Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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JohnROSS's picture JohnROSS

Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know it couldn't have been fun. It helps to know we're not the only ones who frequently have trouble coping with the needs of our kid(s) and the demands of the system/ outside world.

Aaron just started 1st grade and already we're having home work issues too. Ours-different, but the same kind. No large object hurling here yet, but I could see it getting to that.

So sorry to hear of L's troubles with school this year. Hang in there.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

This story makes my heart hurt. You are so right, at some point a family has to decide what price to pay for that "academic success" you mention. I know that you know all of the suggestions I could give that are floating around in my head. It just seems like one domain of education, academic skills, is overshadowing the rest. He needs a modified load, to help him learn self-management skills. If it's too much at this point, he needs to start smaller. I so hope that his team can help you with this. You should be able to take a 10-minute walk at night without worrying about what comes after.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

No, you're not alone, John--I hope things improve for you, too..

Your sugegstions have been extremely helpful, Omaha. It's so hard for L. to find his footing at the beginning of a school year--I wish we could get his teachers to see that. Unfortunately the 5th grade teachers this year are new, and they don't seem to have the time/willingness to slow down and get to know L.


mouse's picture mouse

I worry about what will happen when we reach the point that teachers decide it's time to sink or swim for Scooter. We've been very lucky so far (this year's teacher does 'check-ins' when he can't keep himself on task and has also agreed to some minor homework modifications, right now that I take dictation since handwriting is often Scooter's tipping point), but I know a lot of this is due to the members of his IEP team being so attuned to his needs. What happens if they're not around or can't get an administrator to listen to their suggestion for class placement? (And we just got a new principal who definitely has a different approach.)


mouse's picture mouse

(It said the first time that my comment was too long, so I'm adding the second bit here.)

As a teacher, I try to prioritize--what is the purpose of this activity? what do I want my students to get out of it? how can I still achieve it if there's a roadblock due to some other component? And I teach 7th and 8th graders and have even used this same approach in university classes, so I really take issue with the idea that they have to figure it out on their own and shouldn't get any support after a certain point.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Unfortunately 5th grade seems to be a year when the overwhelming feeling is that the kids need to "sink or swim" since they are heading on to middle school. We had a rough 3rd year like that, too, where L.'s homeroom teacher felt L. needed to figure more things out on his own.

I teach college students and there are huge degrees among them, as well. While it would be nice to teach to a room filled of the "ideal" student, I often have to provide lots of individual attention to certain students--tweaking assignments, even, helping them through countless drafts. All of this is part of being a teacher, IMO.