Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's Behind Door Number 3?

A letter came in the mail yesterday that ranks up their with audit notices, jury summonses, and credit card bills all rolled into one. If you look at that letter now, you can see all the signs that it made its reader crazy -- the paper has clench marks, some tear stains, maybe a drop or two of my blood...

"With a heavy heart" the principal wrote that my boy's first grade teacher will not return after winter vacation. I should say, my boy's SECOND first grade teacher. His first teacher lasted about a month before she left for a job at a better school, where her kids attend. They did not replace the first teacher, they just took the whole class and added to another. In one fell swoop my kiddo lost the experienced and highly regarded teacher I'd begged the universe for, the classroom I'd helped him transition into, and the small class size. He landed in a different room on a different floor with an inexperienced young thing trying to handle 28 first graders, including some who had made life nightmarish for Roo in kindergarten. Now, she's gone too, and I called the principal urgently requesting contact with the third string before school resumes in what seems like a year and a half (or on January 10) after this lengthy winter break that helps nothing but the pathetic budget.

So, tomorrow my husband will take Rooster by the classroom to meet New Teacher #3. We worked for several hours today composing a letter to #3 about our expectations. It goes something like this:

Welcome, please try to last longer than Lee Press on Nails.
Our boy has autism, and we know more about him than you do.
We are sick of getting the run around.
We pay an ed therapist a lot of money because she knows what she is doing, and none of the teachers here seem to. We've brought her in for meetings with the other revolving cast of characters and explained how her strategies help our guy with academics, especially math. Use them. Like, on Monday, when you start. Use. The. Strategies. They aren't rocket science. They are simple and they work and you will use them.
The IEP says you need to help out. Read it. Help out. Do your job.
We will be in touch. Lots and lots of in touch. In your mail box. In your email. On your phone. In the homework folder. Often. One of us works right across the street, and can run fast, find you in heartbeat. Want us to go away? Gladly. Then stick around, use the strategies, read the IEP, help out, and do your job.
Our boy has autism, not the plague. He's sweet, cute, and he works his butt off.
Rooster's parents, the Bears

Does anyone have $46,000 I can borrow? Um, annually? I heard of the perfect private school for my boy, only it has one problem. Or make that 46,000 problems. But the public school he's in now has ten times that many, a half million problems, all for "free."


Alysia - Try Defying Gravity said...

oh ugh! I hope this teacher works out for you all. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's an experienced teacher who teaches with love, caring, and

paula h said...

Wow! Just when you thought things were going reasonably well... Hang in there and good luck.

kim mccafferty said...

This comes from a former teacher, just wanted to say I GET IT, I'm so sorry, and I'm now vibing to the universe to send that lottery money your way (doesn't seem to work for me, maybe I need to send it on...) Your son has a phenomenal advocate in his mother, I have confidence you will work this out, and I'm rooting for you.

Anonymous said...

oy, never ends, does it? hope the third's the charm.

Casdok said...

3rd time lucky???

shelley said...

So sorry to hear about this never-ending struggle. So tomorrow's the big day? I will be thinking of you and adding my well wishes to your pile.

Anonymous said...

totally far behind in my reading of blogs. You and I hit the teacher jackpot this year.
Both of my kids' teachers left at the winter break. Thankfully Little J got to keep the student teacher that had just trained with his (pregnant) Kinder teacher during the fall quarter so it was a smooth transition.
J got the school's prize longterm sub that everyone adores. They even did some transition days with her so she could learn the class routine and stuff. Things are going mildly well but I can't tell if he is getting in trouble because he is being naughtier or because the teacher is stricter.
Hope Rooster gets a good one.