Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Braden & his grade one experience. Part 2 (October 8, 2008)

So after our little chat about using the term "potty", I realized that this teacher had her priorities in a big ole funk. From this point on, I referred to her as trying to make my child into a little robot. One that would conform and do exactly as SHE pleased.

Before I continue, I must say that Braden is not a perfect little angel. He can be a handful at times. Sometimes he gets an idea in his head, and whatever the consequences might be, he has to do it. Hence the teacher describing him as impulsive. Example - "Braden, do not knock over little Jimmy's Lego tower." "What? THIS one?" BAM. "Oops. I'm sorry" Or "Braden, Don't run in the.. DON'T run in the.. BRADEN!! STOP RUNNING IN THE BLOODY HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!"

Also, as I believed I may have mentioned before, I don't think Mrs. U. is a bad teacher. I think and thought at the time, that she was a bad teacher for my son. She had just come back after one year mat leave, thrown into a K/1 split that she made very clear she didn't want, and had her own personal issues. I wasn't always a bitch to her. I did (really!) try to empathise with her situation, but a lot of her behaviour was still unacceptable.

About a week after the "potty" incident, I told her very nicely that I didn't really feel comfortable with hearing about other students for 2 reasons. One, That my concerns were for Braden, and unless the complaints regarding the other student directly involved my son, I didn't want to hear it. Two, I told her that I was concerned that she was discussing my son with other parents. She surprised the shit out of me. She looked taken aback at first, then apologized profusely. She agreed that it was very unprofessional, and that she didn't even realise she was doing it. She said she wouldn't anymore, and thanked me. Sincerely. As far as I know, she kept her word.

Atfer that, she began relaying positives back to me. "Braden is so helpful and caring." "Braden is excelling in math." "Braden is the sweetest and most adorable little boy ever". Okay, so she didn't say the last part. But we all know she wanted to, right? ;) Things calmed down for a while, and I heard nothing until January.

January. January was a BAD month to piss off mama bear. I just went from single mom to 2 kids to single mom of 5. That's when my nephews came to live with me. About 2 weeks after Christmas holidays were over, Braden brings home a letter in his backpack. This letter said they would like to have Braden tested for any possible learning disabilities that may be detrimental to his schooling. They. "They" were the teacher, principle and 2 "high upper" school people. What I found out, was it is illegal for a school or teacher to request for ADD/ADHD testing. (In Canada anyways)But that is EXACTLY what they wanted him tested for. I stewed for a while. I wondered if I was blinded and if my son really did have a major issue that I have been denying, or just couldn't see. My "instincts" told me that no, Braden does not have a learning disability. I bounced it off of almost everyone who knew Braden and I. I asked the same thing to everyone. "Am I missing something? Am I in denial? Am *I* failing my son? Do you really think he could have ADD/ADHD?" Every single person I spoke with said an emphatic "No." I even spoke with his angel of a kindergarten teacher. One of my family members is a teacher. All said "No way."

Then I found this out.

There were 9 grade one kids. 5 boys, 4 girls. 4 boys and one of the girls received this letter. What the hell are the chances that FIVE children from the same school, let alone the same CLASSROOM could have ADD/ADHD or ANY type of learning disability? You can't imagine how livid I was. So I wrote my own letter. It was firm, polite, (I didn't swear in it once!!) and to the point. I wasn't getting my son tested, as there has been ZERO feedback on my son's education. Not once was I told he was behind in anything. If there had been an issue regarding his schooling, I told them I was sure they would come to me. Right? Since all the complaints were that Braden wasn't "up to par" with behaviour, but he wasn't "bad" either. (Their words!)

Things died down for a while. One day, at the end of May, when I was waiting to pick up my nephew from the other kindergarten class, Mrs. U. told me very shocking news.

Her exact words were, "I don't know how or why I missed it. But we did our reading assessment with the kids today. I don't know what happened, and why I didn't catch it before. But Braden's reading level is very far behind." I felt my heart drop for my son. I remained very calm and said "How far behind?" She replied, "At this time of year I like to see the kids at a level 14-16. Braden is at a level 5-6." I wanted to punch her. She has been "teaching" my kid for the past 9 months and he is ONE READING LEVEL HIGHER THAN HE WAS IN KINDERGARTEN?!?! I gritted my teeth as she continued. "He is a bright kid. I've always seen it, but he never wanted to apply himself fully. I honestly don't know how he slipped under the radar. I Do want you to know that Braden has taught me a lot about teaching this year." I wanted to throw her to the ground, punch in her face and rip her hair out. Well, LA TI FLIPPING DA My son taught HER. I'm pretty sure from this post and the previous post you can generate a pretty good idea yourself as to why she "failed to catch her mistake."

Stay tuned for the finale of "Braden & his grade one experience." It's gonna be a good one and make you shake your head. It'll contain where Braden is now!!

*** To add to yesterday's post - after Kenzie woke up, she was DRY! I ran her to the bathroom, and she peed an ocean! Then she pooped at daycare AND at home ON THE POTTY!! We are well on our way. YAY!! I'll back off on the potty updates now. For a while, anyways. I MIGHT wait till she's in underwear. Maybe. Okay reader? Hi SHANNON!! (*if* there's anyone else.. say hi so I know who's out there!:))

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