Thursday, February 9, 2006

I need your opinions

I have a question that I'd like some opinions on. It's pertaining to my son's school work and his broken wrist. Whenever he first broke his wrist, the teacher stated that since it was his writing arm that was disabled that I could help him out on his homework by copying it to make it legible. No problem. He would work out the problems on a scrap paper and I'd copy them (even if I knew they were the wrong answer) into his workbooks. He has also had an ongoing project this year regarding the 50 States. He has to do a small report on each state that includes the population, state bird, state tree, some interesting facts about the state, etc. I distinctly asked the teacher if it was ok if I helped him on those also since they needed to be nice and neat. And so that he wouldn't get too far behind on them. She said that would be fine. So, each evening when my son got home from school, we would sit down in front of the computer, look up all of these facts for a state and he'd tell me what he wanted written down. We did that each evening for the past 4 weeks. Ok, here comes my dilemma.

Yesterday my son came home from school, practically in tears. When I asked him what was wrong, he said that his teacher was now saying that his 50 state reports hadn't been done by him and that he wasn't going to get credit for them. I called the school to find out what had happened and his teacher told me that she didn't believe that he had done any of the work on the reports because they were too neat! WHAT?!?! I told her that I'd written them up for him after he'd looked things up on the computer and told me what he wanted written down, but that I'd also called and asked her if that was ok. She'd said yes. I told her that he sat right here beside me at the computer each evening and we'd look up the information and he would tell me what he wanted to write down. Her comeback on that was that there was no way he could have finished that many state reports unless I'd been doing them throughout the day for him. Huh? Let's do the math...1 state report each evening for 5 days (we didn't work on weekends) would equal 5 states each week multiplied by 4 weeks would equal 20 states at the end of that period. I think that's entirely possible to do. She argued with me up one side and down the other. I argued back that I have NEVER done either of my kids homework and have always been adamant about them looking things up for themselves instead of coming to mom or dad for a quick answer. She just kept going on and on and then came the words that ended our conversation. "I don't' believe that your son did this work. I think you are lying about it to keep him from getting into trouble" Nobody calls me a liar! If his teacher had been standing in front of me, she would have walked, no make that crawled, away with some major physical damage. I took the high road though and told her that if she didn't believe me that we needed to take it up with the principal.

So, today, I get a call from the principal stating that they were only going to give my son credit on HALF of the reports and the other half he had to redo. When I asked why, the principal told me that his teacher didn't believe that he'd done them and wasn't backing down on that at all so rather then fail him on all of the reports, they came to this compromise. This compromise came between the teacher and the principal. No word from my son or me on the matter was taken into consideration. It was just between those two. There was no arguing with her on this either so I just let it go. I mean, it could have been worse. BUT, in your opinion, what would you have done if you were in this situation?


None said...

You should take it to the school board. You are right and you shouldn't let them get away with that crap. I'd be pissed.

Karon said...

I have to agree with Jen. No way would I sit still for that. The teacher flat out called you a liar and the principal backed her up without even consulting you. I'd request a hearing before the school board on the matter. Call the superintendent of schools and take it all the way to the top.

I do have one concern, though. When we as parents stand up for what we believe in, sometimes our children suffer for it. I speak from experience in that my mom came across a copy of 'Catcher in the Rye' when I was a sophomore in high school. She read a little and flipped out. (Never mind I read that same book in honors English in the seventh grade.) She went before the school board and the book was yanked from our hands and banned at my high school. I took a lot of flack for that. This is a little different though.

You have your integrity to protect. That teacher flat out called you a liar. You are teaching your son to tell the truth and yet, it's not being believed. I'd fight it all the way to the top!

Good luck.

Lisa said...

Thanks, you two. I'm glad to hear that others agree with what I was thinking. My hubby says to just let it drop because it would possibly cause my son to have the teacher really go against him and make his days at school miserable. I can see why he says that, but i do think that the school board and superintendent should know whats going on. As for now, I'm debating all the angles of this matter. I don't want to rush into something that might really blow up in my face. I'll let you know what I decide to do.

LisaS said...

Hi Lisa~

I would be po'd too! Who is his teacher this year? I can't believe they didn't even consult you and Matt....they should have at least let you have your say in a group meeting with the teacher and the principal!
On the other hand, I also understand that you don't want to do anything to jeopardize the rest of the year for your son with this particular teacher.
About doing the one state per evening...I just did the same thing on a much smaller scale with my preK son. He had to practice his writing skills by making out all of his class valentines. So we did one every weeknight x 12. Makes complete sense to me.
Lisa S.