Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Daughters Conference Rant....

Well it's that time of year again...Parent/Teacher Conferences. I went alone this year and had to tackle 2 of them with the kids in tow. They did great. Liberty's was first. I had a nice written out list this year and somewhere between getting out of the car and arriving at the classroom it disappeared. So I frantically tried to remember what I wanted to ask without looking like an idiot. After getting both kids settled in (Buddy on the DS and Liberty on the computer doing Kid Pix) I sat with her teacher in those oh so comfortable tiny chairs. Thankfully I have been in constant contact (yes I am one of those moms) with her teacher since she started school at a high 2nd grade reading level. Yes she's in Kindergarten.

It was a bit of a struggle since most schools focus on the below level kids and tend to shy away from those above level ones. I will admit I am not one to fight or call attention to myself. But I had visions of my daughter getting bored and chatting away at whoever was the closest and getting in trouble. So I talked to her teacher on Sneak a Peak day. My son was in K last year so most of the teachers had an idea who I was (not to mention my son is very outgoing and mischievous lol). I informed her of her reading level but preceded it with a "I am sure you hear this all the time but..." Then I had to keep pushing and prodding to get her the help she needed. You may not think a "gifted" child would have the same struggles as other special needs but they do. And it's harder because there aren't alot of education "rules" involving above level children. In most States they aren't afforded the IEP or things like that. Parents have to fight to get their kids the education they need. Now after saying that I am glad we are at the school we are as her teacher was more than happy to help out. Now after that last statement I have run into problems.

She is seeing a "Talent Development Teacher" (back in my day it was gifted and talented) 3 times a week with 4 other K's. I am happy. Not happy we get no real progress report on what she is doing other than asking or seeing what she brings home. Her K teacher told me we are "lucky" she is able to see her this year as normally they don't see Ks...that's the statement that bothers me. So if my child was struggling would they say "oh sorry we don't have anyone to help your child so tough luck...." OF COURSE NOT! The education system is all about helping those who struggle but what about those who excel?? What happens to them? Unless a parent makes a stink absolutely nothing.

On to the "Reading Specialist" who I tried to contact and after she finally got back to me she was very abrupt and acted like she was doing me a favor. I asked about an IEP and was told there is none for gifted students. I asked about a written plan and was told there is none but somehow off the top of her head she could list everything my daughter does and then has the ovaries (she's a woman so can't say balls lol) to tell me that there is a "smarter student" than mine in K. So freaking what. I don't care about the other kids. I care about mine and that she is getting the help SHE needs. Then she pretty much tells me that she really doesn't deal with the Ks since she's the PRIMARY grade reading specialist AND she deals with those who are struggling anyway. Not a nice lady although everyone at school loves her. She definitely rubs me the wrong way.

So back to the conference with her teacher. Basically she can't be taught anymore on the reading end (totally understand since she reads long chapter books and understands what is going on). Her sentences are extremely complex but her writing needs work (must get it from me as mine is atrocious) so her teacher and I brainstormed about things she likes to read and what she has in mind for her and what I think would help. So we are going for mini book reports (just the basics to get her handwriting better) and delving into deeper comprehension. She will also be seeing the teacher individually 30 min every other day for the literacy center time. And her teacher will be taking her to the reading teachers special "book area" and the library to talk about books and different aspects of them. Also poems will be a big one and working on her reading quizzes that she gets charms for. The goal is to get her into the 3rd grade reading level by the end of the year and being able to express herself better in writing. So we will see how this turns out in the end but I will keep on pushing and asking as I have to. For my daughter...

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