I’ve had an earlier than typical morning because I had to get C to school by 7:20 for a Spanish study session. /yawn
Had we not had the annual IEP multi-disciplinary meeting yesterday afternoon I would not have known. The Spanish teacher called it out in her summary statement. That was after I asked if it was still possible for him to pass. Yes of course it’s on her class website. But as each teacher provided their summary in-turn, one might pick up on the fact that to know about every assignment and test, it would be a full time job reading all the teachers blogs. I guess if that’s what it takes, I’ve got to be all in it.
It’s intimidating to walk into a room with 11 desks in a circle with a group of people waiting for you to begin. The case worker and I were waiting outside the room with C (who chose not to attend the first part of the meeting). We were waiting for his dad. Brian was a no-show.
I walked into the room and sat down at one of the two empty desks, feeling the pressure of all the eyes on me. I had my notebook ready with statements and questions so I would be sure and not forget anything I wanted to say. The meeting only happens once a year and based on our first year of HS there were some definite lessons learned.
This is the first one at the HS and I was not sure what to expect. I quickly found that each teacher would take a turn to speak on their experiences and observations of C in their class. There really were not a lot of surprises outside the fact that his “sleeping” in class is not isolated to his 1st period English class. Most teachers reported the same.
Due to the fact that we had had a previous meeting with the Spanish teacher, her going first opened the door for my conveying my prepared comments. The discussion was good and I was grateful the principal was there to hear all of that. I wear my emotions on the outside so it was tough for me to contain my frustration with the half of the parental support structure that is missing.
Brian is the one who crawled under the bus. I just politely drove over him.
I also called out some mistakes that the school has made this year and owned up to my own shortcomings. It takes a village, you know, and we’re all responsible for the outcome. Especially C. He has to want to do better or it will be very tough to course correct. I need a commitment from him that he’s not giving up. Deep down I know he knows he’s capable. They all know it too. The other common comment was about his intelligence.
His English teacher said at the beginning of the year she thought he should be in honors and may get bored in the regular class. Oh he gets bored all right, but it’s not ok to just ignore the work if you’re not interested in it. That’s not how the world works. His math teacher said he was an A student who is getting a C because he just doesn’t do the work. More of the same from all teachers. The only teacher who said C was always alert and engaged is his woods teacher. That’s more of an active class and he has a friend in there, I think both help.
The meeting lasted an hour and ended with the teachers leaving and C coming in the room for a smaller group discussion with the Principal. That part impressed me the most. I had not met the principal before (which says something about my Z and her first three years at the school). It was clear this was not his first rodeo.
He got on C’s level and straight talked him. He set some expectations and committed to keeping eyes on the situation. He also got on my level and laid out a clear path of communication which was refreshing. We left feeling pretty good about next steps, finishing out this year strong, and going into next year on the right track. Well, at least I felt good about it. I need to have another conversation with C about it as he was just glad the meeting was over and didn’t want to talk about it much.
He also doesn’t want to talk in front of his sister which I respect. It’s none of her business. She doesn’t know what the meeting was for and we’ve elected not to explain his situation to her to respect his privacy. As far as the actual IEP is concerned, he rejects any of the special accommodations offered. The only benefit at this point is the extra attention he gets from the IEP staff. It’s more than most kids get so I’m grateful. I’m hopeful, actually, and think that if we just continue to focus on it.. it will get better.
After we left the school I took the kids to Smashburger and that was good. Later in the evening we dyed Easter eggs. At first the kids resisted (because that’s what teenagers do) but once we were in it, they had a great time. Z prides herself on her artistic ability and of course boasted that hers were the best. I enjoyed it just because everyone was getting along and having fun. Cooper had more energy and enthusiasm for something outside a video game than I have seen for quite some time. That was great. Like I said yesterday, it’s the little things! 😊
That’s all I got today. Time to Jam.