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The Last Straw - Page 2

post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by 636Jen View Post
No reason other than my anger towards the school. A little closure doesn't hurt either. It seems that people mostly regret things they haven't done... I don't want to regret NOT telling the teacher how disgusted I am with her choice.
I completely agree with you there! You write that letter. I'm going to read further down because I can't wait to read it and see the suggestions to make it more powerful. I love this board.

Lisa
post #22 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by 636Jen View Post
No reason other than my anger towards the school. A little closure doesn't hurt either. It seems that people mostly regret things they haven't done... I don't want to regret NOT telling the teacher how disgusted I am with her choice.
As a former teacher, I can tell you pretty much the reaction your letter will get- a big shrug of "so what?" and "crazy homeschooler, good riddance"

If you're really looking to spare another child the pain your baby went through, I'd suggest meeting with the teacher about the mealworm incident in person. Or at least a phone call. Something to bring to her attention that punishment A didn't match up with violation B, and to revoke a lottery prize is just plain dumb.

But putting in writing anything that links your decision to hs to this one incident, with no record of any other contact being made with the school prior might not be the best path to take. I don't remember what state you're in, or what the hs laws are there, but my personal hs philosophy is to fly under the radar as much as we can, public records-wise.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for venting in a letter to help process it all. I just wouldn't suggest sending it in.

Anyway, my thoughts...
post #23 of 97
First, my sympathies, Jen - I can only imagine how angry you must have been. How outrageous. And I wouldn't sign that note either - although the reason she wants it signed is probably for proof that Dakota gave it to you, so I'd make sure to at least respond in the negative to make it clear that you've seen the stupid thing and will not be signing it.

I have mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, you owe no explanation, but on the other hand, I can certainly understand your wanting to speak your mind. I'm curious why people here think Jen should leave her observations and feelings out of the letter - can someone explain more? What I'm thinking is that perhaps the simplest formal note possible might be the best way to go right now - with a letter later (one that's exactly the way you want it after you've had time to clear your head and leisurely write) to express concern about the inappropriately negative atmosphere in that classroom.

I don't even see a reason to go to that place tomorrow unless Dakota is specifically wanting to. I kinda' wish we could all go with you and stare at her : - Jen, you're all going to be so happy homeschooling.
- Lillian
post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
I'm curious why people here think Jen should leave her observations and feelings out of the letter - can someone explain more?
From my own experience as a public school teacher, one letter, no matter how angry, written by a parent (particularly one whose child no longer attends the school) is not going to effect any change. It's going to be chalked up to "thank goodness SHE'S gone" and that's it.

In order to really be heard, to really make sure that the situation is addressed in a manner equal to the frustration it's caused, there needs to be a formal meeting with the teacher and the principal. That way, there is a record of the incident, of the student's reaction, the teacher's rationale, and the parent's concerns. Just a letter isn't going to document anything other than Jen's response to her side of the situation.

Make sense?
post #25 of 97
Thread Starter 
12/19/07
xxxxx Elementary School


Ms. xxxx,

I recieved your letter this afternoon. I feel that taking away Dakota's privilage is extremely cruel. His talking had nothing to do with getting picked through a lottery system to take home a special project. He was very upset. I asked him about his talking and he told me that it was just because he was excited about bringing the mealworms home, about his class party and about the upcoming winter break. What exactly is accomplished by taking this away from him? Is this part of your positive reinforcement program? What kind of "control" is required to take care of mealworms? Did you know that he has taken care of numerous frogs and snakes? Did you know that he has a pair of geckos in his room? He has taken care of them for over a year. Does that meet your "control" requirement? Does excessive talking make him less able to take care of a mealworm for 2 weeks? Your choices in this matter disgust me.

I refuse to let Dakota be a victim of this school. I watch as his enthusiasm to learn is crushed and his free spirit is broken. Your job as a teacher is to inspire and educate ALL children, not just the easy ones. Obviously this school and its staff are ill equiped to deal with his unique qualities. Friday will be Dakota's last day of school. Please make sure all of his belongings are packed in his backpack.



Sincerely,

Jennifer xxxx
post #26 of 97
It's a little angrier than I'd write. I don't know if she'll get past the "disgust me" part. I absolutly love it though. I'm leaning towards telling you to send it as is, but at the same time, you've put some pretty strong language in there for you to keep your child in until Friday. I wouldn't send the letter and the child....one or the other if you know what I mean.
post #27 of 97
jen,
i genuinely mean this kind, so please don't take my correction as ugly. you have a couple mispelled words & i wanted to tell you.
"received" and "privilege"

hugs mama!!! i hope it goes well tomorrow. i'll say a prayer for ya.
post #28 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
It's a little angrier than I'd write. I don't know if she'll get past the "disgust me" part. I absolutly love it though. I'm leaning towards telling you to send it as is, but at the same time, you've put some pretty strong language in there for you to keep your child in until Friday. I wouldn't send the letter and the child....one or the other if you know what I mean.
Well, tomorrow is the class party at 2:00. I planned on giving her the letter while I'm there, you know? I figure the kid deserves a nice goodbye party. I figured that since Friday is the last day of school anyway, it would be a good time to clean out his desk and give back any library books, school books, etc.

Not a good idea?

I just can't see cleaning out his desk during his party when all the other parents are there.
post #29 of 97
I suggest now taking that letter and burning it.....let the flames carry away your anger. It's good to get it out.

However, I agree I would not send the letter to the teacher. I would also simply pull him out with a simple note stating that he will be home schooled from this point on. I would maybe say that I feel my child's needs will be better met at home.
post #30 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
jen,
i genuinely mean this kind, so please don't take my correction as ugly. you have a couple mispelled words & i wanted to tell you.
"received" and "privilege".
THANK YOU!! I'm happy to be corrected! Nothing like trying to send an angry letter with misspelled words....to a teacher! (doh!)


Ok, so maybe it's a little TOO over the top then....should I tone it down a smidge?
post #31 of 97
ha ha, yes i'd tone it down a smidge. but i agree...i think it was good for you to write it and get it out!
post #32 of 97
Have you ever pulled a child out of school? It's heartbreaking! I don't know if you'll be able to hold on to the anger and the sadness that you'll be feeling. Plus Dakota is going to want to say goodbye to his friends, you'll want to support him with this change and the emotions that come with it. Maybe you could call the teacher and tell her that you are upset about what she did. Do you have her home number? Maybe at the party tomorrow, you could tell her that you'd like to speak with her about her punishment. Then, she'd realize that she was in trouble. Or, you could tell her at the party that you did not agree with her punishment and that it doesn't really matter because you'll be embarking on this exciting homeschool journey starting Friday anyway.

This is a positive thing. You're not running away from school, you're running towards homeschooling. It's exciting and should be something that feels fun and positive. I don't think that this letter will start it off on the positive note that you want.

I wonder if you're holding onto this anger towards the teacher as a kind of final push towards homeschooling. You know, like you said..the straw. I'm not sure what my advice is here, I'm just writing whatever I'd say if you were here with no real push to do anything specific.
post #33 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote star View Post
But putting in writing anything that links your decision to hs to this one incident, with no record of any other contact being made with the school prior might not be the best path to take.
I agree; chew her out verbally if you need to, but don't put it in writing. (Or, at least, if you put it in writing, do it only for your own venting's sake, but keep it to yourself and don't submit it to the school.) Putting stuff in writing introduces the potential for it to come back and be used against you later.

I think it's a great angry letter. But I wouldn't give it them. If you feel the need to tell her such things, say them to her face and don't leave the paper trail.
post #34 of 97
This is a tough situation. Of course, pulling Dakota is the right decision! I just pulled my own daughter from public school a few weeks ago.

The tricky part for me would be trying to decide whether you want to change the system and hopefully improve the teacher's conduct towards her other children -- or whether you wish to maintain a good relationship with the teacher in case you need her for some reason at some point in the future. For example, if you want Dakota to have closure with his friends and so forth, the teacher can be your ally.

I would vent in the letter, but then tear it up. My advice is to be gracious in person and as nonconfrontational as possible. I would ask if you can bring treats for the class on your child's last day and let your child bring a small gift for each child, like a pretty stone or a seashell. Then say goodbye and just be glad that this chapter of your life is over as you create a wonderful new beginning.

However, that is just my approach (in fact, that's basically what I did a few weeks ago when I pulled dd out).

Good luck.
post #35 of 97
I think the letter was great for venting your feelings, however I would recommend ripping it up now. Imo it won't bring about any positive changes for anyone. I totally think meeting with the teacher face-to-face would be good, but only if you can remain calm.

What the teacher did was completely uncalled for and wrong and manipulative. However, I try to be a bit compassionate toward teachers because they often have a lot on their plate. She needs to know the punishment did not fit the crime, but I don't think she needs to have words like "disgust" thrown at her.

My dd had a really rough time in Gr. 1. Gr. 2 on the other hand was wonderful for her. I think the teacher made a HUGE difference because she was much more positive and encouraging imo than the teacher in Gr. 1. However, I have no ill feelings toward the teacher in Gr. 1 because she was doing her personal best. I also made it a point to let the Gr. 2 teacher know at parent-teacher interviews how impressed I was with how she had been helping dd with reading and being so positive in reinforcing good behaviours with dd.

A lot of the time teachers only hear what is wrong. This instance with the mealworms definitely should be brought to her attention as the wrong way to handle a situation, but "I" statements and calmness are more likely to make her think about her actions and hopefully change them for the future, than harsh words will, and I'm guessing since you are pulling your son out this week anyway that your main goal is to try to change her behaviour in the classroom toward all the children, not just your son.

I know I might get tomatoes thrown at me for my comments, but I just try to remember that teachers are only human too and although they should be called out on inappropriate behavior, they also should be treated with kindness. They often have a lot of pressures put upon them. I go on teacher boards sometimes to get ideas and you wouldn't believe how many teachers are stressed out and burnt out by trying to be everything to everyone. Also, just before the holidays it might be harsh to end on such a bad note with a harsh letter.

Now all this said I have never met your son's teacher. She may be someone who is kind but misguided or she might be someone who is snotty and mean-spirited. If it's the latter then maybe she deserves the letter, but my dd's Gr. 1 teacher for example, although missing the mark in some areas I believe, was truly trying to do her best and help the kids in her class learn.

Best wishes to you as you start your hs'ing journey. I started mine with my two children (5 and 8 yrs. old) this past September and it's hard to believe it is already almost the end of December!

Btw, if you ever are interested in meeting up, I am in Windsor, just across the river from you. I'd love to meet up with someone who knows good learning places to go in Michigan and we can go on a group fieldtrip sometime
post #36 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
I suggest now taking that letter and burning it.....let the flames carry away your anger. It's good to get it out.

However, I agree I would not send the letter to the teacher. I would also simply pull him out with a simple note stating that he will be home schooled from this point on. I would maybe say that I feel my child's needs will be better met at home.
Yes, I agree with all of this. I wouldn't give up the idea of writing a letter to send her at some point - but just not right now. This one is great, but is too full of anger (justifiably so) for her to be able to take it in - she'd probably just be defensive. I wouldn't send him to school without doing something to let her know you got that letter she sent home, though, or she very well might accuse Dakota of not showing it to you. I can't wait to hear when this thing is all over. - Lillian
post #37 of 97
Y'know, I find myself wincing at the term "punishment" - it's not her role to punish anyone, and I feel as it if somehow dignifies her behavior to even discuss it in those terms. I don't think I can even articulate what I'm trying to say, actually - I just don't like this whole thing. Ooh, would I be furious - I really feel for you. It probably doesn't hurt Dakota nearly as much as it does you, because you have a much bigger perspective on it. Hang in there - it's almost over. - Lillian
post #38 of 97
Come now, lets have a little fun with the letter. For example:

Dear ______,

To to a re-evaluation of our families priorities, we no longer find you or the school qualified to educate our son. We can no longer in good conscience subject ____ to your creativity killing curriculum, and self esteem eroding methods in which you teach. Today, Friday December 20th 2007, will be the last day ____ will be in your charge.

If you feel it necessary to respond to this letter please do not, as your opinion is no longer considered valid, and I refuse to go to a war of wits with an unarmed woman.

Sincerly,


So what do you think? Notice homeschooling isn't even mentioned .
post #39 of 97
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies. It's late but for now, let me comment on emmsmama reply. (I promise, I'm not trying to argue with your point....just trying to show you that I don't hate teachers!!) The first time I met her was at an orientation meeting. It was on a night that my husband works late and so I had to bring the kids into the classroom. I wasn't the only one who brought kids. However, during her 45 minute talk, my kids became a bit restless. When my kids talked or played, she would look over at me and do the "sigh, close her eyes and look in the other direction" menuever.

While at parent teacher conferences a couple months later, I again had to take the kids because hubby was sick (and ended up in the hospital the next day). I apologized for having the kids and asked if she had some paper that the kids could draw on or if they could play with some blocks. She did the sigh again and said sure. So as I'm listening to her tell me about my 7 year old, she paused more times than I can count to look behind her at my kids and sigh. I was like, "Is something wrong?"

You know, now that I think about it, the other teacher who does the same thing is his music teacher.....the one I get phone calls from just about every week..... neither one of them are married nor have kids. I wonder if that is just a coincidence??
post #40 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertrooper View Post
Come now, lets have a little fun with the letter. For example:

Dear ______,

To to a re-evaluation of our families priorities, we no longer find you or the school qualified to educate our son. We can no longer in good conscience subject ____ to your creativity killing curriculum, and self esteem eroding methods in which you teach. Today, Friday December 20th 2007, will be the last day ____ will be in your charge.

If you feel it necessary to respond to this letter please do not, as your opinion is no longer considered valid, and I refuse to go to a war of wits with an unarmed woman.

Sincerly,


So what do you think? Notice homeschooling isn't even mentioned .



Hahaha.....that was great.
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