It’s Never Enough…

This school year has started for both the boys. D is in middle school and S is rounding out his final year in elementary. I was chatting with a friend today and it really hit me.. What school personnel do is never quite enough. This is not a ranting post though. This is a reflection somewhat on myself, somewhat on what’s expected of teachers and somewhat on what a lot of teachers just do wrong.

Honestly, the school year has started out pretty okay. No, not great. Like I said, it’s never enough. But in all honesty, I’ve had years, semesters, transfers of school start really really terrible. So, this year hasn’t started bad. So what’s made it not great? Well, there’s been communication problems.. Not really with what is said, but timeliness and poor wording. One instance, initial communication sounded like D eloped, when later communication showed he wandered. Correct books coming home for homework. Those sorts of things. And that’s what I mean… despite excellent behavior from one kid and really good behavior from the other… These are things that just shouldn’t happen.

They’re basics. Not indicative of a larger problem with how they’re teaching.. Maybe it’s a sign of being overworked. If not, why else am I getting emails at 8 pm, 9pm, 10pm? I know I should be giving them the benefit of the doubt. But as a parent, I also want things to be better. I want my son to be able to do his homework. I want to feel safe knowing that if my child elopes I will know immediately, not 12 hrs later. And while I’m willing to give some leeway, I still will not be able to say enough is done.

In bad years, I didn’t get any communication. My child without good executive functioning may have been expected to remember his book. A teacher may not have followed my kid when he left. Worse, he may have been restrained to keep him from wandering. Many of these things have happened. So yes, there are far worse schools, personnel, situations.

I think it says a lot of what’s expected of teachers though. And it says even more about the amount of support they are given and the amount of support they give. It seems like even good teachers have more that needs to be done. The question of how and by who is not so clear, and I’m not sure I can answer myself. I just know I expect more as do most parents…

Is it that hard to have the person with your son at dismissal communicate with you? (This has started happening.) Is it that hard to check homework and make sure all supplies are going home before leaving for a final break? (This is in the process of happening.) Or check the IEP and make sure all accommodations are in place the first day of school, especially the ones that specify the first day of school? (Too late on this one.) And is it too much to ask that there’s enough time to prepare for all of this before the first day? The time before school starts is too cluttered with trainings and meetings with the consequence being preparation for the actual kids, especially the ones that need those preparations on day one. I hope some day in the future I will feel like what has been done is enough, but until then, it’s my job to make others aware of my expectations.

Photo by RaHuL Rodriguez

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