Have you ever heard of the movie ”The War Of The Roses”
? If you have then I don’t need to describe my last week of school. If you haven’t rent it and then you will know! Everyday the older and younger teacher found new ways of embarrassing themselves and those around them with little tantrums and petty fights. I can’t tell you how happy I am it is all over!!!
What was nice was the parents of our students seem to understand the position we as the aides were put in and showed us how much they truly appreciated the fact we hung in there and keep the kids on track. They gave us small gifts, accompanied by hugs, many words of thanks, and praise for a job well done. See that right there, is worth it all to know that we made a difference in the life of our kids when all hell was breaking loose!
Now it's SUMMER VACATION!!! Yes please take a minute and do the happy dance with us. If this family ever needed a break boy this is it. I felt the stress of the past 5 months weighing on me. Add the stress of homework and teacher conflicts to it PHEW it just wears you out.
Along with the teacher war I had a small battle of my own going on with Lindsey’s teacher. If you don’t know my Lindsey Lu you wouldn't know she came out of the womb with attitude.
Rob and I have said from day one she came out PMSing and hasn’t stopped. I know this about my Lin and I warn ALL her teachers the first day of school. I tell them point blank:
" Lindsey will give you attitude, she will roll eyes and when she does this NAIL HER! Tell me that day and I will reinforce at home what you have told her here at school. Together we can keep her in check. I am always available and if I happen to be with a class on a field trip send her to the principal and let her pay the price. It is the only way she is going to learn."
I am not a parent who will look at the teacher and say “Oh not my child”. As a teacher I understand that some parents have NO clue as to how their little angels act sometimes. Knowing this I work very hard not to be one of these parents.
When Rob was getting ready to leave for Saudi I warned every one of my girls teachers. I told them that the stress before he leaves and once he is gone will be tremendous and that there may be behavioral problems until we get into our groove
. I also stated I would deal with them and keep my thumb on the girls.
About a week after Rob left Lindsey had a major attitude attack. Her teacher (of 22 years) let me know about it, in the middle of the hall the next morning.
I would have preferred she talk to me in private the day before when Lindsey had been so horrible but you know I chalked it up to her needing time to cool off. ( Ok the middle of the hall stuff really annoyed the tar out of me.)
I did deal with lin right there, I let her know she was grounded for the weekend from her friends and TV and I had some extra chores for her. I also told her that she would have to apologize to her teacher (sincerely) by the end of the day. (I think children need to make up there own apologizes to fully understand what they did…that is why she had till the end of the day).
Again after school that day I let her teacher know that I would like to know about these things THE DAY they happen. Not in the hall the next morning. She thanked me for supporting her and so on …you get the picture.
Between Jan 15 (When Rob left and the end of February) Lindsey had had from what I was told 3 attitude attacks and we dealt with them. I did remind them that she was still working through the whole thing about her dad leaving for so long and the stresses that came with it. Of course I was told on one occasion that I was using that as an excuse for her behavior and I needed to stop that.
My response to that was:
" You know you could be right but I doubt it. I understand what you may think but I don’t think you fully understand what our life is like. You see it on the news and you hear about it but when you have to live it…well that’s when it gets hard."
It was dropped and by March Lindsey’s behavior was back on track. Her third quarter report card showed the stress of her dad leaving. But she came back with A’s and B’s the next quarter.
Then came the last 3 weeks of school. (This may be a good place to say potty if you need to, refresh your coffee | Drink or smoke um if you’ve got them).
I had several teachers tell me that Lin was sitting at the quiet table at lunch and sitting out at recess. I asked Lin about this and she informed me that she was also not allowed to sit near her best friend at lunch for the rest of the year, stand next to her in line, and she was not to talk or play with her at recess.
So I left a note in her teachers box and we had a small meeting in the office. I asked her about this. I said “They must have done something really bad for you to take action this stiff last 3 weeks of school? Why didn’t you tell me? Did you send them to the office?”
Her response: “ no they are just giggly and silly and I had enough.” Ok they are 10. Isn’t that what 10-year-old girls do? Yes I did say that. She said “ well I do plan to give then another chance…next week.” Fine, and she did it lasted one day. At this point I told Lin to just smile say yes ma’am and make it to the end of the year.
Move forward to Monday, my day from hell. Lindsey tells me that night I need to pay $16.50 for a spelling book the teacher said she lost. Now I remember checking all of Lin’s books the day she turned them in and she had them all! Turns out we returned a blue dotted spelling book and that is suppose to be a classroom book. She needed a red dotted book. The blue dotted book is the book we have had all year. Now had I known it should have been red I would have sent it back the day it came home.
So I meet with her teacher and tell her we returned the only book we had. The following is our conversation:
Her : “ Well I am sorry but she needs to pay for the book she lost.”
Me:”NO! We are not paying for something we never had or lost. She turned in the book she had.”
Her: “ Well I don’t know what to tell you, I don’t have the book in my class, and she can’t have her report card till you pay for it.”
Me: “ That’s ok you can keep the report card she doesn’t need it to go to 5th grade. Also, I have told Lindsey to just smile and say yes Ma’ am to what ever you tell her, I know yesterday you made her sit out at recess because you felt she was walking to fast in line, but I also expect that you will not take advantage of that and considering that there is a day and a half left of school I am sure you agree this is suppose to be the fun days, I realize she doesn’t like you and you don’t like her but you only have 1 ½ days to go. ”
I turn to leave
Her: “ You know I have never said I don’t like Lindsey, and I have PUT UP
( insert tone with that) with her out of professional courtesy for you.
ME: “ You have PUT UP with her??? I have backed you EVERYTIME
you have contacted me about her. I have told her ALL YEAR
that I support your punishments even when I thought you were getting petty. You punished her for giggling with her friend ….now I have talked to other parents who happened to be there when she was giggling and they said it was nothing big just normal 10- year old stuff. But I still stood by you. I made sure I was available anytime you needed me….I told you to send her to the office if she was that bad….and now you have “PUT UP” with her? And you say you like her???
Her: “ Well, I don’t think you fully understand how much attitude Lindsey has!”
Me; “ I don’t understand? Hello I am the one who warned you! I know my daughter, she came out of my body exactly the way she is. I have never said she didn’t have an attitude… I have never been on of those parents who think their child is always right and perfect. I said we could work together…. and if you remember she was fine till her dad left. And I know for a fact the you have rode her hard. I have had parents tell me that their children say you ride her hard. Hell she sat out recess on the last week of school for WALKING TOO FAST??? Did I lean on you? NO, I figured it was the last week we will just make. But don’t sit here and tell me you “PUT UP” with her out of professional courtesy when I have done everything I can to support you and I never once asked for any favors. My god I should just go and find her previous teacher and beg their forgiveness for making them put up with her too all those years!!!!
Her: “ Well I just don’t know what to tell you. I did it for you>”
Me: “ Yeah well, excuse me if I don’t say Thank you. You know I listen to teacher say how they wished they had a parent who would support them, and work with them. I did that for you, I have done that will all of the girls teachers. Now I understand how if feels to be a parent who does try and the teacher takes advantage of that and then clams to be a victim.” “ If you have any problems with Lin today send her to me….I will sign her out and you will NOT have to “PUT UP “ with her.”
Yeah I know I lost my cool. I probably should have just walked out were I told her that Lindsey was just suppose to say “ Yes Ma’am”. But it really pissed me off because I honestly did try my hardest to back her up and I do work everyday to adjust Lindsey’s attitude.
Her past teachers have told me that while Lin does sometimes have an attitude and they notice she only really pushes it when she is stressed. I can tell you that is true. My god no time has ever been more stressful for us then this. First Rob leaving for a year then being told it will be 2 years. Hell I had attitude.
Her teachers have also pointed out to me that Lindsey is extremely bright and that there is really nothing she can’t do. Her test scores back this up. She’s smart girl. She qualified for the gifted programs at our school but the stress of having to keep up with two separate classes was more then Lin could do and so we took her out (the gifted teacher was very disappointed but understood and has help by supplying us with things for Lin to do during breaks).
Needless to say I left the meeting with my “ Italian UP” as Rob would say. I had to go to the office to sign in and the principal was there. She asked me if I had the book thing straightened out and me being me let her know about everything.
My principal is a not bullshit kind of gal. She lays it right out there, she will pull no punches no matter who you are. I can’t tell you how many times she has just flat told parents:
“ Your child is out of control and you need to get it together. We will not put up with this in our school.”
I told her I wasn’t paying for something we didn’t lose and that I told the teacher she could have Lin’s report card we didn’t need it to go to 5th grade. She said nothing. At the end of the day several other teachers had told me that Lin’s teacher was very upset about the way I talked to her and that she reported to everyone in the office that I was very rude!
My comment. Yeah well she’ll get over it.
Move forward to yesterday morning…the last day of school. You could feel the joy in the air. Kids smiling, teachers floating on air….it was a great day just knowing the end was near. This is also the day the kids who are staying get to meet their teachers for next year and visit the classroom for about 15 min. It’s way cool trust me.
I went by the office to sign in and the principal stopped me and said…” Did you get the book thing resolved?” I said as far as I am concerned it is. She smiled at me and said, “ Please stop by the secretaries office on your way to class.” I said ok and went to her office.
Guess what she gave me? Lindsey’s report card! With a note that said;
” I believe you and thank you for supporting your teacher and our school, I know this year has been very difficult on your family and through it all you stood by our students taking classrooms most subs run from. I also know your daughter is NOT a problem child, that she is a very nice young lady and like any child will misbehave when stressed. Thank you for being a parent who does try. ”
I needed that!
After the past few days I thought for sure that today I would sleep till noon. NO clocks going off, nowhere that I had to be!! But instead I woke up at 7:30 am and I felt relaxed and rested. Man I love summer vacation!!!!