Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wrongest day in recent memory

1. We were due to arrive at Henry's classroom half an hour early to listen to him read from his journals and "book box" before taking them home. I forgot to set the alarm. We arrived on time but barely. Henry had very little interest in reading these books to me since none of them were ever very challenging for him. He did point out that his coloring has gotten much better since September. Lucy was extremely interested in sticking her face directly in front of mine while I tried to pay attention to Henry.

2. Unfortunately a few people in the room were leaving with gifts. Henry became obsessed with the location of his gift. He concluded that he had to read his entire book box to receive the gift. Declared he didn't want the gift. I still don't know what the story was, but there was no gift. The teacher, in her ever unhelpful way told him only, "I don't have a gift for you, Henry." At that point he started to cry inconsolably, just as everyone was starting to leave, of course. And Lucy continued to stick her face in mine, "What's wrong Henry, Mommy?" Then I noticed Henry's friend B was crying too. I did my best to calm Henry down rather unsuccessfully. When I left both boys were still crying, B silently, Henry rather loudly, and I heard the teacher mutter aloud, "Well, we could get started now if everyone would stop crying." She is retiring in three days to teach pre-school. I wish her all the best.

3. If that wasn't bad enough we got the package we had sent to the gifted programming specialist back with the glibbest, most unhelpful note. We wrote a letter asking if Henry could be considered for language arts programming for next year because he is reading second grade books with no help and third grade books with a little help at home, while in school it is all monosyllabic nonsense. I do not harbor any illusion that my son is a genius, but his teacher this year has done nothing to nurture him. The gifted programming specialist wrote back that there is nothing she can do because he is at grade level in his class room. Christ on crack! That's why we wrote the note in the first place. I am so tired of this school.

4. And then, I went to pick up our grill. A huge thunderstorm broke out. Did I mention that it hasn't rained more than a drop in months? I had to back the minivan up 40 feet and wait while three very helpful guys placed the grill (which is HUGE) inside. The thing barely fit. At one point they were giving the kids large pieces of metal to hold. Then Henry had to get out twice so we could move up his seat. He was standing on his book box (of course I hadn't taken it out of the car yet) asking me if I could get his umbrella. Both of us got soaking wet.

5. And now I have to rethink tonight's dinner: hot dogs and hamburgers.


Auntly H said...

I guess I'll cross my fingers that the first grade teacher is better. At least it's unlikely that s/he will hold the kids against the wall and scream in their ears. Mine did that. I was terrified of her until she broke her ankle and I "got" to help her after school. She was a lot nicer after that. But, Henry, sounds like he needs some mental stimulation. When he's treated like a dolt, he might sink to "grade level." Ugh.

Lumpyheadsmom said...

I want to see the behemoth grill!

J Frank Parnell said...

Here's a wish that the next flash flood will take all the teachers without the patience or brains to learn the first lesson every teacher should learn before they get into a classroom: every kid is different. Makes me nuts. My daughter's daycare teachers (two are 'early childhood education' students) told me, when she was 1.5, that she wasn't sitting in the circle and listening to the storytime books - she was roaming. At the time, we were reading her 3-5 books before bedtime - she demanded it, and she never hesitated at the chance to be read to at any other time. And she was above her age level, at least by how she had memorized and seemed to understand the books we read. So I told her teachers: "did you ask her what would happen next in the book, before or while she's roaming? i bet you she knows. She's roaming cause she's bored." They did, and I was right. She'd memorized all their lousy dr. seuss books. So now they keep her involved if it's a book she knows, asking her questions, allowing her to read the next page.

But why did I have to tell them that?

Man, that teacher who told your son she didn't have a gift for him? May her preschoolers give her shingles.

(Although at 2.5 she speaks like a four year old (last night: "daddy, flies wear backpacks with corn inside, and they eat it when they go on vacation" I also harbor no delusions that she's a genius, but the hairs on my neck did stand up when one of her (Ukranian) teachers asked us if we spoke Russian at home (we don't) after Cassie sang a song in near-perfect Russian, possibly after hearing a friend of my wife sing something weeks before in Russian; another teacher has told us she understands spanish; that one I do speak, and I'm pretty sure she does. It's creepy)

Auntly H said...

p.s. What kind of teacher brings gifts for some of the kids in her class and hands them out in front of the other kids? A ROTTEN one! Obvious, I know, but it's been bugging me all day.

p.p.s. ditto about the behemoth grill!

Em said...

j frank: Cassie sounds like a fantastic kid. I have uttered "Why did I have to tell them that!" myself re Henry on more than one occasion. I am actually impressed that her teachers listened to you.

Sadly if we required the teachers to have that prereq the schools would be EMPTY.