Sep 28, 2008

still thinking about teacher/parent/student interaction

I have a friend who is struggling right now. Her son is 7 and has been in 2nd grade for all of a month. My friend has already been cornered by her son's teacher several times.

The first time the teacher told her that her son has ADHD because he is dreamy and stares out of the window a lot. Mind you, the teacher was not talking about a student who was disrupting the class, just one who was not paying attention the whole day. (At his school there is one recess for the kids. How insane is that? Ask kids to sit still ALL day long and then get surprised when they daydream out the window???)

Be that as it may, a week or so later my friend was cornered again. He son had failed the math test 6/10. The teacher told my friend there was no way her child would pass second grade. Mind you, school has only been in session one week! It turns out that five of the questions were complex logic questions: "The number is less than three doubled, more than five minus three and is an odd number. What number is it?" AND it was a timed test!

And then my friend was cornered AGAIN. This time the teacher called her in the middle of the day to say that her son's reading comprehension was awful and he needed remedial help. He had turned in a book report that was all gibberish. My friend asked if the teacher had taken the time to talk to her son about the book, because she had learned more about sharks (the topic) during the book report process that she cared to know. She acknowledged that his writing leads something to be desired, but that does not reflect his reading comprehension. The teacher said no, she had not spoken with the boy, because it was obvious from his report he understood nothing.

My friend is at her wits end. She is talking to the principal. She is doing flash cards at home. She is thinking of withdrawing him and homeschooling him. (Not that I think homeschooling is a bad idea.) But why?

Because her interactions with this teacher have all been negative. The teacher has apparently made up her mind that the child is stupid and uneducable and all this one month into the year. And she feels caught up in the system, and her child feels incredibly stupid.

Now maybe he is immature and is not ready for 2nd grade. But I can't help thinking how different would this whole situation have looked if perhaps the teacher had started with talking about how creative he is, or how well he interacts with other students - he has so many friends, etc. What if the teacher kept trying new strategies and always went in thinking that all of her students were capable of learning?

1 comment:

  1. The teacher strikes me as lazy. I'd demand a reassignment for my child.


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