Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Day of Disappointments

As I sit here, I can hardly believe that I'm writing this next blog about this topic, since it's only been a month since Caleb's "Most Improved Award". How different a couple of weeks makes sometimes... (not always for the positive)

What a day it's been.... We just got back from a meeting with Caleb's therapists. They are advising that Caleb be bused to a special autism school that's over an hour away. Not really because he can't fit here in our home school district, but because the staff and school are set up in such a way that we're all beating our heads against a wall. This staff of teachers are frustrating and infuriating. They are overmaxed with their numbers of kids, of that I understand. But....they just don't understand autism, nor are they willing to expend the extra energy setting things up to make Caleb successful. The therapists think Caleb could be much more independent, successful, and educated in the autism school than he could be in a school with this many red flags. One...his class size of 30.... two...his stubborn, unknowledgeable teacher (this is my addition), .... three... the lack of resources in our school......4...the complete change of all administrative personal for the second year in a row.... and the list goes on and on. One part of me wants to pull all of my children and put them in another school (and I would if my husband weren't considering applying for the principal job). Another part of me wants to make these subpar teachers "put up or shut up" so that the next autism family that comes through is more successful. But, the last part of me (the biggest part) wants to see Caleb successful and appreciated for who he is. And...if that's in another school, then so be it. I did tell my husband, however, that he had to promise me one thing....that my youngest twins WOULD NEVER have Caleb's current teacher for any grade! That he would appeal to the masses, if need be, so that I never have to deal with her again! You just can't teach a person, such as her, how to be compassionate or how to love each child just because they're human. Instead, she sees Caleb as a behavior problem, and a detriment to her quality of teaching. Thankfully, we have a number of months to decide which direction to take. We also plan on looking at nearby school districts to see what they have to offer. For now though...pray that we make the right decision!


Amy in Idaho said...

I feel your pain! We moved last year to another state in order to have an educational environment that was appropriate for my son.

It seems that school districts are so mired in process, lack of innovation, lack of motivation - I often wonder if they even remember why they are there in the first place (my parents are life-long public school teachers).

These times of discomfort are times of opportunity. If I wasn't so mad at our previous school district, my son wouldn't be in a fabulous school now. If my past pediatrician weren't such an ass, I wouldn't have doctors 'on the payroll' that heal rather than treat.

Keep an open mind and I'll send some good energy your way!

Jen B said...

Wow! Which state did you move to?

We are actually considering homeschool as an option now...which is almost crazy to me! However, I'll do whatever is best for my son. I will NOT have him be everyone's "guinea pig" at this school, nor everyone's excuse for not putting in more effort. My husband is a teacher (junior high), and an effective, compassionate one. However, it's just frustrating to see a whole line of elementary teachers that have their own best interests first....MEAP scores, looking good to save their job, etc. The politics in the profession are overwhelming the actual teaching.

You're right, though. These are times that we are led down a better fit, into a better plan. I just hope we have as much success as you've had! Keep us in your prayers!

Thanks for your comments!

Rebekah said...

Jen, you are in our prayers! I can't even imagine the frustration that you are going through. Just know that you need to do whatever you have to and don't worry about what anyone thinks. I know this is very hard on you guys. That school just does NOT have the resources. Hang in there. You will make the right decision. Love you.

Jen B said...

We're going to see the autism school this coming week, so we know what we're choosing. We're also checking into Tawas to see what they offer, and considering part-time enrollment while part-time homeschool for AGS. Just making sure we consider all options and choose what's best for Caleb, not best for the school. It's just frustrating when everyone seems to work against you, and throws out words that are so NOT true about him.