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Home : 2003 : Oct : 6

    Several issues to tackle
    By Cathy-Dee

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    You have a definite problem here!

    1) What grade is this child in now and has there been any testing done on him?

    2) Ask for a meeting with yourself, the Principal, the parents and at least one other staff member (someone who perhaps has taught this student in the past and knows of his problems)

    In this meeting discuss the following - and I always advise to have all your questions and thoughts written down so you cover what you want and don't allow yourself to get sidetracked.

    Start off by telling the parents this student's strong points - he'll have something you should be able to comment on.

    Then ask them - what do they want for his education. Do they expect him to do the same work as his peers? If they say yes, then discuss some of the issues of his not doing his work, crawling under tables, crying and basically avoiding the work. Tell them that you like their son but you yourself are frustrated because you are not sure why he acts the way he does.

    Tell them that it has never been your intention to make him feel bad and that you would love some suggestions from them on how they handle him at home or how have past teachers handled him when these situations arise. Perhaps the teacher who is with you can comment here as well.

    3) If the Principal refuses to set up a meeting - let him know you are having one regardless but you hoped she would be a part of it.

    4) Document everything. In fact you may even want to record the meetings with your Principal and with the parents. This way if your Principal makes a move to get rid of you because of your pregnancy you can go to your School Board and let them know what is happening.

    Unfortunately you are in a private school and because of that you have very few rights. If they decide to release you from your contract they have to have a reason. However even if their reason is not great the time and possible cost of fighting them over wrongful dismissal is not always worth it.

    Last..... If you have no support, and no one wants to have a meeting - THEN.... I would stop pushing the child to do his work, etc., If he starts to fuss, try to convince him to do his work and if he doesn't don't take away his recess time, simply send his work home with a note saying he was not able to complete his work during class time.

    This sounds like a child who has been babied a lot at home and whose parents do everything for him so he doesn't want to do anything for himself. He may have deeper issues or problems as well. Until the parents are ready to see things realistically and you have your administrator's support there is not much you can do. And why put extra stress on yourself and your baby at this time. Concentrate on what you can do with this student and don't worry about what you can't do.

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