We met with the principal today, and believe me, he was not my "pal". Broaching the subject of changing classrooms, he acted as though this were as typical as all those cats who like to play fetch.
I made my case, which was met with incredibly inarguable points such as: we can't move your child because it might hurt the teacher's feelings and create hostility between staff if one were preferred over another! It's as though they are not professionals and incapable of dealing with criticism. Not everyone likes pop art; so don't buy a Lichtenstein for your living room. What's the problem?
The main argument against switching classrooms is, if we make an exception for you, we'd have to make an exception for EVERYONE. We can't treat you differently than we treat everyone else. That's not a good precedent to set. How many parents, I wonder, line up outside the office door requesting a change? Right. Judging by how many line up to volunteer, not many, I think. And if there are, they should be given a chance to explain and then be considered on a case by case basis. If there is merit, the request should be considered.
In this district, apparently it is against the laws of nature and man to allow parents to change schools or to change classrooms. Doing so might mean the Earth's magnetic fields switch polarity rendering all compasses pretty, if useless, instruments. Much like meddling parents who want their kids in the right classroom.
That's okay. If the school were to capitulate in the first meeting, who would respect them? Besides me, I mean.
The teacher does not instruct in a clear way. She begins by giving step 2, step 3, step 4.5, then goes back to step 1 with an addendum to add step 4; a reminder to write clearly on step 5; then gives steps 6-18 in similar manner, after which the children wander to their seats in a fog of confusion. I know, because I see it when I am there three mornings a week. I know, too, because I have messy notes from all that erasing when she gives me instructions in that abstract way of hers. I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm no slouch, either. If I have trouble understanding her, yet I am equipped with the ability to clarify, what are the kids to do?
Her classroom is most definitely not a model for admirable behavior. If she's not ignoring too much talking, she's explaining to death why the kids just shouldn't do that. No consequences, they get talked to death. After they awake from their boredom-induced comas, they ignore her to do it again another day.
Tonight I will spend writing argument to each point that was brought up in the meeting. After that, obtain a copy of the school district's policy on classroom changes. We have another meeting with the principal and the teacher tomorrow afternoon. Which is great, this way I get to complain about her shortcomings to her face. Oh well, if that's what it takes to make things right.
I should say that the watch-stealing kid got into trouble for the incident I wrote about last week. Or, the week before? It happened after I left for the day, and more importantly, after the class was disrupted three separate times.
That was round one. Set up the hoops, I'm jumping through. No matter how many ridiculous arguments I might face.