A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

IEP meetings are a chance to see the tree from which that apple fell

Had a great meeting with everyone over a piping hot IEP last week. Reminded me of just what I love so much about these things.

When I approached the Screaming Kid's habit of provoking other students (and being none too respectful to adults in the vicinity, as well, if it were to come to that), Dad raised his voice at me and told me how it sounded like I was taking the other kid's side in the Great Altercation from Hell.

I wanted to say, "Sir, your child is here for 'socialization' only. Therefore, it would seem fair to bring up a lack of progress in socialization. Unless you're going to react with a hair trigger. Hmm. Seems familiar...."

If only we could be so honest. It reminds me of the meeting we had during my first year of teaching with the mother of a student who would roll around on the floor, or stiffen herself and slide under the desk when she didn't get her way. The mom twisted in her seat, twirled her hair into a celtic knot, and then climbed into a (so help me) Rolls-Royce and drove away. Ai yi yi.

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At 2/18/09, 11:10 AM, Blogger Idabel Oklahoma said...

As a mom of a special needs kid, I gotta tell....THANKS! Thanks for everything you do. Thanks for all the shit you put up with. Thanks for being there for these kids! THANKS!

At 2/18/09, 4:14 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

You have no idea how much I needed that. Thanks. REALLY.

At 2/18/09, 8:42 PM, Blogger Lightly Seasoned said...

I've had a more or less peaceful IEP year, but I feel ya. Been there on many, many occasions.

Today I learned that I'm having a kid added to my class who hasn't been in school all year because of major depression an ADHD. I'm 350 pages into Great Expectations. But I'm pleased I know a day ahead of time; usually they just appear with a schedule.

At 2/19/09, 9:28 PM, Anonymous MsWhite said...

I joke with my colleagues that we should have a "Teacher Amnesty Day" when we can say anything we want to our students and parents without fear of repercussion. I would tell 99.9% of my students and their parents "You're awesome, I love working with you, and keep up the good work!" What would I say to the others? "Hey Mom and Dad, stop trying to be your kid's best friend, grow up, and start parenting! Hey Kids, life's not fair, the world doesn't owe you anything, and the sooner you start taking responsibility for yourself the better chance you will have of NOT living in a cardboard box!"

At 2/20/09, 5:25 PM, Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

As a special ed teacher, I know EXACTLY what you mean!

At 2/21/09, 11:00 PM, Blogger The MAN Fan Club said...

Some trees don't have branches either. When will kids begin to sue their parents for not holding them accountable when they were children in school?

At 2/27/09, 12:45 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Oh my god, that "no branches" thing is SO true!! Ha!


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