Monday, October 27, 2008

The Conference

No I am not in jail needing bail money (but thanks for the offer Tiffany :) ) The meeting actually went really well.

Imagine my surprise when we were greeted by the principal and told that we would be meeting in her office with the teacher! That's what I get for CCing the principal on all my emails right? Completely fine with me, I think the principal needed to be aware of what was happening in this classroom anyway. Hence my copying her on all of my emails initially.

There was no beating around the bush, I basically came right out and told them both that Caitlyn was not happy in this classroom, and I believed that she was also afraid of approaching the teacher. I really don't think that they expected me to say anything of the sort to be honest with you. Which I found great joy in. The principal looked at me funny, almost appalled, and said, "I can't understand why Caitlyn would be afraid of Mrs. L?"

And that's when I laid it out there for them both!

I told them that it started with the whole snack issue. And the principal was about to cut me off. I put my hand up and said that there was more, that was just what initiated all of this. Then I told her that she has been told in the classroom on several occasions that they needed to have fewer emergencies for the bathroom. Again, they were about to interrupt and I talked right over them and told them about the book situation and her not being able to read the library book that she brought into class. Once I had it all out there, I let them talk.

And talk they did! And in the middle of all that talking, there was a whole lot of back pedaling. Not to mention crazy distorted faces by the teacher. She insisted that she would never tell Caitlyn that she couldn't read a book from home. She also insisted that she was certain that they had a bathroom break on that Tuesday and that Caitlyn was mistaken. I am pretty sure that my daughter didn't lie about it, but even if there was a second bathroom break, my child was not comfortable enough to approach you and tell you that she needed to go to the bathroom again. So regardless of how many breaks you took, you still weren't accessible to my child when she needed you.

Once we got through what all of the issues were, I pulled out my ace in the hole, so to speak. Despite all of the medical ramifications that can happen from holding in urine or sitting in wet pants, I through this gem out there:

"Her father is an insulin dependent diabetic. When Caitlyn presents with issues that are characteristic of those with diabetes (intense thirst, urination issues) then there is reason for me to be concerned because her health is in jeopardy."

Oh the looks on their faces were priceless. And I do wish I had a camera so I could show you the pictures. Their mouths dropped open and they didn't even know how to respond. The only thing they could say was, "We have no way of knowing that." No, you don't. However, there are lots of things about these kids that you don't know. Therefore, you should not make blanket assumptions that just because a kid says they are having a bathroom emergency everyday that they are lying. Because there is obviously information that you don't know and that lack of knowledge could cost a child their health.

When all was said and done, Mrs. L said she was going to have a private conversation with Caitlyn the following day to assure her that she could ask her anything, especially when Caitlyn felt as though it was an emergency. She never did concede to saying she did the things or said the things my daughter said she did. But that's ok. Based on her reaction, it is clear that this teacher is NOT accustomed to being confronted by parents who question her judgement. (much like I reacted when she took my kid's snack away) In the end, my ultimate goal was reached.....

This lady now knows that Caitlyn informs me on everything that happens at school and that Matt and I take our daughter's educational experience very seriously. I think they got the idea that we don't just let things happen to her and when things are said and done that make her uncomfortable, we react accordingly. Needless to say, I really don't think this teacher will be messing with my kid anymore. She knows that we will be in there in a heartbeat if she does.

Oh and by the way.....Caitlyn told me that kids are now bringing in applesauce for snack time. Not only is that using a utensil, which was clearly shunned in the letter (same letter the principal wanted to show me in the meeting), but I also didn't realize that there are that many moms who make fresh applesauce for their kids. Note....that is sarcasm, I am certain it is the Mott's brand and in no way shape or form is that a damned fresh fruit or vegetable.

I do wish I had that gem the day we went to the meeting.


crazed lunatic said...

good luck with this... i know that it's probably not over, but i think you've been able to make your point known that you will take up for your daughter.

Colleen said...

I am glad it went well and hopefully things will get better for Caitlyn!