Thursday, March 4, 2010

But how will he function??

I struggle daily with parenting. I have two boys who are eight years apart and are lightyears apart in their personalities and thinking. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I "get" Nick, I understand his thinking and thought process, Michael, not so much.

When Nick first started school, I was a class mother, I was heavily involved. He went to school until the end of the third grade and then we brought him home to homeschool him. Michael told us when he was three that he was NOT going to be homeschooled. He has done fine in the public school - I'm just not involved. It's not because I don't care, mind you, it's just that Michael has the type of personality where he already struggles with rules and not wanting to do what the teacher tells him and so my presence in the classroom was possibly going to undo all of the progress any of his teachers were making.

Now I am a firm believer in being kept informed when there is a problem at school. He is in the 4th grade now and we've had teachers who have told us every move he's made, while others have only contacted us when there was a REAL problem. I've talked to the principal a time or two, I've sat down with a "focus group" that was a committee of 8 people to try and discuss why he was struggling back in the third grade - he argued with his teach a LOT. It turns out that in the end, the TEACHER was the problem that year, not Michael.

Anyway, on Monday we get a note sent home from his PE teacher. It was a form letter with added comments that Michael was inconsistent and uncooperative with...jumping rope.

Seriously? Really?

I mean, this was a LETTER about my child's performance in jumping rope! Can he read? YES! Can he write? YES! Is her performing on grade level? YES! Is he a danger to himself or others? NO! Don't waste my time sending me a letter because my athletically gifted child (and he is) does not want to jump rope! The boy is a fast runner, he can hit a ball, dunk a ball, throw a perfect spiral, he can do flips in mid-air while running, he can do cartwheels, he rides a bike, climbs trees, climbs ropes, hell, he can even scale a wall! He does not NEED to jump rope! You know how I know this? Because I CAN jump rope and I still didn't finish college and I'm still unemployed right now! My husband can jump rope and he still struggles in finding work!

I think some of these teachers take things WAY too seriously. If Michael was hurting someone with the jump rope, then fine call me. Is he getting belligerent over being harassed over jump-roping? Probably. Instead of focusing on this one thing that he can't or won't do (and it's not of any importance to his life or his future) move on! Focus on what he CAN do! Kids self-esteems get CRUSHED by teachers like this! I know because it was one of the reasons we pulled Nick out of school all those years ago! He had a teacher get verbally and physically abusive to him and it was over drawing!

Teachers, I know your jobs are hard. I cannot imagine leading a group of 30 kids for 180 days and having all of those different personalities and learning styles to deal with. But like most parents, there are times where you can pick your battles. No one has ever failed in life because they could not jump rope. Be realistic. We all have it hard right now with life in general, don't add to it by sending home letters over the ridiculous.

Give me a break!


Lola said...

Oh no! He can't jump rope! He's doomed to failure. He'll drop out of college and live on the streets. He'll never amount to anything.

WTFreak is wrong with these teachers? It's gym class for cryin' out loud! It's not brain surgery 101. My kids actually have written tests in gym. I have no idea what the tests are about, but I think it's absurd. Aren't they supposed to be getting exercise so hopefully they don't turn into a fat blob like me?

Lin said...

Ugh. I get it if he is distracting the class, but if he honestly cannot jump rope......

I'm with you on the silliness. My son was extremely bright--could tell time and do time zones, and read in Kindergarten. All they did in his class was color all day long. They colored letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. They just COLORED. He hated coloring because his mind wanted to do more.

We actually had to have an IEP meeting that issued all sorts of evaluations to see why he wouldn't color! It was silly. I had to bring in examples of the work that he could do to show them that he was just bored silly.

You have to be your child's advocate--ALL the time. It's hard work, but that's the only way to stop this silliness.

Becki said...

Oh my goodness. Of all the things to 'struggle' with, I think jump roping is an excellent choice. Just sayin...

Frugal Vicki said...

Okay, could get if he beat her with the jumprope, but come on!

Mike Golch said...

when did school ghet to be shuck a chore? Oh yeh whe the government said that you had to.