Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update on the SCHOOLING situation

For reference sake, I thought you guys might like a picture... :)


10:00 a.m. Posted about my feelings. That afternoon I was going to go in and give a piece of my mind to the principal. Remember?

1:00 p.m. Just as I was signing my name (no joke!) to a letter to the teacher to let her know this would be the girls' last day, I got a phone call from the art teacher saying that both Xoe & Xanthe were going to be getting an award at the Ceremony on Friday, as well as an Honor Roll award for good grades (what! according to their own teacher they were falling behind. I don't "get" her sometimes).

I put plans on hold til I could talk to the girls to see if they wanted to get through it just til Friday. I swear I thought that that sounded like more fun (to get an award), but they seriously did not want to stay. They didn't even care about the award.

Well, after some talking and discussing, they decided to stick it out til Friday.

Friday "Awards Ceremony" Day

(This picture is not from the Awards Ceremony Day. It's from when we visited their classroom in December.)

I'm so proud of the girls. As mentioned, they got an Art Award, made the Honor Roll and even got a Math Facts Award, which meant they moved up 10 levels of the Math program in school.

Anyway! The teacher, like always, tried oohing and ga-ga-ing over Spencer and saying, "I'm so mad at you! First you bring him, then you take him, then you bring him, then you take him. You've got to let me hold him more!" I just stared at her in disbelief. It was a good thing my friend Danielle was standing right there with me because I knew she could understand what I was going through. Her son was in the same class two years ago and she dealt with the same issues. She was so distraught when her son would come home in tears almost every day.

I couldn't wait til I could pull the girls. My anger was fuming and fuming more and more by the minute. BUT! The girls said they wanted to stick it out til Monday because they were having an Art Party, which they were being rewarded for their good behavior. (Ahhh! More good behavior rewards. Maybe their teacher should learn something from the other teachers who actually know what they're doing. Kids respond better to being rewarded rather than punished)


The girls made it through til 10:30 when the Art Party ended. They were more than happy to be done with that teacher and were so relieved when they came home that they helped me clean and organize the whole house and garage.

Did I talk to the principal? I sure did. But it didn't get as heated as I thought. As many problems and gossip that I've heard about the principal not being any better than their teacher, she was very nice and receptive and listened to all my concerns. She said, though, that she wished more people would document their experience because she doesn't have much to go off of in the way of evidence in order to do something about it and asked me to see if I could talk to the other parents I knew of to put it in writing.

I thought the meeting went well...mostly because I didn't have to yell. But I DON'T think it went well because of the fact that I really don't think she's gonna do anything about it. I've heard from many sources who know this principal well says that she does exactly the same thing as the girls' teacher. She tells you what you want to hear and then does nothing about it.

On a side note, that same morning, I found some papers that one of the girls had doodled on that said, "I hate Mrs. Benny!" "I'm having a nightmare and it's cuz I'm in Mrs. Benny's class." and "Why do I have to be here? She is so mean!" My heart is full now that, hopefully, they are going to be so much happier not being in her class.

What are we doing about homeschooling?

At first I was going to do it on my own. They have great curriculum books at Barnes & Noble, and it seems so easy.

But then a girl in the ward told me about the free Arizona public online school that will send you all the materials, including art supplies, science supplies and even a loaner computer if you need one. The girls would take all their tests online and do a lot of their assignments there too if they choose. I have signed up for it, luckily in time as I almost missed the due date.

I'm still undecided though. My friend, Leah, told me that they really make you give a huge time commitment every day and with all our trips I don't know if I can do that. So, we'll see. I'll know by tomorrow. I'm very excited though, as are the girls. They've been asking every day what they can do for homeschooling. So, I've been making up things that they can do towards it. Yesterday, we went grocery shopping and I made up a price comparison sheet for them to work on, and then a sheet that told them how much money they had, what they needed to by and then they had to figure out how much change they'd be getting back. So, we're using every day things for teaching lessons! It's fun for now. I'm waiting for when it's not new anymore, therefore becomes "unexciting".

Thanks everyone for your wishes of good luck and support. I laughed at all of them.


jill said...

She sounds exactly like my 5th grade teacher we would go weeks with no recess and at lunch time see would sit with us give us assigned seating and we were not allowed to talk to each other until we had finished our lunches. Your girls don't need school anyways they are so beautiful. They should become models and make millions!!!

Brent and Randi said...

That picture at the top of the blog really is scary. Now I know a little of what what upsetting the girls. I can't imagine that face yelling at me all day.

Vanessa Sperry said...

Wow, that lady is frightening! I'm so glad you put up an update, I've been checking every day to see what happened. Good luck with homeschool, I'm sure you'll find a great way to do it.

Beth said...

You should get your friends to write letters too. Even from past years. Then you send a set to the principal and a second set to the school board and superintendent. That is who the principal reports too.

You can write a separate letter to the school board letting them know that you feel like the principal tells you what you want to hear and then does nothing.

That pictures is amazing!!! She would give me nightmares too!