Tired of teachers whining!

Janette - posted on 08/25/2011 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I just got my 4th letter home in the 1 1/2 week that school has been in session! What a cry baby! I showed up early to meet the teacher, who was too busy conversationalizing. THEN she admits to me she has not taken a look at any students record much less my son who has a 504c with particular exclusions for his dislexia. OR that he is a 120 IQ student with severe ADD. *SIGH!* I get only seconds to explain that my son has a particular problem with inhibition control (vs hyperactivity) as well as being able to focus. I tried to explain what that meant, but she must have ADD too because she was not able to focus on comprehending the concept. So now, here we are again, for the 4th year in a row trying to explain to teachers that there is no such thing as a magic pill, that there has to be minor differences in the way the classroom is run and at what level my son gets into 'trouble' compared to other children. EVERY year ignorant or lazy teachers want to write off my son as a discipline problem instead of changing thier close minded ways to accomodate a student with a learning disability! I am so sick of having to be my son's teachers teacher! And every year some dumb teacher sends my son home feeling misunderstood and incapable of being normal.

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Sandra - posted on 09/25/2012

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I have been on both sides of the school situation. I have five children with special needs four of them have ADHD.



I have taught pre k for over 20 years. I have had children with all types of difficulties. Teaching is a very demanding job. You have 20 children all on different levels with different backgrounds. It is your job to find a way to teach all of these children at the same time. Add in the children with behavior problems, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental issues, and ADD and ADHD. Imagine the problems that you face with your child at home then imagine having to deal with them and deal with 19 other children at the same time. Plus there are 2 other of the 19 have problems also. While dealing with all of this think about how you could read a book to them all. Just one book.



Unless you study special education most teachers only have one or two special education classes while earning their degree. I had one. One class does not prepare a teacher to deal with the numerous problems that children have. Most teachers myself included want to help these children but lots of times it is a learning process. It often takes three months to learn how to accommodate each child. As a parent, I always tried to meet with the teacher at the beginning of the year to discuss my child's background and things that can be done to help them succeed. It is important that the iep be followed. I had a teacher one year that did not follow it. I had several "calm" and "respectful" discussions with the teacher before I requested assistance from the office.



Our feelings for our children are intense, but alienating the teacher is not going to help your child. It is very difficult to get a new teacher here after the school year has started. You need the teacher to be your ally.



My 5 year old started kindergarten this year. He has gotten a bad note home every day for the first week, and most of the days since. I was upset especially since he's never had a problem in preschool or pre k. My mother blamed the teacher she wanted to come here and pound her. I decided to take him to his dr. and get her opinion on the ADHD that I knew he had but had never been diagnosed. She gave me forms to fill out and to have the teacher fill out. The teacher's form made him sound like a model student! Once again my mom wanted to come pound her. I returned the forms with copies of his behavior chart from school, the notes she sent home, and his work she wrote notations on.



He was put on meds this past Saturday. I met with her today. During the same time that I was working on getting him tested she had consulted with the special ed teacher and asked her for an informal observation. The special ed teacher picked up on the ADHD within a few minutes and helped the teacher develop strategies to help him succeed.



I know that not all teachers are good teachers. I have worked with some teachers over the years that I wouldn't want teaching my child. Some have no business teaching at all. However, for the most part teachers want their students to succeed. I went to school today prepared for battle and found it completely unnecessary. His teacher has never had a child like mine and she was lost. She was doing her best I just didn't realize it.



It is best no matter what to attempt to win the teacher over. They have the most control over the classroom. Does this mean that you don't stand up for your child? No, I almost ended up in court with my son that is LD after fighting for testing and services through 4 years of red tape.

Joy - posted on 09/02/2011

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Oh wow. Yikes. It sounds like approaching the teacher is the wrong step. Step one: I'd go straight to the school counselor AND principal at the same time. The 504 plan is a legal document and these two people will get that.
Step 2: not too many teachers are dumb and it takes a lot to teach a classroom full of often-unparented kids for less money than the guy that picks up my recycling earns. Add to that the fact that 1 in 5 kids has something going on to make her job more challenging. Set up a special time to talk with this teacher (after you've completed step one) and be fair. She will never know your kid the way you do and she can't love or understand him as you will. She can teach him, however, and she will. I usually wait 2+ weeks to approach the teachers unless something goes horribly wrong from the onset. If that's the case, then next year you need to meet the teacher/staff before open house, not at it or afterwards. Also remember that no matter what issues your child takes to school, he takes it into a class full of kids. No one on one time until she can establish the class rules, schedule, etc. Make sure HE is ready too.
Step three: calm down. I get your anger, but you cannot be an angry advocate. It sets a bad example all around and will only make your child's experience worse. Take time to really assess what kind of experience your son is having and WHY. We can try to prepare the path for these ADHD kids of ours of we can prepare them fore the path, right?
Step four, i think: proactively set up a contract with your son in your own home that targets school behavior. That makes everyone accountable and will help his teacher out.
Step five: realize that you are going to do this every year, and with more and more teachers. You may even plead his case into college. Get ready and have a plan. It really is your job to make sure he is not misunderstoon. Teachers get less than 5 actual hours (not classroom hours) of education on ADHD, so most of what they know they learned the hard way. But you can help teach them, and you pretty much have to for your son's sake.

Colette - posted on 11/27/2012

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Not always, but most times the diagnosis of ADHD does not allow a classroom aid, unless there is a noted learning disability. Generally, mainstreamed Autistic kids are those with Aids. Ultimately, the teacher is required by law to implement the 504 Plan when one is provided but the parents do have to suffer the aggravation of continual pushing to achieve any success. Utilizing the child's Psychologist/Psychiatrist when running into a brick wall with the schools has proven exceedingly helpful. I have found much success when I am able to take emotion (reaction) out of the mix and strictly focus on action.

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Luke - posted on 03/16/2014

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I am a grade 3 teacher this year and I have a class of 29 students. One of my students is diagnosed with ODD and is extremely challenging. Two are diagnosed with Aspergers, 3 are ADHD and another is ADD. As much as I would like to say that I am able to cater for the needs of every student, in such a challenging environment, it is simply not possible to support each student as much as I would like to. In every hour, approximately 30minutes is spent catering for the learning needs of the above mentioned students, leaving 30 minutes for the remaining students in the class. Give and take 5 minutes at the start and end of each hour to settle and organise the grade, you are looking at less than 1minute of 1-on-1 time for the remaining students in the grade.
It is a requirement that teachers request additional Professional Development to suit their classroom situation but in most government schools it is unlikely that teachers will receive the additional training they request due to limited funds granted by the government (each PD costs around $220-$250 AUD per course).
I am lucky to be at an established school that provides excellent support for staff and students internally. We offer a number of programs for students with additional needs but with limited funding for PD, it is often up to the teacher to research and become knowledgeable about the cognitive backgrounds and needs of their students (ODD, ADHD, Aspergers etc.).
Each year, numbers in schools increase, students with special needs increase, government expectations on teachers increase and support is only offered in the form of more programs for teachers to apply (i.e. 'umbrella' programs).
It is a low paid, extremely demanding job, which attracts individuals who really wish to make a difference in the social and cognitive development of others.
Try to work with your teacher as much as possible, they really do have your child's best interests at heart.

Janette - posted on 11/30/2012

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Collete, I have been where you are. My son actually had teachers who were supposed to have been trained for special needs. It did him no good. His relationship with his peers were deteriorating and he had a panic attack at school. After researching it I realized that only children who are above average intelligence (it has been proven that no child with ADD is below average intelligence) combined with his age and ADD diagnosis creates a unique situation in which children are able to comprehend more than most kids but not able to communicate thier needs appropriately. The co-morbidity of future bouts with depression and anxiety which can lead to drug use and involvement in crime is high with this group. When I found out that my child was being removed from his class while he was having issues sitting still or not making noise (both issues with ADD) I wrote a very strongly worded letter suggesting that my child was being discriminated against (the definition of discrimination is to have equal opportunities impeded because of circumstances beyond the individual's control, such as skin color, socio-economic status, or disability) My son is also in 5th grade this year. Last year he begged me all year long to homeschool him. After having experienced a very similar situation as your son and you have I conceded. K12 works with state public education to offer homeschooling that is par with public school requirements but allows the 'learning coach' to offer whatever quality the child is in need of. It is free just like public school and they even send you all of the necessary course material. The parent does not have to be the learning coach, so even if you find yourself working during school hours, anyone you choose, even a grandmother etc could coach your child's education! You might find it worth while to look into it. I never considered it until my son's public school teacher assured me it might be a better option for my unique situation.

Colette - posted on 11/27/2012

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WE are our children's best advocates!



Every year it's the same drama just different teachers! We have had years where my son has been so very fortunate to get great teachers and then other years not so fortunate. This year (5th Grade) is one of those not so fortunate years! My son has literally been a straight A student through the 4th grade and suddenly into the second quarter of 5th grade and still having trouble getting out of the D-F range! The teachers are ridiculous and now we are in the process of MFE testing. His ADD has seemingly collected the "H" (ADHD) coupled with the long standing OCD and an increasing amount of anxiety. He is such a cutie pie, so intelligent and so creative (artistically) and yet doesn't have any friends at school! Teachers tell me they are doing this and that, but this and that only last for a week or 2 then get dropped. I keep telling them they must be consistent for anything to work, but they just don't seem to get it. Even with the Principal's involvement and the Principal is very involved. The 504 has never been followed this year and so I had to get a lawyer involved just for letter writing...which seemed to do the trick with regard to setting a fire under a few butts...We shall see how this goes...Unfortunately, teachers are not specifically trained during their education unless their degrees specify additional training:( which is very sad. I think with regards to teacher education, it would be lovely if Post Secondary Education required as a General Education requirement, specific classes relating to ADHD, ADD, High Functioning, etc. within their "Education" Degree programs. OYE! I have too much to say, I'm afraid they're gonna kick me off of here!

Catherine - posted on 09/25/2012

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I have enormous sympathy for my children's teachers. I love these little darlings so much, but that's nature, They are my babies. I don't expect anyone else to have those maternal feelings and they will not put my kids issues first the way I do. That said, they have a legal obligation to follow the 504. You can put some pressure on the administration. If they don't have a teacher who is capable of following the plan, they should provide a one on one aid in the "least restrictive environment" which means your kid stays in the classroom with an aid so the teacher can teach the whole class. No principal wants this as it is expensive so it could get you the freedom to try another teacher first. It will also put financial pressure on the administration to push the teacher to follow the 504.



As a side note, I find the tone of the discourse here saddening. We are all in a tender place. If we vent from time to time, we should try to be gentle in one another.

Nakoda - posted on 09/24/2012

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You should sue their a$$e$!! I am in the same situation where my child is being placed in class rooms with teacher that lack patients and are not knowledgeable of ADHD AT ALL and constantly call to complain about the child and are not aware of the fact that the child can not control the behaviors. It is unfair and unjust and there should be laws protecting our children and teachers should be required to be appropriately trained to teach child with ADHD.

Nicole - posted on 09/17/2012

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Janette Snaidiot: Did you mean for that to come off as snarky as it sounds? Not helpful at all, kids with high IQ's and ADD can benefit so much from the daily social interactions of being in a school with students their own age. I'm not saying homeschooling cannot offer the same benefit, but still... your response, if I'm judging it correctly seems unnecessary and harsh.

Janette - posted on 09/17/2012

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Being that you're such an expert and all, maybe you should homeschool your precious one.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/02/2011

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Jeanette, have you considered smacking the woman with her teacher's planner until she finally understands?

Does your son have an IEP written up for him? My brother and I both had those and my parents had to pull them out constantly to show them to teachers.

Rabecca - posted on 09/02/2011

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oh my typing was not good there sorry hopefully you can understand most of it

Rabecca - posted on 09/02/2011

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This has been a huge struggle with me over the last few yrs my son is in 5th grade this yr and since kindergarden he seems to have only had 1 teacher that really understood ADHD and knew how to deal with him to get the best from him . and I think we have maybe a great teacher this yr that has ADHD himself so we will see LOL.But the school system has given me such stress over the last few yrs I get so feed up with the phone calls last yr was the worst I swear they would call me everyday saying your son wont sit still or hes hasnt been paying attention and I would say do you think maybe its his attention deff I mean its not like I dont tellhim every single day the rules and what I expect oh him its just that most days hes fine but he is going to have bad days thats a fact ADHD is not a excuse its amedical condition and I am tired or having to defend my child they know what wrong they know I know hes got some struggles in certain areas but hes a great kid that just needs a little understanding he has a huge heart and cares deeply about others and what others think of him and let me tell you he knows when hes fustrating people and it upset him and if they cant keep they emtions more under control he tries to fix his behavior but that kid of mine usally ends up making things go from bad to worse .Teachers need better education on ADHD but they also need to know its not that we dont care or understand that dealing with our ADHD kids can be hard we know we live it everday too .I have delt withthis so long last yr I was about to go to the school board demanding that something be done because I was suck of seeing my son hurt feeling defeated and the school not understanding they were not helping but adding to his stress even if intention may or may have not been good it just wasnt working and I would have to fight everyday to get him to school and you just feel bad dropping them off where they feel uncared for and unprotected from what the day might bring its so hard to see them deal with people everyday that just dont get it .They seems to be a real power play at my sons school it seems they think I am in the way but I am there to help them and only want what best for my son not a thrown to be carried around on just a less stressful day and him feeling like hes the same as all the other kids and I think all kids deserve that that hes not some misbehaving trouble maker because hes really not such minor issues should be address yes but lets work on the big pictures hes smart capable has great grades but has a few issues that he can over come it might not this week or this yr but every issue of his ADHd is mangaable but he dosnt need to feel like they are not but be encougaed when hes hit goals and milestones

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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New year...new teacher...is there anyone in your school that can provide you and your son some consistancy from year to year? We have a "Interventional Specialist" that follows our son each year which has been helpful. But, even with that I have to send educational info or websites to keep her updated on my sons needs. With ADHD so common, I wonder why the schools are not investing in educating the teachers? Keep up the fight!

Tanylle - posted on 08/31/2011

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Teachers are just as busy as we are. They should have looked at files before school starts, but that is not always possible when schools are trying to get students in classes and shuffling them last minute. I always send a letter with my son on back to school night a few days before school starts. In it I tell the teacher about my sons qualities, and about the services he recieved last year, and ways that seem to help him be obedient and attentive in class. I let the teacher know that I would like a indivisual education plan meeting in the second week of school and I follow up my letter with emails on the first day of school to the principal, his services teachers, and his grade teacher. This forces the teacher to take notice, and gives her time to prepare for him the first day. It also starts the year off on a possitive note. This has been very effective.

Now that will not work this year, but a letter now to try to get back on the right track would not hurt. A couple of days later send an email requesting a conference with the teacher, principal, service providers, you and your son. This way you can talk and focus on having a good year. I think it is important for you son to be pressant for at least part of the meeting. This will show your son that there are lots of people that want him to suceed, and help establish consequences for both good and bad behavior. Then your son can be dismissed for more intense discussion if needed. You do have to fight like crazy for you son, but you need to be as possitive as possible. People are going to be so much more helpful if you kill them with kindness whether it is deserved or not.

Nicole - posted on 08/31/2011

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I have nothing helpful to add, but I want to tell you how much you're supported here, that you're doing the best you can and that you and your son are going to make it through this! I'm not sure on how your son can be helped to feel more "normal" (many kids with ADHD/ADD don't feel "normal," it's a very common problem for them,) but your son is going to go on to do wonderful things, regardless of the lack of support he gets from these teachers, it's a drop in the bucket, which will be filled up with wonderful opportunities for him later on in life by teachers who actually CARE. If over a week has passed by and she's openly admitted that she hasn't looked at any of her students records, you must realize you got a BUM deal at this point, try not to let it affect your interaction with her, but perhaps going to / speaking with the principal about your sons disabilities / the need for more co-operation w/ his teacher is the best bet for you guys.

Lisa7315 - posted on 08/31/2011

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Wow, sounds so familiar! My son is in 8th grade and has hated school since kindergarten because of the teacher attitude. He is so smart and every year I watch his self esteem go further down due to the schools " opinion" of his behavior. They feel he chooses to not pay attention and gets "lost". I regretfully have him on meds at their request (hinting that if not there is nothing else they can do for him). I watch as my happy, joyful kid slowly starves and I don't know how to help. Meds, therapy, 110% from him & me....... Urg it's frustrating!

Sandy - posted on 08/25/2011

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We finally got our son the help he needed last year, but, to me anyway, it didn't seem like enough. But you obviously love your son and know your rights, so you just have to keep fighting! When we told our principal that we knew our rights and that the school WILL and MUST provide for him, his mouth dropped. I don't think he meets many parents that take the time to know their rights or their child's rights as far as education.

I keep in contact with our son's teachers up to 3 or 4 times a week! My frustration with the teachers just fuels my fire and makes me dig my heals in deeper so that I get what I want.

Keep up the fight for your son. Know that you have a community here that understands what you are going through and supports you.

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