriculum when the school year is 2/3's over? There is no catching up. There is just falling a bit more behind every year.

Again, I'm asking for your opinions. I want to hear your wisdom!


Rachel said...

Obviously I don't know all the details, but as a former second grade teacher, I don't think you're overreacting at all! I would have loved to have all my parents be proactive and want to approach things with the attitude of what can we all do to help my child catch up. And finding out what you can do with Dylan for the rest of the school year and for the summer to help him "catch up" before he starts third grade is a great idea. There are plenty of teachers who tutor over the summer - I would look into that. Good luck!

Tami said...

I agree with Rachel. I don't think you're over-reacting at all. If there are holes, then they need to be filled.

I've had teachers comment on how parents aren't involved in their childs curriculum - and here you are ready and willing to help your child. I would think he'd be working with you on it. And not at the end of the year, either.

moe said...

I'm with you. You ask other teachers, you ask friends, you get a tutor, you do what you feel is nescessary to get him caught up now. Before he falls further and further behind.

I don't know what the school system is like where you are but, here they are changing the way kids are graded to make everybody feel warm and fuzzy (read no accountability) Your kid could get to grade 6 and still be 'beginning to consilidate' (their words not mine) basic reading skills. You want him to catch up or be kept back so he can learn what he needs to know before he is expected to learn more.

Good luck. Follow your heart and make sure he knows you want to help him because you love him. (the boy not the teacher ;)

cynthialord said...

Heidi, he won't have to deal with any consequences of what does or doesn't happen for your son after this year. You will, and you should do whatever you think is in your son's best interest.

Five years from now, you won't look back and say, "Oh, I'm so glad I didn't upset the teacher." You'll look back and be glad you did what needed to be done.