Thursday, April 10, 2014

Anyone Care to Share Your Thoughts??

I've mentioned a few times on  the blog that Myles has a pretty hard time with school.  He tries so hard, even his teacher has said that he is a hard worker and tries hard...but it's rough for him.  He's no longer in danger of repeating this year, but obviously, we hate to watch him struggle, and have been doing our due diligence getting things looked into/checked out (as in dr's and therapists, etc.) to help him in any ways that we can. A lot of time this past month has been spent doing exactly that.  His teacher is well aware of this, well aware of some recent diagnosis's (is there a different word for that??), and that he started taking his "special chill pill" this week.

One of the things he struggles with is any timed test, or rushed times (like getting things together to leave school).  This has made timed math tests pretty brutal, he's been stuck on one for the past 6 weeks. I had promised him that when he did pass it, he could go to Sky High (trampoline play place).  Well.....he passed it today!!!! I always check his bag before we leave the school while standing in front of his class room, and I saw it in there and pulled it out and said "Myles, what's this??"  Instead of cheers and jumping for joy and being happy, he melted down in tears. Why?

He had taken too long today while packing up his stuff to go home. His teacher made him stand in front of the class and sing this song-

"My name is Tinkerbell,
I do not hear well,
I need my mommy here,
To pack up all my gear"

Apparently he has regularly had to stand in front of the class and sing this song.

Through his tears, he told me he knows its a mean song, and that it's embarrassing and that it's making fun of him for taking longer than the other kids and that the kids all call him tinkerbell.

Can I just ask since when does humiliation and embarrassment help alter a child's behavior?? When you are dealing with a student who is already struggling, where is the logic in making him stand in front of the class to point out his slowness in a mocking way?? I know for a fact that this teacher has issue with Myles being a more artistic boy than a rough and tumble boy due to the fact that he told me to "get him in organized sports and toughen him up!"  So for more than a few reasons, I was livid.

It was with all the self control I could muster that I gritted my teeth when the teacher walked up and asked me "what is his problem?"  I managed to ONLY say the words "I do not want him singing the tinkerbell song again," and believe me, there were a lot more words in my head I would have loved to say. The teacher smiled and said "I'll let him get ready first from now on."

Any thoughts on this whole thing?? Am I over reacting to be mad? Is this just a cute little saying and nothing more?? Have any of you heard this saying before??


  1. Wow. I really know nothing about any of this other than what you have here, so I really can't say too much. But that teacher strikes me as a problem. And a bit of a bully. It would be interesting to find out how often other kids go through that humiliation. I suspect you are completely within your rights to be concerned and want some answers.

    But the important bit is, WAY TO GO MYLES! Way to get that test done!

    1. Yes! Way To Go Myles, indeed! He had a blast playing at Sky High this evening : )

      We will be having a sit down and some answers for sure.

  2. First the Prin. then the Super!!!

    1. Yes. Emailed principal, who talked to teacher. Teacher informed class today that "they would no longer be singing the Tinkerbell song because someone felt it was humiliating". Both he and myles knew what he was talking about...just yet another one of the many small ways he plays intimidation/mind games.
      Conference is Wednesday with principal and teacher. We are getting all our ducks in a row, including our district complaint forms/contacts/emails.

    2. I should probably add that this little poem he was made to sing (more than just this one occasion) was just the straw that broke the camels back. There have been things happening/said the entire school year...yelling, kicking kids desks when he's angry or wants immediate attention from a student, telling me I could not volunteer in his room because he does not allow parents in his room, not letting the kids play before school starts-they have to be dropped off directly to his room where they can only sit and play checkers and nothing else before school....I could go on and on. So how much of Myles issues this year are from this teacher/class/nerves/anxiety do to the class environment...and how much is an actual learning issue?? That is the question.

  3. Oh Beth I'm so sorry Myles is having a tough year, it is NOT easy raising kids in this system and especially when they have to deal with bigger struggles due to a " learning disability" ( for lack of a better word). Not sure CA policy but sounds like he should qualify for a 504 plan which may be able to eliminate some of those timed tests. He still had to do the work but not under those same time constraints.

    As far as the song I can say with absolute certainty that it would not be allowed in the district I work in, it absolutely is bullying. To call out a child out due to their differences or inadequacies is unacceptable. My daughter's school teaches that if someone said something that made you feel embarrassed it is bullying. When I read it to her she was shocked. When she I'd running slow (which is often) you get sent to think time. If you don't cooperate in think time then you get a ticket and get sent to the intervention room and then there are more steps from there.
    I hope the original can help you find an acceptable resolution.

    1. Megan, thank you for your input! I have been looking into making a request for testing through the school district/IEP, however I think a 504 plan is more what he needs. It has been hard to know how much of his struggles this year have been due to anxiety/teacher issues, and how much is actually learning related. With the ADHD diagnosis we better understand many of his timed test/organization/incomplete work/forgetfulness and hope to see some improvement w/his "special pills", and hopefully with a different learning environment/class room. Ideally to be thorough, we would have Neuropsychology testing done, and he was referred by his dr for it (we suspect reading issues, specifically dyslexia) however our insurance does not cover it and it's terribly expensive. We know that the school district would have to test for things like that during an IEP evaluation process, however I'm not sure that's the road we want to go down.
      It's hard to know what to do!

    2. You have the right to request that testing through your district, it does not mean that he will ultimately end up with an IEP, and even if he does it does not mean that he will have to be out of a general education classroom. It may just mean that he sees a special teacher / therapist during the week and has accommodations to help him in his general classroom. Do not let the district tell you that he doesn't need specialized testing as his parent you have the right to request it. I am fighting with my own district about my oldest daughter fortunately we have great insurance so we are taking her for outside evaluations. She tests incredibly well but does very poorly on a day to day basis. Working in the field of special education has been so helpful to learn my child rights. But we are still struggling to figure how much help she needs and how much is just her being a unique kid.
      I agree with you that it sounds like his environment is adding to his issues. I dint know how much of the school year you have left (we only have 9 weeks) but I hope you can fee some things figured it so next year I'd smoother. Have you looked into seeing if your insurance will pay for behavior therapy or counseling for his ADHD?

    3. No, not yet. He was just diagnosed a week and a half ago, started med Wednesday of last week, so this is all very new still. We have about 9 weeks left, too.

  4. I was teaching when ADHD became a diagnosis. The school district spared no expenses in getting educators the post graduate classes necessary so we could educate and be a benefit to this sector of the student body. I excelled as an educator with ADHD students. This success in large was due to key strategies that had to be placed first before objectives of learning and their outcomes could be attained.
    • Nurturing the student
    • Implementing benchmarks (measurements) other than testing as a measurement
    • When test were given I informed the parent that their child would be bringing the test home and the parent could administer the test in an environment needed to benefit their child
    • Changing the structure off the class room allowing for the needs of all “at risk “ students with the goal of fostering a successful learning process
    • Educating the class about all “at risk” students to allow for a nurturing environment by all in the class room
    • Never foster anything negative about a students learning disabilities
    • Tailoring behavior policies and strategies to allow for individual success in the mainstreaming of this sector of the student body
    I strongly suggest informing the powers to be that if this is not resolved to your total satisfaction investigative reporters will be brought in. Furthermore, your father is more than prepared to retain legal representation and has in fact made a phone call seeking representation. I can assure you that the representation contacted will not only vigorously challenge the District shall they fail to appropriately respond to this issue, but will hold the District accountable for lack of appropriate action. Shall it appear that the only way to accomplish achieving the appropriate goals for Myles is to assure that the District will be civilly liable I am prepared to do so?
    We love you Myles