oh, Noah

Noah’s teacher and two of the teachers he has for special areas and I had a brief meeting today. I wish he had one of the other two teachers as his main teacher. The other two are young, fresh out of school and very enthusiastic. Noah’s teacher is umm, stern and unyielding. This is the first time we’ve had an elementary teacher who was too busy to offer after school help to students.

We believe that school and home are connected and every day each of our children are asked several questions when they walk in the front door. “Do you have homework? Any notes or papers to show me? What topics are you studying this week? Did you get in any trouble today?” Noah honestly offers up what he lost behavior points for every day even though he knows there will be consequences at home. Sometimes I feel like a terrible hypocrite punishing him for things like reading or drawing. I WANT him to love reading and expressing himself creatively. Noah hates writing. He has hated it since his nasty kindergarten teacher forced him to use his right hand for half the year despite my request that he be allowed to use his left hand. He looks like he’s in physical and mental pain when he writes and the eraser holes in his paper confirm it. I would generously guess that at least 95% of the work at school is writing and worksheets. Noah has an assignment book that must be signed daily. We’ve driven back up there half a dozen times to retrieve the book and every time, unknown to us, Noah has lost points for entering the classroom after dismissal. “So, if we get his assignment book so it can be signed and his homework done, he loses points but if we don’t go back to school and he has no notebook or homework he loses points?” “Yes, that’s right.” Noah’s math workbook is missing. “Can we see about replacing it or finding it?” “That’s Noah’s problem. He needs to find it himself.” I expressed my concern over Noah’s work habits and behavior grades and the teacher implied that I would be happy if I saw that most of the students are having the same number of infractions. “This is how we get them ready for middle school.” What?!?

I have asked Noah if he would like to stay home this year. He would have very little writing and sitting still but lots of hands-on activities and physical learning. As intriguing as that was to him, he still wants to stay in school because “I want to be a safety cause the safeties get to go to D.C.” I told his teacher this story. “Well, if that’s the only reason he’s here, he may as well stay home.” In my mind, the teacher just said she’s already decided not to allow Noah to be a safety but she’s certainly not being honest by letting him believe that it’s a possibility. I feel like Noah is a sweet, compassionate, funny, smart and helpful little boy who the school considers a behavior problem. He is punished for his personality and learning style. He is certainly not living up to his potential. Listen to my head or listen to my heart?

6 thoughts on “oh, Noah

  1. Your heart. Most definitely. Get him away from that teacher if at all possible. If not, do what’s best for him – and for you. You already know what that is. (And no matter what you do, I’d haul my hiney into the Bd of Ed or the school in regards to this teacher.)

  2. No doubt. At least get with the principal and voice your disapproval. Odds are this teacher has other parents pissed off too.
    We’ve never had a situation here with kids having a flat out crappy teacher, I think.

  3. I am very sorry that Noah is having such an awful time. As a middle school teacher, I can tell you that this lady, I will not address her as a teacher, is doing him such an injustice. Most middle school classes are busy and not just paper/pencil seatwork. I hope that either he can change teachers for the rest of this year, or hang on and not let this ruin his zest for learning. I think that he will love middle school!

  4. This situation can be a chance for Noah to learn resolve. He will hopefully learn to keep up with his books and in the long run be stronger for making it through a less than desirable situation.

  5. My 10yo had a teacher like that in 3rd grade. It was very difficult, but he survived. I tried to get him transferred to a different teacher; not only was that impossible, but my son begged me not to transfer him, because his two best friends were in the same class. He had an infinite number of detentions and at least one in-school suspension that year. She was a gossip, she favored girls over boys… and she wasn’t even that good of a teacher!!
    One time this teacher called me at work, a week before the tests were about to start, because, she said, “people tell me that your son and his two friends have started a club”. WTF? I said to her, “shouldn’t the > be worried more about next week’s tests and less about who started a club and who hasn’t?”
    Then the following year, he got a very nice, young teacher and it was a very successful year for him. Got all As, all the time, and loved going to school.
    Of course, you and I both know that the “getting him ready for middle school” part is pure BS.
    As far as pulling him out of school or not, it depends on his personality. If I could, I probably would’ve pulled my oldest out for a year or two and he probably would’ve enjoyed it. My youngest however, loves the social life in school and cannot be parted with his friends. On multiple occassions I asked him if he wanted to skip a grade, transfer to a different class, transfer to a different school… he said NO to all of that. So it really depends on your situation. If he’s not going to be a safety, then why not. Either that, or see if you can have him transferred to a different teacher. Good luck!!

  6. I’m of two minds on this. This bitch of a teacher could force Noah to take more responsibility for himself and his schoolwork. Could.
    On the other hand, everything I’ve read by you and Doug about Noah suggests that he might seriously benefit from either home-schooling, or a school that takes a different approach to teaching, like a magnet or Montessori. I don’t know that either of those options are even remote possibilities for you, so homeschooling could be another good option.
    It speaks volumes that the only reason he doesn’t want to leave school is because of safety patrol.

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