Monday, September 29, 2008

Sound Logic??

Alternative Title - Evidently, Our Heads Are Up Our Asses

(You know I'm using the royal "Our", do you not? Because my head, is out and about and very confused right now.)

I got a new student today. Just showed up at my door. Just whatever. No warning. No time to prep a desk, some pencils, anything. Sure, just go ahead and throw the kid on my line and we'll see what happens, right?

So I guess that's problem numero uno...the lack of consideration of new students and the teachers who must receive them unannounced. I feel sorry for both of us in this scenario, but selfishly, mostly myself. It just really throws a wrench in the day to suddenly have an extra (untrained) body.

After lunch, a teacher from the previous grade calls me (on the GD phone in my classroom...because, hey, I can take a call anytime! I'm not busy.) She tells me that this student was in her class last year. And that she was supposed to be held over. She met with mom. Mom signed a paper stating that she understood her daughter should repeat the previous grade. (Not that I'm all about holding kids back, but dude, when you're not ready to go, you're just not ready to go).

Um, quick question. Why the heck is she in MY class??

Girlfriend can't read remotely on our grade level, has trouble writing her NAME independently, and can't count above 50. And I feel sorry for her...total deer in head lights today.

A brief side note - Why the F do teachers spend their year dutifully checking off inane checklists, assessing the living crap out of children and compiling legal sized files on individual students if they (meaning those with all the POWER) end up just passing a kid on anyway?? I mean, sure, I'll collect MOUNTAINS of paperwork to substantiate my professional opinion, and you...you just wave them on. That's cool. I didn't really put that much thought into it anyway.

During my free period, I dashed off a quick email to The Weave and cc'ed our principal and several other key players.

The response?

Evidently Little Girl's mom registered her in another school for the month of September. The new school looked at her birthday and registered her in my grade (a whole grade level ABOVE where she should be...I guess mom didn't feel the need to inform her new school). THEN....(oh, there's more), mom withdraws her from her old school and RE-registers her at our school, conveniently forgetting to tell the secretary about her daughter's situation.

And, wa-lah! She is in my class. Even better... The Weave says there's nothing we can do. There is some mythical (read: dumbass) policy which states that since this child was registered in my grade in another school, she must stay in that grade in OUR school, despite her previous teacher's recommendation, despite mom signing an agreement and despite ALL BETTER JUDGEMENT.

Awesome.

I guess the big, dinosaur that we call The System is totally OK with several things that just rub my common sense the wrong way....things like disregarding a teacher's professional opinion, ignoring what is best for a child and screwing a future teacher (and her other students) by giving her a child who is severely below grade level.

On a funnier note, I have been told that there were two rubber cutlets (read: fake boobs) found in the upstairs teachers' bathroom. On the sink. Just, you know, hanging out. That's right folks, some of my colleagues may not care about our jobs enough to even pretend to look like they're busy, but do care enough about other things...like pretending that they have larger bossoms.

25 comments:

ChiTown Girl said...

OK, first of all, LOVE the chicken cutlets in the bathroom. Priceless!!

They do the exact same stupid crap at our school. For the first few weeks, this happens to me several times a day, since none of our parents can be bothered to get off their asses and actually register their kids for kindergarten when they're supposed to. They do it when they're damn good and ready (as in, when they're sick of having them at home!) and the damn office just lets them come in and register whenever, there are no set times. So, whatever time they finish registering is the time the parents RUN to drop them off at the babysitter. I mean, my classroom. I ALWAYS suggest that they take their kids home and bring them back in the morning so they can "start fresh," but I've NEVER had one parent do that. I've had plenty, though, just shove their kid in my line as we're, say, going to gym or lunch. No problem! Ugh!! So irritating!!

And, just for the record, I'm sure our crackerjack administration would have said the same bull about keeping that poor child in your class. Idiots!!

The Uninspired Cook said...

I gave up on assuming parents would tell schools things accurately the day I had a new kid transfer in, got told she'd probably end up on my IEP caseload because Mom said she took "special classes", and later learning that meant she had tutoring after school.

I also have this sudden hilarious mental image of walking down the hall examining everyone's chests to see whose is smaller.

Edna Lee said...

That's so strange that you have fake boobs in the bathroom. All of ours work at the District Office.

Pogue said...

It seems as though your colleague thinks of their own boobs as below grade level. Sounds like they are simply in need of some professional development.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Actually, I think mama is crazy like a fox- she knew damn well how to play the system, registered the kid in another school, and then brought her back to avoid her being held over. As far as keeping mounds of data just to promote the kid anyway- I hear you, and I've actually taken to turning a deaf ear to a lot of it, because it's crap- they know it, I know it.

As far as the boobs- our teachers prefer to shop for implants online. But that's an entirely different story.....

R said...

I have this kid in my (second grade) class this year -- he was held over in first grade, made absolutely ZERO progress (I mean, NONE -- didn't move up one iota of a reading level, nothing), and yet they promoted him onto second grade anyway. Because he had been held over once before. Meanwhile he DESPERATELY needs an IEP or a special ed placement and the school is dragging its feet because his father insists that he's just "lazy." (Lazy? He doesn't even know where he is!)

btrp said...

Discovered yesterday that the new girl in my class not only has an IEP (I've gotten copies of 1 of the 5 I should have) but is supposed to be in 12-to-1. And has a placement in ANOTHER school. (We have no spots. But she wasn't here last year anyway.) And mom decided to transfer her because mom's in a wheelchair and can't get into the other school (supposedly to the latter half of that sentence).

So, without talking to anyone OR informing the school of her daughter's status, Mom registered her at our school. Where whoever did the registration didn't bother to check the system at all about her. So, reading on a probably 2nd grade level, the child's been in my 5th grade class for two weeks. Bonus: illegally. Sweet girl, but WTF.

(To say nothing of the two kids who didn't bother showing up to summer school after failing testing but are in my class anyway. Oh well.)

Nancy said...

hey Mimi--I just discovered your blog and love it. but having worked for the same system you do, I know for a fact that the office is full of @#$% about not being able to move the kid to another grade. It's easy to do--just a couple strokes of the keyboard. your admin is either clueless or lying to you.

amazeingteacher said...

And with all this let's not forget our "motto"...No Child Left Behind...right? I see them being left behind all over the place in our schools and districts because of crap like this. It's really inexcusable! Then great teachers like us swarm in and make the best out of a terrible situation and in the end it actually turns out ok...it's just our sanity that is questionable!

jennifer said...

That was probably my worst peeve about my school district. How horrible for the kid to come to a classroom and not have a dang thing ready for him. I know my facial expression was not warm and fuzzy either.

Regarding the fake boobs...you'd think the owner would miss them!

jenamoured said...

i had a kid in my class this year who was looking a little space cadet-y. i decided to do a private assessment because, quite frankly, i wasn't really sure that she could read. she can sort of read. i ask her why she's always spacing out. she says, "i'm used to people helping me." i ask what she means by that. Her response?

"I was in LD classes last year."

oh. that's right. someone forgot to tell me this kid is supposed to be self-contained. WHAT!? FURTHERMORE, no one else in the school knew that either.

seriously? seriously?

hoyden said...

What can I say? I have juniors (yes, I'm talking high school) who are reading BELOW a 3rd grade level. Notice that "juniors" is plural. These students are in my regular-ed ELA class. And I'm not the only teacher in my school or district (and I'm sure state) with this little problem. Oh -- and my average class size? 36.

peanutbutter and jelly said...

I just "discovered" you! Thank you for making my otherwise impossible day a happy one...I love your blog!!!

The Bus Driver said...

First off.. Hugs to you.

Secondly... there IS a way that the school can place her back. Get her assessed for Special Ed or SOMETHING.

Makes me wonder whether you and the teacher of the previous grade just arbitrarly made the switch.. since she just "showed up" in your class... make her "show up" there?

That last bit was sarcasm but yanno what I mean.

Lisa said...

That stinks for you. I have a kid in my class that is reading on a K level (in 3rd) and another student on a beginning 1st. The lower student has a 1 on 1, and the other BARELY gets services from the SPED department. My other kid with an IEP has yet to be seen, now in the 2nd month of school.

PS Love your blog. I signed up for a google account just so I could comment...only good ones!

Ms M. said...

The things that we find in these school bathrooms will never cease to amaze me...and where the heck was I for the last few posts?!? I didn't think you needed my two cents added on there are the end, but ditto to many of the positive comments.

Alyssa said...

I feel your pain about having an innocent child dumped in your classroom without a desk, name tag, or math book (we are not allowed to house extra books in our classroom. After we get a new student we must request a new one from the board - this often takes days...) All I ask for is a little prior notice.

lmao about the rubber cutlets. That is priceless.

Emily said...

Why does a teacher need to enhance her boobs at school, may I ask? Very odd...

teacherteacher said...

We never get much of a heads up either, so i knew it was bad when I got a phone call at home over the weekend to warn me about a new parent I was getting. It's been a heck of a 2 weeks.

UltimateTeacher said...

Get this, we just had a meeting with a parent and she was all upset and wanted us to move mountains and everything else to get her son up to par. HOWEVER....when we mentioned that having him show up earlier (i.e. not 15 min late every day) might actually help...she was like.."Oh man...I work nights, it's hard for me to get up..." Blah, blah, blah...No wonder these poor kids have turned out the way they have.

Teaching4Change said...

I hope you post again soon....I'm dying to read another adventure.

Cierra said...

Wow. That is ridiculous. I am not even a teacher yet, about to begin in August. I guess I have a lot to look forward to. How do you deal with the insanity of the administration in situations like this? Just smile and not and cooperate?

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雪花 said...

福~
「朵
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Ginger Snaps said...

Holy crap! What is up with not passing students who ARE NOT ON GRADE LEVEL!? I have one friend who can't even write his name properly without copying it and he's been passed along since kindergarten to the third grade! Friend can't even read!! I just put him through the A-team process to get him in resource and now they want more test scores!

I also have ANOTHER third grade friend that can't read! Not only does this child not read, but he constantly disrupts my class, argues with me, and is just a huge pain in the ass. Guess what, he'll be in 4th grade next year and won't be able to read....

Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Who's Peeking?