Hi, Calgal, you sound so upset and frustrated. I hope I can help. I'm a teacher (not currently working, though) and your son sounds like so many students I've had, and if your son's teacher is willing to work with you, I do have some suggestions.
First, let me just agree with you - schools are often very unaccepting of individual differences and are very quick to label any children who don't conform as "difficult." Unfortunately, many teachers are unwilling to see each child in his/her class as an individual who has unique strengths and weaknesses and needs, and they are unwilling to work with those unique needs in mind. Any teacher who says they can't do this in a classroom of 20 or so kids (I usually had over 30 myself, with no assistant teachers) should not be teaching children, they should be teaching robots. It is a teacher's responsibility to know each of her students as individuals and help to meet their needs as best as she can. This, to me, was the most challenging and rewarding part of teaching.
It sounds like your son has lots of energy and some difficulty in his organizational skills. Perfectly normal!!! I taught third grade for three years and had lots of students like this. Here are some things I did to help them:
For the energy:
-Let them get out of their seats frequently- passing out papers, washing chalkboards, bringing messages to the office, etc.
-Try to alternate the day's schedule between "seated" activities and activities where the children got to move around more, like art projects, so that children were not stuck in their chairs for long periods.
- Once a day, try to make "calling out" acceptable, for example, when gathering ideas, let the kids just call out and the teacher writes down everything she hears quickly.
To help with organizational skills:
- First of all, I never bothered kids about the neatness of their desks unless it interfered with their classwork. If the student wasn't having any trouble finding things in there, it wasn't my problem!
- The best way, IMO, to help a student who is having trouble staying organized - bringing home the right materials for homework, keeping things in places where they can be retrieved quickly, bringing the right things back to school, etc., is to ASK THE CHILD what he thinks might make it easier. Here are some ideas, some given to me by the children themselves:
- Keep an index card with daily reminders taped to a corner of the desk
- Make a velcro chart for the wall with the names of all textbooks and materials on index cards, and have a monitor each afternoon stick the necessary items for that night's homework on the chart before children pack up to go home.
- Ask the child if there is a particular friend in the class whom he trusts who he thinks would be a helpful seatmate, someone who is responsible and would set a good example
- Have frequent meetings with the child to discuss how things are going, and in which areas he may need some help. This is so important. Talking one-on-one with a student once a week and praising him on what he has done well, and asking him what difficulties he is having, makes a personal connection between the student and teacher and lets the child know she cares and that she has faith in him.
- Keep open communication with the parents, sending notes home weekly and making phone calls frequently to praise any positive changes and discuss areas which still need work.
If a teacher seems more likely to label your son as "difficult" and insist that he "conform" to her idea of the ideal student, rather than accept his unique traits and try to work with him and help him be successful, I would request another teacher. A transfer might be stressful, but it is an awful experience for a child to be in a class where he can never live up to the teacher's expectations.
I hope I've helped! Please let me know what happens - you can pm me if you want.