Monday, February 22, 2016

Trudging along

We have entered an all-out war with the math teacher. Everyone is losing - most of all, me. The curriculum is not challenging, though there are certainly some parts that could be. Connor has spent the past two years getting away with reading in class - and this year, the teachers (including the math teacher) are not impressed.

And I get that. It's rude and must be frustrating to look up and see this kid staring at his book instead of listening to you. I have felt that frustration myself! But somehow, he's able to take in all or most of the material (possibly he can just recall it from being taught the same thing in the past) so I'm conflicted. Let him continue to annoy his teacher, or tell him he must comply with the request to put his book away even if it means he's bored. I chose the latter path, hoping it would give me ground to try and argue for improvements in a few weeks. But, alas, that is not Connor's first choice.

The head-to-head is killing me, and I've told Connor that the outcome is already known. He will lose. There is something in teacher DNA that makes them (largely) unable to lose an argument, particularly with a student. And when a student asks a question the teacher cannot answer, in this case at least, it seems the teacher is willing to just move on - without bothering to look up the answer, see it as an opportunity for enrichment, or ask Connor to look it up and report back.

During our conference, the teacher answered different questions than I asked, and unfortunately we were late to the portion of the conference she was joining us in, so we really couldn't talk through everything very well.

I now receive cryptic notes of accusation from the teacher, eye rolls from Connor, and a cup of outright defiance along with it. And while I'm sympathetic to the teacher, I'm not impressed when I'm told a piece of homework got ripped up because Connor was doing it in class. She's a paid professional. She's paid to not lose her sh*t in class. And when she does lose it, she better be forthcoming about it when I meet with her, rather than me having to bring it up.

So to try and break the tension, I am heading up to school next week to sit with the two of them. My note to my future self when I have to do this again - try banging your head on your computer screen. It might be more satisfying.


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