Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Four Blocks Isn't Far Enough

I really feel like walking the short distance up to the grade school and going toe to toe with the Differentiated Educator up there. This woman has just sort of lifted the skin on my body once before, but today she got right underneath it.

So far this year I have been to the school twice with "issues". Inappropriate material has being given to my 5th grader. Once it was a book he checked out from the library that detailed medieval torture techniques (complete with color illustrations). The next time was an exercise on paradoxes entitled "The Unfortunate Hanging" which chronicled the sentencing and execution of a murderer who the judge deemed had committed crimes which were so heinous that he warranted a fate worse than death.

That last assignment was given to him by the Diff Ed teacher. She called me with a rather terse apology and promptly hung up.

Recently our 5th grader was tested for Highly Giftedness. This Diff Ed teacher perpetuated all of this and really wanted to have him tested. She mentioned that he would be eligible for a private mentor with that designation. Well, he is now eligible and the Principal called and set up a meeting after the 1st of the year to talk about all of this. I'm not sold on the mentorship. I have to practically de-program our kids when they get home as it is. If someone is going to have a one-on-one relationship with my 10 year old son, I'm going to make damn sure they pass MY test, not just the Lincoln Public Schools assessment.

Taking a deep breath...

So this Diff Ed lady calls me today and wants to know just why I'm waiting so long to do the application to get Liam a mentor. "I'm just sitting here visiting with Liam and wanted to call and ask you a rather personal question. Is there some reason WHY you are waiting until JANUARY to do the application for his mentorship??!"

Yes. First of all the first available time offered to me by the school was the middle of December with only Tuesday being available. Then, I have a husband that I normally like to involve in these silly little decisions like, hmmm, oh, the education of our children...and he works weird hours until January. Also, I was told by the Principal that there is a huge shortage of mentors. I think I can give Liam some extra stuff to do at home and leave the mentors free for children who's parents can't or don't work with them at home.

No. Actually It's because I really don't care. I'm not sure how the kid got so durn smart. Golly, we jist set him in front of the old squak-box with a some Taco Bell and I guess he must've picked up on sum of that stuff from the Discovery Channel. Der...

But then the can of worms was opened. I got to voice my major concern. She has this man that is applying for a mentorship that she is backing and really wants him to work with Liam. I told her point blank that I need to know this persons moral, theological and personal ideals before I will even consider allowing him to mentor my child. I also restated my concern with what is being taught in public school independent of the academics.

I just have a really uncomfortable feeling about all of this. When he was in 3rd grade and they wanted to slap that label of "Gifted" on him, I nearly didn't let them do it. It's hard enough being a smart kid, harder when everyone knows it. You get to go to a different classroom, get separated from your peers, don't learn anything in there about social skills, and grow up to be a mess...like me.

I have a headache...

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