Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tearing my hair out with annoyance

Parents, if you have kids about to go into middle school, please consider homeschooling or shipping them off to a different country because, from what I have experienced, middle school is by far the biggest waste of time employing the biggest morons in all of education. Let's remember, this comes from an ex-high school teacher!

Remember a while back when I was bitching about the communication between the SpEd teacher and myself and I posted an example of his writing, complete with errors? Well, I contacted him to request a team meeting on Monday, after the Girl's midterm grades came back. Something wasn't right about that report card and I wanted explanations. She consistantly gets A's on tests. She does her homework. She's learning the material, and her midterm grades were all C's. All of them. So she and I went through her work for the past couple of months and pulled out every test and item that was graded and they are, as I said, consistantly A's with a sprinkling of B's thrown in except for her English teacher, who believes a C is the highest grade he's willing to give out.

I requested a team meeting, and tonight I get email back from the SpEd teacher saying that they team wasn't willing to meet with me as a group, but they would be willing to talk to me on an individual basis if I had questions regarding the Girl's progress. Like I'm really going to come to school 5 times for their convenience. I think not.

I sent him back this:

The team has indicated to me that they would prefer
> to have you
> contact them individually regarding questions you have about
> academic
> progress in their individual classes.

I'm sorry, but that's unacceptable. I requested a meeting with
the team, and if you're not willing to hold that meeting, I'm
happy to go to the principal, the superintendent and my
attorney. I'm not a fool, you need to honor parent requests.
Remember, YOU work for ME, I don't work for you.

I'm extremely unhappy with The Girl's grades and I want an
explanation as to why this team thinks it is acceptable to
disregard her IEP with regards to handing in late or missing
work, and I also want an explanation of why this child
continually gets A's on her tests and C's in class. And I expect
that the teachers come prepared to justify this, because I have
every test she's taken and I'm extremely annoyed with this
policy of grading off the top of one's head.

In other words, I'm not really all that tolerant when
challanged, and I honestly don't think you want to get into this
with me. I can be very nice, and I can be very not nice. I'm
really annoyed right now, and I'm not feeling all that
accomodating. I'd hope you would let the team know this so they
understand that they really don't have much of a choice as to
whether or not they'll meet with me. I'm contacting (private info here)
tomorrow to let them know that the team refused. I'm SURE they'll find
that intereting as well.

Sorry to be so curt, but I really am annoyed.

OK, I can be a real bitch when it comes to screwing over my kids, but who the hell are these idjit teachers? I'm pretty sure they are PUBLIC EMPLOYEES and they really have no right to dictate which parent they're willing to talk to and when. If I ever did that during my teaching career I would have been tossed out the door on my rather flat ass. I just couldn't believe the nerve of these fuckers.

Only 4 more months of this crap. I am so freaking looking forward to getting the hell out of the middle school community and moving up to high school where teachers just do not behave like this. Honestly, dear readers, if you can figure out any way to avoid middle school, do it. Elementary is great. High school is great. Middle school sucks like nothing you've ever experienced.
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Blogger Belinda said...

What fantastic choices!! I have to admit, I kinda went "Huh?" when I got to that third one, and then I remembered who you are and where you're from!! You've given me some stuff to add to my Netflix queue.

8/2/06 11:55 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Does your daughter have an IEP? They HAVE to have a team meeting at least once a year (going to my son's tomorrow actually). I am pretty sure if you request it they have to arrange one at any point as well. There are very specific and strict laws about SPED kids in Massachusetts. They better move their ass! You go Mommy!! We have to be our children's advocates..Good for you for speaking up! Keep us updated please.

9/2/06 7:37 AM  
Blogger jennifer starfall said...

in my middle school, 30% of our grade depended on the neatness of our 3-ring binders and our lockers.

so i totally get the ridiculousness of middle school.

i'm sure you've thought of this, but class participation is also a weighty grading thing. is the girl speaking up in class as consistently as she aces tests?

9/2/06 4:01 PM  
Blogger margalit said...


The girl has the neatest,most organized, most attractively matching binder you've ever seen. She has folders for every subject, all of which are color coordinated, plus the kid is obsessed with the appearance of her binder so no jagged papers sticking out. They have NO issues with organization with her, although that was an issue in the past. But it's long gone.

She's definately a participater in class. She has no problems standing up for her beliefs, and she likes to participate. The kid LOVES school, she has a lot more right answers than the other kids, she's considered smart in her classes, which is why I don't get the grades. She also does her homework consistantly. She told me today that tests only count for 10% of her grades. WHAT THE F????

9/2/06 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

Do you think all the teachers really refused a meeting or that Sped idiot just said that so he woudln't have to arrange it? I see you have it settled anyway, but that's a thought.

I do agree that middle school teachers are "special". When I've subbed there has always been a strange quality in the middle schools that you don't see elsewhere

10/2/06 9:25 AM  
Blogger jennifer starfall said...

wow. WTFingF is right.

on a happier note, you might be the only mom ever to have created an organized, intelligent, middle-school kid who actually likes school. :)

good luck to you, and give 'em hell!

10/2/06 11:13 AM  
Blogger Carmi said...

Good note. You were honest and direct. I wish all parents could be like that.

10/2/06 6:47 PM  

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