Tests weren't coming home.
Handwriting was getting sloppier.
Homework was written down from the board incomplete.
Phone calls were going un-returned.
So, I popped up.
I took a day off and went down to the school after class started and requested to observe the class from the monitor rooms in the principal's office. Everything seemed fine so, I went into the class myself and took a seat in the back, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. At break, I asked her what was going on with Chunks and at this point she lays out a list of things. He's not paying attention, he drifts off, he acts sleepy...SO WHY DIDN'T I HEAR ABOUT THIS BEFORE??? Anyway, I didn't see any of those things but I didn't want to be that mom who says her kid is perfect so I got on Chunks.
We cut out t.v, computer time, and dinosaurs during the week.
Dinosaurs were limited on the weekend.
Focus time was put in play and I printed out worksheets, bought work books, and reading books to the second grade level and we now have home-school sessions.
I need you to get this work done!
When I talked this over with his godmother who studied early childhood development she was concerned with how much the teacher was putting in. What was she doing for 2 hours while Chunks was spaced out in dinosaur world and not writing down his homework? How did she let this go on for so long? So, I went back in to meet with her again. I requested his exams and classwork, all 90s and 100s. I asked for his projects, all 90s and 100s. She then expressed that Chunks could "surpass any child in the class but he has to focus". Clearly there's an understanding of the work so what's really the problem??
We had a long conversation about ways to improve this and it comes out that she's one teacher to 16 kids. I might be a little cold but in first grade I had 1 teacher and there were probably 25-30 of us, so...I saw that she needed a cheerleader AND a coach so we met for lunch, I let her know that I am on her side because we were both on Team Chunks. There are tactics taught to teachers to combat this sort of thing especially since this is a kid who skipped that sort of training in Kindergarten, so she can't be burnt out already it's only November! HE has to succeed. When he leaves your class HE needs to be able to compete with everyone else. HE HAS TO WIN! This and only this is my end goal, so if you need to me to help, support, sit in, pop up, cheer you on, let's go because this is kinda a big deal. She saw how serious I was, Chunks saw how serious I was and I think something clicked for Team Chunks. The teacher knows I'm there for her, he knows I'm there for him, and everyone knows I'm a little batty and will pop the hell up whenever, snatching whoever needs it, so we have an understanding lol.
It's been about a month of calm, I've gotten good progress reports, he's back to being happy and the handwriting is improved (most days). Many nights I'm exhausted when I get home but we get homework done, work out of our own work books, and read a few books before bath time and it's not so bad because the end game is the goal: to produce a healthy, educated, and functioning man who can go into the world and compete and leave it better than he found it. POINT. BLANK. AND THE PERIOD.
Here's to you kid and your amazing future, no matter what we have to do. #TeamChunks
How do you deal with classroom struggles? Do you think it's important for you and your child(-ren)'s teacher to have communication outside of parent-teacher night?