Thursday, September 28, 2006

I have an announcement to make:

We have a name for our newest bundle of joy that is set to arrive on 12/13/2006.

Jack Alexander

I'm so glad to finally have settled on this. There's no significance to the name but Jack is derived from John which happens to be my dad's middle name and my FIL's first name so that's cool even though that wasn't the intent/purpose for the name.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I could cry.

Austin brought home a progress report from school, which showed him completely failing EVERYTHING. :(

The teacher did write on there that so far they've only had 2 tests and everything else is homework or in class stuff and there are 4wks left of the grading period so there is time to recover. But I got on Austin for it and told him that I want to proud of him and that his grades are disappointing. He plays it all off but when he came out to do the dishes (Bill was mowing the grass so it was just the two of us) I told him to come here and I just hugged him and he started crying. I didn't even say anything so that broke my heart. Deep down he is stressing about it and every time he gets a bad grade, I tell Bill and then I tell his father and he has to hear about it from every side. :( I told him this morning that I loved him no matter what and that I know he can get good grades, he got ALL A's & B's last year (not ONE C) so I wasn't going to say anything more about it (outside of checking his homework) until I see his report card.

Honestly, I think the grading is a bit unfair. I'd bet a lot kids got progress reports. They grade EVERY single paper done. There's no margin for error. They screw up one paper and it goes against them - for example: one of the papers he brought home the other day was an F, he got 3.5 out of 6 right or something like that and he said that he didn't have time to finish it b/c he went to the bathroom and when he came back, math was over and he had to turn it in... Now, maybe he took a while in the bathroom, who knows, but can't that be expected from time to time - crap! - they are only 5th graders (9 & 10 yr olds)!!! Austin doesn't want to fail nor does mean too. We all know he's smarter than that and I think that things were drastically changed on all the students this year from last year - they GRADE homework! I'm hoping it's just an adjustment period for him and once he gets used to the "new" ways, things will improve.

Remember, he got ALL A's & B's last year - not one C!!!! Now he's failing??????????

I really don't know what to do. Like I said, I'm hoping things will improve.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Teacher conference

I had a parent teacher conference yesterday and I get a strong motherly feeling that Austin's teacher doesn't like him. She didn't say anything nice about him except he was “smart enough to get by" and I'm really peeved by the whole conversation. I was really hard on Austin when we got home but I didn't yell at him. I told him that this was his future and only he can change things. I took his away his game boy and play station privileges until I heard a better report from the teacher.

The teacher was basically saying that Austin is a distraction and she thinks he shows several signs of ADD. Well, I'm not comfortable putting Austin on drugs. I explained to her that he was also the youngest in her class (he always is) and she was quick to say that his behavior would not be acceptable in 4th grade either. Grrrrrr… She also says he's disorganized. Why? She tells me it’s because they sit in groups of 5 and he's the desk on the end - well - the 2 desks in front of him are empty a lot of day and he uses them to put his notebook and papers on and the teacher doesn't like it. I said "he's probably using them b/c he can!" but no, she says he's disorganized.

She said that Austin went around the room asking for a pencil today and no one would give him a pencil. She said when he got ½ way around the room she started listening to him. I said, “Why doesn’t he have any pencils?” She said, “I don’t know.” And then asked him, “Austin, do you have a pencil?” He reached in his bag and pulled out a pencil. She said, “Is that yours?” He said, “Yea.” She said, “Then why were you asking everyone for a pencil today?” And his reply was, “I needed a yellow colored pencil.” She said, “Do you have a yellow crayon?” He looked in his bag and pulled out a yellow crayon, to which she replied, “Well you could’ve used that.” If she was listening so closely earlier than she would’ve known he was asking for a yellow colored pencil and then directed him to use a crayon instead but no, that’s not what happened. She was trying to throw him under the bus in front of me. Basically her story backfired.
She gave me another example of him not handing in his revisions yet for his science paper so again, she asked him about it in front of me. He said that when she came by his desk she told him that he was missing a bunch of stuff so he just decided to do the whole thing over – he even asked her “don’t you remember?” And she, of course, didn’t so he explained again and now she says, “Oh yes, I vaguely remember that now.” Again, she tried throwing my son under the bus in front of me and it backfired.

When I mention advanced classes, they all say absolutely not b/c he's not organized enough or this or that plus there are too many kids in the class already blah blah blah. At the same time, I wouldn't want to put him in an advanced class if he really shouldn't be there... Yet her only grade for him so far was 100%... I told her that she’d be pressed to get any less than an "A" on a spelling test from him.

Plus - every year we get the same complaints from/about Austin - EXCEPT for last year, last year we didn’t get ONE complaint and when his dad went to the parent/teacher conference she praised him - the only difference in last year is that the seats were in rows and all the other years the seating was grouped in 4’s and 5’s. That's when the teacher said to me, "That teacher doesn't complain about anyone." Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – bitch

I asked her what I could do to help her and she said nothing but then later asked me for suggestions. I suggested she pull his desk back some so he can’t reach the empty desks in front of him and ‘force’ him to be organized and to maybe seat him alone but she didn’t like that idea stating that “those” children are always the ones to end up in the principal’s office later in life and “he’s not that kind of child.”

Bottom line: I don’t like her. She came at me all wrong. Austin is a GREAT kid. He’s the kind of child that I only receive compliments on – no one ever has anything bad to say about him. Last year he got all A's & B's (not one C all year) and he's kind, giving and polite. I just wish that she could’ve added some compliments to all of her negativity, hell, she is talking about my CHILD. Does she not expect me to proctective or defensive? I'm all about recognizing the problem and willing to help but when it seems as though she just doesn't like him (and he adores her) then how can I differeniate the problem through her frustration?