Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, December 5

I'm just so angry I can hardly stand it. I tend to get that way when I think people aren't being kind or fair with my children.

We have been spoiled through the years that Griff has had kind and patient and good-humored teachers. And this year we are blessed beyond belief to be involved with his gift teacher. We are so grateful for her compassion and her protectiveness and her ability to push him just enough but not too much.

His regular teacher, however, not so much. And now, in no way is she mistreating Griff. And she doesn't appear to single him out other than in regards to how much she feels she needs to push him. We got a note home from her last week stating that Griff was not performing up to his capabilities and that his grades were slipping and that he was not doing well (emphasis hers).

When pressed to give examples of which grades in particular were suffering, she became defensive and answered with only vague statements. I sent an email to his gifted teacher and asked about how she perceived his progress to be going (I did not mention the note.) She said he was doing much better.

When I responded and mentioned the other teacher's comments, she pulled back a bit and reiterated some of the things Griff's regular teacher has said. Of course, I understand that, professionally, she cannot speak against another's teacher's methods or observations. But in my opinion, she should also not back up another teacher with whom she disagrees.

We got Griff's interim grade report today from both teachers, and the one from his gifted teacher was clearly written prior to these email exchanges. She was very positive about Griff's progress thus far. And his grades from his regular teacher were excellent.

Out of six graded subjects, Griff had five As and one B. The B was only three points away from an A. Which seems to me like pretty good grades, especially for a child who began the fourth grade not having had any training in how to write in cursive and who has had to undergo some fairly significant physical tests in the last month or so.

But apparently, that isn't good enough for his regular teacher who wrote a note on the interim report, saying, "While it may not be reflective in his grades, Griffin is not working to his capabilities. ..." Lovely.

In no way am I interested in pitting one teacher against another or trying to determine who is which side. The only side I'm interested in is Griffin's. And for me, if you're not on his side, if you're not interested in what will help him improve in terms of his abilities and his learning and not in terms of what will enable him to perform better on one standardized test, then we're not on the same side.

And so I'm angry. Now, I'm not going to complain to the teacher. Instead, I'm going to work with Griff to help him find ways to either get along better with her or to simply fly under her radar better. And I'm going to remind him that a kid who has straight As isn't doing badly regardless of what she says to him.

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, December 05, 2007  ]


That would bother me too.

What's up with the it's not reflected in his grades? Maybe she's a grouch?

I'm sorry:(

By Blogger A Dusty Frame, at 10:42 PM  

Well, she is a little cranky in general. :) But as we hear more things from Griff, we're coming to believe that this doesn't have as much to do with Griff as it may with some animosity his regular teacher has toward the gifted program. Griff seems just to be an easy scapegoat for her frustration or dislike for the program. We're just keeping Griff aware that as long as he's doing what he is supposed to do, he's doing fine.

By Blogger Chel, at 6:04 AM  

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