Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Funding, Fortune and Failure

A few weeks ago my son’s teacher had informed me that my son was causing problems at school. For a second grade student my son is very smart. Him and I work on times tables to keep his interest in math, knowing that when he gets board, all is lost with him. As smart as his is, he has always been on the immature side. I know he’s only seven years old but responsibility is not at all his strong suit. To insure all the kids’ parents read and review things like homework and reading assignments, everything must be signed on the bottom by a parent. Up to this point, I was getting a bit frustrated because I was writing his teacher notes about his work and home, but she would never reply. This happened a few times and when I asked him if his teacher had seen the note, he said yes, of course.

This act all came to a head when his teacher caught my wife one day when she was dripping him off for school. The next day, the teacher and I had a one on one together after school. It turns out that ALL of the notes I was sending were simply being stuffed into my son’s desk before the teacher had ever gotten a chance to see them. In addition, my son had also stuffed a number of notes into his desk written by his teacher for us to read. Oh. Let’s see what else… He bit his eraser off and spit it onto the floor, spitting again several times (guess he didn’t like the taste), he pushed a classmate, he hit the same classmate, he yanked another out of line for some book function, accidentally scratching him with his pencil, the list seems to go on. The long story made short is we now have a notebook that his teacher writes into everyday with things like homework assignments and issues at school, and we also write into it as well to get questions answered and the like. The notebook has been a huge help because he now knows that nothing can be hidden from us. Problem solved, right? Well…

Yesterday I took the day off of work to be the Grade-Parent for his class’s Halloween party. I must also add that in all 30 plus classrooms, I was the only male Grade-Parent present. Finally, I got a chance to see the atmosphere my kid is in during his day at school. OMG!!! Out of 17 kids, two are ESL students and one severely autistic. I don’t want throw any punches at ESL students, most everyone in this country has origins from somewhere across the globe, but get this; the so called special help with Spanish to English is given to them by, are you ready, (drum roll please) THE LUNCH LADY! A quote from my son’s Principal, explaining this odd situation; “Our District has only one specialist for this type of student and most of her time is spent at the High School where the students are more in need of help due to their age”. Don’t get me wrong here; this particular Cafeteria Facilitator is a wonderful lady! I love her and the kids love her even more, but to employ a lunch lady out of convenience?

One of these kids, we’ll call him Alberto because that’s his name, has a plethora of issues. He would also be the kid who my son was picking on (go figure). Either his parents do not speak and/or read a lick of English, or they just don’t give a shit about his education. He is so far behind on homework assignments and schoolwork that he was not allowed to participate in the school Halloween Parade. Him and the autistic girl had to spend this time at the office. Admittedly, the poor girl had no idea she had missed anything, yet Alberto was somewhat disappointed at first. This emotion did not last long, showing he has grown quite accustom to not being with the others.

My son’s teacher also employs her mother to help with the classroom. This is in addition to the paid Grandparent and the high school student volunteer working almost daily. Obviously this school does not have the capability to handle what has been given to them. Yet, if they do not follow the Federally Mandated letter of the law, they loose their funding. The same funding that does not allow the district enough money to properly school the students! Welcome to my personal view into this Governments failure!

All things being considered, I am actually glad to know that my son’s actions are mostly driven by his school atmosphere and not his home life. I try very hard to be a good parent to him and my daughter, attempting to turn them towards the path that I did not take, making them better then I was and am. I have little pride in what I was in school, yet devote my life to what my kids are. An issue with my daughter last year, and now my son is a total kick in the face. I have worked tremendously hard to get where I am, and happy or not with my personal life, I have overcome obstacles that I am trying my best to remove for my kids. I only wish the school was working in my favor.

God love the Lunch Lady…


Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

welcome to schools today. nothing says "lack of parents" like visiting a school.

11/01/2006 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest to go to the school board or the head of the administation office for that school district.
A lot of schools will not offer kids any type of learning support unless they are caught found to have this at a young age.My 7 year old had a wonderful teacher last year.This year? Well another story.My daughter is in 2nd grade but reading at a 4th grade level.We questioned why she was bringing home such young grade level reading.And asked that she be at the level she "wants" to be.
The teacher's reply was " we do not encourage the children to read ahead."
It would be good for you to know that a friend of mine had a similar situation to yours.She went to the board of education.It turns out that if that school is not meeting the needs of ALL the kids...the funding for that school may posibly get cut.It is amazing what a little push in the right direction will do.
We have a teacher/parent conference coming up soon and will opening discuss the "reading issue"
It is too bad that only 2% of parents really get involved in their child's education.I think that some of the time, the schools are banking on it :)

11/02/2006 5:54 AM  
Blogger Carnealian said...

Well that is a strange situation. There's always private school. I am glad I don't have any kids to worry about this over. I think it's good for a parent to step into school once and a while. You never know what you're gonna find.

11/02/2006 6:50 AM  
Anonymous One of many Tracys said...

The current school environment (generally speaking) is hard on little boys. As energetic beings, there is very little active stuff for them to expend their energy on. It can cause difficulties like yours. (Which is not to say that he's not responsible for his behavior or following the rules-just that the current school environment doesn't allow much time for needed social and physical development.) Some think that's a large part of the reason for the ADD epidemic. In many places, recess has become a victim of testing-which is not good.


THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU ARE TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN HIS EDUCATION. Letting your children know how important education is, and that they have to take an active role in their own education is one HUGE thing you'll do that will make the odds of their success much better. As they're always telling us at the 4-H inservices--the single most important factor in a child's success in adulthood is an interested and involved adult.

Hang in there.

Because from what I've read here, you fill that role-not just for your own children-but for those you coach as well. You make a difference even when you don't think you are.

"Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul."-Simon Weil

11/02/2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger Dorman said...

Another reason this fraud of multiculturalism does not work. we need to homogenize to survive as a nation...too obvious. send these god-damned puerto ricans back to the island, ever since they started this "rehab" program of bringing in druggies and felons our town has suffered and is dying.

11/02/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger mattandriver said...

Rev, You got that right.

sis, I just might do that...

Carn, There's still time...

Tracie, Thanks for the kind words.

And of couse Dorman, Memorial Acres might just close here soon. Let's hope!

11/02/2006 6:43 PM  

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