This following is the communication between my 8 year old’s school principal and myself after I queried her teachers rough treatment of my daughter. ( This is the follow up from the previous post – ‘Is The Taste Of Iron a Good Thing?’).
I have again removed the names and used letters instead.
I have asked Mrs C to respond to your letter. She will be sending a reply home with H.
I just realised that I actually witnessed the incident because I went down to the class to observe them coming into the class and I can tell you that H. was definitely not dragged acrossed the room by her arm crying.
Our school policy is for parents to please communicate directly with the class teacher as this will lead to better relations.
H. on a daily basis is extremely trying and spends a lot of her time sulking because she can’t get her own way. I have asked Mrs C to send her to me as she can be very disruptive in the class but Mrs C. is trying extremely hard to find a way of working with H. to ensure that she doesn’t command all the attention in the class and this is mostly negative attention.
I am going to start insisting that H. is sent to me as she is being very difficult and it is not fair on Mrs C. or the rest of the children. We await Mr V. assessment feedback as we really cannot carry on in this way.
As discussed with you we may have to phone you to come to school to either talk to Hannah about her unacceptable behaviour or even to collect her as she cannot disrupt the class and other children’s education.
Dear Mrs M.
It seems we have a problem. The incident did not take place as they were coming into class and you were not there. I do not doubt the other child’s account, young as they may be, due to the detail involved in the telling, and the fact that it was an unsolicited offering of events that had occurred.
It is interesting to note that both you and Mrs C. spend more time condemning H’s behaviour and less time explaining your own. Your punishments to date have been thoroughly unacceptable. Kicking an 8 year old out of class for an entire day and refusing to allow her to go to music or P.T. while on punishment is frankly unforgiveable.
If H. is indeed struggling with ADD or a variation thereof, the behaviour of both you and Mrs C. is truly puzzling and certainly considering how many years of teaching the two of you have under your belts. You should know better. I do not negate the fact that H. can be difficult but there are ways to teach children who struggle to focus.
Your remark that ‘Mrs C. is trying extremely hard to find a way of working with H. to ensure that she doesn’t command all the attention in the class and this is mostly negative attention’ is astounding! Perhaps if she instead tried really hard to understand H. and engage her she would finally begin to get results.
Insisting that Mrs C. begin to send H. to you when she misbehaves is mis-leading as she has been doing that already, non-stop, for every little infraction. When I bought Thinkwell the other day to help her to focus H. asked me if the medicine will make her good! Breaking a small child’s spirit is not something you should be proud of.
If you feel that you are unable to cope with a child who struggles to focus and concentrate, then it would be much easier to admit that than to continually discredit the child.
Children who have ADD or ADHD are notoriously difficult to deal with, but they are not ill as Mrs C. implied when she said that diabetes is a disease that is treated with drugs and this is no different. It IS different.
I have refused, and will continue to refuse, to medicate my child with schedule 7 drugs. There are many ways to educate children who struggle, but seeing as how the medication route is the only one that you and Mrs C. have continually suggested it begs the question: What now? What response do you have to a parent who will not medicate with harsh drugs and will not remove her child from the school despite the pressure from you and your teachers.
You are going to see more and more of these kids. Surely it is time you learnt to deal with them constructively?
The feedback from the assessment is on Wednesday. Regardless of what the results are they will require your co-operation and committment. How far are you willing to go? I ask this question now, and yes, it is rhetorical, because when we meet you need to know the answer.
As H’s mother I understand the difficulties in teaching her, but because I have made an effort to understand, I have managed to adapt my thinking and get results. It requires flexibility and patience and respect. She is more than capable of learning and behaving but you need to listen to what she’s saying and most importantly understand that she’s not trying to be naughty, she’s simply thinking differently.
If you make an effort to understand these kids and they way they think, it will only take small adjustments to enable them to function better. H. will never be completely ‘controllable’, will always be a bit of a Diva, and will probably visit you more than you’d like in your office, BUT make the effort to understand and adjust and things will get better quickly. The choice is yours.