It happened pretty much as Tessa said it did, except the teacher said she had an off day all day long and hadn't gotten anything done. She said near the end of the day, Tessa was still working on board work, and the teacher told her to put her glasses on. Tessa said she couldn't find them, and they were in her desk. Her teacher said she came over and there was tons of stuff in her desk, papers, school supplies, snacks, etc. She told Tessa to clean it out, and she said Ok. Well, Tessa dawdled around, so the teacher came over and did it for her. She said Tessa had hidden two or three weeks worth of work in the desk.
I told her that Tessa felt humiliated by what happened, and her response was, "I'm sure she did, but she can't keep her desk in that order." I told her that I didn't like the way it was handled, all the while seething inside that she didn't seem to care about my child's humiliation. For all the teachers, does this make any difference in your response about whether it was right or wrong?
I told her that I didn't mind Tessa being punished when needed but that I didn't think she deserved to be humiliated. She had mentioned the children cleaned their desks every Friday, and when I said I didn't like the way it was handled, she said she would just let Tessa keep her desk in that order. I told her that if the kids cleaned out their desks on Friday, then Tessa should do it then.
I also told her about Tessa saying she thought the teacher wasn't the right one for her. She said she didn't know how to make Tessa do her work, since she's fully capable of doing it. Isn't it her job to know how to make a student do their work? She also said she can't stand beside Tessa all day to make sure she gets her work done.
Since she wasn't answering my questions the way I wanted her to, I asked her for a meeting with the principal. We are meeting with him on Monday, which I am glad about, because Brian can go with me then.
I'll be honest. Confrontation is really hard for me, extremely hard. I usually forget what I want to say and clam up. It happened again today, so I'm making a list of what I want to express to the principal. Here are a few questions for me to ask. Can you think of any others?
1. Why hasn't she noticed three weeks worth of work being missing?
2. If they clean desks every Friday, why hasn't she seen the mess in Tessa's desk before now?
3. If she doesn't know how to make Tessa do her work, shouldn't she find someone who can? Isn't it her job to do so?
4. Does she really think it's right to humiliate child in front of their peers?
Please help me think of anything else to ask. Like I said, I'm afraid I'll get in there with the principal and lose it and not remember any of this. I am just as angry after this phone call as I was last night. To top it off, she said Tessa had complained about a stomach ache most of the day, and I'm sure it's her nerves. When Tessa got home this afternoon, she told me she threw up at school today. That can't continue.
I've also decided to put in a call to her pediatrician tomorrow. I want her tested for ADD/ADHD. I don't think she has it, not really, although she does show some of the symptoms. However, I want to go in armed, saying we have this appointment set up to test for it. If Tessa does have it, I want to get her the help she needs, and if she doesn't have it, then I want her teacher (even if it's a new one) to do her job and teach her.
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