Teacher Conferences: My Love and Hate Relationship
I will be completely honest I have a love hate relationship with teacher conferences, report cards coming home and IEP (individualized education plan) meetings.
Being the mom to what we call a puzzle child never makes these events ones I look forward to. What mother wants to hear the shortcomings of their child whether it be academics, social skills, physical abilities or_________? None that I have ever meet.
We moms of puzzle children have to dig deep and hang onto the positives, the smallest accomplishments, the milestones that are finally accomplished even if they are years behind what society calls normal.
Last month I attended our two youngest boys Teacher conferences. When I sit in meetings and the topic is Caleb our puzzle child I often have to bite my lip and hold back saying more then I should.
I look at these specialist/teachers wondering if they are telling me everything there is about my child's lack of accomplishments, if they are advocating enough for my child, if they are as concerned as I am, if they truly understand my frustrations and fears and mostly I wonder if they are telling me everything there is available to us with a child that has an IEP (individualized education plan). I leave these meetings always feeling like isn't there more our school system should be offering for the puzzle children.
Now don't misunderstand me I feel very fortunate that Caleb is in the school he is , to have the teachers and specialist he has, to know that he is happy and feels secure at school each day. I only question the system and does the system keep our teachers from really giving our children the best education they need and deserve. How many times have I heard "He doesn't qualify!" yet knowing he is in need of the additional services. Does that mean my child is actually being denied the same education of the non-puzzled children or the highly capable children?
I often feel I am alone on this journey, advocating for my child in a system that I am not fully aware of what it has to offer him or what I should expect from the system.
What happened to no child left behind? How does one look me in the eyes and say "We are giving him all the services he qualifies for". Yet, he is getting further and further behind his classmates.
I can assure you that as I attend each Teacher conference, IEP meeting and see my child's report cards I will continue to be his advocate, I will continue to discover the system that I am not fully aware of. I will not give up on or give into the system when it comes to my child or your child.
Do you have a puzzle child in your world? What are your thoughts and concerns about the education your child is receiving?