Changing Schools??



Having made the decision to move the kids to a new school, (one where we will have to drive them) we need to spend extra time to get them up to speed, especially Alex.   Alex has been falling farther behind each year except for 3rd grade.   He actually had a teacher that helped him make progress that year.   And it was not his special ed teacher, her expectations of her students are sadly low.  However Alex’s main 3rd grade teacher had high expectations and he improved with her.  What a surprise – having higher expectations gets children to perform higher.  Who could have guessed?   If I sound a little agitated about this I am.   This is an ok article I found.


“Expectations and Student Outcomes”



On a side note his third grade teacher had no children of her own.  I only mention it because it surprised me – maybe it should not have.

In first grade when they called us in for the big meeting.  The purpose of this meeting was to convince Pattie and I to put him into the special ed program, I should have told them no. He was border line – just a little behind compared to his classmates and now I am sure I should have just spent more time with him myself instead of letting them put him into this program. He has continued to fall behind ever since and I doubt that having him in special ed has helped at all.  In fact, I would bet it has kept him back more.   I might have believed their attitude that he just could not do it except for one teacher that managed to make progress with him while in a regular class.  I should have held him back from 4th grade just so he could have had an extra year with that teacher.  But who told us that wouldn’t help?  His special ed teacher.  Why I listened to her superior attitude as the authority about this I do not know.  She is the teacher and is suppose to be the expert.  Of course, she is the same one that told us that her own son would never be a brain surgeon because he was special ed..  Great attitude?  Is this the kind of attitude a teacher should have?  Especially one that I thought was going to help get my son caught up to his classmates.  How could she get my son up to grade if see doesn’t believe it’s possible?   And why did I not put an end to this sooner?  How many test have I heard about where they told teachers that certain students were high achievers (when they weren’t) and by the end of the year the children were high achievers.  Do teachers not read these studies?   A year latter they wanted to put him into special ed. program for his math as well.  I would not let them hold him back in math and he is holding his own.  His only challenge is his reading of the problems.  He seems to be grasping the concepts of the math problems.   It is amazing when with my own son I can see what an incredible difference that right teacher makes. 

I hear the complaints of how teaches (that make more than I do) are not paid enough.  I hear how CSAP is this terrible thing holding back the kids.  I hear all kinds of excuses.   It dose not matter how many students in a classroom, how much money, or what administration is in charge.  If the teacher’s don’t have faith in their students how their students can won’t learn?  

When it came time for second grade we were told that the easier teacher was the way to go for Alex, n the one with the least expectation.  And sure enough he reached the expectation of the teacher – NOT MUCH.  Third grade I finally said put him with the teacher that has high expectations, and he actually started making progress- then lost that progress in fourth and fifth grade. 

I could spend my time and energy and effort fighting with the school or I can take it upon myself to try to get him up to grade. A different school holds hope but I think ultimately it is up to us. 

Well it is past time to put our children into a new school.  I can only hope that the attitude at the new school is more positive.  For now the next big decision is: do we hold Alex back a year now?  I have heard different theories about this.  One is that there will be fewer traumas now because his classmates will not know he was held back.   We have to make this decision soon.

No matter whether we hold him back or not we need to work on his reading a lot.  We have talked about having him tutored this summer.  We had a tutor last year and it helped some.  This year we are going to go the old fashion way.  We are going to just read a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot.  I will use some of the ideas we from his tutor last year and some things we have heard or read about.  Mostly we will just read and read and read.  I will post notes from now on as to what we did and how he seems to be doing. 


As for Melinda she seems to be OK with changing schools because a little boy she likes is going to the new school with her.  I am not sure if I am prepared for her to have a little boy friend.