Tuesday, July 28, 2009

3rd grade

Today I took a few minutes to send an email to the school principal. I wanted to ask that they consider a few things before choosing Maddison's teacher for this year. Mainly, I wanted to stress that a classroom located in the portable buildings isn't the safest choice for Maddison, being that a hike from building to building isn't smart if/when Maddison complains of feeling low. I also wanted to mention that I expect to "approve" of Maddison's teacher this year, and would appreciate knowing a few days ahead of time who her teacher is so Maddison and I can meet with her BEFORE our IEP meeting.

You see, I'm sorry, but Maddison has fallen through the cracks one too many times. Maddison will NOT have an inexperienced teacher again, and I will not allow Maddison to be humiliated in class again by a teacher who makes it clear she is irritated by the interruptions of Diabetes!

We have always seemed to get the inexperienced teachers! In Kindergarten Maddison's teacher went on maternity leave come January. The teacher that took her place JUST finished school, I'm guessing she was around 20 or so. (Nothing wrong with that) but it wasn't the best fit for a child that struggled with attention issues (not to mention Diabetes symptoms set in at this time)and although I wanted to have Maddison repeat Kindergarten, she assured me Maddison would be fine. On to 1st grade then. In first grade Maddison had a GREAT teacher, but it was her first year teaching as well. This teacher was scatter brained, stressed out and disorganized. She was great to Maddison, but once again Maddison fell through the cracks as far as her education. This teacher just couldn't keep up with Maddison's missing work, missing class time for being newly diagnosed and such. It was a mess. Then Maddison was diagnosed with Diabetes and ended up repeating 1st grade because I KNEW she wasnt ready to move up. When repeating 1st grade Maddison had yet another 1st year teacher, not to mention another 20 something young lady, with no children of her own. She was a great person, but once again, Madison struggled. No one stopped to identify or mention Maddison's difficulties in class. I had to call a meeting myself, to address my concerns of her less than average performance. It was then that they finally agreed to have Maddison complete all assessment testing and she eventually ended up with an IEP for OHI. (Other health impared)

Then there was last year. Ms S. Previous music teacher, no classroom experience, no children of her own. I know a good teacher is a good teacher, regardless of having their own children or not, BUT what about experience to identify children that need some extra support? (and YES, I do realize how overworked our teacher are!)Anyway, last year in 2nd grade was the worst. Maddison was belittled on several occasions in front of her classmates. This teacher had inappropriate responses to Maddison's needs and concerns. Being that I wanted to keep close tabs on Maddison's work since she was considered "at risk" since all the formal testing, I requested a weekly report from Ms S. I think I got maybe 5 sent home all year!! Any work incomplete from missing class time was to be sent home so we could complete it together. For a week this teacher cooperated. Then it was a constant fight with Maddison's assigned case manager to have anything sent home that I asked for. I would remind, then get one days memo. Then not the next. What a mess. I literally had to go into the classroom every single day to get a written weekly report!

Off track there.....this is supposed to be a HAPPY post today, I'm not looking back...I'm looking forward. 3rd grade will be a better year! To my surprise, this evening I received an email back from the school principal. I'm sooo relieved!!! Maddison has been placed in Mrs M's class, a teacher with over 30 years teaching behind her. Mrs M was also Hannah's teacher several years ago!!! We already know all about Mrs M!!! We already loved her years ago, AND when Maddison was diagnosed with Diabetes years back Mrs M came to me and offered her "condolences"!!!!! Can you see me jumping for joy??!! Mrs M has a classroom in the main building near the nurse's office, which makes nurse visits even speedier! (hopefully) It turns out our cherished school nurse already suggested Mrs M for Maddison this year because she wanted to make sure Maddison wasn't in the portables! I LOVE OUR SCHOOL NURSE!!

3rd grade.....3rd grade.....I've been in some serious denial that 3rd grade is coming. As Wendy said......there is so many things on a parents mind when our children with Diabetes return to school! Anyone who has followed my blog in years past knows of the difficulties Maddison has in school. She is a school hater. She's bored in class. Maddison is very intelligent, but a traditional school setting is just not in her best interest. Add Diabetes with its ups and downs.....school is hard for Maddison. She's an entirely different person in the classroom than she is at home. She's shy. Passive. Doesn't speak up. The good thing is, last night Maddison told me this year she wants to love school. She told me that she knows being a Vet or a Pediatricain means ALOT of college, so she's planning to make 3rd grade different this year. She said she will try to LOVE school. I HOPE that she does!

One email just made my day! I'm so relieved to hear Maddison has Mrs M. I feel like half the stress of back to school has been taken from my shoulders. Now for the schedule. I wonder what the lunch/recess schedule looks like? An extra hour is also added to Maddison's day this year. The bus ride home will be with her sister. YAY! I dont have as much to worry about if Maddison is on the bus with her older sister! Two weeks until school starts......I'm staying optimistic!! 3rd grade WILL be a better year for Maddison!

1 comment:

Wendy said...

3rd Grade is a charm!!!! It's going to be YOUR YEAR, guys :)

I'm relieved too...and Maddison isn't even mine -- well, she's kind of mine :)

Tick Tock Tick Tock...WE'RE GONNA DO IT!!!!!!! (and it's going to be great!)